They say let he without sin cast the first stone, right?

I generally don’t have a problem separating a person’s art from the way they live their lives. It’s not always easy, but in most cases it can get done, especially after some time has passed (which is why I can now listen to R. Kelly records without feeling queasy-although I still refuse to put any money in that man’s pocket).  Let’s face it, most artists are quirky at best, sociopathic at worst. On top of that-we’re all human. Hell, everyone has their own private struggles and skeletons in the closet.  I’ve certainly got mine. Generally speaking, I try my best to avoid criticizing anyone personally unless they either remorselessly go on to hurt others or they continually blame their problems on others..or, in the case of famous folks, use their troubles as a marketing tool.

While I think T.I.’s been a victim of his own bad decision-making, I respect his talent and feel legitimate contrition from him. I actually wrote this before checking out his heartfelt letter from prison, and after reading that, I have even more respect for him. I’m hoping that this most recent prison sentence is the final learning experience he needs to lead a productive life and serve as a role model for not only the kids who look up to him but for his own children.

Chris Brown? Well, he’s not as sympathetic a figure, seeing as he’s pretty much refused to take responsibility for his actions and has basically acted like a spoiled brat when the public turned their backs on him. Sure, it’s good to forgive. But being forgiven is not a guarantee in this world. When you fuck up, you have to deal with the consequences, whether it’s having to do community service or it’s people deciding they don’t want to play you on the radio or buy your album. Nevertheless, we all make mistakes, and if it turns out that Chris has actually learned from mistakes (and he’s kept his nose clean since), then good for him.

It’s entirely natural that T.I. and Chris would team up for the new song “Get Back Up”, and while there’s too much addressing of “haters” (a buzzword that I have grown to absolutely hate) going on for me to truly invest myself in the song, there’s certainly no reason why it shouldn’t be a hit. Hopefully, both performers realize that the art of “getting back up” doesn’t have to do so much with restoring your career to the place it was prior to your troubles as it does to manning up and accepting responsibility for your actions (meaning not making excuses or placing blame on other individuals or even your surroundings) and realizing that forgiveness is not guaranteed.

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