1 hour ago
For #ThrowbackThursday I decided to share one of my old articles. I hadn’t thought about it in a while, then @vanhunt reminded me of it in a comment (Thanks!). I posted it to @medium last May, and the editors chose to feature it. They’re the ones who came up with the headline “Capitalism Has Failed, and Jay-Z’s Streaming Scandal is Proof.” I forget what the original headline was (something much more benign). I was conflicted about the clickbaity leaning of the headline, but boy did it do its job… I went back to look over the stats. It’s been viewed 167,000 times on Medium and shared 87,000 times on Facebook. I’m not a stat-driven writer. I don’t chase clicks, but those numbers are something I should be proud of.
The piece kicked up quite a storm, and I wasn’t prepared for it. You’ve never seen so many people who don’t own any capital rushing in with their chests heaving to defend capitalism… I also got a lot of backlash for what some saw as me taking shots at Jay-Z and Diddy (whom I also mentioned). I think we can admire the work ethic that got them to where they are AND realize that individual success doesn’t solve collective problems. One more billionaire is part of the problem. Part of the thrust of the piece is that we can’t afford to have simplistic loyalties anymore. Too much is at stake. There are tectonic shifts happening in the world. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time, and that’s the barest minimum.
The most important thing for me was how much the piece seemed to resonate with people. I think that’s because I didn’t pretend to have the answers, because I don’t. We are on the precipice of something as a species. There are no easy answers, because there are so many moving parts to contend with. Climate change has placed a harsh time limit on our opportunity to act. We are all stumbling around, looking at the problem through different lenses. I chose to discuss some of the issues through the lens of hip hop and streaming and, surprisingly, people listened.
Anyway, you can read the piece at the link in my bio https://link.medium.com/y4bCC0WH4T