I’m just going to vent for a bit, if you don’t mind.
Music is awfully silent as of late. So much pain, in the nation, in the world and yet, the music world is surprisingly SILENT. So silent it is deafening.
What happened to “Make Me Wanna Holler,” “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” “Living Just Enough for the City,” “Fight The Power,” “Get Up Stand Up,” “U.N.I.T.Y,” “War,” “Imagine,” “Self-Destruction,” “We Are The World”? Music used to do more than just entertain. It was our activist. It used to heal us. It used to give us the right words when all we could do is weep and mourn. Music was an intricate part of all movements that advanced our civil rights and here, now, with war abroad and war within, water shut-offs, mounting violence, etc. we have nothing to say? Not one thing? And, believe me, I looked for even the smallest thing.
Oh, but if there were just one small soundbite of [insert celebrity name] saying something negative about [insert celebrity name], there would be an INSTANT response. The public would choose sides immediately. Everyone would know about it. I swear, all we know how to do is start beef. Who among us can start peace?
Gil Scott-Herron was right: The revolution is not televised. Neither is the struggle that sparks it. It cannot be marketed to generate the right amount of capital.
WHY SO SILENT, MUSIC?
Are our artist personas so docile and so far removed from our humanity that we can’t even stop the machine for one second to say as The Roots did: “It don’t feel right?” Silence in the moment is not the same as a moment of silence.
I’m not saying what mainstream artists should do but I know nothing is the opposite of what they should do. What I do know is what I as a musician do. Yes, I write posts and I share things, but most of all when there is something in the world I want to change or fight, I go to my piano, and I pray. Then I am given the words and the melody and I present it to the people as an offering like this one:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/163232515″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
P.S. This is not promotional. This is emotional. I respect my craft and I honor it. It is my gift. It is my tool for activism.