On the eve of the release of his latest album Blue Electric Light coming next spring, Kravitz sounds happy with his life in every way. But in his career, he says he’s missing something and that’s the respect and appreciation of Black media outlets.
“To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing,” he told writer Madison Vain. “And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers—just like those that came before me broke down. That is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?”
Kravitz says it took him a decade to get on the cover of Vibe. And despite friendships and collaborations with other high-profile Black artists, like Prince and Jay-Z, he doesn’t feel like his accomplishments have been embraced like theirs have. Kravitz won the Grammy for Rock Male Vocal Performance four times in a row, and he’s sold over 40 million records in his four-decade-long career.
But he says he’s “not celebrated by the folks who run those publications or organizations. I have been that dream and example of what a Black artist can do.”
While Kravitz may have a point, he’s so famous and well-respected that most people wouldn’t assume he needed an invite to the cookout but could just show up. You know, like your eccentric cousin who doesn’t eat hot dogs and hamburgers and comes to the cookout with vegan burgers and a sea moss punch. It’s not like Kravitz wasn’t invited, it could be because people believed that it was OK for him to show up anytime he wanted to.
And over time, while Kravitz has espoused a sort of ‘All Lives Matter-esque” ethos of peace and good vibrations, it’s not as though he explicitly supported Black people or Black causes that we can remember. He’s certainly talked about his Bahamian heritage and maintains not just a place on the island of Eleuthera but sponsors a free dental clinic there. He’s talked about how being biracial (his father was a Jewish television executive) shaped his life, making him open to well, let’s just say, multiple ‘vibrations’ in his professional and personal life.
And the appreciation for the 59-year-old’s ageless looks and flawless body, on display in his “TK421” video are from all ages and all kinds of women and men. So he gets love from everyone; in fact, he might be the most universally beloved public figure this side of Dolly Parton.
And maybe that’s why moving easily between the world of Black and white has left him feeling like Black folks aren’t embracing him. But in the Esquire article, we do hear him more unequivocally than we have before, reference himself as part of a Black community that he says he’s always been part of.
Lenny, there’s always a seat at the table for you, but social media pulled out receipts as to why you haven’t been featured in many iconic Black magazines.
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