So there I was, listening to a ________* song as one does, when the Spotify’s app Genius integration decided to give me the backstory on one of the songs:
“By now, everyone’s heard about _______’s beef with _______ and _______.”
“OH, REALLY?” thought I. EVERYONE? I could certainly enjoy the music just fine without having a clear idea of ____’s beef with _____ and ______. It was a catchy and well-made song, as many of _______’s songs tend to be.
I was bemused by this little attempt to insert drama into the simple experience of listening to a good song. And in that moment, I realized how lucky I am. I get to enjoy the fruits of modern art and technology while also being completely ignorant of all the stupid celebrity news mill fodder being produced every day.
I’m rarely scrolling through social media (except for work). I don’t watch the news. I don’t read the news.
Aside from a host of other personal benefits, this means I get to actually listen to music without reading a celebrity’s personal dramas into every lyric, as many music commentators (pop or niche) tend to do.
Good music is about the person listening, and good art is about the beholder, or it isn’t good art. A good relationship to art comes when you take the gift someone has created and transform it to fit the contours of your own life journey. As far as you’re concerned, ________’s song should be about you, not about their personal or relational problems.
Celebrity drama is art’s killer at worst, and it’s trivia at best. So it’s worrying that so many people politicize music, pick sides in celebrity wars, read tabloids, and follow the personal lives of celebrities instead of improving their own. There’s so much of art which we can hardly enjoy without having selected our team or formed our opinion about someone (the artist) whom we’ll likely never meet.
The music commentators expect this. That’s why they interrupt our Spotify jam sessions with the little gossip that showed up on my phone. They think they’ve gotten us figured out.
Let’s prove them wrong. The next time they try to pin us down with some celebrity drama, let’s just shake our heads, tune them out, and get back to rocking our own lives out to a great backing track.
*Artist name redacted because I ain’t contributing to further drama about artists