Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Train Wreck in Action: K-Ci and Jojo

Ok, I saw this for the first time yesterday when I was reading a wonderful Top 10 list by one of the greatest music blogs on line, Soulbounce. After watching it repeatedley-- I just couldn't believe it was for real-- I really did some serious thinking that has, well, led to this blog post.

First of all, WTF.

I loved Jodeci. I love Jodeci. Jodeci from the early nineties, Forever-my-lady Jodeci...love them. K-Ci & JoJo the act, not the biggest fan, but, they were the main singers of Jodeci, so they had some of my residue love as a Jodeci fan.

Then they fell off. We didn't hear from them in a while. Then they started touring in the last couple of years, performing, mainly stuff from their Jodeci days and few years as K-Ci & JoJo the act. Apparantly, in their absence, they developed (or grew) a substance dependency that spiraled as evidenced by this video. The sickening part of this video, though, for me, was not JoJo falling out, obviously high or drunk, but his brother's relunctance to run to his aid, instead, continuing to sing.

In that moment, I saw exemplified the level of pure shame we have reached as a society where attention and accolade has taken precedence over the mere concern and protection of family, privacy and relationship. In that moment where K-Ci glanced at his brother and continued to sing, I felt my skin crawl as I think of reality show after reality show developed (yeah VH1, I'm talkin bout you) where the most notorious, hateful and wicked person is rewarded for their behavior by a show of their own where they are encouraged and implored to show their most nastiest, wickedest and spiteful selves to the public. We are a bastion of glorified self-centered attention-seekers who do anything anywhere, whatever the cost.

As an artist and a supporter of the arts, I wondered what this moment had to say about the state of our art world. Particularly looking at the performing arts, I thought about what type of environment we create for our artists where they ultimately become "has-beens" despite their talent because of our shrinking attention spans and attraction to the art of image, rather than the artistic merit of musicianship.

With all that said, this video was like one of those train wrecks you just can't turn away from. Appalled as I am, I'm probably going to watch it again.

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