Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tyler The Creator's Win Is Good For Music
Tyler The Creator won the 2011 MTV Music Award for Best New Artist. This is definitely an important moment for any artist who is newer to the industry and looking to leave their mark. Obviously this is a good thing for Tyler and his crew (OFWGKTA)., but I feel this win represents a major victory for music of all genres as well.
I do not respect MTV for its direction for the past 20+ years. The ridiculous reality show dominant network has really steered away from its original mission to provide an outlet for music videos and news. It has preyed on the youth by showing mindless programming and shows with almost zero substance. With that being said, it would be ignorant not to recognize the influence MTV has on our popular culture. Which makes it that more surprising that they gave the nod to Tyler The Creator for an award where the other nominees had so much more support from the network as well as other mainstream radio and major label backing. I truly feel this moment represented so much more than one person and one award. This was not only on a national stage but a world stage. And an independent artist just walked out on stage and said..”Fuck the system.” Staying completely within his image and music, Tyler just put his stamp on something that I would consider the music industry going through a phase of equilibrium.
There is a reason why I am writing about him, there is a reason why you are reading this and there is a reason why we are listening to him. He is different, entertaining, crazy, vulnerable, unstable, raw and refreshingly off. Tyler The Creator is doing everything on his terms. He’s producing a lot of his own music, making his own beats, writing his own songs, even making his own videos. There are thousands of people just like him making music all over the country. There are rock bands, mc’s, open mic singers every night “grinding” to perfect their craft in hopes of reaching as many people as they can who just might dig their music. There are musicians recording their own music, self promoting their acts and hoping to make it to a larger level. This award for Tyler goes out to all of you who are in your house studios and your garage making the best music you can. This award just kicked the crap out of major label investments and musicians under mainstream management teams. Tyler isn’t a part of Roc-A-Fella Records, he isn’t managed by Chris Lighty and isn’t on Tour sponsored by Coca-Cola. Tyler is represented by Tyler. Period.
I feel that in all aspects of life that no matter what is going on, everything returns to a certain level of simplicity. I feel like we have reached one of those moments. It’s about the music. In an industry that is just that, music, often times it’s everything but the music that is being made. It’s a new time we are reaching and I feel it’s an exciting one. Music software needed to record and produce music is cheaper than ever and much more accessible. People are taking responsibility to have control over their music by making it themselves and artists are teaming up to do features on each other’s albums. It’s becoming more about the music and less about the name that’s on the music cover. I feel this is an exciting time for music and I really feel MTV wasn’t just recognizing Tyler The Creator, they were recognizing everyone who is out there doing it on their own. They just showed people that you don’t have to have a large advance from Warner Bros. and regular radio play to be relevant in the music scene. People are casting their votes by downloading albums that are available by the artist for free, and purchasing songs they want to listen to, not what radio stations or tv is feeding them. People are stepping up and saying we like what we like. It’s refreshing.
This goes out to all the musicians working hard and playing live shows, making their own music and giving it everything they have. It is worth it, people are listening and more importantly if you are proud of your work then that is all that truly counts at the end of the day. I will end this piece with a quote from J Sands, “The best advice I ever got in life is don’t stop.”