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by Asa Lovechild
Words cannot express my sadness over the loss of Chris Kelly of the 90s group Kriss Kross. The group shaped a generation and had everyone dancing to a different rhythm and going to school with the backwards trend. Upon meeting Kelly, years ago I would have never thought that it would come to this. As an artist, it always concerns me and cuts to the core when someone’s life is snuffed out in an instant by something so meaningless.
When blogging, I usually tend to stay away from talking about a death of a fellow entertainer, but the rapid and downward spiral of fellow entertainers in this industry lately has left me no choice. I cannot sit by and tell you that I am not angry, that I am not upset, that I am not confused by the sudden turn of events. As a young teenager I was shielded by family members that have seen the effects of the industry first hand, as they lost close entertainment colleagues due to the effects of drugs.
As an adult I have watched people snuff themselves into oblivion and get up and perform minutes later. Although other friends are still in denial about the death of one of my close colleagues and childhood friend, who shall remain nameless in an effort to protect his family, in 2007, I cannot lie to myself. I am certain that his untimely death had to do with his involvement with drugs and the company that he kept in this industry.
I look at artists like Lil Wayne and wonder why drugs and fame are so much more important than being around for his children. It seems that the younger hip hop generation has not learned a thing from those within the industry whose lives were spared but are now living with the aftermath of heavy drug abuse. Do you remember the Prince protégé, Vanity? Ask her why she is on dialysis for the rest of her life as a result of the choices that she made while riding high during her heyday.
For all of the success, I see a generation lost, who cannot seem to get a grip on reality. Although I would like to think that this is an even further wake up call for those like Lil Wayne, it is not. It will not even faze them. The money that the industry provides is too rapid and the popularity is bigger than life itself. My heart goes out to the generation that follows ours. Already they are killing themselves for the love of money. Yet veteran entertainers continue to fuel the fire by turning on deaf ears, worrying about sustaining their own riches and glory. This can no longer be looked at as something that “is what it is” in the industry. This has become an epidemic. The devil’s biggest playground. My heart hurts for hip-hop. I did not divorce hip-hop simply because of what I you see on the surface. I divorced hip-hop because of what I have seen and witnessed first-hand. What you see is only the short end of it. It is way deeper and harmful than what is exposed in the media. It’s time to wake-up.
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City and a supporter of One Billion Rising