The above photo represents the tickets that my best friend surprised me with last week. We had both expressed wanting to add a few fun activities to our repertoire for the summer, so this idea made me very happy initially. As we discussed who specifically will be headlining the show I realized that an artist convicted of domestic violence was the main artist performing that night. Music is something many cultures hold dear to their identity, but I believe that some cultures place music and musical talents on a higher pedestal than others. To African Americans in particular, R&B music has a special place in the culture and the stars of that culture are usually protected endlessly, especially if they are male. It is no secret that domestic violence has been the most common headline for this artist, and this was my initial concern once I was aware. Now of course my friend was aware of my resentment towards this situation, but it was the other headliners of this show (two of my current favorite artists who do not tour solo often) that prompted her to purchase the tickets as well as her own interests in the show.
Convicted abusers being given the opportunity to continue to make music and tour around the world, even after graphic photo evidence of crimes were released to the public as well as reports from other victims, shows how the media and music in particular have hegemonic properties in the culture. Black people especially have bee conditioned to place males on a pedestal even if their behaviors are not deserving, and even as these ideas are being challenged in more recent times I believe many have great internal conflict decided whether or not they should support legends who have darker habits off stage. As someone who grew up listening to all types of music I feel it is very important to decide whether or not you want to support individuals through the art, and it is still problematic when deciding whether to engage in concerts and similar past times.
As we know, music has a huge influence in the youth and determines what trends will be fed to the masses. Many values and perceptions of the dominant culture are successfully passed onto to the proletariat through all kinds of music, and I believe that Gramsci would agree our modern culture has largely been shaped by such. Young adults must realize that we are shaping the future society when we continually fuel and support artists who are contributing to society more negatively than positively. Though it may be tough, the media we engage with is either consciously or subconsciously molding our thoughts, and because of this you sometimes have to remove yourself from things and artists that once brought you comfort or good times with your peers. For this reason, I have decided not to attend the concert with my friend simply because I have been educated on cultural hegemony and the effects it has on subordinate members of society.