Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mason Jamal Says... Look Who Souled Out.

[Editor's Note: AverageNation™ Week continues with Mason Jamal, who laments the plight of artists who have to sell out to keep the lights on.]

You have probably seen at least one if not both of the commercials below. One is a McDonald's spot featuring neo-soul artist Dwele.

The other is a Dr. Pepper spot starring Dr. Dre.

Since the commercials surfaced some time ago, a lot of people have grumbled about Dwele's and Dre's motivations. I think we can all agree that money was the compelling factor. Thus, many have also expressed the sentiment that they have "sold out" because of it. Can't lie. That was my first response too.

[Editor's Note: No lie, the Dwele/McDonald's commercial hurt me to the core. Seriously, this guy's one of the most purely talented artists out there, and gives a great live show. Now, he's reduced to shilling for breakfast milkshakes freakin' lattes. Then again, I haven't bought one of his albums since Some Kinda, so I'm partially to blame I suppose.]

After ruminating over it, now I'm not so sure that's fair. And if it is fair then we need to run to the restroom and look in the mirror. Stay with me for a second. Most of us have worked jobs, if not currently, that we would rather not do. It's not that you necessarily hate it but it's far from the dream job. In other words, many of us have found ourselves spending 40 hours a week or more in our respective jobs doing something that leaves a void in our soul.

For those of us who have been pestered by this reality, it begs the question...have we souled out? The fact that Dwele and Dr. Dre are public figures who happen to be in higher income brackets than most of us doesn't really make them any different. "Mo' money mo' problems" some shiny suit rappers once said. I guess what I'm saying is we don't know the personal financial situations that led these two artists to start shilling for corporate culture. Maybe they actually needed the money, maybe they didn't. But I do know this. If money is my motivation, I'd rather star in a 30 second commercial for a company that I'm not feelin' rather than star in a 30 year career at that company that I'm not feelin'. Therefore, why do we expect more from entertainers than we expect from ourselves, our parents or even our own children? Do tell.

Let me suggest that before we rush to judgment about others and their motivations, ask yourself when is the last time you souled out? A better question might be is when the last time you didn't? I know. It's kinda hard when you are a responsible adult with bills to pay, mouths to feed and bullsh*t to buy. Fact is, those who haven't souled out are the few and far between. Kudos to them. The rest of us including myself should stop hurling boulders inside our glass houses. Something to think about. Besides, you can't knock the hustle.

Question: Does everybody have to "sell out" a little bit?!?

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