We really don't want to believe Beyoncé stole the 'Hold Up' video

May 2, 2016 at 4:03 p.m. ET
Image: HBO

Beyoncé has been praised for her incredibly artistic, original approach to releasing an album with Lemonade. But what happens if her work of art comes from plagiarizing others?

Critics are drawing comparisons between "Hold Up" and visual artist Pipilotti Rist’s video “Ever Is Over All." Although Rist's video was filmed back in 1997, the two have some obvious similarities.

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There's Rist walking down a quiet street, twirling a club in her left hand. Next, just as Beyoncé does in "Hold Up," she smashes a car window. Most striking is the way the women carry themselves in both works: They're dressed as "ladies" (Beyoncé is wearing Roberto Cavalli couture) and are removed yet almost gleeful in their actions.

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As Idolator points out, there are 15 songwriters credited on "Hold Up" and countless more people involved with the video's production. Would it be so surprising if someone on Bey's team studied Rist in film school, always loved this piece, and decided to concept the video after her work? "Hold Up" also uses three samples from other songs; clearly, Beyoncé likes to build upon others' art.

But there's a difference between an homage and outright stealing work — and an internationally famous pop star using a concept without naming the artist she used as inspiration just doesn't feel right.

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