Are Kanye West and William Shakespeare cut from the same cloth?


Ren Bondoc

Kanye and Shakespeare share more similarities than you may think.

Ren Bondoc, Staff Writer

What can a famous playwright from the 16th century and a rapper from the 21st century possibly have in common?

Especially when the two men are William Shakespeare and Kanye West?

Each of these creative thinkers is known to practically every human on the planet. They have fans and supporters by the millions.

Interestingly, West and Shakespeare share something that certainly is not seen in a positive light: each has repeatedly been accused of plagiarism in their works.

If any of these accusations are true, should their fans reject these men and their works? Whether it is right or wrong to support this artist is up in the air.

The stigma of plagiarism is alive and well, and the penalty for the offense is enforced whenever possible in today’s world.

Shakespeare is arguably the greatest playwright of all time.  Even in the early 1600’s when he was writing, people speculated that the famous bard had plagiarized some of his work. There were later counterclaims expressing that Shakespeare was reading off manuscripts, taking his own spin and using it as inspiration. Some people say that the only thing that he knew was how to sign his name.

Fast forward to the 2000’s,  West was accused of plagiarism on a special collab with Adidas, the #SUPERMOON campaign. #SUPERMOON was an effort to promote his new album, “ye” and a clothing drop with Yeezy.

Rita Minissi is a famous photographer who accused both Kanye and Yeezy of plagiarism.  She claims they stole her poses. She later said that she had a fondness for both West and Yeezy prior to the incident.

Of course, the media sensationalized the story.

“What does the media focus on?” said English teacher Ms. Ilene Austin, an English teacher. “I feel like people need to do their due diligence.”

West was not fazed by the accusations.  He made his feelings clear in the following 2018 quote: “Too much emphasis is put on originality. Feel free to take ideas and update them at your will all great artists take and update.”
Kanye West (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018, on Twitter

“To be honest I really do like Kanye,” said Evan Pagan(11). “From his samples to his songs. No denying he’s a goat. I’m not too deep regarding that, but I’ll defend my lord with my life.”

There are other students that also think West’s music is impactful.

“When he made that song about the old him, it can teach people about their old self,” said Mylianna Peguero (5)

These students are on two different paths but share something in common, a love for West’s music.

Shakespeare has enriched people’s lives for nearly 500 years through his extensive body of work.  He became more popular after his death, and his fame continues to grow today.

“His work is alluded to in so many other pieces of literature,” said Austin. “We should focus on what he did give us.”

After looking at two renowned artists, is it right for artists to continue using recycled ideas? Or should they also be publicly condemned, as other artists have experienced?

Here is some more information about the #SUPERMOON event and Shakespeare 

Kanye West’s response to the accusation 

More information on “The Greatest Plagiarist”