In the St.Louis: The Prosper article, I mentioned some things I thought we needed to make the creative scene in St.Louis more interesting but this article is the opposite. I'm not going to list off anything. Just write my opinion. I just want to talk about something that's the norm here. Division. Why is the creative scene divided? Do we actually want to fix it? Is it even possible to fix it? All great questions.
Why is the creative scene divided? There's this disease going around St.Louis. It's this really strange fear. It's the fear if another man or woman does something great or achieves something, that person feels that it diminishes what they're working towards or hurts them. There's also the "If I can't have it you can't have it" disease. Instead of supporting or even being cordial and saying congratulations they sneak diss, go out their way not to support, or spread rumors and lies about the people who achieved. There are 3 types of hate here. There's Blatant hate where a person out right just doesn't like you or whatever you do no matter what. There's sneak dissing. People shaking your hand, being cool with you in your presence but throwing subliminal shots at you. Lastly there's silent hate where people pretend to be out of the loop like they haven't seen what you've done or heard about you just to try and make it seem like you have no buzz and belittle what you're doing. I see these forms of hate all the time.
I don't see this much of the diseases in the art scene. I'm sure it happens though. I see this A LOT in the music scene. The fashion scene I've seen just a little bit of it. The failure to see the bigger picture is a huge problem and the root of division. A person from your city achieving great things that you haven't achieved yet works way more in your favor than harms it. You should be saying congrats then saying thank you to that person because they just helped shed light and bring business to whatever respective profession you both pursue in the city. If anything it should motivate you even more. This is not a race. You gauging your success to someone else's is a one way ticket to self destruction. Never compare yourself to anyone. You lose focus like that. Pride a mothafucka. Remember that scene in "Pulp Fiction" where Marcellus was telling Butch "Fuck Pride?" Please apply that to this situation. Reach out. Ask questions. Ask for help or advice. This is a chance for you to get better, not be a bitter bitch. I'm not saying copy them and follow everything they do but great things happen when ideas are shared. They may even give you an opportunity to help your brand grow.
I started this blog and there can be 60 new blogs in St.Louis tomorrow and guess what? I'll encourage them all as long they're all positive. Why hate? Why worry? There's no need to because I live by the absolute truth of life and that truth is that I'm Benny and they're not. We can write about the same things but they can't see it or think it like I can and vice versa. It's what makes everyone unique. There's lanes for everyone. There's money for everyone. I rather work with other writers than compete with them. What the fuck are we competing for? It makes no sense. We should be creating something special. Success for another man or woman doesn't equal your demise. It equals opportunity.
Another reason why things are divided is that there is no respect for anyone's brands anymore. I've seen brands downplay and not support other brands ideas and turn right around and steal those same ideas they criticized or refused to support. I just don't understand that way of thinking. It's a bitch ass move. When I started this site I searched google up and down to see if anyone had or used the name "Polite As Flannels." I wanted that all to myself. I'll never copy anyone else or steal from anyone. You don't have to like the next man or woman but you should respect their brand if their brand is solid and they have never done anything disrespectful to you. People work and lives are put into these brands and businesses. Their sacrifices are real. This also falls in the category of the older people not respecting the younger people. There are promoters, artists, photographers, etc who are older than me and they disrespect the generation under them just because they're young. From stealing ideas to refusing to co exist with the younger artist. I just assume they want the scene to just die after they're finished with it because that's how some of these people act. Once they're washed up they don't want the younger creatives to have it. It doesn't matter honestly because the younger creators are hungry and they'll take it from you but they shouldn't have to do that. The older generation should just peacefully pass the torch. It's their time now. Don't hate on them. Don't be that lyric from 2pac's "Against All Odds." "Niggas looking like Larry Holmes flabby and sick tryna playa hate on my shit." Don't be Larry Holmes guys. Respect to the legendary champion Larry Holmes. I mean no disrespect to him or his legacy but you get what I'm saying. I want someone to keep the scene alive and well after I'm retired. I actually want people younger than me to do better than me. I like to keep the love going.
Do we actually want to fix this? My personal answer to this is really a toss up. I'm all for brands and crews being separated if everyone is cordial and respectful. It doesn't bother me. Everyone can't be friends but that doesn't mean we can't be respectful. In the St.Louis: The Prosper article I mentioned everyone coming together and throwing 1 huge event every year but of course at the end of it I said "A nigga can dream right?" It's reality that everyone won't come together and I accept that. I'm all for unity on the scene if it's real and organic. I don't want it if it's forced. If something like this is forced it will most likely end with drama. The music scene is the only scene that unity doesn't really help sometimes. Struggle rappers won't tell other struggle rappers the truth if there's too much unity. Sounds fucked up right? I just believe there would be too much bias and ass kissing and that will not help a rap artist craft or help a rap artist grow. There has to be objectivity. There are some rappers here who do carry themselves respectfully but don't really fuck with everybody. They just focus on their art. Do a collab here and there. Never go to other rappers shows. Never disrespects other brands or crews and just minds their business. I have no problem with that. I actually think that's perfect. It shows that they're focused on their goals and have tunnel vision. You can say "I think this artist is distant or kind of stuck up," and the first thing I will ask you is "Were they disrespectful to you or jeopardized your business or brand?" If the answer is no then there shouldn't be a problem. Let them do them.
The division that's here, is it even possible to fix? I'm not really to optimistic about it. I would like it to be fixed but I don't see it happening on a grand scale. Each crew accepting each others ideas is something I just don't see. I'm okay with that though because there's some things I don't care for but other they care for like V.I.P's. V.I.P is the dumbest shit ever. I like people to interact with each other not make people feel like they're being stunted on. I'm not important and neither are you. Cure cancer and I'll change my mind. Missouri is already one of the most segregated states in the country. I'm sure it's in the top 3. The negative energy from that is just in the water here. If I honestly went to the owner of a club like lets say a club like "HG" and say I want to throw an event with a Sega Dreamcast setup and N.E.R.D's Discography on repeat all night. I'm sure they would look at me like a weirdo and say "Fuck no." I'd have to be a celebrity to pull that off. The philosophies of every crowd is different.
As long as we remain respectful of each other is what really counts.