So You Want Me To Sell U My Soul…
“I don’t want kids. My songs are my babies”. My disappointed girlfriend and I was having that “break-up talk”. Also money was low, so moving out was tough… Not the easiest, breeziest winter.
I remember it was cold and sunny. I was parallel parking. Yesterday’s “break-up” talk was on repeat in my head-
And you know that deep breath in the car? Before a meeting that might change your whole life? Lungs full, exhale~ I was getting coffee with a music industry boss who could change my entire life…
He was already there waiting. We shook hands and he said, “Go ahead and get a coffee. Then we’ll talk”.
A single shot of espresso sounded good because only boujee, successful brothas sip on those, right? People pay attention to your drink, right?
“How you doin’?” I took a sip of my uppity drink and then answered him straight: “My girlfriend wants a baby. I don’t.” He leaned forward…
“She’s right. You’ll like being a Dad, you’re the perfect age for it. What I’m about to offer will help you pay for that baby.”
The nerve of this dude… but then he told me who he worked for. I can’t directly say who it is, but it’s arguably the largest social media platform in the world – Basically if you’re reading this, you have an account with them.
“We need content. We’re making a music library. The music can’t be cheesy. We need REAL music..
I called you because I saw a video of you rapping, singing, slappin’ the bass- you put it all together with a loop pedal and live drums. Kinda slam, kinda spoken word, kinda rap, jazz and funk. That’s what we want.”
I took a sip from my tiny espresso cup.
“We need you to turn in one song per week. For each song you’ll make ______.” I shouldn’t say how much $, but it was BAL-LER.
The coffee, plus his offer, had me lit. But then he told me if I signed, they’d own my songs. Can you imagine not owning your own art? So you want me to sell u my soul?
He reminded me of the money and said, “It’s worth a shot. Just record 3 sample tracks for me. Like a tryout. And if it doesn’t work out, at least you got some new material for your next record.”
3 long months later, his email came in…
“Brian, great job! You have definitely found your groove here. So with these 3 (new tracks) I feel like you have the material to proceed.”
I put down my phone. I looked at the sky. I put my hands together and said, “thank you” out loud.
BUT, a week later he appeared at one of my shows. He came backstage and didn’t say much. He just put out his hand to shake~
And honestly, it felt like making a deal with the devil.
A protective force-field of doubt came down my arm and went into our handshake. We both felt it. He took his hand away. I said “later”, and he just walked off.
*He didn’t contact me again. I was deflated.
But deep down it felt like something was shielding me from him… Destiny was like, guiding me down the right path: Which was away from this dude who wanted to buy my soul.
Still I felt knocked down.. and then I got kicked when my old 2002, oxidized Hyundai Santa Fe suddenly died. Gigs started slowing down, and I even had to move in with Mama.
I was grateful to Mom, but this was embarrassing. This was a low point. My diet was now Popeye’s chicken and self-pity..
“THAT”S ENOUGH!” Something snapped:
I started eating healthier. I quit caffeine and alcohol for a while, and began daily meditation. This resulted in a 35-pound weight loss.
People started asking me what I was doing. So I shared my story at meetings. And in truth, forgetting about the music biz for a sec. to help others, felt great.
And Guess what, that good karma started coming back…
My phone started blowing up— Offers poured in to make music for TV and movies. High-end events. Weddings and winery gigs. Studio work came my way…
I bought a new ride and moved outta Mama’s into my own crib.
Being dropped from that social media music job hurt my ego, but it helped me get real clear on what I wanted:
- Own my own masters and publishing.
- Be independent.
- Run my biz right.
- Be a Black business owner as an example to others.
And basically slang my own album outta the trunk– but it’s the internet now, not the trunk.. So there’s no limit.
And that means YOU, yes you are my label. You’re the boss. You decide if my tracks are hot. Not Big Brother.
That big company ghosted me, but they set me free~ It’s like I’m single now lol
So just an FYI I took most of my music off Apple Music, Spotify and everywhere else that pays $0.001 per stream. I wanna honor Nipsey, Sam Cooke, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Master P and James Brown, and set my own standards.
It’s the new music biz – based on direct communication between artist and listener: And speaking of…
- TO THE PARENTS: If I go through with having this baby, any advice? It’d be dope if you could drop a quick comment below and lemme know what parenthood is like for you!?
- AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS: Is that by choice? Or do you feel like something’s missing?
Thank you! (I actually am trying to learn!)
I Appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, and from the ground up
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