The roots of many forms of American entertainment are linked to a time that lacked diversity in these industries. Hollywood and specifically film is an industry that has been slow to change. There still has never been a person of color or woman that has been the head of a major film studio.
Too often fans and the media have this habit of proclaiming that an artist has fallen off. This may be true but no one takes into account what that individual may be doing behind the scenes. We get so caught up in visibility and the idea that if we don’t see something it didn’t happen. I’ve witnessed this especially when it pertains to the music industry.
There is always a curiosity as to what makes a particular artist resonate with people. Is it their story, relatability, or something different altogether? I have always known that everything wasn’t meant for me and I try to respect other people’s opinion. For so long hip-hop has been a refuge for the misfits, misunderstood, and minorities from all walks of life.
Recently, I sat down with 26-year-old multidisciplinary artist Ellex Swavoni. A discussion ensued about the importance of fostering creativity and being honest in your art. She is an artist who is passionate about what she creates and is very careful about who she lets into her world.
Kevin “Wak” Williams’ artwork has been a staple in numerous Black homes and businesses throughout the country. My grandmother had a large ceiling to floor copy of his paintings “Power of Man” and “Power of Woman.”