Dear Rapper #5 – The Hunger
Welcome to 2011. A time when everyone is a genius. We are in the land of the “know it alls” and the “do it yourself’ers”…
Basically, its hard to impress people. I began my rap career solely on the foundation that I was…“impressive”. I can freestyle with a consistency that sounds written, I’m blessed with a sharp mind that allows me to do that. I can control my vocals and “1 take” in the studio, this was a necessity, I mean studio time is expensive…get it right and get out of the booth, right? I have no fear of crowds so my stage performance is live, I get people loose and eventually bring them in so that they become apart of the show.
These were qualities that used to impress people…way back in 2001 when I started recording seriously. Now, different things impress rap fans. It’s not necessary to get on a soap box about how music has changed and start blabbing my opinions on what “nice” is, and how wack shit gets a ton of press and attention, and about how brainwashed people are becoming…The point I am trying to get at is…
“Trying to impress people with your talent isn’t going to help you on this journey anymore.”
Wierd right? I mean, thats why I love to rhyme. I just wanted to show everyone how good I was at it. It was supposed to be that simple. Things are more complicated now. You have people who live to critique. They don’t go out on a mission of discovery and wonder, when it comes to listening to artists music or seeing them perform. Instead, they are watching and waiting for you to show your inevitable humanity. They want to see you fail, then they can blog about it and share the fuck ups with their friends via social network all the while bragging about how they know what real talent is. Welcome to 2011.
This is the future and if you intend on taking your design, brand, skill, style or whatever, onward into the future you have to make sure you never become obsolete. Otherwise you are useless and useless artists starve.
So what is an MC to do?
I recommend being yourself.
Strange? I know. I just gave you a rundown of how traditional skills don’t impress people, and here I am telling you to stay with those traditional skills…Stay with me, I’m about to make a point.
You’re talent is eternal and if you have a good voice and an ill flow. You most likely are a good rapper. There is nothing wrong with your gift, its your mindset thats going to decide whether or not…you still function. See when you are a talented artist, most of your motivation comes from those around you and their encouragement. It’s their belief in you that can put the battery in your back, and help you grind. When the people around you change, and they will, that motivation may disappear and you get fewer and fewer people pushing you. This is when an artist can “fall off”. The environment of music and media is colder now, less people want to give you a chance, less people want to discover you, less people will OFFER interest. This is where mind has to overcome matter.
If you give in to the negativity that is our scene…your music will lose steam and your art will “fall off” along with your motivation. You have to dictate your own demand, you have to make up peoples minds for them. You have to grind.
By continuing to be yourself and create…even when you feel like fuck it. Even when you feel like, there is no point. You have to get your art out and you have to continue making it available. You have to be your own biggest fan. Through will and effort, you will discover fans instead of hoping for them to discover you. This hunger will carry you through, it will make your journey meaningful.
In other words, keep making your art, continue trying to evolve and believe.
Most of all…Continue to function.