Kendrick Lamar Accused of Ripping Off Visual Artist in "All the Stars" Video
"They're stealing from African artists"
Published Feb 12, 2018Kendrick Lamar executive produced the soundtrack to Ryan Coogler's lauded Black Panther adaptation, but the rapper has come under fire for ripping off another artist in his video for the SZA-featuring film cut "All the Stars."
According to the New York Times, British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor alleges that Lamar used her work without permission in the new video.
The work in question comes from a series of 24-karat gold paintings by Viktor titled "Constellations," and the artist alleges that a portion of the "All the Stars" video infringes on copyrightable elements, "including stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns, arrayed in a grid-like arrangement of forms."
Viktor's lawyers said that she was asked by the film's creators to feature her work on two separate occasions, but declined to participate in the project due to financial and artistic terms she deemed unacceptable.
It is unclear if the artwork also appears in the film.
"Why would they do this? It's an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it's about black empowerment, African excellence — that's the whole concept of the story," Viktor told the Times. "And at the same time they're stealing from African artists."
Viktor's legal team is demanding at least a public apology and a licence fee, though the artist stressed that it's a matter of principle more than compensation.
"Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists and I want to make a stand," Viktor said.
The portion of "All the Stars" that allegedly rips off the "Constellations" series appears at the 2:59 mark in the video. Watch it below.
Black Panther hits theatres on February 16. Black Panther: The Album is available on CD via Umusic.