By Cleo K. Murungi (@Cleo_TheSphynx)
Every life’s project has an objective, a goal, and plan of execution. I used to think I understood when a rapper said, “I do this for the love.” Vague reason! What is the reason you spend sleepless nights writing bars, spending money in studios, uploading that music and premiering it on radio? Is it just for “the love”? We need to start being honest to ourselves, that’s the only way we grow. Enygma says, he started rapping to show us what he could do with words, what his idea of lyricism is. He has excelled, and if he retired today, he would have lived up to his objective. Some rap for the fun of it, because it is something that they can do. Others rap to inspire people through their artistry.
2 years ago, I met a rapper called Gera from the rap group, Batabazi. In conversation, we touched on the subject of why we do this thing, called rap. She said,” I do this for the fame and fortune, i want to drive a Bentley…”
THAT was the most honest answer I have ever heard in my life! I do not know many people who would admit to money being what makes their world go round.
The reasons vary by our individual goals, but we all have the same need. That is,the need to be recognized.
I’m yet to see an artist who records music to enjoy it by himself. But, what happens after you have achieved what your primary objective was? You have got the recognition, you inspire a bunch of fans, and you have the respect of your peers, would it seem so bad to get a cheque for your accomplishments? A lot of underground rappers claim, they do not do rap for the possibility of making money off it. I’d like to see one turn down a cash opportunity.
Are you happy being a broke rapper? For how long will you continue to invest without tangible returns?
Keep in mind, the underground rappers in the US, are getting paid for what they do. Could it be true that we tend to deny that we want something because there’s a possibility that we will not get it? That we are not working hard enough to get it. So, what are you not doing right? Why won’t people pay for your music? Why won’t corporates invest in hip-hop?
These are the issues we need to be addressing! Is the media doing enough for hip-hop? Why are still struggling as a genre? This reason, “I do hip-hop for the love”, may be the reason we are stunted. It has made us lazy! If we looked at hip-hop through the eyes of a Business-man, a lot would be different. In business, there’s accountability. Especially, accountability to yourself because you are more aware of what you stand to gain and what you stand to lose. But while we are still demonizing the “doing rap for a pay cheque”. Ask yourself if you would turn down that cheque for doing something you love.