What is it Going to Take?

As many of you know, the music industry lost a highly loved artist, Mac Miller. He was 26-years-old. So young. Then again, as long as you’re living, you’re young because there’s always more for you to do when you’re breathing. I’m not familiar with this artist like all of his fans, but it appears that he had a great influence in the young, Hip-Hop community. He created a sense of familiarity for those who listened to his art. That’s what happens when you’re an artist—you reach people. It’s what we do, even when we’re not trying. No, we don’t know the extent of his situation, whether the circumstance was intended or created by mistake. Let’s consider the latter. What if Mac Miller was hurting? If using drugs was a problem, yet created the only solution to his pain, what was it going to take to wean him off of them?

Our struggles aren’t always covered by the typical forms of suppression. It varies from sex, alcohol, to spending money. If you find yourself in this situation, what would it take to change your habits? We really care about you, whether you see it or not. You probably think, no, you just want something from me. Aren’t you in a position of service? If you think about it, your art provides a solution to a problem. If you’re pursuing your art for the sake of passion and profit, you have to consider that unless you are providing an answer to a consumer’s question, your work will not sell! That’s some free truth, folks! No charge! So, let’s get down to what’s really important—your livelihood. We care because you’re not just an artist. You’re a human being.  You’re a spouse, a parent, a sibling and most importantly, a mentor

Is dying from something so heavy on your body worth not saving the lives of thousands or millions of fans that use your art as inspiration, similar to how they use air to breathe? Forget coffee! Such a reality should wake you up bright and early to continue creating extensions of your passion. There’s no telling where I’ll be if Langston Hughes, Common, and Yusef Komunyakaa had succumb to allowing lifeless entities to consume them, bring upon their demise by choice. It would have meant they chose complete pleasure over purpose. Yes, you should be satisfied. Everybody deserves that luxury, but at the expense of your overall wellness? No! If no one has said this, take it from me and the entire CRE8 staff: you…are…worth it. If you need something to ease the tension of living, lean on us. Lean on those who love you dearly. We are a community. We’re family. Our commonality includes enjoying our experiences. Let’s continue to share that, which means that we will also share your agony.

We don’t want to give you praise in front of your open casket. We want to express that now. Whoever you are, you’re motivating the heck out of your observers. Think of the children who brighten up when they see you, let alone hear your name. I was watching a clip of The View where a kid was suffering from Epilepsy. He received signed merchandise from several NFL teams. He also received donations as well as a signed basketball from the entire Golden State Warriors, NBA team. Whoopi Goldberg said that something was missing. She took out her phone and made a call. She asked the recipient if he could sign some merchandise for the young boy. He proceeded to say that not only could he sign it, but he could do it in person. He then appeared on set. It was no other than 5-NBA Championship winner, Kobe Bryant! I started crying. I can only imagine how excited the young man was. You never know who you’re pushing to keep pushing themselves.

- Calvin Pennywell, Jr.