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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Bittersweet ILL

So yesterday my song was up first on K-100 radio's ILLorKILL segment, in which they play artist's music from various areas (pretty much the first verse, the hook, and maybe some of the second verse). People ranging from member of Facebook and Instagram live along with listeners who call into the show will either give a track an ILL, which leads to getting rotation on the station, or a KILL, which is the equivalent to getting discarded.



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I was nervous, but excited for the opportunity; I never took the steps before to get some kind of radio traction or cross-promotion, so this was a first for me in many aspects. I literally submitted the song Pittsburgh, PA to every internet radio station in PA, and a number of them out of state (I spoke on this I believe awhile ago...you know...building a contact list?). K-100 is located in Atlanta, pretty much a hub for music. I had every reason to be nervous; I was up first, literally, in a 2 hour show.

So they play it and I'm kinda in awe that I'm hearing myself on a higher platform. It was crazy frfr. A couple seconds into the second verse, the radio promo goes off and the song fades out to the potential vote. It didn't seem so positive at first because of all people, the host himself felt unsure of it as a track.

Now I'm not gonna act like this is the greatest song on planet Earth, but off the rip the odds are against me here, hahah. Got a couple of people who KILLED it on Instagram live, and the notion that I was getting from one person was that I "needed to step my bars up". I got maybe 3 kills on Instagram live? Roughly around that amount. My feelings on that were/are as displayed:



But then, out of left field, some odd shit started happening; the host started to notion to the fact that I was getting likes, and started calling them out. I got ILLED by a couple Instagram people, but mostly Facebook Live users (thank ya'll, sincerely, if you ever see this random ass shit. I appreciate it). I guess what cemented it was a call or two that came in, and they gave me the ILL vote. I was taken back because it looked grim as fuck at first, no lie, but then came through amazing. This is where the conflicted feelings start to come in.

You see, after getting it, the host of the show himself still felt conflicted; he wasn't so sure of how suited for radio it was? I don't even remember the reason, but I guess what the additional salt on the situation was when two people compared me to Kendrick Lamar:


Now, if there was anyone that I should be compared to and feel honored by it, it would be this nigga, because he's a beast at what he does. Not a one chink in his lyricism...but it don't feel right right now. And it doesn't feel right because I literally dusted off my skill set after years of not even bothering to try to improve and wrote the song I submitted to the radio. There isn't enough footwork, effort, or even self confidence on my part to feel proud enough to be compared to him right now. As a listener, I hear a dope MC, but as an artist, I see this right now:



Like, you can't even see the top of that shit from where this picture is taken. That is about as close to the feeling that I got when those comparisons were made. Not only did I feel this way, but the host did too. When asked to explain, the Facebook live user said it was the vibe I gave off, not necessarily the lyrics...which, in turn (and ironically enough, in fitting fashion), made me feel like this:



It fucked me up, because it was, but wasn't a clean decision; the host basically said he was gonna ILL my track, but didn't know how much airplay he would give me...a couple spins here and there, and supposed the track had to grow on him or something of that sort. That shit felt like what I assume getting a participation reward feels like; empty as fuck. Throughout the night, many a person would get the KILL vote, and for various reasons, such as mixing, song structure, poor features, and overall lackluster aspects. It was a slaughterhouse...a sonic bloodbath. I think that there was one other person who got an ILL vote last night in fact.

Throughout the night while listening, because I'm not some flake nigga that wants my shit played then goes about my business, I kept having an ill vibe about it. There were artists who would come on, and the host would literally be explaining on their behalf qualities of the song...I guess debating, if you will, with the listeners...but to no avail. At some point, the host killed a track, but submitted it to other DJs for spins because it was a sub-genre! To me it felt like damn, the people voted, but you will always supersede their opinion, so they are ultimately irrelevant, as you are capable of circumventing their decision! Even though I got ILLED, I barely slid by in your eyes, but this guy got KILLED, but is gonna get spins from numerous DJs!!! No lie, this shit had me kinda hot low key; it felt like he was the TRUE victor. SPINS > ACCOLADES.

In my mind, if you can't convince the guy who's gonna spin your song that your worth listening to, then your dead in the water, because even if other people like your shit, how the fuck are they gonna listen to it? DJs and Radio Stations (FM or Internet) are important aspects to music filtration and distribution. They don't need your respect, because they call the shots regardless of your opinion. Ultimately you dance to what the DJ is playing, and if your in your car, the playlist is determined by who runs the radio show. Now I'm sure there are expectations, but this seems like a solid conclusion to me. We all are on proverbial strings and don't even know it.

At the end of the day, all I could do was just suck it up fam. This was a critical lesson for me, because even though my music is acceptable, does it push the bar higher? Not everyone is gonna like my music, and I get that frfr now, but did I do everything I could on my part to ensure the best result? I cannot say wholeheartedly that I did. So it's in bitter resignation that I kill it myself and try harder next time. If I wanna be a recognized artist, I can't be a bitch about shit like this. Some people are just not gonna like me, some niggas is gonna hate me, some is really gonna wish I was dead...because that's how people really are at the end of the day. My capacity to endure is going to be tested pursuing this, so I just gotta roll with it and find a way to make something worthwhile. LESS EMOTION, MORE GRACE AND EFFORT. All in all, there's nothing to argue or debate; accept, and improve. For the last time, here's Pittsburgh, PA:


Studio Thursday. Free Beat Friday, track 2 from my mix-tape, and the Anno-Domini Nation song contest submission all going down on Friday. One day at a time ya'll. I need a fuckin' sensu bean cuz.

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