Being an Australian rapper has shaped who I am. I’ve been performing in the Sydney underground for a few years now and have met some incredible people along the way. I’ve also met a lot of people who I need to keep my distance from.
One of my greatest fears is becoming bitter.. in life and music.
I knew when I was going to pursue my rapping seriously that I had to give it 100%. I knew I could never forgive myself if I didn’t give everything.
Today I want to share about being my biggest critic, writers block and some of the more darker things that I don’t often share about in music.
Welcome to the grind of a Madman.
support your scene
Plenty of people don’t understand the concept of being an Australian rapper and not making money for the time you put into the craft. I try to explain it’s not about the money – evidently – but I’m met with blank, uncomprehending stares.
I work with this one guy in particular who has no idea. He watched my new music video Guilt and Shame recently and he goes:
“Yeah that’s really good Pete, I really like it. Did you make any money from it?”
“No,” I replied. “I need something like a corporate sponsor to run ads before people watch the video to make money from it.”
(The irony here is that I work for a corporation)
“You need to make money from it..blah blah blah.”
This is not the first time we’ve had this conversation..
“It’s not about the money. I get my reward here.” I say tapping my heart. “Speaking of money, when are you gonna buy a shirt to support me bro?”
Silence from the other side of the desk. Some people..
the grind is real
A lot of Australian underground rappers have just given up. This is another massive fear for me. Losing hope. And ultimately becoming bitter.
I can easily go down a rabbit hole when I see music videos on YouTube that have millions of hits that are absolute rubbish. It’s the most natural thing in the world for me to compare myself to this and think:
What the fuck am I doing wrong?
Or probably even more:
My music is better, why aren’t I getting those numbers?
This way of thinking is dangerous for me. I really can’t afford it. To think about it: I am envious of this position of perceived success.. I don’t think it’s limited to music, as this sort of thinking creeps into many areas of my life.
I just know that when I am focusing on myself and my journey only – I feel a lot more positive as an Australian rapper.
It’s only human to check out the competition though.
Recently I featured GhostAttack on the blog – the mastermind behind the community powerhouse label Rah!Records – and he shared a mind-blowing fact :
He has never experienced writers block.
Big ups Ghost you legend. Certainly not my experience as an Australian rapper.
It comes in waves for me. Sometimes I am in the creative wave and everything is lining up perfectly and it comes easily. Other times I try so hard and my bars are absolute trash. I know when I am trying too hard I have to start on something else, change direction, or leave it alone for a while and keep my ear to the ground for inspiration.
I am currently in a phase of searching for inspiration.
my inner critic is addicted to pain
Another fear I have as an Australian rapper is writing the same music as I have before. Using the same rhyme schemes, the same bars. Becoming stagnant.
Sometimes when I’m writing bars, if they sound the slightest bit similar to other stuff I’ve written previously, I have to can it.
There’s a voice that’s like:
“When people hear this, they’ll say it sounds like that one verse you did that time.. and that you have forced yourself in a corner and have only one style..”
Like there’s some all-seeing hip hop critic that is constantly focusing on my writing style..
It’s real shit. I spose I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my music. By the time I have made it passed my own standard, the bars are usually ready.
Thinking about it now, it’s probably the same reason I feel so devastated when I perform a gig and I feel it doesn’t go so well. My inner critic is like :
“Everyone noticed that one bit where you breathed wrong.”
And no matter how many people tell me it was dope, I can’t shake it.
I’m an Australian rapper obsessed with hip hop.
Writing this blog I’m actually feeling some peace. I think it has reminded me of why I do what I do and why I love it.
Nothing beats the rush of being on-stage and having the crowd vibe with me and yell my lyrics back at me. All that hard work, passion, obsession, consistency, sacrifice – it’s all worth it.
Same as when I release a dope track or music video. It’s the fruits of my labour.
One thing I know for sure: I can’t stop.
I’m grateful to be on the journey and as always thanks for rocking with ya boi Prim!