Last night I was reading (re-reading for probably the millionth time) Pearl Cleage’s book “Mad at Miles” where she talks about her personal struggle, loving the music of Miles Davis knowing that he was a proud and self-confessed woman beater. Two quotes from the book really stand out for me:

Miles Davis Album“I wonder how much good all those poems about beautiful African queens can do in the face of a backhand slap across the mouth and a merciless rape in the bedroom of your own house.” (p. 2)

“Can we make love to the rhythm of ‘a little early Miles’ when he may have spent the morning of the day he recorded the music slapping one of our sisters in the mouth? Can we continue to celebrate the genius in the face of the monster?” (p. 19)

QUESTION: Is the music separate from the personal behaviour of the person? Rappers are being hauled up on gun crimes every day, R&B crooners are doing the dirty with underage girls and drugs are a rampant part of the industry. How do you feel about the music when you know about the artists’ personal lives?

I admit it: I am still struggling with R. Kelly – do YOU see something wrong with a little Bump and Grind? Help me out here people!

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