|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on July 10, 2015 at 7:10 PM|
In the midst of watching reality TV and more reality TV, I noticed that there was a documentary about Jay Z, ‘A Genius Leaves the Hood’ that was scheduled to come on so I DVR’d it. It took me a second to actually watch it. I had a feeling this would be more than leisure television watching. I knew this would be more like a seminar, lecture, or a good Sunday morning service. Basically, I knew this was an opportunity to learn. So almost like a student getting ready for class, I had to mentally prepare. I expected a rags to riches story. What I got was a documentary that categorized the rapper as a genius, but also an opportunist. I found myself thinking if this is what being an opportunist gets you then sign me up!
But seriously after the documentary ended, I felt some type of way. I found myself mentally defending Jay Z. Why? Because I realized that there is a common misconception across the board in reference to the entertainment industry. I’m not in the industry, but I’ve heard enough testimonials on shows like Behind the Music, Unsung, and Life after, etc. about how shady the business is. Apparently some entertainers go into the industry assuming that everyone they do business with is their friend, like family, or out for their best interest. The urban community gets hit the hardest in these situations because our cultural makes it a habit to create family environments wherever we go. So let me say this as a person on the outside looking in.
If someone pays you for a service they are your employer. If you pay them then they are your employees. If you are making money together and equally then you are business partners. If someone gives you money to start a business they are investors. It’s business. No different than corporate America or anywhere else. Technically it doesn’t matter how long you and that person or persons are around each other, if money is a continuous factor in your relationship then your relationship is business! Now if you and that person were connected before there was ever an idea to make money together than that is something totally different.
If you are working a 9-5 most likely you have someone there that you consider to be “your friend.” You like them more than anyone else at the job. If they get married or have a child they will most likely include you. That’s your buddy; I mean you’re in each other’s presence around 8 hours a day. Now what happens if that person quits? You may stay in contact with them for a while. I mean somebody has to keep them updated on the ridiculousness that is still going on at the job. But eventually, you lose contact. Why? It’s not because your “friendship” was fake. It’s because the core of your relationship was the job. And now you no longer have that in common. For some reason when you work at Taco Bell and making “some” money this situation is understandable. But when you are in the “industry” making “big” money you become “confused.” Like would you expect a person that worked at Taco Bell with you for a year to be in your life forever? Heck nooooooo! Why not? Probably because before you started working at Taco Bell you had real friends and real family and those relationships aren't centered around getting a check.
Label mate= co-worker
Co-star = co-worker
President of company= boss
Endorsement = opportunity for advancement
Missed performances/appearances/tapings = fired, replaced, and in the past
Decreased momentum = fired, replaced, and in the past
Not willing to work with other entertainers or public beefs= hostile work environment
Mentor= a boss that sees themselves in you and would like to teach you so that they can ensure continued relevance through you.
I can go on forever with this but…y’all get the point.
Categories: Indie Music and Culture