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.
You need to login to view this content. Please Login. Not a Member? Join Us
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.”
Many great movements are said to be born out of oppression or frustration. Pick a time and you can guarantee that there is always some art form that provides the pulse for a particular movement. Look at the rise of German expressionism, protest songs of the 60s, or the use of documentary film making to promote reform and you’ll see that they all serve as artistic time capsules.
Hip-Hop is such an expansive genre of music. There are sounds that are specific to certain regions, new sub-genres that seem to pop up out of nowhere, and a new generation of artists picking up the mantle. Hip-Hop is more than music, it’s a living culture that is constantly evolving.
Comics have changed drastically from the humorous and over the top era that popularized them. No longer are they simple books for little kids. Comics have long-standing fan bases that cherish the story and characters alike. Today these publications are more gritty and the heroes often operate in a grey area.
Social media has reinvented the way we view activism. No longer do you need to pass out flyers or go knock on several doors to spread the word. A simple tweet to your followers or a post on Instagram will reach more people, in a short amount of time. This is especially true for individuals that are internet sensations or have a massive following. Social media presence is king in today’s society.