Michael Jackson allegedly molested children, Chris Brown abused Rihanna and Kanye West compared himself to Jesus.
All three affect the most important part of any music artists job — maintaining the support of a loyal fan base. But is it really possible for an artist cross a line?
I’d argue that there never really needs to be a line. If you enjoy an artist’s music then, by all means, listen and enjoy it. There are millions of people that forgo thinking about what Jackson did and continue to blare “Thriller” on a regular basis.
I can’t say the same for Chris Brown because his music is awful, but I’m sure there’s a handful of people living in my dorm that can listen to it without caring about his domestic battery charge.
Kanye, of course, is just as popular as ever, despite calling out his former prodigy Kid Cudi during a concert, referring to himself as the modern day Shakespeare and interrupting Taylor Swift.
But he released “Yeezus,” arguably one of my favorites releases.
When considering the question of whether you should listen to an artist if you don’t like their personal life, you are looking at two different definitions of good and bad.
On one hand, you can argue the objectivity of an artist’s actions, which can be pretty clear if there is sufficient evidence.
Take the group Migos’ legal trouble for example. One member, Offset, served time in prison back in 2015 for battery and inciting a riot inside a penal facility. Migos, along with members of their entourage, had been arrested prior to this incident in Georgia after police found them in possession of marijuana, firearms and other incriminating substances.
While I could focus on the crimes they committed, I’d much rather focus on the great music they create. I loved listening to Migos’ “Culture” album released this year. It was a great comeback.
As you can see, I really couldn’t care less about their life and what choices they make. These are grown ass men who don’t care whether I stop supporting them or not. Since their music is popping, you can always catch me bumping Migos’ “Fight Night” or Kanye’s “Blood on the Leaves” whenever I want to.
To further illustrate my point, consider the fact that plenty of rappers are addicted to or sell drugs. Do you think anybody bats an eye anymore? No, not really.
Rapper Chief Keef was charged with the manufacturing and distribution of heroin in 2011, but two years later he was named an XXL Freshman and was featured on a Kanye track. People don’t seem to care — and artists they work with don’t care, the fans don’t care — so you can see why it would be kind of stupid to just stop listening just because they broke the law or said something offensive.
If you feel like sticking it to them, you can always just torrent that new album, which is the most morally correct way to go about screwing over an artist by not giving them any money or support. With a plethora of torrent sites, most popular being The Pirate Bay, it’s pretty easy to get whatever music you could ever need.
Just be careful that the FBI doesn’t catch you because they could hit you with some hefty piracy fines.
Honestly, whatever qualms people have with an artist will more than likely disappear if they are talented and apologize to the fans. People have short attention spans, so they’ll move on.
Eventually, your artist will make more music and we’ll focus on the art rather than his personal life. I don’t condone any of their actions, but I like the music so I don’t want to hear about how I should stop supporting them by listening to it.