Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rant #4: "Remember Blackened? Yeah, I Was In On It Then"

Here's something I don't really understand - and it happens in many different genres and seemingly for different reasons, but still seems ignorant to me. Let's say I know this big 'up and comer', some rapper named Lil Schrute. Now, I've devoted two years to listening to Schrute - hitting the mixtape circuit, going to tiny venues hearing him flow and buying every piece of merchandise to help him promote to blow up. Well 2 years later I feel like I've connected with him and his music - to the point my room is cluttered with posters, I write lyrics in my notebook and don his t shirts wherever I go. All of the sudden, BAM, Schrute creates that big single. It starts seeing some radio play and I'm pumped. After all, I helped make the difference with my support and boosting. DOUBLE BAM, he gets signed by Roc-A-Fella records and is about to do some huge callabos with Jay-Z and Kanye West. Pharrell and Dre are going to produce the beats on his upcoming album, "Beat Farm" which is slated to debut easily at #1. Couple weeks before the release, I'm hearing these new tracks on the radio, they're everywhere. I see some other people wearing the gear. I go to a show at a newer medium sized venue, and then it hits me. All these teenage girls are there, people who mocked me before for loving that mixtape "Irrigation Room". And suddenly I think about it...and I can't get over the fact that my friend, Lil Schrute, sold out. A wave of sadness overcomes me as I realize, I can't listen to his stuff anymore. He's gone commercial. I knew him before that. I need to let everyone know, I was on the "Megadesk" bandwagon WAY before all these other jerks, right?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Who cares? There are so many things I don't get about that. First and foremost, you didn't really do anything! Every rapper, band, indie singer - hell even Bill Shatner has dreams of being a huge music star. Sometimes it takes you a little longer than expected, but typically you don't give up on the dream. Just because you went to the garage shows and bought the mixtape, don't give yourself any credit for the guy blowing up. He'd have done it without you spending your $500 to help him make ends meet. Second, shouldn't you still be thrilled? I mean, you followed him from day one. Isn't what you want for your favorite artist to live his dream? Getting paid monstrous paychecks because you heard "Mustard Shirt" on the radio 77 times in an hour? Lastly, giving up on the music because they sell records? That just seems like one of the dumbest reasons to not listen to music. If music is good, it's good. Not giving it a chance because of who they market to or what label they're on is just lunacy! I equate this to Metallica when they made the 'Load' album. All these die hards just threw in the towel because they didn't have that hard edgy sound anymore. They made music just to sell records. DUH! Every artist wants to get rich, and party like a rock star. Get over it. Sitting back and going on a 20 minute rant about how you USED to like their stuff, but then they sold out makes you look like a tool. Telling everyone you knew them before they were cool makes you sound like a snob that wants to belittle others tastes. Choose not to listen to a band anymore, that's fine. I just don't want to hear about how they WERE good, and now they suck because they changed the style a bit.

After you calm down...listen to your 'sell out' band again, and I bet you still like them.