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Sublimating “Craziness” Into Music

July 17, 2010

I’ve been analyzing music lyrics more in depth lately, and it’s occurred to me that most mainstream music is done by artists who express themselves as normal people would if they were crazy.

To clarify: IMO I think that most celebrities are mentally ill people who have successfully sublimated their craziness into creativity.

However, if a person is hardcore crazy, they will not be able to creatively express themselves in a way normal people could understand (trust me– I would know!)

In order for such a creative artist to be commercially successful, they would have to find a way to make sure their audience connects with them in their music, which cannot be done if the music is presented in its raw form.

So in order to close this gap (which I think of as a “language barrier”), an artist must think as normal people would if they were crazy (i.e. a normal person becomes temporarily crazy when faced with the death of a loved one, loss of a high-paying job, being held at gunpoint, or other difficult-to-adapt-to circumstances).

By thinking as a normal person would think if they were crazy, a music artist can close the gap that would otherwise prevent the music from being appreciated.

A classic example of this is Disturbed– although their music talks about a lot of hardcore crazy shit, they present it in such a way that most metal-oriented young people could appreciate to some extent.

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