Friday, October 17, 2008

We Lost Another Soldier

A fellow producer and comrade of mine just blogged his resignation from hip-hop. Here's what he wrote to explain why. This is a subject I have strong feelings on so I also attached my response.

I say "Peace" (I quit)

I say « Peace »

Yeah folks…. Time for me to say "Peace".

After 12-13 years of beats making, I've recently decided to quit.

I will probably keep making beats here in front of my pair of Mackie HR-824 speakers for a couple of months/year(s) but I wont submit my beats to emcees anymore and wont collab with emcees anymore.

I've seen a lotta things in 12 years…. Dudes claiming to be ready to bang and running away when we was close to put something out…. Dudes being really ready but being scared of putting something out….. dudes stealing my beats and trying to sell them behind my back…. Dudes that need a year to record a joint and send it back to me…. Dudes threating me when I told them what they aint used to hear…. Dudes being fucking paranoiac whatever you tell them…Dudes on some "fuck you pay me" attitude …..

Actually those ones are the ones that got on my nerves (and still get on my nerves) the most (along with the ones that doesn't keep you posted about what they doing with your beats).

Don't get me wrong tho, I understand that some guys wanna get paid, but come on …. Do you REALLY deserve it ? Does someone with a very average flow deserve to get paid $1000 for a 16 bars freestyle ? Can a cat accept to collab with you and after 8 months ask you for money even tho he hasn't talked about it in the first place ?

The thing is, am European … am not american… Am not addicted to the money like most of those American guys I been in contact with. If you are not European and are reading this blog, you probably gonna think that am a fucking hater …. I cant blame you for that but soon enuff you'll find out that I was right. Music is a passion first …. Not a job here….

I see a lotta dudes leaving their everyday life behind in order to focus only on their music… the fact is they just lose their mind in this game … cause it's not safe….

We don't do that here…We have a job, or study and we make music when we get home from work … or on the week end.

I've been asked " dude, why don't u try to make… ? " … am like " hell NO!!!" … I have a job to pay my bills … music is a passion …. That's just something I wanna share with other passionate people…. I really don't care about the money …. Some folks have eyeballed when I told them that I never tried to sell a beat in my whole life.

That's why am standing back from this hip hop game now … Hip Hop is dead because of you …. That's no joke… There's no more love, no more passion, no more peace, no more unity in this game nowaday …. Everybody wanna rap… everybody wanna be the next Lil Wayne, the next 50 Cent or whatever …Kids are too lazy to go to school, get a decent level of education and get a nice 9-5 …. They rather sell shit in order to be able to have something to relate to when they turn in to "emcees" ….. so called emcees actually.

There's a lot more reasons that lead me to that decision… but I aint gonna let my fingers bleed typing this shit …. I would like to thanks all the good people I met in this Hip Hop Road tho.

Aiiight …. Time for me to say ……


my response

I'm sorry to hear that your time in the music industry left a bitter taste in your mouth. I can understand why you would feel the way you do looking at it in your shoes. however, I think you misunderstand American Hustle for a greedy addiction. you wrote and I quote...

"The thing is, am European … am not american… Am not addicted to the money like most of those American guys I been in contact with."

You are right, there are some people who are addicted to money, I'm one of them so believe me when I tell you, you misunderstand us.
Most Americans hate their 9 to 5's and regret their lives eventually.(in fact I think most people in the world do) We Americans live in a vicious system that for most people turns us into workers who kill them selves to make a living. It's fear that keeps a dreamer from manifesting his/her dreams. For those brave few who say NO! I'm going to make my passion my life, they also live in fear, Fear that they will have to go back to that rat race and treat their passion as a side hobby. My friend, for me that is true pain and regret. I'm so passionate about music that I must be able to create it when I feel the urge to. For that freedom to be taken away and told to spend 8 hours of my day, plus the commute to work, plus the time it takes to get ready, then go home and force my self to create in the late hours of the night like it's some dark addiction I must tend to when know one is around is pure anguish. I can't speak for others but when I say "Fuck You Pay me" it's because I never want to go back to "Wear a suit and sit in this cubical" state penitentiary. I'm not buying rims with your euro's I'm paying rent, feeding my self and sending money back to Sudan for my family. I say it all the time. "I make music for a living so I can live to make music" I can't have it any other way. If it's truly your passion you'll trade that fear of instability for a healthy fear that motivates you. (add talent to really make this receipt pop)
There's nothing wrong with making music your career. We should encourage all humanity to at least try to make their passions their career. As with most careers/jobs, (big difference between the two) there's to many people applying and not enough available positions. To many people who went to school for the wrong thing, to many people stopped their education to soon only to realize that you wont get that real money until you get a masters degree...... You Wont Get Paid Until You Master Your Craft. That sounds pretty hip-hop to me and that's how it should be.
As I said before I'm an American addicted to money. I'm addicted to what money allows me to do not the idea of never having enough of it. living in a capitalist country with poor health care, a decaying social security system and stress will do one of two things to you, make you stop at nothing to make it work for you or stop all it is that you are for you to work for it. I see my addiction as a good vice if there is such a thing.
I'm only writing this because I see you as a peer and comrade. It's good to know you'll still make music, just because it's not for MC's makes it no less passionate. For your self and for hip-hop keep doing your thing, peace.


Peter said...

You're right!!! Nothing to add.

questionmark said...

i missed the blog son.

mike said...

that answer is why i gladly share the money i have with you to pursue your passion.

i'm glad to see updates on the blog!

Stephen said...

weird to realise you know who wrote the whole thing as you read it

Ms.Beatkonductah the Beat Junkie said...

not quite sure who wrote it; hadn't fiqured as much yet...but I empathize with him and I too understand how experiences with other ppl who really dont care and is all about the money but really suck...they think that they will make the producer cause they're on the beat...when it should be 50/50...but most likey the beat will always stand out first.

I've had some crazy experiences all similar) and being a female doing this thing is another story, but from producer to producer, I do understand.

Oddisee made good points regarding having the freedom to make music when he wants...I sit at a PC all day at work and sometimes I dont even want to look at mine when I get home, I dont even wanna look at my music equipment sometimes because I'm drained mentally.

And when I say F U Pay Me, I say that because I need money so that I can one day leave the 9-5 to do what Im passionate about which is music. I LOVE MUSIC and what I create, I would like to put all my energies there, but right now its not happening...So I come home and make music into the wee hours...when Im not tired.

Being from another country the mindset is much different from Americans...I understand that. But I do know some cats from overseas who think the same as I or Oddisee...some ppl only work a 9-5 so that they can fund there passion, whether its making beats, rapping, painting...whatever.

Change your mindset and the ppl you work with. You dont have to work with with those who are as passionate as you.

It does suck to have ppl steal your stuff and also not tell you what's going on and taking forever to do something when there was an agreement on a time sucks to have an artist come to your apt and tell your roommate that you said he could get some beats, just go and put all the beats on a cd...oh my bad...just venting.

Good blog!

sidewayys said...

peace, very iteresting read. thanks for being so honest, thats some inspiring shit for me to read (im not a rapper or musician) and keep doing my thing--contageous!

5th Sequence said...

What a great post. An in depth look at the dark side of talented independent artists balancing career survival and business on one hand while preserving the original passion and reasons for doing what you love to do in the other.

I feel dudes pain when I read this becuase I'm going through it myself. 12 years is a lot of time to shape a clearview of what hip hop music "politics" grows to. Very insightful response by Oddisee, I couldn't agree more.

madrotter said...

good piece!!! the whole fuck u pay me thing is kinda wasted on me cause i have never asked for money as far as music goes and when people ask for money to spit some bars i'm like oh ok whatever. i understand the need for most people to make money out of what they do though, i'm just lucky enough i don't need it. what does make me really frustrated is making stuff for people and then have them doing nothing with it, that happens so often, or the people sending me songs from rap artists saying make me something that sounds exactly like this. everybody has their own style and i've got mine. and again i'm lucky enough that i can do it all just for the love and fun...

L05 said...

good post man.