Creating In The Face Of Criticism Tyler Perry’s ‘A Fall From Grace’ On Netflix Hit 26 Million Views In First Week
Making a strong case for knowing your audience, staying true to your vision, and ignoring critics, but is that wise?
Sean Carter, in 2009, during his acceptance speech at the American Music Awards, said: ”Men lie women lie the numbers don’t.” Followed by his signature cryptic laugh, Jay-Z accepted his award and sauntered off stage.
Tyler Perry took a different approach when he took to Twitter to share the success of ‘A Fall From Grace’ with his audience.
There’s no denying Tyler Perry’s accomplishments, and it’s clear he’s identified a niche audience and serves them; in return, they support him, but is it blind allegiance? As artist we’re faced with a conundrum, do we create for the audience or the critics? Do we continue to give our audiences what they’ve grown accustomed to, or do we continue to evolve as artist? I think pandering to your critics and audience would be a mistake, which could stifle your creativity.
As Sean Carter continued to grow and evolve as an artist and a human being, he was criticized by some of his fans who wanted more of the old HOV; they wanted more crack stories and misogynistic filled lyrics. Jay-Z’s responded to his critics on a track off The Blue Print 3, Reminder: ”Hov’ on that new shit, niggas like “How come?” Niggas want my old shit, buy my old album Niggas stuck on stupid, I gotta keep it moving Niggas make the same shit, me I make The Blueprint.”
As a fan of rap music, I had become exhausted with hearing the same old storyline; there’s just so much drug dealing, rags to riches, bitches, and hoes stories I stomach before losing interest and move on. I found it refreshing to hear from different artists with a fresh perspective.
The media and academics we’re often critical of rap lyrics, video games, and movies; hip-hop was despised during its early years, but yet it survived. As a young man, I didn’t care what the critics were saying; I still purchased the latest CD by my favorite artist when it went was released. I grew up on Hip Hop. We had a beautiful relationship, but became estranged once I started going to church-because; it was the ”devil’s music.” It was that ideology that led to me discarding all of my 12” Vinyl records and 45’s. But, there was always a yearning inside of me to create music. I had questions, and I learned quickly that being young in the church, you don t ask too many questions. But, that didn’t stop my curiosity.
When you ask questions or express a dissenting point of view, some people interpret it as hating. Let me be clear. I admire and respect what Tyler Perry has built. However, I was surprised to learn that he didn’t have a writer’s room, and he wrote all of the scripts himself. While in some rap circles it is considered blasphemous to have a ghost writer, it might not be a bad idea to collaborate with others. Tyler Perry isn’t required to bring in other writers or creatives to produce content for the audience he serves, he’s been doing fine by himself.
With the democratization of technology, it’s like the wild wild west, anyone with a bit of technical savvy can criticize Tyler Perry’s ’A Fall From Grace.” If you have a brittle spirit, criticism might deter you from venturing the land of creativity. We are living in one of the greatest moments in history, for all types of creatives. If you have a story to tell focus on getting your voice out into the universe, Tyler Perry is not the gatekeeper, preventing you from being successful as an artist. I don’t begrudge anyone’s success or revel in their failures.
Much has already been discussed at nauseam about Tyler Perry’s, need to collaborate, his negative portrayal of black women, the gaffes, and repetitive storylines in ’A Fall From Grace,’ so there’s no rationale for me to travel down that already trodden path. As human beings, we all have blind spots, which we may not be familiar, in management/leadership circles they’re offered to as areas of opportunity. When some leaders or companies experience success they start to get high off their own supply, and they cease to innovate. Several cases come to mind here are 10 examples of companies who failed to innovate, resulting in business failure.
If you have a desire and passion to make something, step out there and create it! Ignore the naysayers, surround yourself with talented people and release them to do their job. Staff your weaknesses, remain humble, keep your ear to the streets and continue to innovate.