So, you have just created a piece of art. You’ve directed a movie, written a book or produced your best song yet. Obviously, the next step is getting people to see or hear it. What’s the point of creating, if not to share with others? But, what is your goal? Most creators are looking for an audience, at least more than just your mom. We might say fame and money aren’t important, but is that true? Isn’t recognition how we thrive in our fields?
This is where it gets tricky. Every writer, singer and filmmaker wants their work to be noticed. We want to make it big. But what do we do with warning messages against the very thing we are often striving for?
This month Post Malone released his new album Hollywood’s Bleeding, filled with almost every genre and blurring the lines between hip-hop, rock and pop. Interestingly enough, the album starts out with a rather somber song, the titular song. “Hollywood’s Bleeding” talks about the loneliness and despair found in a land of fame that doesn’t satisfy.
“Hollywood's bleeding, vampires feedin'/Darkness turns to dust/Everyone's gone, but no one's leavin'/Nobody left but us/Tryna chase a feelin', but we'll never feel it/Ridin' on the last train home/Dyin' in our sleep, we're livin' out a dream/We only make it out alone”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen messages like this one from artists. However, usually these aren’t the most prominent. Songs like Cardi B’s “Money” are more likely to be turned up in the car and sung along to. We like to see money and fame as success, not something to be scared of.
In pop/r&b singer Bazzi’s new song “Coversations with Myself,” he echoes Post Malone’s warning even more bluntly.
“And the car, and the house, and the fame never made me feel anything except separated (Lonely) and intoxicated, and honestly kinda grossed. Don’t get me wrong (I'm so lonely) nice things are fun, I like nice things, but you just can't base your human value on them, because at the end of the day, they don't mean anything.”
So what do we do with this? Should we not desire fame and recognition for the art we worked so hard to create? I don’t think that’s necessarily the problem here. What artists like Post Malone and Bazzi are warning us of, is making what we do who we are. If we make our music, movies and art solely to get to Hollywood and get famous, we are going to end up unfulfilled. Art should not be selfish. Creating should be so that others can see the Creator through our created art.
Fame and recognition in itself isn’t a bad thing. We don’t need to take songs like these and refrain from putting ourselves out there. It’s the reason behind the fame that matters.
By Maddie Conley