Love the Art, Hate the Artist

The girls are gliding makeup onto their faces, spinning around in their dresses. The boys throw on their best collared shirts and spray just a little too much cologne on. Drinks are being passed round with the bong, and the music is pounding through the speakers:

“I told you ni*as I’m gon’ be that fuckin’ ni*a
Everything be good ’til you doin’ better than ’em
They wanna see a ni*a shot or see me in the system
All you ni*as out here poison like snake venom
Codeine in my liver, rockin’ Balenciaga denim
I’m booted even when I’m sober, I don’t need a jigga
They sendin’ all my ni*as on a fuckin’ journey
I told that baby to come over ’cause I’m fuckin’ horny
My mama told me: “Kill these ni*as, son, keep it goin’!”
I’m thug to the bone, but I’m still her baby boy”

These lyrics are on the song “Tunnel Vision” by 19 year old African American artist Kodak Black. No one really listens to the actual words of the song, and even if they do they just scream the words without giving thought into the story behind them. The song in itself is catchy, the beat is good and the bass as well. Black is a well-known American rapper who in this song is writing about the broken jail system and what he has gone through in it. Mentioning the rapper’s name, you’ll get some people who say they absolutely love Kodak Black. But would you still love him if you knew that he just got out of jail this last Monday and is now facing a sex charge? His songs are catchy and popular, but his personality and values maybe not so much.

Kodak Black isn’t the only rapper who has produced good music but has a questionable personal life. Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, XXXtencion, and many more artists have fought with the law and other issues but still continued to be popular artists. The reason is that people like the things they produce and either do not know about their personal squabbles, or openly choose to ignore them. The question at this point is a very personal one. Is it worth to enjoy the art that this person has produced for you and support their career even though they may not morally deserve the money? If you are fine supporting a musician who has broken the law and hurt others, how about someone who assumes presidency of a country? Should blindly love the art and hate the artist themselves?

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Alex R

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