Looking the Part

As you may know, one of my biggest pluses is that I don't look like the average guy that makes music. I wear flannel shirts and screen tees, I play Xbox, can probably still kick your ass in beer pong, I don't use much slang or "ebonics," and I'm like five-foot-seven. That element of surprise is one of my biggest strengths. It's helped me sell some albums and has allowed me to grace the internet on a couple of sites.

It's, inversely, one of my biggest weaknesses as an artist. I don't "look the part" of a musically in-depth person, much less a "hip-hop artist."

Picture this: You have just met me on a super chilled-out, dress down kind of day. I don't have anything special on, just a John Lennon tee and some random, kind of scuffed up Nikes. I'm listening to the Wild Arms 2 intro theme for segments to work out into a beat. I have a can of Red Bull next to my laptop. I just finished writing a blog about the WWE, and I'm going on and on about something philosophical and relating it back to the Petrarchian Conceit--all while not being high out of my mind? You'd probably think I'm a stoner, Asberger's-inflicted, booknerd who hasn't seen the light of day in years, not someone that's been behind some of the most slept-on underground music in the past couple years.

Now, conventional thinking would have you believe that, since I don't look like your typical artist, people would probably be less likely to "cop" a CD from me, a la Charles Hamilton. Hell, they'd probably be even less likely since I put "cop" in quotes. And, to some degree, conventional thinking is right. My image doesn't fit the genre of music that I specialize in. I mostly make rap music, yet I sometimes look like I just woke up from an epic kegger. Others, I look like I'm on my way to an actual job and not a videoshoot.And, others still, I just look so fucking "sexy-and-I-know-it" that I look to clean to rap about the day-to-day issues that I do.

In hip-hop, image is everything. People will judge your music before they hear it, just because you don't fit the "criteria" for a hip-hop artist (which, to be honest, I'm not even sure what that is, anymore. I mean, with Kanye and Chief Keef on opposite spectrums, I guess I'm somewhere in the middle, but people love the extreme-case-scenarios, so...you do the math). Long story short, because of this overanalysis of appearance, people sometimes miss out on the rest of the work of an artist.

People, don't be idiots and fall for the next media-trained test dummy. Open your eyes and listen with your ears. Then, go off about how they don't look like they can spit like that. You'll gain some decent music and you'll save me from having to rant about it like this.

...I'm just saying.
-SotB

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