Monday, April 06, 2009

MY SOUL IS/AIN'T FOR SALE!
Recently, I was had a music discussion with my people, and a debatable topic came up. The question was asked: Why are some music artists selling out to make a quick buck? During the conversation, Raheem DeVaughn and Musiq Soulchild were unanimously called sellouts! One of my favorite soul records by Raheem DeVaughn is called “My Soul Ain’t For Sale” off of Jazzy Jeff’s “Return of the Magnificent” compilation. I always thought that record was Raheem profoundly speaking from the heart as an artist. The message being: no matter how little money I may make as an artist, the integrity of my soul or music will never be for sale. Well, judging by some of Raheem’s recent radio friendly records like the track “Text Message,” and the horrific “Club Hop” featuring T-Pain, that may not be the case. After hearing both tracks, I was initially disappointed, but I understood. Is it fair to hold artists musically captive with our personal expectations?

Truthfully, most music fans are finicky anyway. They either expect their favorite artists to keep reinventing themselves with every single, or want them to sound exactly the same on every album. Regardless of what road they choose, somebody is not going to be happy, so I guess it’s a losing battle.

Here are my thoughts on the topic…

I think it’s important to remember that music artists are creating and selling music with hopes of making money. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. This is a full time job for most of them, and they need money to make a decent living. I’m quite sure you can name several artists that create great music, but aren’t selling the records or making the money that some lesser mainstream talents are. That reason alone will make the average artist sell their old fans out for new mainstream ones. Is that really a crime? I think not.
That’s no different than you taking a promotion at your job doing something you hated for better pay. People do it all of the time, and music artists are no exception. As fans I know that we agree with all of our favorite artists’ career decisions, but we should at least respect them. Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember that behind every singer or rapper is a real person, living a real life. Unfavorable decisions are necessary sometimes…

So, what’s your opinion on the subject? Speak on it...

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