“No One Supports Each Other” and Other Myths of the Independent Artist Community
I suspect this dynamic isn’t unique to the Inland Empire of Southern California which is where I dwell but I hear it here a lot: “there’s a lot of talent here but no one supports each other.” Frankly, I just don’t fully get what that means so let’s talk about why I think that statement is wrong and then we’ll get into what I think they really mean when they are saying that.
If people came together to make a record or even a show that’s people supporting eachother. That there are people writing about the community is people supporting eachother. People throw contests for other people to judge, compete and win in- that’s supporting each other.
I think people saying that may just mean people aren’t supporting them, the city’s institutions aren’t supporting artists or that people they like don’t have the level of support they think they should have. These are all understandable and relatable sentiments but I say plug in before you complain; there’s lots to do to act on your support if that’s actually your concern.
What if paranoid negativity like this isn't necessarily the best hip-hop default wisdom? Is everyone's life really 'Goodfellas'?
I’m reminded of how a lot of people talk about boom-bap and say “oh no one makes great boom-bap anymore…” and shit on new rap styles but when you ask them if they bumped the new PRhyme or Aceyalone record they’re blank. People would rather decry the dominant paradigm than work to subvert it by supporting what they think deserve to be highlighted.
People want to say cynical things for whatever reason but I think they’d do better to just talk about the dope shit they do think is worth looking at- just show us! I’ll be tackling more “indie rap myths” as I come across them, this was therapeutic.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers.