Hiphop footnote

Hiphop and arts organizations…

Suppose the Kennedy Center, instead of naming Q-Tip as its Artistic Director for Hiphop Culture (see my last post), had named Kanye West instead. Or Jay-Z, or Dr. Dre.

I’m not saying that, artistically, these would have been better choices, Or that these stars would even want the gig. Kanye, so famously, launched his new album with his own shown at Fashion Week in New York, giving him a more elite audience, and much more media, than the Kennedy Center could ever get.

kanye 2 blogBut still…imagine the landscape any of these three would create. Kanye (pictured), Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre all are bigger than the Kennedy Center. As Kanye’s Fashion Week show demonstrtes! All three might have, bigger annual budgets (so to speak) than the Kennedy Center.  They might have more money in the bank (their bank and investment accounts vs. the Kennedy Center’s endowment).

So now the Kennedy Center, we might dare to say would take its realistic place in the cultural firmament. yes, it’s big in the arts. But it’s dwarfed by everything big in popular culture.

And if that’s our reality, shouldn’t we step out of our bubble, and bring reality into our everyday consciousness?

Might help us learn, at last, how to live in the bigger world.

Often there’s resentment, in the arts, about how much bigger popular culture is. Often it takes the form of attacks on popular culture, slams against it (often ridiculous ones), accusations that it’s shallow, empty, evil. And of course created only for money.

But mixed with that can be envy. A wistful example: When the Three Tenors gave their first concert (so long ago now), they were paid $1 million each. And they loved that. Not only because they liked getting the money (as who wouldn’t?), but because now they were getting what they thought pop stars got.

Original Source: Hiphop footnote

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