The mild news hitting the wire this past week is that of Chrisette Michele performing at President-Elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration, on January 20, 2017.
Although the “woke” thing to do right now is to mount up for a “witch hunt” and point out the “cooning and buffoning” within the black delegation; I would like everyone to back away slowly, and respect Chrisette Michele’s decision to perform at Trump’s Inauguration.
The funny, yet sad thing about this announcement is that Chrisette didn’t have enough “die hard fans” to spark consistent viral outrage for 48 hours. People want to criticize, but they don’t want to support. They also don’t necessarily have a better alternative for her and her career. This reason alone is exactly why she should do the inauguration. Sure, she is popular, has had success, and she does tour and make great music. Still, for one reason or another it’s not reaching the masses at the rate I’m willing to bet her label nor her team desire.
For the last decade, Chrisette has been on Def Jam. A staple that has done nothing but support and shed light on some of the greatest artist ever in the world of hip-hop and R&B. She’s put out 5 albums in that span of time and, I know for sure, some know her solely as “the woman on Aston Martin Music”. That’s not a good thing. She was also on Jay-Z’s “Lost One”.
A very serious reality is that we are in what is deemed the “microwave popcorn era” of music where hit songs become “old news” within 3 weeks. The only thing that has stuck in the last calendar year is the love or hate for Donald Trump. With that said, why wouldn’t a talented artist on a historic label, with no gold or platinum albums or solo number 1 singles in 10 years perform at one of the biggest moments of 2017?
This may be the moment that truly exposes Chrisette Michele’s music to an audience that never heard of her. A paying audience just might say “that woman is really good”. She’ll certainly get more shows at a better rate to provide for her artistry and family. I remember when Chrisette was one of the first faces of “neo soul”. You know, that genre that black folks left behind once Erykah Badu took a break and Chris Brown and Trey Songz became horny young men.
I see no bad in this move for her, and I don’t hate people for supporting Donald Trump. I am not hurt when people of color want to talk to him. Now I will add, I am not going to be upset at an under-appreciated artist seizing a moment. This particular moment in time will be historic whether people like the move or not. It’s easy to say “it shouldn’t be about the money” or “all business isn’t good business”. That is, of course, when you’re not a professional recording artist. Relax. It’s a performance. Not an endorsement or an advocation of anything Trump does or says. Did we do Michael Jackson this way when he met with Reagan?
To Chrisette Michele. Although you don’t need my validation to make a business decision; I respect your decision as both a human being and an artist. I want you to do great and hope the upcoming moment leads you to a prosperous 2017.