- What’s the Best Song Intro of All-Time?
- Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” Will Outsell Kanye & Cole on June 18
- The Black Hippy “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” is the Only “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” I Care About
- J. Cole’s Puts “Born Sinner” vs. Kanye West’s “Yeezus”: Stupid, or Stupid Like a Fox?
- Fails: Nicki Minaj Takes The Lap Dance To New Levels Of Awkwardness (Video)
Men Lie, Woman Lie, Rap Numbers Definitely LiePosted by Yoh on 10/08/12 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion, Pay For Post, Issues
A Note from Nathan S.: The homie Yoh and I were going back and forth via email about inflated numbers in the internet rap game, so I invited him to break down his thoughts in a post. Enjoy...
Remember just last year when Atlanta’s rambunctious rapper Waka Flocka Flame announced his disdain for the fakeness in rap? So fake that the rapper whose trap lingo gibberish was turned into overnight anthems thanks to Lex Luger, could want to walk away from the fame, the money, and an entire nation of ratchet women. Even though Flocka probably was referring to secret meetings held during the B.E.T Awards or the fact that Sean Combs is 40 and still in search of an identity, I whole-heartily agree there is a level of fakeness that can be found within the music industry. As I scrolled through my email just yesterday I came across some interesting spam: ”20K Youtube views, 300+ likes, and 50 comments for only $90”. I don’t think Jigga received this when he rapped, “Men Lie, Woman Lie, Numbers don’t”.
Numbers have always held a level of importance within the confines of the minds of music consumers. When looking at two musicians both on the rise, staring at a YouTube page with 20 thousand views has a level of enchantment that 200 views doesn’t. This plays onto the hipster mentality that is infesting the minds of all internet users. No one wants to be late to the party, and by telling me you’re accumulating 20K views it makes me want to see what all the hype is about. This smoke and mirror marketing technique is a sure fire way to reel in fans, and with it being cheap, it’ll barely dent your pockets.
Yet, it’s completely dishonest, and can be seemed as a fame seekers way into a chair on 106&Park. Should we go ahead and hold a burial service for artistic integrity? From Twitter followers, to Datpiff mixtape download, everything can be tampered with, adjusted to insinuate a level of importance. This will only make it harder for the kid that has a heart full of ambition, and the mindset to truly break into this dark twisted industry off the strength of his talent and drive.
Even if it’s a disgusting tactic, I can’t blame anyone from trying to jump start their career- especially when it can be done with a part time job at McDonald’s and a debit card. It could propel the most talented and the most average at the same damn time. “You just gonna fake it until you make it”, T.I said to his little brother in the 2007 movie ATL while he shoved a flashy, but fake diamond in his ear to attract the eyes of the girls in high-school. The higher your numbers can have the same effect, and will draw wanted attention even if it’s undeserved.
Yet, how long can the facade go on before you’re at your very first show and only 9 people show up? What happen to those 40 thousand twitter followers? Where are the faces of those 100K Facebook pages are likes? You want bots and paid robots to tell you you’re great, or a fanbase of real people that will support you to see you succeed?
There are many other ways numbers hold powerful presences in the way artist are viewed. We awe over first week sales, and even though they don’t dictate if an album is good or not, those numbers are important in the eyes of fans and haters alike. If your sells are a commercial success then it’s hard to knock you down when you’re standing on a mountain, yet when they are low we kick you, spit on you, and proclaim you as a flop.
We’ve all made Kreayshawn the butt of our hash tag jokes as the West Coast femcee makes headlines last week for her whopping 3,900 copies sold of her debut album, “Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay”. Her misery is our hilarity; having accumulated over 10 million YouTube views on her moderately hit single “Gucci Gucci”, and having over 550,000 twitter followers is this just proof that hipsters don’t buy albums? Can we really blame her for those poor sales or point the finger at terrible marketing from the major label? Even if this album is the greatest musical master piece since Beethoven's 5th, she’ll be remembered for these poor sales more so than any other accolade. Look at Lupe Fiasco’s ear torturing “Lasers” album - his highest selling album to date, despite being far worse than its predecessors. Does that mean denouncing the president, and having fans march around a building equates album sales then maybe Kreay should work a new angle for her sophomore effort.
This is my attempt to show that numbers can be manipulated, and even when not they only should hold so much power. Let’s not dwell on how many views you receive but who’s viewing it. Anyone can brag about refreshing limelinx links and twitpicing a million downloads, but how about you work on selling a million ringtones on iTunes. It’s not important how big you do something but how big the response is, and if the people truly get behind your music then you’re surely will rise to the moon if not further. I personally hate feeling like I’m being lied to if not in the music but the way it’s presented.
We can completely remove the power in the numbers; unless you’re filling up venues then I’m unimpressed. That’s what we should judge artist on, who’s coming to see you as you embark from your computer on to the stage. That’s where it counts most. The game is indeed getting faker, and will continue to be such as long as we keep eating the nonsense that’s being spoon fed. Please just be honest with your fans, be honest with the blogs, but more importantly be honest with yourself.
See Also: So, Sony’s Hiring Fake Commenters to Promote Albums Now