My emphatic answer is YES! For me art and politics go hand in hand. Art is a platform in which politics can stand and be understood. In an earlier post I wrote about the rise and fall of my beloved Eminem after his freestyle about Trump at the BET Awards. Em is still getting backlash from that. People are saying that Eminem needs to stay out of politics and stick with music and these comments are not just said about Eminem but also about other celebrities who decide to use their voice and status to bring light to certain issues that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. People who make these commenta are quite frankly ignorant. For one, Trump isn’t the first president that Em went ham on. Does no one remember his deliberate attack against former president George W. Bush in his song “Mosh”? In my opinion music has always been political. I can think of many artists/musicians who have written songs with a political message. I think of rap groups like N.W.A and Public Enemy and artists like Pink and there are so many others. I just don’t understand people who think that celebrities shouldn’t use their platform that they have to make a difference. I believe any form of art can be political you just have to know how to use your voice.
In my last blog post I mentioned how music is supposed to be a platform for important issues, but now I want to go more in depth with that thought. More than just music I believe all art forms can be used to highlight important social and political issues. I instantly think of art such as the well-known advertisement of Rosie the Riveter that was all the rage in World War II. That art was a representation of the women during WWII who had to work in the factories and take other “man” jobs because all of the men were away from home in the military. Rosie the Riveter is frequently used as a symbol of feminism. today Don’t get me wrong. All music doesn’t have to have deep thought, but the music today has become so ridiculous that a lot of today’s artists have forgotten the art of music. Art also doesn’t just have to deal with social and political issues but it can also be a platform for personal issues. We know a lot of artists who go through breakups and create amazing songs out of that heartbreak. I’m looking at you Adele and people can relate to that. I think that an artist that is relatable is important, but not only with music. I could say the same about any art form such as writing, visual art, dance, and so forth. All art has the power to incite change and I think artists have a duty to their audiences to make something worth listening to. The same thing goes for my writing. I try to use my writing as a platform to discuss how I’m feeling. Below I have attached three different types of art with a message…Rosie the Riveter, Alessia Cara’s song and video “Scars to Your Beautiful,” and a link to my poem “Black and Blue,” which is a poem that I wrote about domestic violence. Art takes many forms.