Pablo Picasso’s 1903 painting ‘The Old Guitarist’ has always been one of my favorite paintings of all time. The monochromatic color palette of the painting and posture of the man in the painting gives me feelings of straight sadness, b. From the years 1901 -1904, Picasso went through what was referred to as his ‘blue period‘, in which many of his paintings during this time were painted with shades of blue and blue-green; largely influenced by the death of his friend and the fact that he was broke.
In my opinion, Picasso is the original sadboy and if he were alive today he’d probably be like the rest of us listening to Bryson Tiller, Marvin’s Room, and 808 Heartbreak while we Netflix and chill (without the chill part).
Recently, there’s been a rise in popularity in the sadboy/trapsoul/all in your feelings scene. Pioneered by artists such as Yung Lean, Drake, Partynextdoor, this movement allows for rappers to talk about their feelings openly. This trend has not only allowed artists to dig deeper into the darker more fuckboi/sadboy side of the human mind through their content and lyricism, but it allows them to experiment and play with color schemes and imagery in their album art by using the color blue. Visually, this movement is all made possible by the color BLUE.
Throughout film and cinematography, the color blue and blue hues have been used in films such as 1999’s Fight Club, 2002’s Morvern Callar, 2002’s Fish Tank, and 2012’s Pieta. The role of the color blue in film and paintings serves to inflict and convey feelings of melancholy, apathy, sadness, or depression. Used in both cinema and painting, and more and more recently music videos by our favorite sadboy/fuckboi artists.
Through the use of blue hues in their cinematography, artists such as ASAP Rocky, Drake, Partynextdoor, Bryson Tiller, the Weeknd, and Kanye West are reinventing the notions of black hyper masculine presence in hip-hop culture through their lyricism, beats, flows, and use of the color blue in their video/aesthetics in order to express their feelings and emotional states (which is rarely discussed in both black and hip-hop culture). Blue thus becomes an essential tool used as means for black artists, specifically black men, to better express their feelings and emotional suppressions (I am aware that I’m not a man, so I can only speak from the perspective as a black feminist who has read a fair share of Bell Hooks).
Though the lyrics remain to be low-key/high-key misogynistic, these movements allow black men to be in their feelings and I’m all about that. Rappers paint their own acoustic monochromatic pieces of art similar to Picasso where they talk abut their heartbreaks, heart aches, and desires for love and intimacy while using the color blue and a tool to visually express themselves. My dude, rap music is in it’s very own blue period. This is the era of sadboys. From A$AP Rocky, Fauni, Night Lovell, Playboi Carti, Bryson Tiller, Drake, PartyNextDoor, Bones, etc, the color blue is helping artists challenge masculinity and express their feelings in a world that is obsessed with this idea of suppressing feelings when it comes to masculinity.
So go out there baby. Cry, express yourself, make sad ass music, and make blue ass music videos. I fucks with it. Do you baby. Be sad, in your feelings. Do you.
Sadboyz 4 lyfe.
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- Written February 5, 2016