Rappers have had a long history of borrowing and repurposing everything from vocal samples to fashion choices to artwork from existing popular culture, but lately, they’ve been at the center of a few fusses about stage design. First, Lorde deemed Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s Flog Gnaw stage remarkably similar to hers. Now, a legendary rocker is going after Kanye and Cudi’s protege Travis Scott for a piece of his Astroworld stage design — namely, the roller coaster loop that performs from as part of his set.
During Travis’ show, he straps into a one-man roller coaster cart and raps his way through a complete loop-de-loop as smoke blasts flare up around him. Of course, Motley Crue, the 1980s metal band known for crafting the hedonistic rock star persona that Travis spiritually continues through his own “rager” philosophy, had a similar set up for their drummer, Tommy Lee, who would play a drum solo as his drum setup and bench rotated through a similarly designed loop. When Lee found out that the stage setup was so similar, he lashed out on Twitter and Instagram, posting videos of the similar setups and effectively accusing Travis and his team of ripping him off.
“Just found out this fucking idiot @trvisxx or someone on his team ripped off the 360 AND The Crüecifly!” he wrote. “Get an original idea bro. ANNNNND not one rip off but TWO. DOPE. I get copying is a form of flattery, but this is just straight ripping off my shit. What do you guys think??”
He concluded on an ominous note: “Hey @trvisXX lawyer up!”
Travis has responded through a statement from his legal representation:
“Tommy didn’t invent the concept of a roller coaster on stage and there’s no legal basis for his accusatory outburst. The actual creator and owner of the system has granted Travis all rights to use that equipment to complement his original stage design.”