You know the event that is supposed to be about the arts, music, and supposedly sponsored by a liquor company, named Jack Daniels. Well the event is a glorified liquor campaign, geared to promote two people JABARI and W. You might ask what is the reason for this animosity. A couple of weeks back, our good friend “Jabari” asks Dosa to do a piece for the ArtsBeats and lyrics event in North Carolina. The deal was he[Jabari] will help with the supplies used to create the piece, pay for his trip with a gas card, his stay, and he will get great exposure. Dosa looked at it like, its cool its my friend, and I’m helping him out. [Can you say foreshadow] So Dosa took some time out of his schedule, and since I’m Dosas’ understudy I had to help. We worked all the way till about 3am getting this piece to where it needed to be, oh by the way did I mention we did this all out of pocket, cool lets move on. Alright we took the long drive up there to finally see the piece we worked so hard on displayed for others to enjoy. We get up there and its Jack Daniels every where, not every body is named Jack Daniels, I’m talking about live action Jack Daniels commercial. The space was basically turned into a bar with the impression of, “you can look at the art when your done drinking”. [I'm not saying I don't drink, but when you put it everywhere like I didn't know I was coming to a Jack Daniels event its Gross] Jack Daniels even took this opportunity to test out their new drinks at this event. Anyways at least people were getting exposed to some art work. We felt ashamed that we where part of this, the only redeeming factor is that they had a band that covered a couple of Fela Kutis’ songs. So Dosa said he couldn’t let his name be part of this, so we take his piece down and he removed his name from the whole ordeal. This is when our friend Jabari’s true colors started to show, we tried to get in contact with him to be compensated for what he promised, and would you have guessed we couldn’t get in contact with our good friend Jabari. Wait it gets worse, so we pick up the creative loafing and it has this lengthy article about art beats and lyrics or should I say Jabari and W. At first glance we noticed it only showcased works by W [did I mention that they where about 30 other artist at the event including Dosa], it then goes into this whole thing about how great these two are and how much they have done for the art world, they even go as far as calling Jabari the Andy Warhol of Atlanta. Bottom line is we didn’t get paid let alone compensated for the material and effort we put into this project. Its one thing to sponsor the arts but is another thing to promote a billion dollar company of the backs of artist that are trying to make a difference with the work they produce.
The problem with this event is that it gives the impression that artists here in the south need events like these to make a name. If we keep promoting events like this we are inherently killing the arts here in the south.
[update] here is the piece Dosa did for the show