An artist’s world is a lonely world, it truly is. As far as I can tell and through the perspective of experience, to gain the best possible results from your craft you have to delve deep into yourself and challenge yourself to render the best material you can conceive each time and time again. An artist doesn’t find satisfaction in working toward absolute wisdom and knowing all things about everything, rather, an artist prefers, or should prefer, a limitless ability to learn. Once you stop learning, you stop growing. Once you stop growing, you’re a shit-head. Once you’re a shit-head, there ain’t no going back.
Your art, in my opinion, is the closest a person comes to themselves. You are your greatest subject, as arrogant as that sounds. Even when documenting someone else’s life, it is your interpretation, therefore, it is you. It belongs to you. It’s like leading a Self-Help seminar and you’re the ass filling the seats. Now, to be more direct and step away from the poetic ramblings, not everyone is built to, at the very least, attempt to learn about themselves. As an artist, you grow to learn this. As you learn, in your pursuit toward whatever it is you’ve set out to accomplish, you discover there are fewer and fewer reliable people in your life.
I have to say, from being a musician, I’ve learned more about people than I ever have. Seriously, your average person is full of complete and total shit. Sadly enough, these people aren’t even strangers; they are friends of yours that claim loyalty only when socially appropriate or because they can rebound their melodrama off of you in hopes of a listening ear. These are the people that hound you with their issues, their relationship problems and their “regret fucks” and abortion stories, downloading all of their insecurities and bullshit into hours upon HOURS worth of bitching and bantering. These motherfuckers don’t even have the decency to at least TRY to give you the condensed version. NOPE! Fuck you, listen. Essentially.
So with all of those hours and hours of listening and providing insight to Said motherfucker, you mean to tell me that this person, Mr. or Mrs. Motherfucker, cannot spend THREE-LOUSY-GODDAMN-MINUTES listening to your record???? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
Here’s the thing: Being supportive does not mean fucking Facebook LIKES and Comments. It is not Instagram validation or Twitter brownie-points. Supportive means, even in cases where there isn’t even the issue of purchasing your record, being respectful enough of your friend to give a concise and honest listen. Its crazy how many people do not covet this rule, this rule of decency.
What’s EVEN CRAZIER is:
1. How people can claim to be supportive without listening to an ounce of the very music they swear to God to be behind.
“You know good-and-fucking-well you didn’t listen to my shit. Prepare for the inevitability of “I’m going to listen to it later,” because that means “NEVER.” Respectfully, go fuck yourself… in your own ass!”
2. How these same people can spend $250+ on J’s, $500+ for a designer bag that they can’t even pronounce, telling you on a $600 cellphone that they can’t make it to your 10 DOLLAR FUCKING SHOW!
“Seriously, royally FUCK this person. We ALL know this person. This is the asshole whose priorities are so twisted that they’re probably telling the goddamn truth. What, with all of the money they’ve spent on material. Cut this person the FUCK OFF. And as an extension, past a certain age and/or tax bracket, you shouldn’t even associate yourself with someone who wears Jordans and refers to them as “J’s”.
3. How people have the nerve to call a venture you’ve poured thousands of dollars into, countless amounts of energy into creating, numerous sleepless nights performing and reading business books, and 20 some-odd years crafting and personalizing your style, a fucking “HOBBY”…
“They don’t understand your vision, sir. People who make this statement are either complete morons, or miserable paycheck slaves who don’t even have the imagination to find a better job. These people, unfortunately, are usually single parents. Even worse, they are assholes. You can disagree with that single parent comment, I don’t give a fuck, and I’ve found it to be extremely true.”
4. How the average person has an opinion of your music before they listen to it.
“This one is dedicated to people who give you that smug little once-over once you say you’re a Hip-Hop artist. No, I’m not just a ‘rapper,’ don’t belittle me, you son-of-a-bitch. I am an ARTIST who details his perspective by way of poetry and I am everything you would never expect. Even if I were a Mainstream-sounding artist, you haven’t heard my rendition of my world set to music. Give it a goddamn listen. If you like it, cool. If you don’t, FUCK YOU, I’m sensitive about my shit!”
5. How people say “don’t forget about us little people,” and you haven’t spoken to them in years….
“This one is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. My internal response is: I can’t WAIT to forget about you, you little shit-bird. Don’t start dick-hopping now because you’ve noticed the momentum I’m gaining, or you imagine yourself having VIP tickets to my hypothetical concert later on in life. Even if that vision isn’t even accurate, here’s my point: If you’ve got to say that sentence, you don’t even deserve to know me. If this person were a fixture in your life and supportive, that comment would not even need to be uttered. The second I leave, the closer you will be to kissing my ass.”
Message to these suckers who are specific to this article: If you were choking to death I wouldn’t HAND you a bottle of fresh air…. If you know people that fit ANY of these characteristics, leave them alone immediately. Simply because your art is you, an integral part of you. If that person denies your art, they are denying a large part of who you are: The person you so intimately are that they have no desire in meeting. I’m so serious…. If they aren’t interested now, they never will be. Let these people be themselves, by themselves.
Brandon Perkins is a Hip-hop Artist and Guitarist, creatively known as Priest.