Okay… so I didn’t really, REALLY want to type up with blog. Granted, I would have prefered to just handle this situation personally, but I’ve tried to and it hasn’t seemed to stop. So, here goes…
You know how rappers like to make raps where they say, “so-and-so is bitin’ off me” or “I have a bunch of copy-cat rap clones?” I don’t really say that much in my raps, but the reality is, with me it’s actually TRUE.
I’m not going to mention any names here because… well, there’s no sense in airing people out publicly unless necessary… but I DO have people out there not only biting my style, but the kind of moves I make, the videos I produce, and the song ideas I come up with.
And, frankly, it’s starting to annoy me.
It started off with a few little things: a lyric borrowed here, a rhyme cadence of mine used there. Then it began to get weird, with this person making beats that sounded very, VERY similar to beats I had produced for some of my songs. Next thing I know, certain song ideas I had created were also being used.
Now, granted, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and at first I was actually quite flattered that someone was a big enough fan of mine to use me as the prototype for what they were trying to do. But there’s a BIG difference between using someone as the inspiration for your own creative ideas, and blatantly stealing what they do.
For example: back in 2008, I got the idea for this site because another guy, Jonothan Coultran, had opened up a “One Song a Week” site where he posted up a new song every week for a year. He ended up being able to make his living as a musician from doing the site, so I decided to do a similar thing. BUT, instead of just copying his idea exactly as he did it, I added my own idea of posting a music video to go with it.
Similar idea, but different because I put my own spin on it.
What this person is doing, though, is nothing more than ripping me off. Many of the ideas he uses now are things I came up with as a result of much trial and error, and as soon as I decide to implement them, BOOM! Here they come doing the exact same thing.
For example: my music reviews. You know why I do music reviews? I was listening to a lot of albums, and wanted to start a dialog with people on YouTube about whether or not they felt the same way about an album that I did. So I did a review of Eminem’s “Relapse” album, and it got over 20,000 views. From this, I realised that reviewing more albums would be a good way for me to help get notice for my songs while also gaining me followers.
I’ve been doing album reviews for over a year now. Then, this past September, guess who else decides to start doing album reviews? That’s right!
Now, at first I was annoyed, but then I was kinda okay with it because they weren’t reviewing the same albums as me. And it was cool because this person was still getting decent views on those other albums.
But THEN… I did a review of Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” 2 days later, guess who else has a review of the album? Then, I did a review of Nicki Minaj’s album, “Pink Friday,” where I gave it a 5 out of 10. 2 days later, guess who else drops a review of Nicki’s album – AND GAVE HER THE EXACT SAME RATING I DID??
There are so many things like this that this person has done over the last two years. I change up the look of my website, and their website gets changed up. I type up blogs talking about certain subjects, and they not only talk about the same subjects, but use sentences and word structure that is similar to mine (in some cases stealing exact words and phrases). I decide to call myself “Mr. Obama Milli” (since it’s my most popular song), and they decide to call themself “Mr. (Insert name of his most popular song). I pick a release date for an album or music video, and they just “happen” to make their release date within a day or two of mine. I change my tag to “Prince of Parody” to highlight the fact that I’m doing mostly parody songs now (since they make me the most money), and I find out they change their tag to “Something Something King”. I open up a new website on Blogger.com and, just today, I find out they did the same thing.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that this person is now doing parody songs as well?
You wanna know WHY I do parody songs? It’s not just because I’m copying off Weird Al. Granted, he was a huge influence on me musically… but I also watched a lot of parody movies and videos growing up, and I always respected the art form and puzzle-like tenacity it takes to re-create something into something else for the world to laugh at. Ever since I was little, I would hear songs on the radio and mess them up. My college friends can testify: every week I would change up my answering machine with a parody of the hottest song currently out, and had the entire campus going crazy for them.
Once I started doing my own songs, I would still find myself making fun of other people’s songs. When I started my video project, the only reason I did the parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” was because I had no other ideas that week… but once it took off, I knew I still had a passion for doing those types of songs, and eventually decided to put more focus on them.
That’s how I got to wanting to do parody songs. Know how this other person got to doing them? He saw me doing them and said, “I think I’ll do the same thing!” What kinda crap is THAT?!?
The saddest part, though, is that this person is already talented in their own right. He makes killer beats, and creates choruses that are some of the catchiest I’ve ever heard in my life. Therefore, I can’t understand why he feels the need to constantly copy all my moves, without adding his own twist to them. I don’t mind being an influence, but I don’t need a carbon-copy clone who’s just doing what I do because it’s easier than thinking up their own stuff.
So what is a person supposed to do when someone is biting your style? Technically it’s not illegal for this person to do so, but man oh man, does it irk me to no end. I’ve tried helping this person find ways to make money off his own music without having to copy me, but he always ends up going back to doing just that. Oh well – I guess when you’re the best, you’re bound to run across these types of individuals. I just wish they’d get some more confidence in themselves and realize they can make money and moves doing this business by following their OWN instincts.
In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.” (Yes, I know it’s ironic I copied a movie line in a blog talking about how annoyed I am from someone copying me. Eh, it happens.)