Having a video on VH1 Soul, and a song in rotation on radio stations across the country is one thing. Even receiving a random phone call from Universal Motown is exciting. But here I am – still unsigned – recovering from a slight artist identity crisis and feelings of overwhelming failure. How could I screw up such a great opportunity? What is Rap Rock? Why didnt they like my project? Why do I have to be so different? Passion is the only driving force that can keep one moving after what feels like a years worth of work, going down the drain.
The A&R from Universal Motown fell in love with the Maybe Tomorrow song and video. I told him to listen to The Method EP, my newer, Rap Rock project where the guitar is more prominently showcased than in my previous projects. Needless to say, he didn’t get the concept, and I lost out on a great opportunity to take my career to the next level.
On top of realizing that Hip Hop isn’t my ideal market – more haters than fans – I was having a bit of a crisis. Strong feelings of failure, contempt for my team – who was moving upwards in their careers without me – and I even thought about firing my band and going back solo. I even went as far as thinking I should just quit music altogether and go back to the 9-to-5. This carried on for about 15 to 20 days. It put a considerable strain on all my relationships; at home, my team, my band, everyone!
I started to feel like it was a mistake to get into this whole Rap Rock marketplace. For one, there isn’t even a fully defined market for it in the first place. A typical gathering of Rap Rock fans shows people of all ethnicities, ages, and walks of life. So the typical measurements of that demographics dont necessarily apply. Secondly, thanks to bands like Limp Bizkit, the whole idea of Rap Rock is skewed. I made it my goal to do it as organically as possible, but even being a damn good rapper and guitarist wasnt enough!
I started to think, they only liked me as a rapper. When I was making the same style of music as everyone else. Why am I always making things so hard by being different?
I had to remind myself that being different is the only way to make it, and if I plan on being different, I need to create my own marketplace.
Passion saved me from quitting. Instead of digging myself deeper into depression, I utilized my mind and willed my spirit to come up with a plan for my eventually success. I decided to connect with my fans across the internet and gather them all together at my live shows. With my guitar, raps, beats, and individual tastes that I present to my fans daily I create a tribe that I lead. Then I will hold gatherings of that tribe, aka, the live show! Only by my passion, was I able to finally pick myself up after I had fallen so hard! Being different is hard, but it also leads to the biggest rewards in the business. Just ask Janelle Monae!
– David E Beats
Check me out on twitter @DavidEBeats