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Lil’ Wayne is the Basqiat of our Generation

12/05/2009
is Wayne the Basqiat of the 21st Century

is Wayne the Basquiat of the 21st Century

Have you seen “The Carter”? The lil’ Wayne documentary. After seeing it I’m convinced Wayne is the Basquiat of our generation.

One of the things i noticed was the way reporters were into his work and art as a sort of noble primitivism. You know like he’s being told he is “the best of his ‘kind” and they say “hey, you’re the one we deem the most noble savage, we will interpret your culture by and through you; which translates into spins and record sales and the highly coveted “crossover appeal”.

Basquiat always symbolized this kind of conscious effort to show us the roots of ourselves, our identities and our culture and he was doing it through the root of ourselves; childhood and the root of our culture in his simplistic if not cave drawing style, visually. And he was fetishized, just as his good friend andy warhol was in his visual statements about pop culture. As Warhol sucked on the teat of pop culture Basquiat did so with new york street culture, which was fetishized by high art, into high art by the very people and ideas it was critiquing. .

The same thing happened to Dondi in style wars, he achieves this crossover audience when he starts doing gallery openings and canvasses but essentially retaining his original subject and style; he was doing the same thing on canvas and selling it to Manhattanites. It loses context and becomes an object of fetish.

I feel like Wayne is in a similar boat. The pop art “primitivist”; the obscurity of his words brings him close to Basquiat’s simple yet crafted and conceptual art. Both artists are prolific in their own rights, do doubt, but i think a lot of people who like Wayne (i.e. the “crossovers” in the phrase crossover appeal)couldn’t tell you why they like his “swag” so much but somehow it speaks to them, the real life Young Money

Among other similarities, Cortez Bryant, Waynes DJ and longtime friend compares Wayne and his Syrup drinking to other self destructive “creative types” and Wayne even references Kurt Cobain in an interview in Amsterdam.

I think QD3 did a great job with this film and showing the complexities of Wayne. I might be able to understand why wayne didn’t like the video but seriously the worst thing is lots of blunt smokin and syrup sippin but the movie wasn’t really ABOUT that. It honestly portrayed Wayne as complex, possibly conflicted but very dedicated to music which makes him intriguing if not endearing and the film communicated that really well.

Interview with QD3, Quincy Jones the Third.

Dondi – Style Wars

The Carter Documentary

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