Should Artists Tour for Tyrants? Erykah Badu Weigh’s In. @ErykahBadu

This has been a hot topic for some time now. Artist have to earn a living but some are taking a stand and not performing in countries or rulers who have questionable human rights histories. Check out this recent piece which refers to soul singer (not politician) Erykah Badu and her recent run ins with this issue.

The Ultimate Tyrant Tour of Africa
Erykah Badu got slammed for her Swaziland performance. By stopping when the criticism started, she missed out on entertaining some of the world’s most corrupt politicians.

Soulful Dallas-born songstress Erykah Badu has been fighting a highly vocal battle during the last week, facing criticism over her recent performance in Swaziland. Badu performed at a birthday celebration for the southeast African nation’s King Mswati, a controversial figure for his personal polygamy and human rights abuses.

Despite being aware of the horrid conditions under which ordinary Swazis are forced to live, Badu refused to back down. Amid a public backlash, the singer hasn’t even apologized for her actions. Instead, she has attacked her critics (mostly human rights activists in the U.S. and Africa), challenging their sexuality and racial prejudices, and calling one ”Satan” and another a “monkey.”

Pop stars are routinely criticized over their performances for autocratic leaders. That’s because these concerts direct attention away from the regimes’ failings and give the impression that all is well. And by the way, across several rising nations in Africa, all is relatively well.

African economies, by and large, continue to grow at a rapid and impressive pace. Access to health services and other basic care is on the rise. Infant and maternal mortality rates are declining, and with much-needed foreign investment, many countries have begun to positively address the continental HIV/AIDS epidemic.


Shout out to YouTube’s MTalk on his view:

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