“True art died in the heart of my mind, Kept trying to fulfill this, Blank-scribbled realness, even if it kills this, Poet inside”
Rap’s not really a place for tortured artist to seek comfort from fans because rap’s all about bravado and being merciless. Support a guy whose perceived as anything but a bad ass and, through osmosis, his image becomes attached to you, even if you’re wholly different individuals. In Hip-Hop, nobody wants to wear the scarlet letter “S” for sucker.
Yet for every cat whose career has gone off the rails for whatever reason – be they personal, label woes, jail commitments or other – and been dropped by fans, there’s Blu who’s an exception to the rule. Enthusiasts overlook his misgivings and even grumble about seeing shitty performances, buying a recording that sounded like crud and other bad experiences. They always look past it and keep buying in, as they did with Her Favorite Colo(u)r, which originally dropped as a freebie on Blu’s Myspace (whoa!) only to later be sold at retail. Even those who don’t necessarily consider themselves fans still reserve harsh criticism for Blu because he’s always shown flashes of greatness in his work.
Even though the reasons why are different for everyone, we all grasp that Blu never set out to be a star in any sense of the word. We the people propelled his name and works to the top while he attempted to write his way into a stable life. Every time I listen to “Amnesia” with Billie Holiday’s “Am I Blue?” playing endlessly underneath, I hear the reminder that he’s mostly about being “a pen tryna pimp this stress, Cause I couldn’t keep a lid on my life.” So, no matter how many ups and downs his career arc takes, devotees stand behind and hold him up high, forgetting all the bad and only remembering the good.