Every time I’m out of town or I’m talking to someone who doesn’t really know anything about St.Louis,Missouri except for the fact it exist they are usually blown away by our talent. People are usually shocked that anything creative and talented can come from St.Louis. They look at it literally like “How is this possible?” People who aren’t from St.Louis won’t admit it but they feel there shouldn’t be anything supremely talented here because they think there isn’t shit here. People only trip off how low the cost of living here for a single person is and that’s it.
Let’s keep it a buck. People outside of here only know the Arch and Nelly. That’s it. Maybe the Cardinals if they’re baseball fans. No disrespect to those 3 examples but people aren’t exactly excited planning trips here to see those 3 things like they would to see the Statue Of Liberty and Times Square or the Hollywood sign. It took Mike Brown life for people to fly in and out of here religiously and that's the truth. I was flying into Dallas the week after he was murdered and I never seen so many celebrities and regular people in Lambert Airport in my life.
The “Why isn’t there more St.Louis artists getting noticed?” question always get asked and I continuously say the same shit year after year. We have little to no resources in St.Louis and it’s very black and white here. It’s not colorful here. I’ve been saying that shit for 10 years. 10 long ass years. That’s some sad shit.
To a small businessman or woman who has a struggling business in a huge market full of sharks such as New York, St.Louis is a goldmine. St.Louis is a goldmine for any startup. They may fail in New York and other bigger markets but come to St.Louis and become millionaires. It’s the big fish in a small pond effect. St.Louis is super consumer based. Google the number of businesses and students that come here after college and just rack up money. There is money here. That’s something I do know. In the business world the resources they need are in place everywhere because what they do is viewed as legit and not frowned upon.
For an artist or any creative person. Total opposite. It’s a fucking nightmare. Especially if you’re black (Hebrew).
It’s not just the obvious shit like venues. I’ll get to that in a sec. Lets start with a resource EVERYBODY overlooks.
First I would like to say we have the most depressing airport I’ve ever seen in a major city. If you know of one more depressing then feel free to tell me but Lambert is trash my amigos. If a person flight is delayed and they have to wait in that airport they’re going to want to stab themselves in the head. All this money they waste on other silly shit here and they can’t improve that airport?
Second. Flying to and from St.Louis is a fucking headache. I had a friend who’s traveled all over the world (Sup, Bella) try to look up some deals for me for a trip to Dubai and she revealed to me the flight would take damn near a half a day longer than it would if I flew out of another airport out of a major city. So basically I would have to drive 5 hours to Chicago to catch a smooth flight. That’s really a damn shame. Something not right about that. You can fly to a foreign country for the same price to fly into St.Louis. It’s a fucking joke.
It’s expensive as fuck to fly to and from St.Louis because ain’t no traffic here. Nobody coming in and out of here religiously like they are in Atlanta, Boston, D.C, California, etc. This isn’t a tourist dream so because of that the prices are stupid high.
So instead of going in and out of the city as an artist to take your business elsewhere you just say fuck it and move out of the city completely and I don’t blame you for it. It’s the smarter business decision. Artists in Atlanta travel all the fucking time because flying in and out of Atlanta is a breeze and not as expensive. So they can stay where they are and go anywhere in the country easily and work. Same for Chicago artists.
Traveling to and from here is stressful.
Now let’s talk about another resource that’s been on everybody mind. This lack of venues shit.
It’s straight up trash. No faking. If you’re trying to have an event you either have the choice of choosing a place that’s not suitable for you, dealing with people who own the place who don’t know how to conduct business, or you dealing with a good venue but you’ve already thrown 20 events at it already and you have the fear of the consumer being tired of coming to that place over and over again.
Look I love Blank Space. I love the people who own it. They show me love. My niggas work there every weekend. I have an invitation to throw events there if I ever wanted to but people have thrown so much shit there that it’s become overkill. It’s not Blank Space fault. It’s this city fault. No other venues stepping up. All this fucking property and nobody stepping up. People want a change of scenery sometimes. If you continue to throw the same event there year after year and month after month there’s only so much you can do.
We're some creative souls and we have visions and some visions we have some venues can’t bring to life for us so we try to find other spots to bring that vision to life. It’s no disrespect to the venue but it’s how things work. If you have a vision of shooting a scene in a warehouse but all you can get is an abandoned house you’re gonna be pissed as an artist. It may not seem like a big deal to someone on the outside looking in but it means everything to you because you had a specific vision.
When you throw shit at different venues you see different faces. I love seeing everybody I know and love at events but I want to meet new people too. Nothing will change if you keep throwing events at the same venue.
It’s like this. If you're a curator, event planner, whatever fancy word there is to say you throw dope ass functions the only way to solve this here is BUY YOUR OWN SHIT. Nobody is gonna save us here. Not that we want them to but the people who do buy key properties just buy them to flip em. Which I’m not mad at but if you saw how cheap some of these properties were you’d be shocked. I thought about investing in something. I actually will because buying property is a gamble I’ll always take. So many ways to change shit by investing in properties. There has been some people doing it but they rush through it and don’t consider the small things. Like making the venue sound friendly.
A lot of good venues sound systems are awful. Don’t matter how loud or big the speaker is you put in the venue. If the spot not sound friendly. You will know immediately. It’s just gonna sound like 2 small beat pills are playing through those big ass speakers in a big ass space.
The people in our culture that do have the funds to buy property don’t want change for real. All they do is buy a building of a former club and try to turn it into a wannabe upscale club that will be closed in under 2 years or a hookah lounge. It’s their money so I shouldn’t even trip off how they spend it.
All the good spacious shit is owned by people who don’t trust or want black people in their shit. They see black people and say "no" without thinking. Even if you talk in your job interview voice and your reputation is spotless they don’t want you anywhere near their shit. I’m so used to that shit I don’t even care. I don’t want them making money off us anyway.
There’s only two real emotions in life. Every other emotion are extensions of those two emotions. Those emotions are fear and love. These people don’t love us so what does that leave us with? Fear. They fear us. Fear is the reason why you have to go through hell to book a venue despite having amazing business practices and a history of zero incidents. In one of my favorite movies called “A Bronx Tale” Robert DeNiro was explaining to his son the difference between fear and love. Fear will keep you loyal to the wrong, complacent, stagnant bullshit forever. Fear lasts longer than love. Just look at the country we live in. This place has been ran on fear for centuries. This city is one of the most fearful places I’ve ever been in and fear is the reason it refuses to improve. If only love was given chance. Right? Another “What if” scenario that does no creative soul here any good.
I’ll never forget this. I was in Atlanta for Hennypalooza and the night I flew in I was just walking around downtown. Exploring eating a taco. I came across this venue people was going in and out of and I asked this bouncer outside of it do they rent it out he said yeah and told me the owner here right now and he could link me up with him at that moment. Now I was just asking out of curiosity. I wasn’t really trying to throw something and I told him that and he was like “We always on it here. It’s money to be made.”
It’s all business in other markets and never personal. Everything personal in St.Louis and it’s some lame fuck shit.
Somebody asked me about a open mic they can perform at just out the blue a week ago. I laughed my ass off. Nigga this not Chicago. They have those everywhere in the Chi. Jam sessions everywhere and you can just walk in and hop on the mic. In St.Louis that shit not happening. The last time shit like that was happening was when Hi-Pointe was the place to be in the mid to late 90’s. That was like some 8 Mile Shelter shit for STL rappers back then every Friday and that shit would be packed. I’ve seen pictures from O.G’z. After that, it was over. We don’t have the resources nor the support. It’s clear as day.
If you a music artist. Move my nigga. You can always come back. Fuck what anybody thinks. Just move. Let a different environment influence your music. Let new surroundings shock your mentality and spirit and watch you make some of the coldest shit you ever made. Just do it. Take advantage of your new resources. You may not be stagnant but this city is and it will stunt your growth. This place not going nowhere and will be the same when you get back. You good.
If the city take that money they was investing into dumb shit like trolleys and invest it into me and my homies ideas not only would they see profit but we’d have people who not from here wanting to come here all the time. I should’ve been listening to the cliche quote “If you want something done you gotta do it yourself.”
Just put a big ass “RESOURCES WANTED" sign on this city like we trying to hire that shit. Man it don’t even feel like this a city here sometimes. It feels like a slightly advanced town with a high murder rate and some good ass food spots. Anyway put that sign on this muhfucka.