Catie5On Sunday morning April 12th post the 2015 AWP conference in Minneapolis, hung over and famished at some Ecuadorian restaurant, I interviewed Catie Disabato about her debut novel The Ghost Network. The story involves the disappearance of famed pop star Molly Metropolis. When Molly goes missing, her personal assistant and a journalist join forces to determine if Molly’s been kidnapped, gone into hiding, or worse. Using Molly’s journals and song lyrics to uncover clues to her whereabouts, the women find themselves up against an obscure intellectual sect with subterranean headquarters hidden within an underground subway system in Chicago.

To devote your life to art you have to be a little loopy, so it stands to reason that most entertainers are half insane. That’s your soul up there onstage or on the big screen, and it takes a lot of balls and maybe just a touch of madness to even try to pull it off.

Of course I make no claim to the actual mental states of the following performers. But if allowed to indulge my latent arm chair psychologist, here are a smattering of musicians who toe that narrow line between ingenuity and insanity.

Approximate number of uses of nigger and its derivations in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: 210

Approximate number of uses of nigger and its derivations in Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: 38

 

Total word count, Huckleberry Finn: 110,253

Total word count, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: 4,000

 

Usage rate of nigger in Huckleberry Finn (per thousand words): 1.9

Usage rate of nigger in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (per thousand words): 9.5