A subject I am very well acquainted with.
I myself have been into music since 94. A serious recording artist 99.
Blessed to be around and see folks come and go, has been humbling.
But now, one cant help but to wonder is it a curse!
See as a hip-hop artists its a lonely walk. In that you watch what people misconstrue as “real” based on whats TV. Then you have “purists” who complain there is no “real” hip-hop around. Hip-hop purists are like religious fundamentalists, in that they are staunch in their view, not allowing an artist to grow or make money, because they will be viewed as being a “sell out” (I wonder does Garth Brooks and Santana have to worry about such idiosyncracies)
At my level, of “up and coming” artists. It borderlines the insane and genius as that one is constantly looking to expand their brand by making the public aware of their product without being annoying.
The stories I could tell would make this blog quite long, but to give you an idea; folks will swear that they will be at your show, then not show, then give you a bs excuse.. CONSTANTLY. Folks will say they will buy your alubm but NEVER do it, and duck when they see you. (I take ironic joy in knowing that grown adults have to dodge me after they proactively lied to me, but I digress lol.)
Then its the business!
Like any other craft, trade, or profession, you have to network and barter to move up in the world, but in music. I often am amazed at the unsavory characters one runs across as it can be at times one step above the Underworld. Many folks backstabbing, all the while you are holding on to your dream of expression, while folks of lesser quality and morals flourish.
Folks trying to hustle your talent to make money off of your back in exchange to get you “exposure” (Though in many cases you have to sell tickets to people who know you thus how are you exposing yourself to a new crowd? Once again I digress lol)
Which leads me to me.. A moment of frustration I will attribute it to, but I cant help but wonder.. in the arts is it destined to be the issue of the talentless and profitable, with the talented and broke?
Farbeit from me to be the ultimate dictum of all that is good, but in my genre, we have such denigrating images of “rappers” like Soulja Boy and Wacka Flocka Flame (I am dead serious that is his stage name) who are able to share such foolishness on a grand scale, and yet my very own “fans” dont do the same to support on a basic level!
Some would say try harder, or put out better music!!! I am up for the challenge!!! But what is the use when folks will ultimate do their best to undermine your work? And lack of consistent support in some artists case have driven some to physical ailments like ulcers (This is know from personal experience)
As I write this, I realize this maybe almost prima donna-ish in tone, but as an artist, i have prided myself on rational clarity in my thought process not being driven by impetuous emotion in my view and approach.
To those that I have heard mine or others music in hip-hop
Why do you support or NOT support
What can the artist do to make the product more attractive to purchase (if anything)
Do you believe that on the basis of you knowing the artist they should give it to you for free?
Do you respect their craft and the time they put into or do you think they are waisting their time, and if so would you be so gracious to tell them?
I ask, because most artist are too afraid to ask such questions. I partially ask this because very recently I came really close to walking away from music for good! Mostly because it seems people dont want to hear it! I love what I do and will continue to do it, but EVERY artist has the narcisistic element (or more extreme, i.e. Kanye) that wants to be heard, and when not heard, it makes you re-evaluate a lot.
At this point, I am going to take my re-evaluation public not for pity or sympathy but to ask what is it, that you the fan/listener/consumer feel and hopefully get some more artists to weigh in on this and create a dialog