Deception verses creative exploration – is there a distinction?
I love a good political play. Absolutely adore anything that gets my social conscience jumping. I love to read a book or walk out of play thinking … man this world is messed up, how can I be a good thing for my generation? How can I be the best I can be to inspire others to be their best also? I also love songs that make me think about my community, what I mean to my neighbours; how I can change the way I interact with people. Not many songs do that. I also like the type of songs that just let me zone out. The ones that I can listen to for hours and just chill; to be taken away from the stress and all so frequent inconvenience of thinking too much. However I cannot help but notice that art is hugely deceptive. What I am trying to get clear in my own head is: where (if anywhere) is the line between creative exploration and downright meaningless deception drawn?
Some communities throughout history and even to this present day had and have outlawed arts as evil for the very reason that it is deceptive, the line being too indistinct for the people to be accepting. I understand that putting out a great work can mean taking on a role. In acting it is compulsory. A play without any actors and a certain amount of stepping into character (also known as deception), there would be no play!
However if we take the music scene at the moment and start calling names – take Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, they take on a role for their stage acts, and videos that in my opinion adds very little value to what they do as musicians. I am aware of the argument in favour of visuals and I am not saying for one second that their creative team lack anything. In fact they probably work with some of the best creative thinkers and visual creatives of our generation. For that reason I am at loss and cannot see why these musicians insist on producing these weird and not so wonderful stage performances.
Now let’s get really serious for a second and think about the influence someone like Nicki Minaj is having. There are countless young (and not so young) women (and men) wearing bright yellow wigs and pink lipstick, having silicone injected in their bums, and doing all manner of crazy things to look like their idol. Some would say it is harmless and for few it probably is. However for others it is dangerous. There are people growing increasingly dissatisfied with themselves and not being able to appreciate their natural beauty because that is not what Nicki encourages them to do. I hear the angry cry of some already…’but she doesn’t try to be a role model’. I am not saying she has to. All I am saying is that we have to be aware of the influence we have. As a female rapper I have absolutely no doubt that she wants to be influential. To use that influence irresponsibly by breeding a following of black barbies is….you fill in the gap.
So there is this tension between creative exploration and degenerate deception. I cannot and really do not want to convince you of either all. If you have an insight that might make me see things differently, let me know. Otherwise simply be vigilant peeps. How are we letting others ‘creative exploration’ or whatever you call it influence us.