Updated: May 24
Is authenticity relevant in this day and age? The more the music industry pushes mainstream artists towards the opposite direction, the more the public ruminates this question. Here's the answer: authenticity is relevant. In any art, especially in music, the artist must provoke emotions, raise doubts and seek some kind of truth. Currently, authenticity in the game is obstructed in favor of other values, mainly involving material things. Let's focus on rap.
Many artists get involved in rap for the wrong reasons. Some think it's just a cool thing to do, like being a DJ, and don't want to miss out. Some others are following their friends' lead; some want the sexy, luxurious world portrayed in rap and hip-hop music videos and become rap artists in the attempt of gaining that beautiful lifestyle. Some others have developed a strong passion for rap music and want to give it a try themselves.
As important as it may be to have a strong passion for music before getting into it, or dreaming of a better lifestyle, none of these reasons are enough to make your music authentic. I'll try and explain what I mean by authentic, writing about the personal experience of one of our artists here at About Time Entertainment, "Mgive." He is usually a quiet person, far from the noisy rapper cliche, who sometimes experiences anxiety.
These unpleasant moments of strain inspire him to write music, and, at the same time, music allows him to vent. This premise defines his goal as an artist: raise awareness on issues he cares about, including those concerning mental health.
His goal, and its connection to his real life, is what makes his music authentic. Being authentic might also be the key to your creative process. The creative process is a mysterious and beautiful endeavor, influenced by many different factors, experiences, even emotions. Still, one thing is sure: being true to yourself will help you doing something different, something that stands out instead of being a copy of what other people did before.
Someone might argue that following trends is the key to easy success. Unfortunately, it would also be the key to kill your creativity.
As an ancient Greek saying goes, know thyself.
Are you sure this is what you want for yourself? Are you sure you would look yourself in the mirror without regretting how you let go of your very own talent in exchange for an illusion called success? Wouldn't you be happier to know you treasured those features that make you unique without compromising? More and more rappers are choosing to be authentic and work on their terms.
Look at Casper Nyovest; for example, he managed to gain worldwide success because of his incredible ability in marketing activities.
We might not be as good as him at promoting ourselves, but we can indeed find our place in the world if we choose authenticity.
Many people surrender to the temptation of easy success and easy cash, losing themselves. Don't make this mistake!
Forget about other people's judgment and do what feels right.
You have a unique story to tell, in a way only you can.