The lesson: sometimes, you have to conform: give the people what they’re asking for. You have to do this in order to get where you want to be. However, once you arrive, you can do whatever you want to do with it. You can go back to where you started from or really talk about the stuff you want to talk about. It would be great if the music industry wouldn’t corrupt artists from the start. It would be great if artists could make music inclusive of the people in their age range. Lil Wayne is 28; he should be making music for his age, meaning it—the content, sound—should be mature (“How to Love”). If 13-year-olds like it, great, if they don’t…well, it wasn’t really for them anyway. Instead, industry execs will send artists back in the booth and tell them to rewrite their music (dumb it down) or come up with something that sounds different (which usually ends up sounding like everything else that’s already out); however, when the artist flops, they drop them (Ciara).
What I’ve noticed is, no matter how much cookie-cutter music they put out, the “greats” (Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye, Mariah) will get to where they are because they refuse to settle, they refuse to conform to what the industry says is hot. Artistry is about creativity. If you let that go for money, you have nothing. I think many current and up-and-coming artists should read a page out of Jay Z and Kanye’s book. Focus on the music, not the money. The rest will follow. Watch The Throne.