The “Put On” mentality.

Posted: July 31, 2008 by danjohns in Music, rap music
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For as long as I can remember, whenever the conversation turns to my career as a musician, there has always been someone ready to say “don’t forget the little people when you make it.” You know the routine, when you make it, you’re expected to put your ‘peoples’ on.

In some ways, I’ve always wondered who exactly should be considered your ‘peoples’ in this sense. It’s a no-brainer that there are some individuals that are irreplaceable when it comes to the roles that they’ve played in your life. Then there are those who have been directly involved in your music career. This is where it gets sticky.

When I started my company, the first business partner that I had was a childhood friend that I had known for over 10 years. In hindsight, we had not been very close during high school (I was 20 when I started Mag-O), but we had never had any fall out. In the beginning, we hit the ground running, trying to reach out to everyone and anyone that would listen. As time passed (maybe like a year), we had some issues that made it impossible to continue to do business. I’ll also admit that in some ways, his involvement in the early years helped me get on my feet, and i kept pushing from there. But, after what happened, if i ‘blew up’ tomorrow, I couldn’t with a clear conscience ‘put him on’ in any way.

I said all of that to get directly to the point. Don’t expect anything from anyone. On the same token, its not that hard to separate true friends and family from posers. I will be the first to admit that it can be tricky to see the posers at first, but there are usally telltale signs about how far their loyalty will reach.

(I’m about to ramble, and this post may take a turn for the “dandom”, but bear with me)

Everyday, literally everyday, I get messages on myspace from rappers or producers from South Carolina, wanting to work together. That’s fine, because really the only way to find out if someone wants to work with you is to reach out. The problem is that so many of these artists approach me with this whole “i’m from SC so you gotta get down with me” angle. While I agree that there is strength in numbers, and that a united movement is more effective than 1-2 artists trying to break through (see: Wutang, Native Tongues, etc.), I can’t be expected to work with every artist from the state just because we share the same area code (new t-shirts on the way lol btw).

There needs to be chemistry, or at least a common goal. Or hell, let’s be real, if some of these people that I don’t even KNOW would at least step to me offering compensation, then I would be more responsive. The irony is that 75% of these artists, NO better yet 90% of these artists don’t even own a Dan Johns CD. AND they’d probably be the first one to say that I ‘sold out’ if I was to move to another state and gain notoriety.

Once I gained such notoriety, I’m sure some of the people that I hear around the town talking about how “joe blow mc” forgot where he came from and doesn’t look out for his people would say the same things about me. Don’t get me wrong, there are many cases where people find success and then act brand new. But there are more cases when people have this false sense of entitlement. I don’t think that I’ve ever used the word “entitlement” so many times in one rant.

The worst thing about it is that the people that have these so-called-issues seldom confront the person directly. It’s always hearsay, or indirect communication (the internet has turned a lot of squares into keyboard gangsters). You are normally the last person to know that someone has a problem with you. Personally, I just see it as an opportunity to cut the dead weight.

In closing, all that you can do is keep pushing, and be fair to those who you genuinely want to help, for whatever reason.You will always know in your heart who you’ve done right or wrong by.

Now Playing:

Young Jeezy – \”Put On\” Remix (featuring Jay-Z)

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Comments
  1. zillz says:

    gahdammit!!! real talk yo.

  2. akshun says:

    This reminds me that i need to put up the blog i wanted to do for sometime. After I eat it’s ON

  3. kam says:

    Older people used to tell me… People want you to become successful but they just don’t want to HELP you become successful! Yet everybody shows up to celebrate when you reach the top lol

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