“In the land where hurt people hurt more people, stop callin’ it culture”. Kendrick Lamar’s long awaited comeback dream was finally realised with the release of his single – “The Heart Part 5” was received gratefully by all hip-hop fans worldwide. This track talks about how rap has evolved from just another genre among multiple in music, to a culture in itself, and the direction it’s taking is striking fear in the hearts of various artists. Kendrick takes great pride in the fact that he is being fearless and selfless by talking about the issues with black culture and reminds us of this through the lines that still reverberate in my head, “look what I done for you, look what I done for you”. He calls out the issues with the individuals who have had a heavy impact on black culture including Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West and Nipsey, among others.
Discovering the actual dynamics of how the culture is dwindling and gravitating to a state of self-destruction made me realise that every ounce of enjoyment we receive is the result of the effort put in by various individuals who strive to deliver their best, while dealing with various issues that only they will ever know. Let it be the NBA, Hip-hop, F1, Football, Anime, Manga or any sort of “culture” right now, there will always be stories of people taking extreme measures to ensure that the content they provide is not substandard, and most importantly, of the lengths they are ready to go to to deny their competition the status of being the best in any area.
Let us take the example of anime. If you weren’t aware, the work culture in Japan is notorious for being rigid, having low transparency and ultimately, slow decision making. People supposedly work for multiple hours in excess compared to their western counterparts, and yet, when it comes to the productivity index of a country’s workforce, Japan is a bottom fragger. Well, most of us know Japan only through the perspective of our favourite anime and manga, and a few of us might know about how animators are overworked to their limits and beyond to provide us consumers with the best experience possible (gogoanime watchers are obviously not considered consumers). The amount of work that goes into ensuring a quality production really goes unnoticed, especially when it comes to something as fantastical as Japan.
Yes, it is very obvious that everything we consume is at the expense of someone else putting in the effort to make the project a reality. Sportspersons put their lives on the line at times to make a living entertaining those with a craving for high adrenaline enjoyment. Musicians experiment with various formulas until they find the one that sticks. The process is what defines the culture. The process is the culture. And the mishaps along the way are just scars that define the features of what we experience when we go deep into the culture.