Did you know that the record label HATED "What's Going On?", the seminal masterpiece put out by Marvin Gaye and co-written by Four Tops member Renaldo "Obie" Benson in the wake of police brutality against anti-war protestors? Barry Gordy of Motown Records called it "the worst thing I ever heard in my life." Marvin didn't care. He went on strike from recording anything else until some other folks at the label basically released it behind Gordy's back. The song took off after that and Gordy ended up begging Gaye to release a whole album, giving him full producer rights. As Gaye said,
'With the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep singing love songs?'"
Needless to say, this "awful" song became the biggest song of his record, sold over two million copies and, more importantly, was beloved by many generations of music lovers as a clarion call for peace and a call for sanity in a world gone crazy.
Because he was connecting with what we were actually going through. And are still going through.
Peace, sisters and brothers.