Today, we live in such a heavily media-saturated society that it almost seems impossible to ignore those who constantly appear on our phone screens, television channels and radio stations. Especially now more than ever, as we are being quarantined inside and feel there is nothing better to do than keep our eyes glued to the screen in hopes of positive updates. If you are like me, music is the key to your soul and can help get you through just about anything. No matter the circumstance, throwing on your favorite bop can boost your spirits or blasting your special “feels” playlist when you’re in need of a good cry is almost crucial. Inevitably, when we add these songs to our playlist we are not only supporting the music and art itself, but also the artist who composed it. So what if the artist committed some act of abuse, whether it be sexual, emotional or physical? Would we still keep that song in our library? Even if we don’t personally condone of their abusive actions, if we continue to support their music we are granting them the satisfaction of knowing no matter what they do, there will be no repercussions, as they will still always be successful and have a fanbase.
A prime example of this, and probably the main name that came to your mind, is singer/composer, Chris Brown. Though Chris Brown never seems to be able to keep himself out of trouble, he also never hesitates to drop another album. Back in 2009, Chris Brown was charged with physical assault of his then-girlfriend Rhianna, as he beat, choked, and bit her until there were physical bruises and open wounds all across her face/body and she needed to be hospitalized. Since then, he has faced over a dozen charges regarding physical and sexual assault, but still seems to have no problem flourishing within his music career. In June of 2016, Chris Brown even punched a FAN in her face after one of his performances, simply because she tried to take a picture with him. Yet again, he was let off with a slap on the wrist and the excuse of him just having “anger management issues”. Though he has continually proved himself of not giving two f*cks about his fans, coworkers, or intimate partners, people still support him and his music. In no way am I suggesting that those who listen to his music are fueling his toxic behaviors, as I too have been guilty of tapping my foot along to his song “Loyal”, but we also need to recognize that his fame and fortune enables him to feel invincible to the law.
Unfortunately, many other “beloved” artists and celebrities have adopted this toxic mentality. Whether you listen to music to exercise, bond with others, enhance your mood, or just solely for entertainment purposes, how do we intentionally remain socially responsible with the artists we choose to support? Personally, I have chosen to remove those artists from my playlist and replace them with those of similar genres, but have moral values that more closely align with my own.