“So Kendrick Lamar clearly sold out. But is there anything wrong with this? Well, sure: compromising one’s personal values or one’s musical integrity is an inherently bad thing.” – Compromising personal values and compromising music integrity.
Javier Gomez- Lavin
“Despite my own ossified musical tastes I do want to take a crack at this concept of selling out, which as Chris Richards points out in his original WaPo piece is a loaded but fuzzy concept, one that thrives off its dense links to the broader issues” –Consumerism, late capitalism, social and individual identities, and race.
“Our point is only about the two distinctive structures of different art concepts. It is an empirical question which art concepts are straightforwardly descriptive, and which art concepts include also defining values.”-
“What about Kendrick Lamar? By the time he did the Reebok advertisements, he already had two major label albums. In my view, he already crossed over to the pop side of hip hop. If we viewed him as a pop artist, then no, that wasn’t selling out—because Kendrick Lamar the pop artist cannot sell out.”
Erich Hatala Matthes
“Mills repeatedly emphasizes that it is violation of the artist’s own standards that should serve as the relevant benchmark when it comes to judging whether they have sold out: her paradigmatic case concerns an artist who themself believes they have intentionally made their work worse due to non-artistic motivations, such as fame or fortune.”
“Often, judgments about whether an artist has sold out are made from the third-person (or, more accurately, second-person) perspective, rather than the first-person perspective. While an artist could very well reflect on whether they themselves have sold out, selling out is paradigmatically a charge or accusation made against someone else.”
“Did Kendrick Lamar sell out when he used his artistry to sell Reebok shoes? If he prioritized realizing his own artistic vision in the making of his central body of musical work, he did not sell out there. But what about using his artistic gifts, in addition, to market shoes? There does not seem to me to be anything in itself problematic about working in advertising; indeed, advertising jingles are some of the most memorable and beloved tunes of my own childhood.”
Mary Beth Millard
“Kendrick Lamar didn’t sell out to Reebok. He’s collaborating to make shoes that signify equality. The human connection stays intact also because the artists can directly speak to fans without appearing to go through a publicist or journalist or PR firm.”