Fortnite, the game that has taken the world by storm has recently become central to discussions about cultural appropriation. In light of Epic’s smash hit game’s prevailing popularity, Chance The Rapper took to Twitter speak out about Fortnite’s use of real-life dance moves.
Chance made the argument that the moves used at emotes in the game are often created by black creatives who are given no credit or compensation. Epic incorporating current and popular dance moves into Fortnite helps maintain its cultural relevance. Chance The Rapper believes that emotes – the dances – “make so much money” and should at least use the original names and music for them.
Fortnite was said to make $300,000 in the month of May alone and with numbers as such, Chance and many others on social media believe that it would be appropriate to share this money with the black creatives who created and popularised these dances.
The dance centred around 2 Milly’s hit song “Milly Rock” is one of many featured in the game as an emote but is renamed as swipe it. 2 Milly spoke to Kotaku about his take on the issue and said, “I do feel like Chance was very correct in what he said and that if you would have incorporated the song with dance title ‘MillyRock’ in Fortnite instead of not using the record and changing the name to ‘swipe it’ stealing away from my artwork…”.
2 Milly also went onto say, “I do take it as a very big deal. I just wish [Epic] would have reached out with pay-out and contract being that I am solely the creator of the dance and song…I don’t feel its appropriate that my art which is a big part of the culture is basically stolen.”
2 Milly added that he’s been working with his attorney who will be reaching out to Epic about the issue.
Just as the Milly Rock was, Blocboy JB’s ‘Shoot’ was renamed as the ‘Hype’ emote in the game. JB, however did not seem concerned about the dance being used in the game and tweeted with a laughing emoji following its debut:
The topic of appropriating black culture is one that has been frequently touched on in recent years due to an influx of aspects of traditionally black culture been coined by celebrities or others in the media. The lack of recognition given to black creatives and individuals is an ongoing discussion which has been shown with the Milly Rock issue.
Despite this whilst in a $5000 Fortnite game with celebrity gamer Ninja, Drake promised to rap about Fortnite if Hotline Bling emote were to be included in the game. With no talks of other compensation for the inclusion of his dance, it seems as though credit isn’t a concern for all.