Rihanna on the support of democracy (and Trump effect)
That’s why we should be paying more attention to artists behavior towards politicians
From the power of butterflies in your belly, to the power of instigating riots. More than the hability of creating a good Music, artists defend the meaning of the creation. In a world filled with rules, only the Art has the power of changing them. The dialogue, one of the premises of the concept of the artistic field, demands the sharing ideas movement. Afterall, how can one make a though better then sharing its idea? Rihanna does not create music for you to enjoy. She creates music for sharing with you a feeling. And every action, even in feeling issues, is a political act.
Unlike most facist government around the world, Art works with an idea, not an obligation. Is about setting up an example, and living by its words. You don’t get to see Adele beying a rebel when she lives and sing like a Lady. But you get to see her defending the ideia of her music to be felt and listened, not seen (as an answer to why she wouldn’t dance). And it has always been there: from Nina Simone to Fifth Harmony. It can either be a direct position against politics or a fighting behavior related to society’s expectation.
A rebel’s art
Music has always been a way of battling the system. Some musicians are born with this feeling, from any time they were settled. When related to politics, it seems to be intensified: if you see anything wrong, you must do something. Freedom of speech and the power of action, on the most beautiful form. Therefore, their influence on our — mere mortals — behavior.
Take the blues as an example: it has started from a singing work music, created by the slaves of North America as a way of not forgetting their origins. The jazz, for instance, has the same origin, but from its composition to its lyrics, is about freedom (Hello, Miss Nina Simone). Otherwise, what is the sense of having the improvisation on its DNA? The rock, on the other hand, was a screaming for freedom of speech. No wonder “Revolution”, from the Beatles, was used as a satirical speech on the musical Across The Universe.
Above all, music is a claim for democracy and all that comes within. If even breathing is an act of politics, imagine denying the allowance of a song usage for a politic’s act. Well, that happened to Trump, more than once now. In a discourse of love, freedom and sexuality, Music does not approve Trump, as he doesn’t approve its idea. The same goes to Bolsonaro, the next Brazil’s president.
Why Trump doesn’t match with Rihanna
But before I’m hunted for talking bad of Brazil’s next president, let’s focus on Rihanna’s attitude. The other day, Mr. Trump’s communication decided to use Rihanna and her song (Don’t Stop The Music) as an image and sound on Republican rallies. His idea is good — he wants a good song to support his positions. Just like the singer’s reputation. But let’s face reality: Trump and Rihanna don’t match. Specially because she is an immigrant. And black.
The process of identification is simple: you listen a song, you like the song. Either because you like the sound, the lyrics or the ideia of the artist. You don’t just like the song. You identify somehow with it. It represents you somehow. On the matter of identification, you start consuming some content to develop your personality. How will people see you is how you show yourself to them. And it can be related to your outfit, your ideas and your consumption.
Rihanna doesn’t want to be related to Trump. But he wants to be related to her. People always want to be one of “the cool kids”. Knowing that, many artists sued politicians who unlicenced used their music. Make sense, afterall: they don’t want to be associated with people who they don’t support. And this is the outmost form of political act.
Celebrities are not that futile
More than saying “I won’t vote on somebody” or “You shouldn’t vote on somebody”. Is: “I refuse to be associated with him/her”. The denial is worse than negating. Is about pushing the dislikeness away. And is what in Brazil we call “tira o embuste daqui”, like, “take away the hoax”.
Rihanna and many other artists are doing something greater than saying “I will vote on somebody against this guy”. Is about defending an idea, without directly hurting somebody. The behavior, therefore, is linked to the artist words and way of living. And it is beautiful. Mostly because is a non agressive form of manifestation. Instead of believing that catching up with celebrities is a futile time, the people should be observing them as much as they observe politicians. The former is -sometimes- being an activist, more than you.