Am I a sellout?

That’s a question we all ask ourselves at some point isn’t it?

At least when we start trying to make some money from our art.

And it can be a huge creative roadblock if we let it stand in our way.

So how do you answer this question?

Well it all depends on your values as a creative.

Once you come to the conclusion that you want to do this for a living you may have to come to terms with playing the game just a little. It’s one of those sacrifices that comes with being a pro.

One of my favorite quotes on the subject comes from Jay-Z on his song “The Bounce” off The Blueprint 2

“For those that think Hov fingers bling bling’n
Either haven’t heard the album or they don’t know English
They only know what the single is, and single that out
To be the meaning of what he is about
And bein I’m about my business, not minglin much
Runnin my mouth, that shit kept lingerin
But no dummy, that’s the shit I’m sprinklin’
The album width to keep the registers ringin’
In real life, I’m much more distinguished
I’m like a bloke from London, England”

Genius does a great breakdown on these lyrics and Hov’s thoughts on the matter.

Years later, one of his own artists, and a personal favorite of mine J. Cole breaks it down for us at Harvard University

Things stop being as black and white as they were before, sacrificing a bit now could have great benefits later.

This isn’t a problem exclusive to music either. All artists seeking success come to a point where they have to decide “Am I a sellout?”

Its up to you to answer that.

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