Guest: John Legend | Artist & Activist
Category: 💬 Opinion | Current Topics
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[19:59] KS: "[John Legend was] quick to call [Kanye] out indirectly, but not subtly. On October 9, [he] tweeted: Weird how these "free, independent thinkers" always land back in the same old anti blackness and anti semitism."
[20:13] JL: "I think we need to be clear about how insidious and nasty anti semitism is and has been for centuries. How it's caused millions and millions of deaths. It's cropped up in societies all over the world. [...] It's not some new discovery, it's not some innovation in hate. And so when people who claim to be free thinkers or innovators or creative people just end up landing back at this centuries old meme of using the same stereotypes and tropes to malign Jews and instigate harm against Jews, this is an old but very dangerous tactic."
[23:59] JL: "We base some of [our setlist for the Vegas residency] on streaming data. [...] Streaming gives us the ability to know very clearly what they're listening to, what they skip, how long they listen to it, all those things. So it can be an interesting data point as you're deciding what songs will resonate."
[28:04] JL: "I think a lot of [artists] are worried about the influence that Tik Tok has, [...] because [...] it doesn't always value the best music and doesn't always value the best art. But it values whoever's able to create a viral moment on this platform that feels very fickle, and very foreign to a lot of people."
[35:18] JL: "[My wife] was miscarrying, and we had to have an abortion to make sure she didn't die from the miscarriage. [...] A lot of what folks are calling late term abortions are actually people trying to resolve a miscarriage in a way that doesn't kill the mother. And if the Republicans have their way, then the law gets involved in every conversation regarding those very, very fraught moments in a woman's life. Just imagine, we're grieving the fact that we're losing this pregnancy that we wanted, where she's in an intense pain, she's going through all this physical turmoil, and imagine on top of that, having to wait for the law to authorize the procedure that needed to happen to save her life."
[44:51] JL: "I think all the hate and the vitriol and the anti democratic tendencies and this kind of flirtation with fascism that we're seeing in the country is really worrying. [...] The expectation is that when you are in your first term and it's the first midterm, you're going to lose some seats. And if that was just the normal politics, that'd be one thing. But when you're losing your seats, to people who literally aren't sure if they believe in elections or not, aren't sure if they even support the idea of a multiracial democracy, multicultural democracy, multireligious democracy, it's extremely concerning."
[45:53] JL: "I think a lot of Americans think that our way of life is just kind of going to exist, and democracy is just going to carry on as it has in this country. But even that history is fraud. We weren't even allowing women to vote until the early 20th century and black folks weren't able to vote fully and freely around the country until the 60s. So we've barely even been a democracy for long. [...] A lot more people are realizing how fragile it is even now. And I'm really worried that we're going down a path that we're really going to erode and end democracy as we truly know it right now."