Last year one of my favorite singers, Amy Winehouse, died of an apparent alcohol overdose. To most people it wasn’t a surprise, because of the way she lived her life it was inevitable that she would be deceased soon if she didn’t change her lifestyle.
What perplexes me the most is the way the media and fans embrace tabloid rumors and drunken pictures of their favorite artists, while singing along to the beat of their songs.
“Rock Star life style might don’t make it”~ Gucci Mane ‘Wasted’
After Amy Winehouse shot to international stardom with her second album, Back to Black, the media began an all out frenzy on her personal life and addictions. The last two years of her life she was plastered in every tabloid across the world from L.A. to London.
A similar situation took place in the mid 90′s, with the media infused East VS West Coast beef between Bad Boy Records and Death Row Records. The end result was the death of the greatest rappers of all-time, and the killer(s) are still unknown.
One of the most interesting phenomenons in the last fifty years of music is the amount of great artists who passed away in their mid-twenties. To name a few: Tupac Shakur, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Notorious B.I.G., Jim Morrision, Kurt Cobain, Aaliyah and Brian Jones. Wikipedia even has a page called The 27 Club which is dedicated to musicians that died at the age of 27.
The death of musicians, painters, and poets has always been big business. I mean look at Michael Jackson. Thriller sold over 75 millions albums and he still is worth more money dead than alive. It’s not the media’s fault when an artist dies in a freak accident or when their art imitates life. Listen to the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G., Tupac and Jim Morrison and its very clear that they were fascinated with death.
“Fuck the world, fuck my moms and my girl. My life is played out like a jheri curl, I’m ready to die”~ Notorious B.I.G. ‘Ready to Die’
Who really benefits when the lives of such young and talented people are ended abruptly? While family, friends and fans are usually the ones who are impacted the most, it is usually the record labels and media who gain the most when a celebrity dies.
Look how famous Princess Diana and Basquiat became after their deaths. Even though we are to blame for the decisions that we make, the media in some way has to be held accountable for feeding the public countless amounts of rumors and BS that has nothing to do with music. With more and more people listening and sharing music than ever, their should be more music related news vs tabloid stuff.
Growing up as a child MTV and BET was a place for kids to discover new music, but now we are bombarded with reality TV and other non-music related programming. Today we depend on blogs and other sites like The Hype Machine and We Are Hunted to help us discover new music. One of the reasons I started this site is to provide avenue for artists and fans to connect with each other and focus on what really matters,the music.
Save the Music Yall….