Today we heard the shocking news that Prince had passed away at the age of 57. If you are on twitter, you know how the cycle goes. We get people who say they don’t know him or those who question your “likeness” and other ridiculous tweets within those lines but inevitably – especially as the greats of our time seem to be dying off – the statement and question comes up. Statement being “We will never see legends like this ever again” and the question being “Will we have legends of this caliber from our generation?”
To answer that question without much ado, the short answer is no. But hear me out and I will tell you my reason. I will get this out the way and say the reason is not due to lack of talent but because of the world we live in.
We live in a harsher, unforgiving, plentiful world that is completely different from the world these legends came up in and these elements won’t allow us get to that point. Now, I am not saying each and every person in the picture above didn’t have that undeniable something special that can’t be duplicated but I have often wondered what it would have been like if they had started out in our current world. But I do believe we do have legend worth material in our generation.
Let’s take Prince for example. What do you think the response to Prince in this day and age would have been in his flamboyant outfits, his sometimes effeminate mannerisms and his unapologetic attitude. Your TL will be all ablaze with colorful commentary. We have talented people but in this world where people dislike artists for no reason and don’t know how to make it about just the music anymore it’s going to be quite difficult. I mean, people hear a song they like and are apologetic or provide a disclaimer for liking it when they find out the singer is someone they aren’t supposed to like.
I think also that even when people can think of artists that can take over the baton there is a hesitation that comes with it. Like it doesn’t feel right to say maybe due to backlash or feeling like they’d be betraying the current legends. It’s a different world and I think it is okay to appreciate what we have now. Take Madonna for example, some people are gonna disagree and say she is not a legend but in my book she is. She didn’t have the greatest voice like Whitney Houston but in her own little corner she was great at it. We are all different people and we all can’t be judged at the same level. Prince played 27 instruments, I don’t think Michael Jackson could play up to half of that – they’re both legends. They both brought different things to their “legend-ism”
All I am saying is we can’t let our new found cyniscm and the new commercial motive that is running the music business make us myopic to the talent out there that we could be missing to create our own legends. While there seems to be a number of legends dying off, I think we also still have a number of legends old school and mid school that are still around.
I’d love to hear your take on this.
That being said, thanks for the music and may your soul rest in peace you sexy motherfucker, you.