Posted Aug 28th, 2015 (2:10 pm) by Jess Marsh
Image by Lindsey

Consider this is a proposition.

With expansion of digital media, transparency between artists and fans has only increased in recent years, allowing us to know more about our favorite bands and musicians— for better or worse. Some artists are becoming more and more outspoken and explicit about important social issues. Others just come off as genuine good guys. After a while, you just cannot help but appreciate the existence of some artists, simply seeming cool. Here are 5 artists that we would want to be friends with. And no, Taylor Swift did not make the list.

#5) Run the Jewels
While technically two artists, Killer Mike and EL-P, the hip-hop duo known as Run The Jewels recently spoke to artist Banksy about the importance about being a genuinely kind person in the music industry. Killer Mike makes friends everywhere he goes, taking selfies with everyone from fellow hip-hop icons, like Schoolboy Q to the guys at the barbershop, posting them to Instagram like a scrapbook of good times.

When not rubbing shoulders with, basically everyone, he's bringing awareness to social causes, such as institutionalized racism and social marginalization. His balance between having a good time, treating everyone with kindness, and social awareness, makes him seem like a really cool dude to chill with. While a little bit quieter online, EL-P also appears to live in a constant state of awesome, sharing pics from the road and screenshots of ridiculous text conversations. We all could use a Killer Mike and EL-P in our circles. I mean, just look at these two.

OK #CaptionContest. RTJ vs Toddler

A photo posted by Killer Mike (@killermike) on

#4) Dave Grohl

He didn't get the name "Good Guy Grohl" by being a jerk to every one. The Foo Fighter's frontman has been known to bring fans on stage during performances, fill in on drums for other bands, and even trolls The Westboro Baptist Church. As the lead singer of one of the most successful modern rock bands, and former member of a band that changed modern music, Dave Grohl does not owe anyone a damn thing, and yet, here he is consistently doing really cool things. The kindness never comes of insincere. He's much more like that guy on your street that will fix your broken doorhinge just because you mentioned it once, than a Bono "look-at-me-saving-the-world-with-all-my-money" type. You can't help but want to give the man a hug or a high-five.

#3) Lil B "The Basedgod"

You have to hand it to Basedgod. His influence far precedes the rise of the hashtag— remember he made over 100 Myspace accounts to promote his mixtape? The man behind the meme has a work ethic like none other even if his end product is, well, eccentric. If anything, Lil B teaches us a little something about not taking ourselves too seriously, while still putting hard work into what we believe in. He uses his influence to spread a message of love and positive energy to the world, aka the "Based" life. While sometimes the language he uses is problematic, he is quick to acknowledge if he has crossed a line, and consistently works to be a better human being. Sure, he's the result of a meme spinning out of hand, but he stuck to it, and made it work. I admire that determination and mindset to go with the flow. A friend like Lil B would push you to make things happen for yourself, without sacrificing what makes you, you. #tybg

#2) Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches)
The singer for synthpop band Chvrches is the exact kind of girl you want on your team. Her recent takedown of misogynistic trolls was a thing of beauty, after they attacked her appearance in a recent video. "There is a difference between criticism and hatred," Mayberry said in an interview with UK's Channel 4 news. However, her outspoken feminism does not begin and end with her own mistreatment. Her Instagram is loaded with inspiring quotes from female icons, and pictures of feminist books and films she's enjoying. Not to mention the numerous cat and dog pictures, that are undeniably adorable. Lauren Mayberry is living proof that you can be pissed off at the ways of the world, but still have time to laugh and have fun. Admirable.

#1) Miley Cyrus
If the mention of her name made you roll your eyes, then you are clearly not paying attention to who the former Disney star has become. When no one was paying attention, or was too preoccupied with shaming Miley for wardrobe and stage presence, the singer started a foundation for homeless LGBT+ youth called The Happy Hippie Foundation. The foundation aims to give at-risk youth resources to access support groups, medical care, and legal resources. In an effort to raise awareness for the foundation, Miley recruited the likes of Against Me! vocalist/guitarist Laura Jane Grace, Joan Jett, and a handful of others for a series of stripped-down backyard sessions. The sessions alone make you wonder if the grandiose, ridiculous act Miley is known for is simply a good paycheck. Miley's got a decent set of pipes. Miley has also recently spoken out against the gender binary, stating that the labels of "Boy" or "Girl" never really seemed to fit.

At this point, like with Lauren Mayberry, the shaming of artists for expressing even the slightest bit of sexuality is getting old. Miley is working to make a better world, yet most of us can't look past the twerking. I have a lot of respect for the work Miley is doing, and cannot wait to see what happens next musically. We all have that friend who has a pure heart, gets a little crazy at parties, and is underrated-ly awesome. We should be so lucky to have a friend like Miley.

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