Twitting with Chamillionaire

Hanging on the latest web obsession, twitter, reading some of the questions posted by Houston rapper Chamillionaire and the subject came up of being a successful artist. Chamillionaire asked if an artist could be successful if he or she only focuses on their core or original audience. There are a lot of things to think about the first of which is, from whose perspective is this success being measured. You see each person has a different defChamillionaireinition of success. Some people (most i seem to see now) define success on possessions, money, and in the terms of music, crossover success; this means being able to get onto pop or top40 radio instead of just urban radio. Using this logic is Flo Rida more successful than Eminem because he gets play on both urban radio and pop stations while Em can't get played on black stations.

If I was an artist, to get a solid core of fans who enjoy the music that I make would be much more important to my feelings of success than to have millions of fickle listeners who love me one day then throw me away at the end of the month because a new person has dropped something new and hot. Artists like Redman, Nas, Ghostface, Trick Trick, and even Trick Daddy and B.G. may not have the largest legions of fans, but one can argue that they are more loyal and thus more likely to be supportive of their endeavors in a myriad of arenas. To have the respect and know that that respect gives you loyalty and support even when you misstep is truly more valuable than a quick buck isn't it?

As a fan, I feel that artists that are able to convey a feeling to me are a success regardless of the amount of units they sell or spins that they get on the radio. Would I like for them to be successful so that others can get the feeling I get from their music? Yeah but truthfully I can't control what others do. I can only voice my opinion and hope that it is able to make a difference int he way someone perceives the music. I get angry when artists like Maino, Dead Prez, Kweli and Busta Rhymes can't get any love but thats all that I can do.

Will they keep making music? Some will and some won't but in this day and age the actual cost of making music has dropped so much that their is a wealth of content to fill in those gaps when someone gives it up. The trouble is finding it, but if you keep your ears open, it will find you, I just learned about Nipsey Hussle about a month ago as well as Crooked I's greatness and now I am a fan so for me there is hope.

So the question we must ask ourselves as fans, is does the amount of people who like an artist other than us determine that artists success and our continued support. What are your thoughts?


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