Former “The Wire” star Wood Harris recently gave his thoughts on the music industry and why situations like Lupe Fiasco pondering retirement and Chief Keef‘s publicized actions of late have him down.
In Harris’ eyes, the lack of content and disinterest in addressing real life problems is having a widespread effect in the music biz.
“We have to be careful not to let the artists get dumbed down because the artists will be the missionary, the message holder, and the activist. But, now, people get famous doing something silly on TV, and they run with that ball. I’m an artist, and I’m not insulting Nene Leakes, but I think more than half of television is reality TV now. I’m friends with Mos Def, we want to talk about something. That’s what’s gone when Tupac is gone – there’s nobody who says, “Dear Mama,” there’s nobody with his complexity as an artist. I love Lupe, that’s my brother, my Chi-Town brother, but he’s retiring, and he was retiring before the Chief Keef situation. And that Chief Keef situation is extremely sad. Now they can sell sad. Interscope is selling sad. I don’t care what the lyrics say; I don’t care for it.” (AHH)
Harris also went on to emphasis the importance of artists not getting consumed over material possessions and wealth.
“I think they might understand it, but what sets a precedent of understanding is money,” Harris added when asked if he feels artists understand the platform they have. “And power. When you get bread like they have it, and you can get any girl, your esteem grows from material things. They don’t want to see the walls fall down around what they built. It takes some braveness to pull a Lupe.” (AHH)
Recently, Lupe Fiasco hinted at plans to stop putting out music for commercial purposes.
“Contractually, I still have to do another record if the label picks it up,” Fiasco said in an interview. “But even after this part one and part two [of Food & Liquor 2] I’m basically kind of done, because that album is even almost finished. I won’t make music for commercial purposes after that. It’ll more just be kind of artistic and developing my other music projects — I don’t even know if Lupe Fiasco is gonna exist after Skulls, I might even just do a name change or something like that — if I feel like making a rap album, then I’ll make it.” (Music Feeds TV)
In light of some publicized issues like beefing with Fiasco and allegedly mocking a slain Chicago teenager over Twitter, rap star 50 Cent recently said Interscope had considered releasing Chief Keef.
“There was some energy there in the [Interscope] building, they was actually thinking about dropping him,” 50 said in an interview. “I was like, ‘D*mn you can’t just like drop him.’ That’s what hip-hop culture is. It’s an opportunity for you to make it from anywhere. If you from the bottom right now you could listen to this music that comes on, write something and put them cards back they gave you and deal yourself some new ones.” (Hot 97)