Who Cares About Authenticity Anyway?

Jul 13, 2016

When rapper Desiigner boasts about the female acquaintances he’s met in Atlanta on his hit song “Panda,” it’s, well, a little disingenuous. See, the 19-year-old Brooklynite admits he’s never even been to Atlanta and that made some fans question just how authentic his music is – or any music, for that matter. We talk about the importance of keeping it real in hip-hop with Georgia State University professor of literature Scott Heath and digital hip-hop scholar Joycelyn Wilson

Does authenticity matter when it comes to music? Do you care if Beyonce made up the story behind a whole album about Jay-Z's infidelity? Or that it's been a couple of years since Taylor Swift composed one of her hits on her own? We continue our conversation about authenticity among music artists with freelance writer Edward Sharp-Paul and Elijah Wald, a musician and author of “Dylan Goes Electric.”

Then, we wrap up our conversation about the importance of authenticity to today’s music consumers with two musicians. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins and neo-soul singer Joi Gilliam joins us to talk about the pressures the music industry puts on artists to seem “real.”