The thing that makes music, movies, books, tv shows, plays, etc. so special is that they allow people to share their human experiences. They allow the world to see a life that they may not otherwise be exposed to without these mediums. I am talking about the way that Straight Outta Compton shows the horrific tragedies that take place in cities like Compton and the way that Titanic shows the horrific tragedy of going from a paradise-esque adventure to a downward spiral that results in you losing the love of your life. The way that Anne Frank's Diary shows us the fear of Hitler's Reign and the way that Trumbo shows us the struggles of persecution and the overcoming of it.
These mediums have the opportunity to expose us to the entirety of the human experience. They can show us heartbreak, triumph, loss, perseverance. I believe that, in a world that is obsessed with fast cars and computer generated images, we are slowly losing the appreciation for what art can provide. We are losing interest in good stories and are instead craving poorly written, junk sex stories about whips and whatever other junk 50 Shades of Grey uses in attempt to destroy the credibility of art.
I know so many people who know everything there is to know about the Twilight series, while never even hearing of Dead Poets Society. We can not allow the true beauty of art to fade away. It is crucial to humanity. I would go as far to say that it is the most crucial aspect of humanity.
Stories are the way that we are able to teach and grow. Stories are the way we are able to see visually the tragedies of the genocides, slavery, wars. It is how we are reminded of the great leadership of MLK, Nelson Mandela, Lincoln, Ghandi. It is how we learn about the human experiences of J. Cole, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Chance The Rapper, Bob Dylan, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paul McCartney, Tyler Joseph, Stevie Wonder, etc.
There is an incredible beauty, potential, and responsibility with art. So, for this section, I want to talk to the artists. The creators. The influencers. If you are blessed enough to have a group of people that want to hear what you have to say, then make sure you are saying something that is important. It is possible to be incredibly entertaining while also being undeniably influential.
Let's look at Kendrick Lamar. His music is adored around the world, not only because it is some of the best sounding music available, but because he is socially conscious. He is speaking about his experiences as a black man living in Modern America. He gives a voice to the voiceless. He doesn't take a single opportunity for granted. Whether it's Jimmy Fallon, the Grammy's, a music video, his CD, or his everyday life, he knows the power and the opportunity that he has. And he doesn't squander it.
On the other hand, there are artists who speak, write, create meaningless, mind numbing work- I will not name names. They step onto their stage, grab the mic, look out to their sea of fans, and fail to take advantage of the opportunity.
It is up to everybody, creators and consumers, to make sure that art remains pure. To make sure that art remains impactful. To make sure that art remains important. And the way to do it is to make sure that artists continue to create influential pieces of art and that consumers continue to learn from it.
Don't let art die.
Also, thank God for Kendrick.