Please forgive my melodramatic headings! What I am talking about today is the aim of being famous verses the aim of simply being the best at your art. By best I mean the most forward thinking, creative boundary pushing artist in your field. Now when I was a child spending all my free hours watching MTV’s shows on how Destiny Child, Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera became famous, I was simply thinking – I want to be like them. After a few years I gained a social conscience and wanted to write songs and act in plays that would change people’s hearts but that was after a few good years. And I am (well so I think) a sensible one. I am aware that the transition does not occur for all. That is where the fame scandal comes to play. Is it bad to simply seek fame? Those awful singers entering themselves on X-Factor for their 30 second fame as the nation’s worst singer until the next comes along. Is it bad for a person to chase every single new wave that comes along? Those artists who stand for nothing and fall for everything.
Let’s look at popular music again. There is great music being put out. I love and appreciate all genres so from the London emcees to Calvin Harris – you will find it on my ipod. However I cannot help but feel a little uneasy about the music videos or branding of some artists. Again this is just me thinking aloud so feel free to post your agreement (or disagreement). Let’s take Drake’s song ‘Started from the bottom now we’re here’ track. The words are actually really deep. A story of struggle, to overcome, of pushing oneself against all odds. However the buffoonery in the music video completely discredits the song. This is what gives Hip – Hop a bad press. The videos are so detestable and degrading to women (do not get me started on video girls), that it gets the genre judged and shut down, looked down upon as a musical taste for degenerates or office types trying to be cool.
Branding is so important. Even though it is not morally sound, we know that we are judged by what we look like. Even if it were not so, why would you want what you look like and do to be so misleading that people do not even want to find out what you are saying. I am not for one second saying that we should become a pious herd all trying to ‘look’ the part. In fact my behaviour and dressing has raised, raises and will continue to raise eyebrows. I am fine with that. However I do not go out of my way to look like I indulge in every kind of stupid, mindless and even dangerous act that this shady earth has been cursed with.
In other words we know that there are high rates of STIs, single mothers, drug and alcohol addiction and then one puts out a video that praises all these things (or acts that lead to the above) and we see nothing wrong with that. We put it down to the life of the rich and famous. Nooooooo! We fund these guys by buying their music, going to their shows and letting their music largely influence our generation. We need to start setting a standard where we support those giving back to our communities and I do not just mean money. Any knucklehead can do that. We need those who are making efforts to sow morals and build people of character and value. Fame is good. There is nothing wrong with it. Hey I want to be famous. It is the value we place on those who place very little value on us that is the problem.
Think about it.