There’s something beautiful blossoming in St.Louis, USA. Artistically we’re going through a phase I don’t think we’ve ever seen even during the 99-2004 era where we had more than one multi platinum artist. We’re more versatile artists today then we were back then so I feel today if we continue in the direction we’re going we can have longevity.
Entities like MadeMonarchs and The Force planted the seeds and we’ve gradually grown year by year into something special. Positivity here is long overdue. I don’t have all the answers but I truly feel I can do the best I can to help so here is my opinion on what we need to do in order to be one of the top cities in the culture.
THE MOMENT OF CLARITY
Right now we’re finally figuring it out. A lot of fuck shit that used to slide years ago is not being accepted anymore and we need to continue to have that mentality in order for us to keep growing. Some people are going to continue to do shit like copying, hating, bitch shit, etc it is what it is but people are more vocal about the fake shit.
People aren’t dumb and they’re noticing what’s authentic and what’s fraudulent and the results shows. We’re sticking up for each other way more than we used to. Now I’m not saying we can’t or don’t disagree on things. We’ll always have differences in opinion, that comes with the territory but as long as it isn’t personal and disagreements are respectful then we will continue to move in the right direction. We’re having a moment of clarity and need to continue to.
DON’T WAIT FOR THE OUTSIDERS
We have a habit of supporting the good shit from here last. Sometimes people really don't know about an artist until their buzz is already grown and that's okay. Can't know everybody. I didn't know 3Problems until Swagg died. This is more for the people who do know the artist and doesn't support until someone else outside of St.Louis does. I’m sure you understand this but just in case let me give you an example.
A artist is doing some great shit. He or she has incredible work. St.Louis doesn’t show him or her love. Residents in Atlanta shows that same artist love and that artist following grows substantially bigger because of it. People in St.Louis sees the love that artist is receiving outside of St.Louis and now feel it’s safe to support that artist since other people outside of St.Louis co signed that artist and now they follow that artist.
Now what’s wrong with this?
- Everyone now thinks that artist is from Atlanta instead of St.Louis and all eyes are on Atlanta instead of St.Louis. Atlanta will get credit for the sauce.
- The artist may resent his or her hometown for it.
- We let other people dictate what’s dope here instead of ourselves basically we look like tasteless pussies if we keep letting that happen. People here are essentially asking “Is it okay” to support someone from St.Louis or saying “If they think it’s dope then it must be dope” and you’re basically saying your own taste is trash and theirs reign supreme over ours. You’re selling yourself and your city short.
Don’t wait for the outsiders opinion. Your opinion is just as valid as theirs if not more important.
JSMN doesn’t sound like J’Demul. Nikee Turbo doesn’t sound like Seals. RoachGod doesn’t shoot like Jessica Page. Dory Miller doesn’t shoot like Nicholas Coulter. Sean Alexander doesn’t paint like Alvin Lewis. Gemowlz isn’t like Art-Bae. DJ Hood Bunny isn’t DJ Nico and vice versa.
You get the point.
There are so many different types of artists and so many flavors to choose from. We don’t have just one sound or vision we have different varieties. There’s a melting pot of artistry here so whatever you want St.Louis can provide to you.
We don’t sound or do the same things as other cities and that’s going to be very pivotal in our future success. We have to set trends like we did during our first run during 99-2003. You know everyone in the country dancing like us. Dressing like us. Making fun of how we talk but they low-key found that entertaining no matter how many jokes they cracked about it.
There’s nothing in our way but ourselves. The only thing that needs to happen next is investment in more properties for artists so we can improve on infrastructure.
There’s no such thing as “Gatekeepers” anymore. You don’t have to go to anyone to have your vision seen or voice heard. Rappers and singers don’t need the radio anymore. It’s more of a plus to marketing today and not the be all end all like it was 10-15 years ago. To have your voice heard you can do it yourself.
Painters can throw their own shows. Photographers can have their own exhibits. You don’t have to wait on anyone. Matter fact it’s ill advised to wait on anyone with anything. We don’t need permission from anyone anyone here or outside of here. The keys are in all of our hands. Seriously.
KEEP COMPETITION IN CHECK
Couple weeks ago I’m at Smino’s private listening party for “blkswn” and while the album playing I’m looking at the faces of all the artists in the room. All of them either had a look on their face of “This shit is dope” or “I’m ready to get back in the studio right now.”
My homie Mvstermind came up to me after the album was played and just looked at me with this look like “WTF did we just hear” and said “Yo!” I could just see in his eyes that he knew he wanted to make some new amazing shit because Smino raised the bar. That’s what artists are supposed to do. Inspire each other.
I think we’re all competitive by nature as artists in a sense that when we create something we want to create it in a way that we feel it will have it’s own identity and stand alone. In my case I don’t write a article with the mindset of “Niggas won’t be able to touch this.” I don’t care how any other writer writes. I’m only concerned with what I’m able to do. As long as no one blatantly bite what I do I don’t care what they do.
The reason why keeping competition in check is important is because when we get wrapped up in it we tend to not support each other because we tend to think someone’s else’s win takes away from what we’re doing when it doesn’t. Some good healthy competition can be great but it becomes a problem when we’re lost in it. I like to believe we’re all on the same team.
Only thing I’m competitive about is representing St.Louis. That’s it.
St.Louis artists don’t always need to be in competition with each other it’s counterproductive to the end goal and that’s making this city one of the greatest on the planet.
A lot of us are going to do special things. Until then let's just cheer each other on and keep working to bring out our best for the world to see.