I watched the Behind the Music episode that featured Earl "DMX" Simmons yesterday and it made me feel odd. I have also been moderately keeping up with Scott "KiD CuDi" Mescudi and his latest drug debacle. Drugs seem to go hand in hand with most entertainers today; it is almost like if they aren't doing drugs something is wrong. However, I listed these 2 rappers because both of them have the ability to effect change in my mood while/after listening to them.
I purposely don't listen to DMX today because he makes me SO angry. He is one of my favorite rappers, hands down, because he always gave 500% when he rapped. Whether it was on some hyped up flow or it was smooth and mellowed out...he made me feel. It reminded me of the first time I had listened to a Tupac "2Pac" Shakur song...I FELT what he was saying and it made me want to hear more. When DMX came out, I had just graduated from high school and was nowhere near the maturity level I have today. I felt I controlled my anger but I still allowed the slightest, most insignificant things to set me off and increase my blood pressure. It wasn't until I had some murderous thoughts (I'm being so serious) that I realized some music should not be ingested by me. Music never really had that kind of grasp on me but for some reason, Dark Man X ALWAYS took me to the point of no return.
So when I watched the Behind the Music and saw that one of my favorite rappers is in fact, a crackhead, imagine my shock and horror. Don't read this like I'm hella late to the news that he was on drugs. I'm talking about...did you really KNOW he was a crack addict since the age of 14? Even if you did, that doesn't make you stop and think about other stuff too? By the time he "got on" he was 27 years old...that means, he had been doing crack for 13 years. HE WAS A CRACK ADDICT WHEN HE GOT SIGNED TO DEF JAM, PEOPLE. The story goes on to pretty much reveal that when he wasn't in jail, he was more or less a functioning crack addict. When things got so bad that he starting wilding out, that's when he was the crack addict you and I walk past on the street. His life was unbelievably sad and yes, I know there are TONS of people who live his life EVERY DAY...it's just...he's one of my favorite rappers and I had no idea that the passion coursing through his music was a result of his sociopathic behavior...induced by crack.
This got me to thinking about the music industry and how vile & disgusting they are. Yes, I KNOW his addiction is his "fault" and if he wants to be clean, he has to take the first step towards recovery. I know all of that but this isn't about pointing fingers and casting blame for how he got that way. My concern comes in here...because they felt he could make them shit loads of money, they ALLOWED him to be employed by Def Jam, KNOWING full and well, he was a crack addict. Let that be me or you smoking some weed and randomly getting drug tested...we're fired. However, not so much the case with Earl. I can't help feeling like they preferred him fucked up because THAT is when he made the best music. It is VERY sad to me and the least they could have done was say "Earl, we would love to work with you but you have to get clean first". I would LOVE to hear or read that they refused to work with him while he was on that shit but we know that isn't the case. They didn't do that for Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, or The Beatles...so I really shouldn't be surprised that they wouldn't do it for today's musical talent.
So enter Scott "KiD CuDi" Mescudi...
He has recently been the topic of discussion regarding some showing out and cocaine use. I can honestly say that I will not be shocked if it ever comes out that he has been doing cocaine since he was a kid. I sincerely hope that isn't the case but after seeing DMX, nothing will shock me. However, I feel about Cudi's music how I did about DMX's and 2Pacs...it's infectious and I can't help feeling different with each track that Cudi flows on.
I had to take him out of my cd changer in my truck because I could feel myself getting more depressed every day that I listened to him. My depression was from a shitload of stuff going on in my life right now that I don't really care to blog about here. However, listening to Cudi didn't help me feel any better. I could definitely relate to what he was saying but I was relating a little too much. I sincerely hope whatever he is going through to make such dark music does not send him spiraling out of control like DMX. From the outside looking in, it would be easy to say he's acting an ass because he's a celebrity but after watching Earl Simmons life story, I would never be so quick to judge. WE don't know why he can't get his emotional situation together. We can speculate but only he knows what's going on.
I love music...especially the kind that makes me FEEL...even more so, the kind that let's me know I'm not the only extreme nutcase on this planet. I hope people like Earl Simmons and Scott Mescudi recognize those who genuinely care about them and what they are doing to themselves. I guess that's all we can hope for at this point...