In my head, I’m trying to figure out what separates potential with missteps from shitty persons who are not worth it. Do I have more patience with Azealia because she sticks up for cis-black girls, even as she shits on trans* folk in her lyrics? What does that say about me, even as I am critical of her as I listen to her music? Do you see something “feminist” in the production of Grimes’ albums or her interviews? Is that why you’re not about to write her off yet? Is our willingness to wait and give them a chance due to them having the potential (and actually becoming) really big things? Do we think that they will listen to us as they are smaller, so we can influence them as they get bigger?
I’m not so sure. Is potential what saves these two from being written off?
okay you’re right she does have three albums, but i suppose i’m pointing more to the fact that she’s only been releasing music for two years (versus madonna 1983, gwen stefani 1992, etc).
i think those are really good questions, and i wish i had more answers. an example of the “smaller” band: earlier this year i started listening to a band from new brunswick who sing in franglais/shiac, loved them, and then a few months later came across a poster of the three white girls in the band wearing “war paint” and feathers. i decided i was done. i emailed them, messaged them, they responded defensively - i.e. the “i’m sorry you were offended” non-apology - but the photo is no longer on their facebook page or website. and at least i told them why they were losing a fan.
in the case of grimes, maybe it’s partially because i’ve met claire, have been to her shows, have interviewed her. she’s not an unattainable rock star (yet). i like what she has to say in response to male journalists who have described her as “intentionally cutesy” because she’s a small woman with a lisp and a high-pitched voice. i like how she brings up gender in a smart and frank way, as opposed to a marketing ploy à la “girl power!” as an empty shell. as someone who has been alienated/pissed off in music scenes (as a concert-goer, as a music journalist, in punk & indie rock scenes) it is refreshing to see someone whose music i enjoy also discuss these things frankly.
and maybe that’s why i expect more of her, because i know she is smart. because i feel like if she heard these concerns, she might seriously take them into consideration. maybe it’s because i am waiting to fully be able to be call myself a “fan” of people who make things i enjoy, by people i want to be friends with. maybe you and i are looking for people who remind us of ourselves? i know it’s unrealistic to expect per but it is so so endlessly frustrating to constantly be disappointed by people a) doing shitty things and b) responding to criticisms about those shitty things in defensive ways.