At what price?

The headline read,

“Canadian rapper Jon James McMurray, who performed simply as Jon James, fell to his death from the wing of an airplane while performing a stunt for the music video for his Riff Raff collaboration “The Man.”

Many of us were hearing Jon James’ name for the first time as the tragedy of his untimely demise was replayed in the media via the recounting of how it happened. As it appears, his untimely death occurred as he looked to have been on the verge of a career breakthrough.

For the artists paying attention, I believe it’s important to take note: Personal physical risk for the sake of making memorable art is not something to gamble with.  As you can see from the linked article, http://www.brooklynvegan.com/rapper-jon-james-fell-to-his-death-from-airplane-wing-while-shooting-music-video/ it literally cost Jon James his life.

It is not my place to say that making a video in which an artist tries to walk on a small-engine airplane wing, is a bad idea. I don’t know this artist or any of his handlers, and I certainly don’t know the circumstances, so it would be disingenuous of me to comment on the wisdom of it or the lack thereof. In fact, had he pulled it off, we might be here applauding him for his cojones, perfect execution, and/or the badassery of it all. However, as that was not how things turned out, there is definitely a lesson to be learned here. There is always a lesson when one rides the fringes that have the capacity to create the sudden exchange of mortality for immortality. 

Artists, I am not saying you should take the path of least resistance when creating videos for your finely wrought, beautiful, hot tracks. The point here is that you definitely want to create groundbreaking music commentary. or meaningful art, but remain alive to experience the joy of your accomplishments. If creating the ultimate video for your fans requires you to endanger your life in any way, then it’s probably not a good idea. And if you are so disposed, and you have loved ones that you would leave behind due to such a morbid event, then for heaven’s sake, prepare them. Maybe somewhere within that bit of information exchange with your loved ones, someone within the collective might have the foresight to walk you in off that ledge. 

So, yes…do create.  Just be mindful of what you may be creating.  Ijs.

Jon James – HELLO (Official Music Video)

@JonJames – HELLO (Official Music Video) In this video @jonjames – HELLO (Official Music Video) . Jon James has teamed up with Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Circus team to film the music video to his newest track, “Hello,” which has James performing a series of death defying stunts such as freefalling from a height of 13,000 feet while rapping the lyrics to the track.

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