Tag Archives: Ice Cube

The Curse of Being a Black Artist

by Guest Contributor M.Dot, originally published at Model Minority

I think I have fallen in love with Camus (a dead white Algerian philosopher who argues that the death penalty is premeditated murder) and Anthony Hamilton simultaneously.

What does this have to do with being an artist? Everything, simply because over the last few days I have been apart of a few conversations on the tension between art and commerce.

Two days ago, on Twitter, Indieplanet and I were having a discussion about art, commerce, Joe Budden/Vlad flap up.

indieplanet @mdotwrites Its a bigger issue of basic ethics.
Too many blogs/video sites decide at some point to exchange
ethics for page views. 10:06 AM Jan 11th from web in reply to
mdotwrites

indieplanet @mdotwrites Re: Budden/Vlad – What are your
thoughts on the whole situation. I think its a bigger picture that
video sites should consider. 11:51 PM Jan 10th from web
in reply to mdotwrites

indieplanet @mdotwrites Shouldnt it be possible to make a
contribution AND get paid?? It is possible (not common)
to change the game & have morals 12:17 PM Jan 11th from web
in reply to mdotwrites

@indieplanet Its like running with the Dope man. Sooner or
later, someone is going to test you, and you are going to have
to choose. 12:23 PM Jan 11th from web in reply to indieplanet

Yesterday, Dart Adam’s sent me a link to an essay of his which outlined, amongst many things, how the The Telecommunication’s Act spearheaded mergers and acquisitions in radio and how these changes impacted hip hop.

To cap it off, yesterday, Brooklyn Bodega posted a Facebook note asking “Does Money Ruin it All?” He wrote,

the other day one of our family posted a comment that he was no fan of ‘Notorious’ because too many people had profited from its production. He cited Memebrs of Junior Mafia, Puff and I assume he also had a problem with Ms. Wallace as she looks to have been in charge and arguably received the largest check.

So the question is does the presence of money make it impossible to produce a work of pure artistic integrity?

The responses ranged from, “as long as the Wallace family is compensated then it is all good” to “making money is practical for everyone including artists”, and finally “this is a less of an issue of the evils of capitalism and rather a question of authenticity.”

Many of the comments reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of capitalism and both how it has historically impacted art and how it impacts hip hop and Black artists specifically. Because capital is productive property, there will always be a move to exploit the the property to obtain the most returns. Continue reading