Who's Real and Who's Not?
The celebrity is manufactured. They are developed, assembled, and distributed for the world to consume. The celebrity is told what to say. What to look like. The celebrity has no ideas. No opinions. The artist is bursting at the seams with fresh ideas and bodies of work. The line between celebrity and artist becomes blurry and sometimes we cannot decipher one from the other. The celebrity can be an artist just as the artist can, in turn, be a celebrity. There is a level of craftsmanship in designing the perfect celebrity. There aren't that many Kim Kardashians in the world. The artist, however, struggles with their new role as a celebrity. They want to lose themselves in the art but some lose themselves in the celebrity. Once the artist takes on the celebrity label, they must now say the right thing and talk to the right people. When the artist takes off their celebrity garb and allows themselves to be open and upfront with strangers it is a sight to behold. However, nothing beats an artist who was never a celebrity to begin with. They never went down the assembly line. They have created themselves in their own likeness and own image. These people say what's on their mind, no matter who is in the room. Below we've gathered a collection of 6 artists who get real in front of the camera.
1. Tupac Talks Donald Trump & Greed in America in 1992 Interview
"We've been slighted and we want ours." The late Tupac Shakur sits down with MTV and shares his thoughts on Donald Trump level wealth and greed in America. Pac talks about the relationship black people have with America. "We have been here. We have been a good friend and now we deserve our payback." Pac also manages to have thought provoking ideas on the wealth distribution in America. "No one should be hitting the lottery for $36 million and we got people starving in the street." Agreed.
2. David Bowie Criticizes MTV for Playing Videos by Black Artists
MTV birthed music television and took music videos from something that was created only for a label's overseas artist to industry standard. In a 1983 interview with MTV VJ Mark Goodman, Bowie takes control of his interview and poses a rather simple question to Goodman. "I'm just floored by the fact that there are so few black artists featured on it. Why is that?" Goodman stumbles and dances around the question as Bowie continues to challenge this idea that America isn't ready for Black artists. Well done, David Bowie.
3. Bjork Interview 1988
Bjork is a magical being. Other worldly. Everything she says is profound. This isn't up for debate. In a 1988 interview, Bjork takes apart a television and dissects all of its working parts. She references and Icelandic poet, compares wires and computer chips to roads and buildings for which I used as a jump off point for my piece on Lemonade. Only I could find a connection between Bjork taking apart a tv and Beyonce's visual album.
4. George Bush Hates Black People
During the media coverage of 2005 Katrina Relief concert and tel-a-thon, Kanye next to Mike Myers blurts out the infamous "George Bush doesn't care about black people," the soundbite heard around the world. For those whose first introduction to radical Ye is his Henny induced run up on T-Swift, welcome. There's loads of space on the "Before Kanye was a Kardashian, he was a real one" bus.
5. Childish Gambino Interview at The Breakfast Club
"Hip-hop isn't doing the thing it was set up to do." Dressed in a dead guy's cardigan and a Hawaiian t-shirt, comedian/actor/rapper Donald Glover/Childish Gambino is unapologetically himself at his 2014 Breakfast Club interview. Glover talks the state of hip-hop, race, and knowing your worth with clever punchlines to boot. "I'm just here trying to represent real. I just want to be honest and free."
6. The Drone: Tyler, The Creator- Interview
Who started off as the leader of the controversial but wildly gifted Odd Future, Tyler the Creator has garnered international success as a solo artist within the past few years. In front of media outlets and press Tyler typically responds to interview questions with silly answers that do not allow you to see past the antics and outlandish lyrical content but in the 2011 interview with The Drone, Tyler the Creator lets his guard down and gets serious. "Everyone thinks about dark sh*t. Why when someone puts it in a song, its a problem?" The Kubrick of rap. I get it ( Maybe Earl is Kubrick, but you see where I'm going).
Got any other links to artists baring their souls in front of the world? On a scale of one to Björk how magical are you? Which video resonated with you the most?
Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @wowiwrite with the hashtag #brainwash and let's chat!