Too be completely honest, I'm not even in the mood to write but the topic I'm going to discuss has been on my mind for a while now. I've talked to a few people about it but I still feel like more people need to hear me out. This post is addressed to everyone but mainly all my artists out there. I have a weird feeling that artists, producers, managers, taste makers, etc read my blog more than the general public does anyways. But everyone, you're welcome to hear me out.
I want you to think of your favorite album of all time. That one album that when you heard it, it brought about a change in you and how you view/listen to music. Now, what was it about that album that made it so good? Was it the production? The story that was being told through the lyrics of each song? Was it that the artist went outside of their comfort zone to show you another side of their artistry? Did it give you chills from beginning track to the outro? I'm being serious guys, think about it.
Now think of the very last album/mixtape/EP you listened to all the way through. Does it at all compare to your favorite album of all time? Probably not. And I'm also guessing that your favorite album of all time did not drop this year either, right? Right. This brings me to the question in the title of this post: What is your standard? Now as a blogger I am fully aware of the fact that not all artists are created the same. Artists come from all walks of life, which is amazing. There's nothing more that I love more than some good ol' diversity. But there is a certain level of ...shittiness (made up word) that we can tolerate when it comes to music. In other words, we have standards. Now I feel like, and most of you could probably agree, that the general public's standard of what good music is has dramatically decreased over the decades. And because of this, for every truly talented artist out there, there is probably about 10 shitty artists with one catchy ass single being offered recording contracts. This is the reality of the music industry and of the culture of music.
You, up and coming, grinding-your-ass-off artists, don't have to say it. I know this "reality" scares the shit out of you. You're probably like, "If muthafuckas like Kreayshawn's retarded ass Gucci Gucci, how the fuck will the like my shit?" (Honestly, I fucked with Gucci Gucci for like a week though. But then I came to my senses.) You're probably thinking that the only way to truly be successful in this day and age is to lower your standards when it comes to your music. And many artists have admitted to doing this. It happens all the time. You think you gotta be like everybody else to be somebody. And do you know what I say to that?
FUCK THAT SHIT! Don't hold back your dopeness to please anybody. Not the labels, not the radio, not even the general public. The general public has been brainwashed. The only way to raise people's standards of what is good music to continue doing you and creating YOUR art. I put KanYe West on here for a very important reason. If anyone called KanYe a rapper, it would disrespectful. He has broken down the walls of what Hip Hop music is considered to be. He has fucked up the mindsets of music critics in the most beautiful way. He can (and has) make Hip Hop music into Pop music and than Pop music into Hood shit all within one song. Whether you love him or hate him, you can not deny what he has done when it comes to music. And he was able to do all of this because he never lowered his standard of what good music is and has never held back when it comes to making it.
I ask again, what is your standard? I know no artist walks up in the studio like, "Let's make some wack ass music tonight!". So why would you hold yourself back as an artist just to be the hottest artist of the season off one cheesy ass song when you know you are capable of making a masterpiece? Why not make one song that will change the way we view what music should and can be? Why not make all your songs like that? KanYe West has shown you that it can be done. He paved this big ass, yellow brick highway for you and you choose to struggle over a fence of fire to be hot for a moment? What happened to wanting to be legendary? Is it really that big of an accomplishment for your song/video to be number one on 106 & Park? No shade to those who have accomplished that but like really though?!
This past year, as a music fan, I have truly been blessed. I've been able to see some of the greatest performers ever perform, I've gotten to witness innovators and geniuses create some mind blowing music, and I actually got the opportunity to work with one of the most talented people I have come across in my entire life. And you may or may not know their names. Does that mean that they are any less talented? Naw. And if you read my blog, you should know who Jesse Boykins III, Melo-X, Criss Lyric, and ForteBowie are because there are the ones I'm talking about. And there are many more I can name, don't get me started. But this is why I felt the need to write what I wrote. I know that there are talented people out there and most of the time, the only people holding them back is themselves. You can blame labels and radio and people's ever-changing taste but if you don't show us what good music can be today, how will we ever know?
I'm not gonna tell you which producers to work with or which artists to collaborate with because like a wise man, by the name of Ty Baisden, told me, "Non-creators can not tell creators how to create." Rather, I'm just going ask for you, as an artist, to not hold back and to not lower your standards of what is epic because this industry or the general public. If your standard right now is Drake and all his success, be like, "Fuck that, I can do more and I can better than that!" I know for a lot of artists, KanYe is their standard, which is cool. But we already got KanYe. We know what he can do. What can you do? We need you. Think beyond what is already out there. Show us that impossible, is possible. The sky is not the fucking limit.
Don't compromise your art for no one. If you truly feel like you have something to offer the people through your talent, do it. Do it with everything that you have inside of you. If you leave your blood, sweat, and tears on the mic when you record, people will throw roses at your feet when you perform. Help raise the standard of the general public back up. Remind us of what good music can and should be.
Glad I got that out. Now don't let my words go to waste.