You’ve seen them everywhere. If you own any social media account, you’ve seen the memes/tweets throwing shade toward aspiring artists who are using SoundCloud as their platform to present their music or who ask people to check out their mixtape.
Every time I log on to Twitter or Instagram, I never fail to see someone making one of these completely humorless cracks at aspiring artists and personally, I am disgusted.
These jokes are not funny.
Let me begin by saying, I completely understand that there are some rappers on SoundCloud that one may consider sub par. No, not every local artist has perfected their craft BUT how can they ever get better if nobody ever gives them the time of day to check out their work and give back constructive criticism?
Now, let me get to the reason why I think SoundCloud rapper jokes are completely stupid.
When a person is chasing their dream to become a doctor or a teacher or a engineer, they do what they have to do to reach that goal. They go to college, they work hard, they do whatever they have to do to perfect their craft. They get feedback on their work. They put blood, sweat and tears into obtaining a degree or certificate that will give them more opportunity to live their dream. People don’t make “Aspiring Doctor” jokes or “Aspiring Engineer” jokes (if they do, I’ve never seen them.) These people are chasing their dream. So are SoundCloud rappers and local artists. What makes them different?
What is so funny and unbelievable about a creative chasing their dream?
I’m coming up on a year of blogging and during my short time of interacting and networking with lots of “SoundCloud rappers” and local artists, I’ve learned a lot about exactly how much energy and emotion goes into what they do. I’ve seen even the so called “trap” rappers who seem to not display any emotion at all become emotional when it comes to their music. This is their passion.
Just this week I’ve talked to an artist who is experiencing feelings of accomplishment and joy because he released a new project (shoutout to @MackDerico yall check out that Hyperbolic Time Chamber 2: Super Saiyan God here). He shared with me that this project was pretty much all of his blood, sweat and tears put into a collection of songs. On the other hand, I’ve talked to another artist who was extremely emotional because of a disaster that happened in which he lost pretty much everything he ever worked for musically. These artists (and not only soundcloud rappers fall into this category, any local creative such as photograpers, graphic designers, artists, dancers, bloggers and other creatives), and many more, are literally putting their all into what they do, sometimes without the support of family or friends. In my opinion, for people to sit on social media and bash them daily just makes it that much harder for them to flourish.
Another point I would like to emphasize is that most of the people who make these “SoundCloud rapper” jokes don’t have half the guts to do what these artists are doing. Before you make a statement about how “wack” an artist is, ask yourself if you have the balls to stand on a corner asking strangers to check out your project, only to get denied over and over again. Before you make a joke about an artist who isn’t that great of a performer yet, ask yourself if you have the courage to stand in front of a room of people you don’t know, perform your music (that you put your all into) only to be boo’d off stage or have people act like they aren’t interested.
The answer is no.
Those of you who know me know that Xxxtentacion and Lil Yachty are two of my favorite artists, both of who came straight off of SoundCloud.
Do you think they got to where they are today magically? No they did not. They asked people to listen to their work and eventually they both ran into people who worked with them to groom them into the artists that they are today. What would have happened if people didn’t listen to their mixtape or check out the link in their bio? Well they wouldn’t be where they are now that’s for sure.
What makes the rapper in your DMs right now any different?
Everyone has to start somewhere. So the next time you are presented with one of these SoundCloud rapper jokes, think about what you’ve learned today, and the next time you find yourself being summoned to check out someones mixtape, give the artist a chance to share their work with you.
You never know…..you just might be a part of making history.