Wednesday, June 01, 2011

TAN Will Not Be In The Next Lupe Fiasco Video

(my homey in this video is the same homey I mention in this old post about bailing on a lupe fiasco video. now he's doing commercials, getting his hollywood hustle on. take note, couch surfers. stay on your grizzly, and things can happen! all of us, lupe, myself, calkutta (waddup, c!) have experienced some evolution. some love. some attention. some scrilla. but I bet we're all also in the boat of feeling like we're just getting started. funny how that works. anyBoost, cool story brah, seeing someone you met along the road doing their thing.)


So I have this guy staying with me, and he works at Atlantic, record label for Lupe Fiasco, artist behind the song Kick, Push. If my caucasian peeps have been slow getting up to speed on that, you might also know Lupe from Kanye's Touch The Sky.

So he lets me know they're shooting Lupe's video yesterday, and I could come down. Maybe get in the piece. Talk to some people. Etc. Etc. Ultimately, if you're living on the margins in NYC, and you're in this sort of business, these are the sorts of opportunities you pay the premium price for. To be where things are happening. And then see what happens. If you're not taking advantage then paying the NYC cost-of-living is silly.

But I think if you're an artist, it's easy to shy away from the "fandom" in such scenarios. I'm a fan of a lot of things, but the phrase "art over artists" has been repeating in my head the last year or two (not repeatedly, just off-and-on) and it means that I really admire, worship, idolize the art, not the artist. The product/track, not the producer. I could care less about Apple, but I love my ibook. It's not the individual creator, because we're all the same. It's their particular creation. Meeting Lupe Fiasco is cool, but if he's not going to perform Kick, Push for me, it's kind of like whatever. Same odds of me getting along with him apply to anyone (those odds are reasonably good by the way).

I'm a fan of artists, but it's after they have built a track record. And in interviews I'm interested in what they have to say about their process, and how they do what they do, not their personal lives or tastes. Not that I denounce the fun in those things, but you know, it's whatever. Depends on the mood. But their work, their legacy, and how that translates in their head ... that's what moves me. Not standing around their video set, hoping someone that matters says waddup to me.

So it's tempting for me to condescend and say, "whatever. I'm an artist, not a fan. Fans go and jock at the video. Artists say f*ck that, and spend that time doing what they do. I'm being a lazy artist if I go down and hang out at the video and nothing happens, while I could have been home working on my opus."

That was my initial instinct, and so I bagged going to the video. But the second thought, and I think the wiser one, is that the lazy artist is the one who doesn't go down. Again, this is why you live in NYC. Or it should be. Sure you might waste your time, but you might also stumble upon an opportunity you could never have otherwise.

So now I'm annoyed at my laziness. I do this sort of thing all the time. I remember once, years back, my pops calling me and telling me about Naughty By Nature being in the studio. Not in their OPP heyday, but a little after. Anyways, he lets me know, it might be a chance to stop by and politic a little. And I was like, "LOOK, I'M THINKING POPS! You think connecting with some established music vets is worth the cost of MY THOUGHTS!!! Hello??!!?"

I'm just not into standing around waiting and hoping. I'm not into jocking people. I can do it in a quick burst at a cocktail party. Or in a creative context. But extended over the time of a video shoot. Bleh. But jocking's part of the package, I know this to be true. And now instead of this post being a report on the Lupe shoot, and how I made some more connects at Atlantic, and spread the Gospel of TAN, it's a meandering blahggity-blah post on the nature of artist laziness. Which is 47% less interesting.

It's not even doing justice to the artist laziness subject. I'm probably putting this up hoping for some trickle down vide-ho love. "Yeah, yeah mami. I could have been up in that Lupe video piece, but I got my own thing going on baby. No time for that. I had to be like whatevs. I thought you knew, I'm not in this for the love."



  1. This was a really good post man. Very thought-provoking, but in a subtle unpretentious way. It's good to break up the snark with a little earnestness now and then.

    I have friends who are in the arts in various fields, mostly acting, and many of them feel too good to hobknob, network or "play the game" when the opportunities arise yet they are struggling. In an ideal world we could be judged solely on our work and not on our politicking, but this isn't an ideal world. Sometimes we spend so much time reflecting on the idealism of how the world SHOULD work that we never end up adjusting to the reality of how the world DOES work. And when we do that, who do we actually hurt? The Lupe Fiascos and casting agents that we refuse to hobknob with? No! They still have fun, enjoy thier careers, get their free coke and blowjobs and move on with life. We basically just shoot ourselves in the foot in the long run. Somebody once told me "You're too broke to be an elitist. Elitism is a luxury of the successful." It was good advice.

    Meh, I'm rambling. Anyway, good stuff TAN.

  2. I agree, I like how you diversify things up on here.

    I like the show me the money video. I agree, artists need to wakeup and see the realities. you too TAN. get down to those video shoots and network. holla!

  3. The "art over artists" idea really resonates, but it's hard to resist being intrigued by the person behind work I really love. In some cases the cult of personailty is not easy to separate from the work --Basquiat, Prince, and Muhammad Ali are examples.

  4. Yo so if you were in making the band and P. Diddy told you to walk to Brooklyn to get him some Cheesecake, you wouldn't do it???

    You'ld be like "nah nigga, Fcuk you son!"

    Damn... But Pac carried crates for Humpty just to get on, and look how his joint turned out, yeah he got shot a couple of times, but he got paid too. I wonder if he ever regreted carry those crates?


  5. vk - you're right. But the difference with Diddy's Kids is essentially you've already broken the seal there. if your'e on tv with diddy and he gives you an "assignment," that's more straight up defiance. It's a bit more egregious than the artist who's still just looking for an in.

  6. Sometimes you gotta let niggas know yo shit is BIG too...

    "Yeah, yeah mami. I could have been up in that Lupe video piece, but I got my own thing going on baby. No time for that. I had to be like whatevs.

    and to think lesser heads would attemt to call this hatin?


  7. Anonymous8/07/2006

    Kick, Push made me cry TAN. I think you matter too. Next time you get a chance, go politic. Rockefellers inherit sans guilt. Heck, so do (or will) Russell's kids. What I'm saying here is that you use whatever you are given to further your art. Just do it -- there's time enough to feel guilty about milking "it" when you're dead.

  8. D3Keith6/06/2011

    I haven't been back to the blog in a while but this reminded me exactly why I liked T.A.N in the first place. You articulate things I thought were only just bouncing around in MY head.

    I have this thought all the time, and yet it's not really unique to me, or unique at all for that matter.

    Thanks for giving it a name, art over artists.

  9. This vid eo is sick check it ou and lemmie know what you think!!!


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