Arts and Entertainment

Separating the Art from the Artist

Separating the art from the artist is okay in almost all circumstances.

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Separating the art from the artist is a complicated topic. By separating the art from the artist, I mean listening to an artist’s music despite his or her personal history. This article will be focusing primarily on popular rapper 6ix9ine (this decision was not up to me ) and his new studio album “Dummy Boy,” which I cannot stand listening to. Personally, I would like to come out in full support of separating the art from the artist, as a musician’s personal history should, in most circumstances, not affect the listener’s experience or opinions in any way.

For example, let’s pick an artist (let’s just be random and sporadic and choose 6ix9ine). Once he releases an album, it is no longer his; it is the people’s. And this is especially true for Daniel Hernandez (6ix9ine), who has been sentenced to 32 years in prison. His music doesn’t really belong to him anymore. Rather, his music is for the people and to be used by the listener to think about and enjoy. (Perhaps this is not true in the case of “Dummy Boy,” as it is nearly impossible to actually want to listen to the album, but it surely is in other controversial artists’ cases, such as Kanye West or XXXTENTACION).

Even if you streamed 6ix9ine’s “Dummy Boy” album for over 700 minutes straight, you would still be giving him less than a dollar, and most of that money goes to his record label, producers, and managers, not his actual bank account. It’s a slippery slope—from not listening to controversial artists’ art to completely shifting your musical tastes and opinions solely based on what other people have done in their private lives.

If you didn’t listen to any artists who have committed acts that might be considered indecent by the general public, you wouldn’t be able listen to XXXTENTACION, Kanye West, 6ix9ine, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, R. Kelly, and many, many more. If you restrict yourself this much, music will become dry and bland as you’re constantly checking yourself to make sure you’re listening to the right people. Even in movies and TV, restricting yourself from certain controversial actors could prevent you from watching thousands of movies. Some of my favorite films with controversial figures either behind or in front of the camera include but are not limited to “Zoolander,” the original 2002 “Spiderman,” and “The Disaster Artist.”

There’s simply nothing wrong with listening to “Dummy Boy” (except for the fact that it’s a 22-year-old kid with rainbow hair screaming into a low-quality microphone). How could past crimes he may have committed affect the music that he releases? If you support “Dummy Boy,” you’re not supporting 6ix9ine’s personal history and crimes. You’re simply supporting “Dummy Boy.”

In the end, art can, quite simply, almost always be separated from the artist. Let’s be frank; this artist is already a millionaire, and your 16 cents probably aren’t going to change his life.