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Thread: The Sham Economy of Hip Hop

  1. #1
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    The Sham Economy of Hip Hop

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    The Sham Economy of Hip Hop
    There is a pervasive belief that by spamming/botting all over social media and Soundcloud, your numbers will increase and that these numbers leads to success. Unfortunately itís largely a circlejerk of people who are also trying to make it and pretty much a joke overall.
    The indie idea of ďI listen to rappers youíve never heard ofĒ isnít really a big thing for normal people. Most normal people prefer to listen to socially qualified music. Even outside of the mainstream, underground rappers with rep absolutely dominate, it's not populated by lots of small people.
    Most of the guys on here look at the producers and rappers with 10-20k followers and a hundred songs on Spotify and think - wow I can't wait until I get there, thatís when I'll know I'm getting good and starting to blow up!

    In reality, those people with seemingly big followings are effectively at the same stage as you.
    Their clout is made up mostly of spam, bots, other people trying to make it, and has very few Ďnormalí people involved. Those normal people who are true fans and engaged, are often people theyíve met in real life or who live near them.
    They are largely undiscovered, just like you, they are making little to no money from music, just like you, unless they have a day job in the industry. And if you're honest about their music - it's probably simply good, not great or game changing. Which is why it doesn't have millions of views and plays.

    BUT people believe that 20k followers means something that 200 doesn't, it somehow increases the perceived quality of their music. A 4/10 song or beat becomes 8/10 because ďit has 100k plays broĒ or ďhe has so many followers broĒ
    What these guys do have over you are better stories of almost making it, because while you get ghosted by someone with only 500 followers, they get the honor of being ghosted by a guy with 100k.
    If your way of screening for people to work with is their perceived success compared to yours, then you're already playing to lose - this is what clout chasing is. We talk about people doing cringy or spammy things for clout, but virtually everything everyone does is clout chasing.

    The only activity which isn't clout chasing is making music exactly how you want to make it.
    There are two ways to succeed, you either catch the current wave in an honest way (faking it fails) and have a chance to pop off, or you make your work part of the next wave or a niche by doing exactly what you want.
    Doing so you may be able to succeed to the degree of making a livable income and have the potential to make more - depending on your dedication and improvement over time.
    If you focus on marketing, money-making or wave-chasing - then youíre not spending time becoming a master. You think youíre rolling the dice, but youíre really just throwing them away.

    Here is my earnest hip hop artist manifesto for those who reject the rat-racing, hope whoring, dice rolling, spam posting, lit fam, you ready to work, this is it chief, sham economy of hip hop.

    • Donít buy beats
    • Donít sell beats
    • Donít buy features
    • Donít sell features
    • Do get an industry job if you want one
    • Do get a day job if you canít get or donít want an industry one
    • Do become the best you can
    • Donít try to copy whatís successful
    • Do emulate what you are inspired by
    • Do be a part of the mainstream if itís who you are
    • Do your own thing if that is who you are
    • Donít collab just to collab
    • Do collab with people you want to collab with
    • Do create constantly
    • Donít have expectations of success
    • Donít chase clout
    • Do chase your dreams
    • Donít have dreams of being famous
    • Do have dreams of being great


    Are there people succeeding inside of the aforementioned shithole state of hip hop on the internet?
    Yes. Of course. Thatís what this post is about. BE ONE OF THE GOOD ONES.
    Be the producer whose every beat he drops sounds EXACTLY how he wants it to sound, who collaborates with people he genuinely likes and not because of how many followers they have, who makes great music because that is what they are trying to do.
    Be the rapper really doing his own thing, who records ONLY on beats he likes, not because of who made them, who isnít trying to succeed but is succeeding because of the quality of his art and expression, not his stats, because making quality art is what he is trying to do.

    But I need money Ė Get a job.
    But I want to spend more time making music Ė Stop playing video games, watching TV, masturbating, sleeping, drinking, smoking, eating. Thereís some fucking time for you.
    But I want exposure Ė The fuck are you going to do with that? How many followers do I need to make a great song? How many likes until I gain the power to write great lyrics? How many listens until I become unique?
    But I want to be famous Ė Do you fucking listen to rap music? Do you see the enormous pressure they are under? Do you see their constant state of dissatisfaction? Do you see the people dying? Go start making fucking youtube videos if you want to be famous.
    But I just want to make music as a hobby Ė Carry on.

    Look if after all this you still want to be a part of the sham economy, spamming ďneed a fire rapper to hop on this beat!Ē and ďsend me beatz bro!Ē - go ahead and do it.

    But I challenge someone to dredge up a high quality and successful act that started from the spammy fucking cesspit that is the hip hop sham economy.
    "Once black music leaves its original context, it begins to take on different meanings and serve different functions, and it is interpreted very differently." Portia Maultsby

  2. #2
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    Thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree and share the same sentiment about just focusing on making the music you really want to make.

  3. #3
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    quite honestly the best article ive ready in a very long time, just what i needed.

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