The Foils of Fame

Fame is the worst drug known to man. 

It’s stronger than heroin.  When you can look in the mirror

like, “There I am,” and still not see what you’ve become. I know I’m guilty of

it too but not like them. – Jay-z, “Lost OnesBeing part of the Industry.          

When

you take that first step on your journey to becoming an industry superstar, your

head is filled with culture changing concepts.  You’re ambitious

and idealistic.  You know what Hip Hop needs and you will deliver.

Rain, sleet, snow nor dark of night will keep you from realizing your dream of

Hip Hop innovation.  You are the rap crusader.

Then

opportunity knocks and you answer.  Your dreams are realized and

you are presented with your industry insider merit badge.  Access

is granted and all those music videos you used to watch on your 13 inch tube are

now 3D.  It’s top notch glitz and glamour and there is nothing that

can rip you away; not even your own voice.

You

can hear the outsider you used to be reminding you of your desire to develop the

culture, but the music in VIP is loud.  The expensive doors filter

out all the noise. You misplace that voice somewhere deep in the belly of the

latest hot spot.  And when you emerge, you are vacant and

voiceless.

Access

is a beautiful thing. 

We all want it.  However, that access can arrest the

development of our crusaders.  We look to Hip-Hop’s fresh voices to

push the boundaries of the genre; to advance the music.  But being

silenced by that death grip you have on being accepted serves no purpose to

anyone but yourself.

I’ve

seen glimpses of this behavior.  Artists get caught up in their own

hype and don’t feel they have to work for your money anymore. 

Journalists allow platinum selling rappers to lie to them in interviews,

but don’t protest because they don’t want to jeopardize their outside

relationship or the next interview. Folks look down the barrel of their noses at

the latest battle king or regional mixtape phenom because they have yet to make

a mainstream studio album. You have made it to the top, but that doesn’t mean

the work you put in to get there is now beneath you.

You

did it when you were a fan and no one was paying you anything then. 

You did it because you wanted to.  You did it because you

cared. Now all these little industries that have popped up over the last 30 or

so years to siphon as much from the music as possible have created their own

league of distinguished gentlemen; groups who have bought into their own hype

even though they add very little to the Hip-Hop landscape but an extra body

in VIP.

It’s

tragic because when the innovators stop innovating and the crusaders stop

crusading, the music suffers.  So, the next time you are patting

yourself on the back for all of the A-List accoutrement you have in your

possession; remember how you achieved that.  Think about that

ladder you had to climb to get to where you are, and the passion that drove

you. Excuse yourself from the round table and get back to being that advocate

the culture needs.   Then you can try to marry that

passion with your status.  If you think back far enough, that’s

probably what you were trying to accomplish in the first place.The opinions expressed in the above editorial do not necessarily represent the views of AllHipHop.com, it’s representatives or assigns.

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