There I was at Pitchfork Festival,
rocking my Don't Make Beats t-shirt. A cat stopped me with mad enthusiasm and asked if he could snap a picture of my shirt.
Before I got a chance to explain what the shirt was all about, the young homie, with much excitement, began to tell me about his movement and mission to bring back "real" hip hop. I nodded in approval of his worthy aspiration.
But it was the way he said it that struck me. "We're bringin' back the real hip hop, I don't even care if the people ain't feelin' it."
As we dapped and said goodbyes and he disappeared into the sea of hipsters at the festival, I thought about what he said. It was something I've heard before, something I discuss in my book.
Who are you really producing for?
The notion of being a producer requires that you do care if the people are feeling what you are doing. Regardless of how "real" your hip hop, or EDM, or trap, or pop music is, if the people aren't feeling if, how real can it be?
One who aspires to be a producer must be heard. And one who is heard must move the people. If the people aren't moved to an emotion, or inspired by your music, if you reach no one, then it matters not how "real" your music is. It matters not what you're bringing back, or what you're resurrecting. The people must agree with your music and efforts for you to be a success.
The producer is locked into an eternal dance between himself and his audience. You can't dance alone. It takes two to tango. There is nothing without the end receiver of the music. Remember, it's for them that you produce. They must decide if you're bringing back "real" music. They are the judge.
If you keep the people first, you'll be in a better position to succeed.