RANT: Art Vs Commerce


“Keep this shit fresh and original…. ain’t no fuckin’ rules to this shit and that’s what real hip hop is to me.” Kanye West

To endure life’s ironies, is to gain a thorough understanding of it’s inequities. The past few days I’ve seen nothing but Art Basel updates from friends and celebrities alike via social media and unlike my first impressions of the massive art festival a few years ago, I actually didn’t care this time. I love art! Anytime that an artists can showcase their life’s work to the public and receive recognition for their creativity then the odyssey was well worth it. What made it unattractive to me this year – the same variable that affects hip-hop – is the commercialism. Art Basel should be about art NOT about YOU posing in front of art with a cliche gesture or ridiculous pose. Who are you posing for?

As a wavering (sometimes disoriented) Hip-Hop head, only a few of today’s acts intrigue me and the rest are carbon copies of each other. For every Kendrick, Childish Gambino, and Drake theres a one hit wonder being pushed upon us by a major recording label without a clue. How many rappers have used the Migos flow since Versace made waves? One too many. Same can be said for New York rappers who made down south/trap music all of a sudden because their prior sounds and identities became yesterday’s mainstream meatloaf. I’m well aware that creating, writing, and producing great music is an art and making a hit isn’t easy but when did the focus shift from an equal ratio of quality and quantity to forgettable crap made for immediate consumption. It’s like when we were children and all we really wanted were Happy Meals. We were indifferent to the healthier alternatives as those meals of happiness offered incentives: Toys.

The “toys” in the industry is the money, baby, the money. New artists pop up all the time with awful music, hood rich videos, and uninspiring work ethics hoping to be the next big thing as if its that easy. It appears that so many of these dumb asses expect a pay day without paying dues but that’s partly due to these other cornballs that have record deals and have a minor buzzes. Damn it, “it looks so easy, a caveman could do it” and these neanderthals are swinging their clubs in the recording booths attempting to “out swag” each other all the while sounding exactly the same. Same goes for photographers, DJs, and any other profession that puts forth an vibration of coolness. Where’s the love of the game? Oh I forgot… the “love” doesn’t pay the bills. Well, if that’s the case, go get a job that does indeed fulfill the need and leave the “art” to the pros and stop stinking up the joint. You wannabes are reeking of a scent that could only be described as prostitution. Yeah I said it.

If you can sell your art  and make a living off of it then pat yourself on the back BUT that shouldn’t be the ONLY reason that you do it. Be honest in your work and that will resonate with those that you trying to reach. I’ve seen average paintings, heard whack music, etc., all made by people who’d rather settle for mediocrity in exchange for a chance at fame. It doesn’t work like that… Hard work and truly knowing what it is that you’re making takes time and patience but if that doesn’t appeal to you then that’s quite alright with me but do us all a favor and keep the garbage where it belongs.