I was on campus tonight for a final in my English Short Stories class and walking back to my car I came across some campus event, a Battle of the Bands to be exact. Now, if you’ve never seen a BOTB in person, you might think of that scene from School of Rock. This is so not that.
The area where this event was is built similarly to an amphitheater, a “stage” at the bottom and rows of seating going upward to ground level. Let me just say very quickly, because of the cement and the adjacency to the building – the acoustics are garbage.
So anyway, as I’m walking past, I figure fuck it – i’m graduating soon. I should probably finally attend a campus event. As I find a spot to stand in in the back, there’s a performer in the “stage” area, who from the distance I was at looked like one of the Migos men.
I’m not entirely sure what he was rapping about, but the beat and his lyrical style was just like every other mainstream artist in hip hop right now, mumble trash. Now, before you go off on me, let me say that I wouldn’t have the guts to go up there and rap the lyrics to any song I’ve memorized or sing anything for that matter. I give the kid props. What I won’t give him is an applause to his lack of creativity.
Next artist. SAME THING. I am not kidding you.
The third guy, he went RNB and it was actually pretty good. I think he would do great just recording some backup vocals for some songs. Or just recording in general, you know how some people are better recorded than live.
What I’m trying to get at here is that my generation, the Millennial generation, is creatively lazy. We understand what sells records (or earns streams), what makes an artist an overnight sensation (RAIN DROP). We try to jump on that train before it crashes into the next fad so we can hopefully make a few bucks first. But I will tell you what, that’s why bands are nostalgic – why we have One Hit Wonders. Because they jumped on that train and when the focus shifted, they were left with nothing.
I was listening to the Short Story Long podcast a few days ago, binge listening honestly, and in an episode Chris “Drama” Pfaff and his guest were discussing the importance of having passion. This might has been the episode about the company Casper (mattresses). Anyway, the underlying message is that, if you don’t have passion and a desire to continue learning about your dream job or just learning about your field in general, that you will never succeed. You have to be willing to expand your vocabulary, read a book about a topic you know nothing about, talk to people outside your Myspace Top 8, and just experience life so it can help propel you forward.
So basically, “long story short” – quit stealing other people’s work unless you’re going to do it better by improving and building upon it. Because if you’re not going to do that, then quick wasting everyone’s time.