With the world up in arms about Kanye and whatever he’s saying let’s explore the space between an artist and society. Kanye West is not the first rapper to “remove” himself from what I going on in our society. Lil Wayne has said in an interview that he didn’t know about the Black Lives Matter movement. Now even though these people are superbly successful that doesn’t mean that they have to be aloof to what is going on. Jay Z is someone who appears to be just as if not more successful than Ye and Wayne but Hov utilizes social media and other media platforms to “stay in the know” and stay up on what’s hot and fresh. That’s the only way an artist can last as long as Jay, by staying current with the times. That is where you get your inspiration from, the world around you. You can’t rap about materialistic things when your audience can’t relate. It’s one thing to rap about partying because we all want to have a good time and usually that’s when we pull out all the stops but be honest, most of us aren’t balling out of control on a daily basis.
Certain environments enhance our creativity and certain environments reduce our creativity i.e. prison, poverty, and death. There is always something to be inspired by depending on how you see things but being absent minded as an African-American man in this country is unacceptable and a copout. It is a choice when you put distance between yourself and the culture that put you in a position to be successful. Politicians who know nothing about women’s health, education, mental health, and etc. make decisions on those very issues every day when they make these ridiculous policies. The same thing goes for rappers when they put their foot in their mouths. They aren’t making government policies but they are used to push a certain narrative and all we know how to do is create memes instead of having honest dialogue.
The people around the rappers that live in a money bubble are yes men and women whose sole job is to keep them there. To make sure that they don’t go “off script” and start rapping about economic empowerment, continuing education, engaging in politics, and social issues. That’s why we have our Four Initiatives. These people are drugged and liquored up so they won’t feel any empathy or sympathy when they hear about the ills happening in their own communities. This way they won’t feel compelled to speak out and in some cases they may dismiss the feelings of the people being affected and as a result they look down on us because to them we are in a certain situation because we want to. Some rich people think poverty is choice, some skinny people think being fat is a choice, and white people think slavery was a choice. The thing about choices is that if someone is making you choose then it’s probably an illusion.
“It’s like the boy in the bubble, who never could adapt.” – Eminem (Say Goodbye Hollywood)