Thinking About Kanye West's Recent Tweets (Part 2 Of 2)
If you didn't read the first part of this series, you can check it out here.
A slow Sunday is the best kind of Sunday.
I haven't been up to much today, just running some errands and taking care of some household chores.
I meant to publish this earlier, but I completely got side-tracked by a long-winding, bizarre conversation I had with another tenant in the building (I would spare some details, but's its too inappropriate to share on here).
Unfortunately, I am super tired and really just want to go to bed now, so I'm going to make this blog post super short.
Before I begin, a few things on my mind that are unrelated to the core of today's story:
1) I've settled into a good routine here in Huntington Beach. My biggest goal is to focus on continuing to get more sleep, and being disciplined enough to keep working on my writing and other side projects after my engineering work is done for the day.
2) I've been kind of lax about this, but I definitely want to make sure that I'm still meeting and hanging out with some of the interns more. I feel like June was a great month for me to get comfortable out here on my own, but now, I want to have a good time with the interns closer to my age (I'm one of the few, maybe only, graduate students here).
3) I'm going to be posting more often on my blog here. I have way to many thoughts throughout the week to post only on Sundays. Throughout the week, I'm hoping to write down topics that I'd be interested in talking about. Some of those ideas will turn into full-fledged blog posts, while others will continue to stew in my mind until I feel ready to put them into words.
4) I need to explore more of California on my own and with others before I leave. Any suggestions on where to go? Feel free to let me know.
Ok, now to the main subject: Kanye West tweets...and Drake.
June has been a great month for hip-hop music. Kanye West and his label, G.O.O.D. Music, dropped five independent projects throughout the month: Pusha-T's Daytona, West's own solo album ye, West's and Cudi's collaboration, Kids See Ghosts, Nas's Nasir, and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E. Drake rounded out the month with his fifth studio album, Scorpion.
Before these albums all dropped, there was a lot of controversy surrounding West's tweets on slavery, and Drake's blackface photo and secret child with a former adult film address.
Here's the main question: Is it ok to still listen to a music artist's work after they do or say something you strongly disagree with?
I think it is, and the numbers back me up. People were ready to cancel Kanye West forever when he seemingly implied that 400 years of slavery was a choice.
According to Wikipedia, "ye became West's record-equalling eighth consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200."
So much for being canceled, right?
What about Drake's blackface photo being revealed by Pusha-T's diss track, The Story of Adidon? I remember seeing a lot of outrage and sheer disbelief at how an artist as carefully guarded and meticulous as Drake could have ever thought taking a photo as racially- provocative as it was would ever be a good idea.
People were ready to abandon Drake.
Yet, this headline from Billboard says what really happened: "Drake's 'Scorpion' Is the First Album to Hit 1 Billion Global Streams in a Single Week"
The bandwagon only got more occupied.
It seems like people really don't care for these controversies from the artists at all. I could go back and find many examples of artists failing to be the role models or idols we desperately carve, yet we support them through thick and thin.
As long as they make great music we can mindlessly jam out to, right?
At first glance, it's somewhat contradictory to be upset with them and yet still listen to their music without further consideration.
But with some more thinking, I don't think there's a contradiction.
I believe it's possible to separate the music from the person producing it. The music is an instance and representation of who they are at the time, and what experiences have drove them to create that particular work at the time. I don't think any kind of music fully represents something as complex as one's full character, therefore, it's ok to experience the music as a standalone representation of an artist at that given moment in time.
I could go on further defending this point, but I have work tomorrow and I nearly passed out writing this blog post already. So I'll leave you with one final question:
If you're in the club, and you hear R. Kelly's "Ignition" Remix, do you think you and other people would still dance to it, or would people factor R. Kelly's accusations of being an alleged abuser and because of that, you and others absolutely cannot support him by dancing to his timeless song?
(For those who don't recognize the song, SMH. Go out and live a little. The video is below.)