We’re all Kesha. #savekesha #saveus
The year was 2009. It was December sometime and I was watching 90210. Not Beverley Hills 90210, but the reboot, in the 2000’s that didn’t do as well. Don’t judge me. I watch everything. To be exact, I was watching season 2, Episode 12. What does this have to do with #savekesha? Probably not much to you, but to me it has everything to do with Kesha. My Kesha. This was back in the day when she still had a dollar sign in her name. She was Ke$ha.
I digress. Season 2, episode 12 of 90210 was streaming on my laptop, and there was a scene where this random song started playing, a song where the girl compared herself to P.Diddy. I couldn’t believe how catchy it was. You have to understand, I had just started working at an English Radio Station in one of the biggest cities in India. I needed to hear new music all the time and believe it or not, TV shows help you find the best music. Just ask Grey’s Anatomy. I found Lenka thanks to that show.
Again, I digress. I heard this song about a girl who thinks she’s P. Diddy, and like a kid you see eating a churro, I had to have it. So I looked it up, typed in the lyrics and voila, apparently it belonged to someone named Ke$ha. Who was she and why did she have a dollar sign in her name? I couldn’t find the song anywhere, it hadn’t been released. All I found was a shady low quality link on youtube. I listened to it everyday for weeks. I begged my boss to find a way for us to play it on the radio. I was barely 3 months into the company and I was already demanding. He said we couldn’t because it wasn’t available yet. I fought. I screamed. I cried and stood up to the men in my office, all of whom thought they knew more about music than I did. That’s what Kesha did for me in 2009. It was the year I left grad school, the year I got my first job, the day I stood up to my male bosses and the year I discovered Ke$ha.
Nowadays we get Kesha, minus the dollar sign and I don’t think she’s feeling like P. Diddy anymore. P. Diddy, Puffy, Sean, whatever he likes being called, owns a record label while Kesha has been trying to fight hers. The fight stems back years. She says her producer, Dr. Luke sexually assaulted her, abused her and basically made her do things against her will and now, after many hits songs together, she wants out of a legal contract that binds them. Now I am no one to comment on law. I have no clue. My knowledge of the law is limited to episodes of ‘The Practice’, ‘The Good Wife’, ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘Boston Legal’. Obviously an objection is not enough or relevant. I’m not in the court room with her. But we all saw pictures didn’t we. Of her breaking down.
Her breaking down reminds me of the times I have wanted to break down and cry. Because of a violation. A man that “accidentally” brushed his hand across your posterior because it was int he way of his walk. A person that slid their hand across your back a little too long because you’re a little high and they are a little bold. An individual that sticks their face in your face in hopes that they could kiss you and you wouldn’t notice. A creature that somehow manages to find your breast while you’re sitting in a rickshaw in a crowded street in Mumbai in hopes that you’ll like it. A figure that finds your space their space, therefore thinks its okay to park their family jewels near your hand/leg/back/anywhere you will let it. You didn’t cry then and you won’t cry now. It happened. I didn’t complain. I didn’t file a report. I didn’t sue. Did I feel like doing all that? Of course! There have been worse stories. Some have happened to me, some haven’t. Definitely not my fondest memories.
My fondest memories? My fondest memories have revolved around many songs, some of them, around Kesha’s songs. I’m not saying she is right or wrong or that she is innocent or guilty. I’m saying I have memorized lyrics to most of her songs. I am saying she could have been me, I could have been her. I’m saying she deserves to be free of a man that scares her. She deserves a chance to get away from that. Is 60 million dollars equivalent to someones sanity? Apparently it’s worth more than Kesha’s anything. That’s what Sony says, that they have invested so much money in her career, that she is legally bound and has to stick around. So this is what its going to be like:
Sony: You signed the document. See your signature.
Kesha: But I didn’t think I would be drugged, raped, abused, exploited by someone.
Sony: That’s not in your contract. But see your signature. It’s right here.
Kesha: He drugged me. Raped me. Threatened me.
Sony: Do you have proof?
Kesha: HE RAPED ME.
Sony: You don’t have to work with him, but you do have to make albums for him, even if he isn’t in the same room as you.
IDEA: You know what Kesha, let’s say this did happen to you, that you suffered years of abuse at this mans command. Let's say there is no other way for you to make music without your current record label. Let’s say all of this is the way it is. You should make music and you should detail your ordeal. Use your art to talk about your pain. Help other women and men to come forward about their stories of abuse. Don’t take it sitting down. Take it standing up, with a pen in your hand and a mic in front of you. We are listening. We are streaming. We are watching. We are playing your songs on the radio.
You’re not the only one that needs saving Kesha. We all do. We all felt like P. Diddy with you when sang on ‘Tik Tok’ and I know a lot of us feel like you when you’re going through this horrible time. We felt like you when someone didn’t take NO for an answer. We feel like you when corporate and legal commitments override basic human rights. I don’t have $250,000 to give you like Taylor Swift did. Love her. I don’t have words that will reach millions of followers on Twitter like Demi, Ariana, Lorde and Gaga. I don’t have production skills like Zedd. What I do have to offer you is myself. And unlike the figures that don’t ask us for permission, didn’t ask you for permission, you have my permission. I support you. Even sitting here in Bangalore, India. I feel you. Goodness knows so many people in my beautiful country feel you. I pray for the day you go back to feeling like P. Diddy and start brushing your teeth with Jack again. Even your wildest critics that questioned your lyrical ability wish you go back to singing about glitter and men with beards instead of crying in court rooms and running away from Darth Vader's son.