I am so tired of hearing "Separate the art from the artist" and "Just focus on the music". Even when folk say it with the best of intentions. Some say it with great intention while others prefer to hide behind this reasoning as a way to not seem like the "bad guy" for simply not caring enough about the issue to give up an artist they enjoy. I just posted this somewhere in response to that very sentiment:
I appreciate and respect the sentiment that Prince doesn't speak for you. And I would love for nothing more than to agree with y'all on this... But I'm sorry, "Just focus on the music" is just too easy a way to ignore this bs. It's just not that simple when you're in the line of fire. Religious/Biblical fire, at that, which have no place in government (of which he should probably not even speak publicly since he doesn't vote), yet still manages to infringe on your civil/legal rights. I don't know what the beliefs of every artist I listen to are, but even if they don't care for or "tolerate" (an expression I despise) gays, they don't go mouthing off to the press in a holier-than-thou manner. Don't get me wrong, Prince has every right to do just that (IF he made the comments), but I (and our community and friends of our community) have every right to choose then not to put millions of dollars into his pockets as a direct result of that. It's as simple as self-preservation and self-respect. No funk is funky enough, not even Prince's to lose sight of your struggles. How is it that other religious artists manage to remain free-minded? Look at Patti Labelle for one random instance, who manages to work Jesus and God into every other sentence, yet is a great friend of the gay community (just performed at the Out 100 Awards). Listen, Prince doesn't have to Grand Marshall our parade (though he's certainly got the wardrobe!), but if he wants to retain us as the loyal fans we've been for 3 decades and counting, he should speak a bit more responsibly...or accept the outcome. This is one "quirky" episode that isn't going to be easily shrugged off for some of us. That is the very reason words from his "camp" are not sufficient. We, the fans, need to hear it directly from the horse's mouth...for better or worse.
Believe it or not...I am STILL hopeful.
Does anyone really think I want to miss out on any future funk? LOL!
Dear Prince: (Part 1)