Martini Rox: Reality checkWritten by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It was all a dream …
I recently ran into or came across artists of the hip-hop generation who dreamed big, but failed to factor in reality while pursuing their dreams. The look of weathered determination and regret fills their eyes and makes me wonder, “Would they do it all again? Would they at least do it differently?”
To be hip has always meant being youthful and the fact is that hip-hop is more than 30 years old. Many who have pursued hip-hop are now finding they are older and still have not had the success they dreamed of. I have seen the homeless rapper/singer/musician who gave it all up for his dream, but failed to live in reality. All I could think about were their children and significant others and the impact of the nearly impossible lifestyle he or she chased for years. I can only imagine waking up and realizing the only people who really mattered to you are gone, along with the chance of being a star.
A dream does not provide for a family or set up a 401(k). Artists toe the line when it comes to the commitment to the dream and the reality. Everyone tells you how hard you should work, but few talk about the fact that the chances of becoming a star are slim. The chances of making it as a rapper and making it past a hit record are even slimmer. As the genre continues to age, the body count of rap-hopefuls continues to rise. I question how prepared this current hip-hop generation will be in the future.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary Young MC. It was apparent that there were major contrasts between the mindset of the early generation of hip-hop artists and the generation today. He said he and his famous peers had no idea the success their music would bring. This outlook is a far cry from the expectant attitude plaguing today’s generation. The lack of humility is still shocking and I wonder what will happen when this generation grows up and stardom doesn’t happen for them. Young MC let me know that until his music could support him, he continued to work a job that provided steady income and benefits. When you chase your dreams while living in reality, you allow yourself to grow and your dreams can change or evolve. I am always proud of the older artists I see who become music engineers or graphic artists and those who learn trades and get degrees. It is not about failing; it’s about successfully living no matter what life gives you or doesn’t give you. You must evolve in order to survive in a world that is about more than your music.
Rappers, singers and musicians, I implore you to think about the present while dreaming about your future. Handling your business in the present can change your future for the better. You may discover your own child’s talent or tap deeper into your own. Enrich your life by living the one you have now and not the one you have planned for the future. Should your dream come true, think of the blessings you have already set up around you by paying attention to your current reality. It will make your success that much sweeter, knowing you cared enough about yourself and your support system to have a plan B. Life happens and sometimes your plan B can become a better plan A.
Don’t wake up in a nightmare — dream responsibly.
As we continue on…