Kanye Collaborates On An Album To End Poverty, But How Much Will It Really Do?
According to the Global Citizen website, the organization's co-founder and CEO Hugh Evans has a plan to end poverty by 2030. This is a noble plan, and I appreciate it. There's a lot that goes into the plan which you can check out on the Global Citizen website, but, as a pop culture enthusiast, I think the most interesting part is a collaborative album from Kanye West, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding, and The National which aims to help to end poverty. But how exactly will Metamorphoses work to end poverty? It's not like the album sales of one album can actually feed millions of hungry people worldwide. An album is just an bunch of people singing and arguably can't do much of anything... right?
It seems that mostly the album's big pull is going to be raising awareness, not actually raking in the big ones. According to Billboard, the 12-track album, which is the brainchild of Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, will be called Metamorphoses will be released in the late fall. Each original track will raise awareness of efforts to end social justice issues like poverty and climate change, as well as other items of injustice and participating artists will pull lyrics from words and stories told from people around the world. You can submit lyrics yourself until the deadline of March 31st. I really like the idea of including actual voices of real people and not just celebrities because that really helps to spread the idea of a globalized world where everyone deals with, if not similar struggles, at least struggles.
In a press release, Lovett had this to say about the album:
"Metamorphoses has the potential to break down our preconceptions of the voices of creativity, what different people around the world are thinking and who has the right to be heard. In my own life, I've experienced people trying to define me and put me in boxes and categories. Through collaboration we can show people how those lines can be blurred and are ultimately redundant."
But how much could an album like this make? Let's say, hypothetically, every single Facebook fan of the musical groups involved purchased an album for about 20 dollars. So that's Kanye West (9,565,246), Mumford & Sons (5,485,479), Ellie Goulding (13,400,724), and The National (911,875). All in all, that's $587,266,480. Now, that's not exactly how album sales are calculated (I imagine record labels actually use really mathematically-inclined elves or something along those lines), but it's definitely interesting to see how much pull these artists have. And who knows what other artists will jump on the project and bring their own fan bases?
Maybe the album itself can't literally end poverty, but it can certainly help spread awareness of a global travesty. Regardless of how much money it makes, I'm very excited to see what Metamorphoses brings. I will most certainly be contributing my own dollars to the album, even without reading a review first. The sort of change an album like this would bring about can't be measured by adding and multiplying Facebook fans. Unfortunately, you can't quantify "good." But that doesn't mean you can't be excited about people trying.