The King Of The South, King Illest took it to Facebook where he delivered a speech that did not only encourage upcoming artists but also gave them guidelines on what to expect in the industry.
See post below:
I think artists need some form of counselling before they get into this music thing. Music is beautiful but most artists aren’t ready for everything that the music comes with. We can’t pretend as if music hasn’t destroyed lives. This music thing is dangerous, family… Real talk, from me to you. I’ll focus on hip-hop on this one because that’s the genre I understand the most. Artists are naturally sensitive beings. You have to be an emotional person to be able to express yourself on wax. Now as a sensitive person, it takes a lot from you to deal with everything that comes with the music. Rejection, exploitation, expectations, role model complex, image, the love, the hatred, the pretence, comparison, the rise, being out of favour, and the fall… It’s TOO MUCH for one person. You need to be mentally and emotionally ready. You start off struggling. You have no fan base, you have to pull strings for studio time, the media doesn’t recognize you, promoters screw you up left, right, and centre. Some quit their day jobs to focus on music. You’re most likely to lose the girl you genuinely love at some point. You’re giving this music thing your all. You dedicate most of your time to music. It’s not bringing in money. You have no money, you have no time… It takes a highly strong woman to stick with you throughout all that. In some cases, your very own family doesn’t approve of this music thing because the neighbours’ son is working a 9 to 5 and buying groceries for their family… “You should have studied Law instead of doing this RUBBISH!” It’s a lot to deal with as one person. You’re good but people don’t take you seriously because you ain’t on TV. You constantly dropping links that no one cares about. You spent days/weeks or even months preparing the track… You had hopes that it might be your big break, but no one gives a fuck. Let’s say you finally make it. Now you’re swimming with the big sharks. It’s a different ball game altogether, you’re exposed to yet another phase. Your music is getting high rotation on radio, you’re on TV… You’re now a celebrity. Journalists are looking for your skeletons so that they can get a scoop that will impact negatively on you. People see you as a star. You have an image to maintain. PR consultants and record label execs are advising you to look and behave like a star. There’s NOT enough money. Guys, most artists aren’t as rich as you think. There are probably 3-5 rap artists who’re getting seriously paid in the South African mainstream. The rest are just doing okay. People don’t know this, so they expect to see a star. The pressure is too much. Your stable could give you a car and a house… Both of which don’t belong to you, ho pushwa image. Too many groupies come into your space. You don’t know who’s real and who’s not. It’s harder to find love when you’re a celebrity, especially as a man. There’s just too much hype around you and so many people showing fake love. You’re being compared to the next artist, you have haters, and so forth… All this takes its toll on your emotions. People forget that you’re only human. After five years you slowly start to fall out of favour… Then you eventually fall off. Now everyone has forgotten about you. The few that seldom remember you gossip about how you’re no longer the in-thing. Your groupies are nowhere to be seen. Your industry friends become distant. You probably have a drug habit that you’re now struggling to maintain. We can’t ignore the fact that music will introduce you to drugs. Not every artist smokes drugs but most of them do. It’s a cutthroat industry. Drugs are everywhere, they’re always in front of you. You’re most likely to suffer from fatigue, you’re going to struggle to withstand the pressure that comes with being a star, you’re going to need to unwind, and there’s also peer pressure… All those things and MORE are going to tempt you into doing drugs. Music is beautiful but it’s fucked up at the same time. It’s a crowded space that can leave you feeling lonely. EVERYONE has an opinion on your career. Imagine everyone having an opinion on your work. Some opinions are negative… In some cases, most opinions are negative. You have to block it all out, you’re putting out fires all over the place. Sometimes you don’t have the strength to block it all out so you end up absorbing it all till it leads to depression. Music is going to continue killing so many artists. If it’s not depression, it’s drugs, or AIDS. Prepare your kids for the stardom, they’re not ready. Some of them aren’t even going to make it so music is going to destroy their hopes and shatter their souls while they still at the bottom. The entertainment industry is a lot. No one person can handle all the rejection and pressure without being mentally and emotionally prepared.