Would 2Pac's music have been taken seriously had he grown up in the suburbs? I doubt it. Why? Because authenticity matters. Amy Winehouse's neo-soul classic - Back To Black - is not an amazing album solely based on her talent alone, though talented she is, but because of the self-destructive nature that coexists with her talent which screams authenticity. It's a double-edged sword that seems more and more likely to consume her with each passing day and rather than wish her well, we simply ask for more.
And why did this particular photo of Metallica lead singer, James Hetfield, coming out of Armani cause such an uproar?
Because twenty some odd years ago the people in Armani would have called the cops on him the second he walked through the door and Metallica's music, at the time, reflected that. However fair or unfair you may think that is to Mr. Hetfield, once again the issue boils down to one of authenticity.
Yet nothing stirs more debate in regards to authenticity than the strange bedfellows that are commerce and art. I assure you that there's not one admirer of the Sex Pistols who aren't cringing at Johnny Rotten's latest foray which premiered last night on the BBC...
And why shouldn't they? The lead singer of the Sex Pistols - a band that sent shockwaves across England and thumbed it's nose at the "establishment" - is now a spokesperson for butter?? Very few people in this world can build a legacy similar to that of the Sex Pistols and yet he's managed to destroy it with a thirty second spot. Johnny Rotten's explanation?
I for one am proud to be British and I'm proud to get behind a proper British brand. That's why I'm supporting Country Life butter. People know I only do things that I want to or that I believe in and I have to do it in my own way. I've never done anything like this before and never thought I would but this Country Life ad was made for me and I couldn't resist the opportunity.
This can only be translated one way - he wanted the money. Just say so. Why do artists often backpedal when called out for taking the almighty advertising dollar? Because they know that authenticity matters.