Robservations: Artists, Money, Authenticity

What’s slapping, Cats & Kittens? Here’s are a few thoughts created out of weeks of frustration and ponderance.

If we celebrate artists for putting their particular feelings (sadness, happiness for instance) into their work and we concede that artists are sensitive about their shit. Passion makes the best projects, art or whatever. Create when you’re compelled to. You may be mad or sad or happy – create something – you emotions are your director. Some artists best critical work is when they were at their lowest – Mary J. Blige for instance. Why do we judge them for being angry, frustrated or petulent about that same are or moreover as an individual? Emotions are emotions and they’re not here for your consumption and ridicule (snarky meme makers – you’re so clever). When you have reemotions on failing to reach a goal – like Cam Newton in Superbowl 50. Imagine, if you worked hard to achieve something and then didn’t – but instead of processing it like a regular person you have to have sponsors and newspeople urge you to answer questions on how you feel while they’re dissecting you syllable count. That shit is weird – so because he makes some money his feelings are up to our intepretation? All are emotions and emotions are a spectrum- I suppose those aren’t the pretty emotions – those aren’t monetizeable emotions, those emotions are too real.

When it comes to how we treat people who make money – we lessen their humanity – like the human condition is remedied with money. Sure money makes things easier, I’m not delusional but we need to reexamine how we look at money. Money is a lie – value and such I accept but this idea of money is flawed. Notice when there’s something you love – let’s say rapping – you’re free to express things however you like – as soon as you get on and start making money – you’re a starving artist so you make concessions and others who essentially own you are restricting your freedom, your art. It cheapen what you do. Think also of how things, once they become monetized, it gives people or ideas a say, a stake – focus groups, lawyers and non-artists are involved because you – as the artist – are told you should be making money for this. Even athletes, Vince Carter comes to mind – you love shooting hoops or whatever and then if you ascend to making serious money suddenly you’re complacent and “not hungry” – your passion is gone, your artistry suffers, desire hidden expenditure. When money is involved, anything great seems to suffer and we’re conditioned with this idea of this is how it has to be. Remember how cool Youtube was before commericials? 

We don’t value authenticity – we say we do. “He’s real.” “She’s real.” That’s contrived, false. We value someone who communicates something that we find palatable. When it’s TOO real – remember the truth hurts and isn’t always pretty – it’s quickly ridiculed, mocked and swept away as someone’s crazy ramblings. That’s what we look at as real. We allow these behind the scenes, in a subconcious way, tell us that “this” is acceptable, that this is “real”. Notice that people who say “real things” are saying things that are generally, dare I write universally accepted, common sense.  It’s very weird.

What are your thoughts about anything I’ve written here? I envision this as a learning and sharing opportunity. I don’t have the answers – these are only my flawed thoughts. Pardon the errors and brevity here.

Always,

Rob Lee