Around & Within Episode 31
Black Is King was the shit and people just have to find something wrong with it.
Since when did artists become responsible for our constant approval, why are they consistently demonized. It as is if fame equates to them being fair game for us to dehumanize and tear down for our own enjoyment. We rush to hear tea on how poorly someones life is going, how much money they lost or the tragedy in their lives. We dig for reasons as to why they are some how wrong in their art and deserve ridicule and criticizm. And it’s exhausting
We are so narcissistic. We want to see people win because it gives us hope. We enjoy watching celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion rise to fame because we think hmm I see myself in her. (Another reason why representation matters) But after awhile once celebrities reach a certain level of fame we start to look at our lives and realize that they made it and we are still in the same place. We put hope into others in lieu of ourselves and it gives us this false sense of identity in people who are not us and don’t belong to us. Many of us are still in the same places we were when they started and that level of accomplishment now seems out of reach. That’s when we hope for them to show authenticity, sadness and misery. Some of us love to see a downfall because we are so low ourselves. Studies show that the same brain regions are activated when we feel love and hate. There is a since of pleasure that comes with both that maybe we get confused from time to time. Here are some instances that have happened over the quarantine that have me scratching my head.
J.Cole said he doesn’t know as much as y’all think he does he just raps and sometimes the way y’all come at him with a stank ass tone as if he should know more is frustrating especially since he never claimed to be woke, educated or an activist. And literally the internet erupted. But why??? Why can’t he just rap and go on about his business. Did that make him less qualified to do his job? Are we still not entertained? Does his lack of education and knowledge make you less educated and knowledgable?
Megan thee stallion we watched and rooted for Meg to rise to the fame she deserves yet once she gets here and starts hanging with Hollywood folk living her best life the moment she gets her feet shot up we want to make a joke about it, question what she could have done to deserve it and disregard her physical and emotional feelings. It’s wack and weird. Does her misery take away from your horrible situation? Do you now feel less pain after ridiculing her?
Beyonce is someone who isn’t in the press, doesn’t do interviews and at this point is a celebrity to the celebrities her downfall is unrealistic and highly unlikely so what do we do… come for her art pick it apart as if she had this duty to consider all other aspects of what her art could be interpreted as. If any artist was to spend their time considering all facets of the activists, political experts, feminists movements etc. we wouldn’t get art. Nothing will ever make everyone happy. Learn to appreciate things for what they are and what the artist created. Find a way to not find negativity it’s actually quite simple.
I quote from an essence article written by Judicaelle Irakoze wrote, To Beyonce, whom I love so much, thank you. The film was rich beautiful and entertaining, but I expected more. I hoped that you would’ve engaged Africa and Blackness not rooted in capitalistic stance. I hoped you would’ve let the world into the everyday realities of Africans. Because while we woke up to a gift from Beyonce, filled with rich imagery we also woke up to the news of activists in Zimbabwe arrested for protesting against the governments violence towards the people.
Like what the hell?! was this a visual album or a documentary? Is she an activist going to protests or an entertainer? why have the expectations change? why can’t she just make pretty art? Maybe she wasn’t saying any of that maybe she was saying I want to see African people in these really nice things that my budget can afford. I want Marine Serre body suits because they look cool with the choreography. Like did Beyonce really think to herself hmm I would love to see Africa dripping in capitalism and riches even though most of my audience can’t reach this level of success and people in Africa are suffering I can’t wait to give a false sense of reality. No obviously that was not the premise. And another thing if you’re looking at this empowering piece of art as, "well… I”m not royalty and I can’t have those nice things” then dammit you won’t but it won’t be because Beyonce portrayed it in her music videos. I mean let’s circle it all the way back around to the fact that Beyonce was not born into African royalty and yet here she is embodying it. So what’s different between you and her? What’s the difference? Maybe juusssst maybe it’s the mindset. If you sit back constantly finding the negative. Constantly looking at how something is wrong then you will stay right there, miserable latching on to celebrities rise then hoping for their downfall and what a miserable life to live.
I think what most successful people are saying is it’s not up to me to save you. I’m not here to be your complete representative I am not running for office. I make art and you like it let me be an artist. I can’t lift you up and make sure that everyone is taken care of. I didn’t tell you to latch on to me in hopes that it would change your life. I’m changing your life with my craft as your entertainment. If you want to be, do, create, explain, run for office, then fuckin do it. But don’t have me do it for you or as your representative. I didn’t sign up for that.
Peace and Much Love,