Archive for March, 2014

“If anybody listens and is influenced by what a rapper says, they just weren’t raised in a good home.” – Slim Thug
For those who do not know, Slim Thug is an American rap artiste who recently threw a shot at parents/guardians with the above quoted comment, accusing them of irresponsibility if their child/ward is/was influenced by the lyrics of rapstars and other musicians alike.
He went further to say that he’s an entertainer and that’s where it ends and as such, the kids are responsible for whatever they learn.
This comment from Slim Thug, is a reflection of the minds of most artistes/entertainers on our screens today who do all sort of thrash under the umbrella of “Entertainment” yet don’t want to be held accountable when their songs/art is discovered to be causing a lot of harm to their audience, most of which are youth and teenagers.
Imagine a school teacher who says she’s just a teacher and that’s where it stops thus, the students are responsible for what they learn. Sounds sane?!
Some people will be like, Kru, this comparison don’t work as teachers and entertainers play different roles, but let me quickly point out one fact we may be missing out.
A school teacher isn’t any more of an educator than your favorite entertainer with the only difference being that for a school teacher, it’s formal education but for the entertainer, it’s informal.
It’s the renowned philosopher Dr. Ravi Zacharias who said “the most philosophically powerful institution in a nation is really not the academicians as powerful as they may be, but for the younger generation particularly, the philosophy is provided by the world of the arts and as such, the molders of the youthful imaginations are really the artistes of our time.”
Without a doubt, there’s an increasing decadence of moral values in the lives of today’s youth and studies have shown that the entertainers/artistes, through their art, with the help of the media, are the ones with the controllers in this game of influence.
The propagation of violence, sex, nudity, vulgarity and indecency amongst others seems to be what is chief in the entertainment industry today as it is almost impossible to turn on your tv set, or listen to a song on the radio without being confronted with at least one of these embedded in a song lyric or portrayed in a musical video.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises, Thursday, June 8, 1978. said “Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full
of pornography, crime and horror.
The press (media) has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.” And it was Andrew Fletcher who sometime said “let me write the songs of a nation, I really don’t care who write its laws.”
The release of such illicit materials and information into the media stream distorts the morality of young lives who look up to these entertainers as role models and icons.
As some would say, I didn’t sign up to be a role model, neither did I ask any one to look up to me but let’s face it, one with the spotlight on him/her is never short of attention. The responsibility of being a role model is fused with the status of a celebrity and as such, whether you intend for it or not, people will listen to you and model their lives after yours once you become a celebrated one which epitomizes “success” in most cases.
For the musicians most especially, your songs are made to be listened to and before you can be tagged “successful”, it means quite a lot of ears give heed to whatever you say and interestingly, these ears pay your bills. Thus, you can’t play ignorant to the fact that people actually listen to that which you say in your songs.
So the big question is, since you know that people listen to every word you utter, what then do you offer them in return for a paycheck?
Some others will say, “i’m like an actor who take up roles just to entertain the audience and it would be unjustifiable to describe me based on a character I played in a movie.” meaning that they put up a character which is often referred to as an “alter-Ego” just for the sake of entertainment and this doesn’t in anyway reflect who they are in reality.
True! They are definitely right. It’s in every way unfair to relate with an actor based on a role he/she played in a movie yet one thing is certain; Every role of every character played, is an interpretation of whatever the script writer had in mind. Thus, you may see yourself as one who is simply acting a role but in truth, you are delivering to your audience whatever message the script writer intended to pass across which leads me to this question.
If as an artiste, you put up an act simply for entertainment, whose script are you acting on? Because through your art, a message is being sent and if you’re just a mail man, whose mail are you delivering?
In life, only one Author is true yet there’s a plagairist who acts like the author so as to send across his own message which is but a twisted version of the original; I’m talking about God and the devil and one thing is certain, if you aren’t a runner for the former, you’re definitely one for the latter.
So the question is, Since you’re just a stamp on a sealed envelope, which of these senders do you represent?. Since you’re nothing but a mirror, whose image are you reflecting?. Think about it.
I write this to every celebrated person out there, every role model, every icon and leader, be it of a vast body such as the entertainment industry or of any sort, as long as you in one way or the other stand above others, there are always bound to be eyes looking up to you and you are responsible for whatever knowledge you pass onto them, be it consciously or otherwise and also to the media practitioners, that you have some sort of regulation(s) to checkmate the content of what is published in the name of entertainment through your outlets.
Let this knowledge serve as a lamp to your feet that guides you and to the aspiring celebrities too, do not lie ignorant of this. My advice, know who you are but most importantly, know whose you are.
Let’s lead right. There are so many lives out there following our prints and we can’t afford to lead them astray.
God help us.