Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Inspiring Beats

I was on youtube a couple of weeks ago...and I find this cat in Denver, Co named Boon Doc.
It was sooooooooo refreshing...because 7 years ago before I started drawing again...I was him. A long haired, bedroom alchemist making beats out of gold.

I don't even know this cat...but, I love him. I love him because he's pure. He hasn't been corrupted by money, the industry, mainstream styles, none of that...he's pure. and, now, becuz of the internet...he's exposed and can show you...not just his friends...but, outreach to potentially millions and be heard just like anyone else...SOOOOO INSPIRING.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a HIP HOP head. And if you REALLY know me you know that I used to make beats...back when I wasn't really feelin' art. I started on an ASR-10 and touched every hot beat machine and keyboard there was for a few years until I got hit by the art bug again.
Sadly, I stopped making beats when $$$ came into the equation...I didn't like it anymore. I would be in meetings where they'd be asking me to change things to make it more commercial so we could sell more records. Some of you are saying, "well, isn't that what you're supposed to do?" Well...yes...but, my question back to those asking that question is, "If I change my beats to sell more records, how much is that going to cost me?"

In my mind, if I changed the way I wanted to express myself creatively just to sell more records then, I actually would have short changed myself.
And, that was the day I stopped making beats.

Fast forward 7 years and here I am drawing for money. Now, people might think..."well, isn't drawing for money the same thing...don't you have to make the drawings appealing for the masses...don't you have to make clients happy?"

The answer is yes...but, with art, my FIRST love, from the very beginning of my career, people wanted me to do things for them THE WAY I DO IT. They didn't ask me to change me. And, that's the difference.

Now, in animation of course, when you come onto set productions, they are styles to conform to etc...but, if you notice, all these productions hire people that have the same sensibilities already. It's not to say that X artist can't draw Superheroes nor is it to say that Y artists can't draw Cartoony Characters...but, it's about whether or not that artist is willing to show you he/she genuinely WANTS to and is interested in embracing another way of thinking.

Since I've matured a bit, I kind of think that I was immature in not wanting to bend AT ALL with music. Just like animation, I could have still kept what I loved at heart, but, been a little more willing to dance with the devil to provide avenues for what I really loved. Nobody's saying to sell your soul, but, I'm not telling anyone to starve it either.

I think I'm gonna start making beats again. :)


Blogger Stuart Livingston said...

That sense of individuality, changing for what you feel is right and not being afraid to make such a big decision like the one you made is something greatly lacking in our society. I agree in the importance of taking that kind of leadership for yourself and your career.

I'm also surprised to hear you were an artist of music before the art you do now, however. I'm interested to hear what kind of stuff you did. One of my closest friends, an Art Center student of design, is just getting into his brand new turntable set, so, admiring his work, the art of making beats has become a recent fascination of mine as well.

Hope you're doin well with alllll your stuff, man

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Milt said...

You could tell that dude was flowing with passion. Then at the end of his performance summing it all up with something a lot of us old folks had forgotten, "FUN".

It's time to get down to business and this time I'm bringing the fun with me!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Rob Bodnar said...

REE is back

6:01 PM  
Blogger St John Street said...

DO it ( make those beats )!! That kat is off the hook!!! hope your good

5:10 PM  
Blogger Stephen James. said...

Interesting commentary.

I think many of these points can apply to any form of creative field. Many artistically inclined people find themselves worrying about stradling that line between having broad appeal and selling out.

On one side you have people who, in my opinion, are a bit self-righteous about things. They act as if anyone who "stoops" to making art for money isn't a true artist. As I understand it some Fine Artist look down on illustrators and animation folks for this reason.

Then of course you have people who never question anything, and will undermine their artistic intergrity just to be "in" with people in power. It's a problem in comics I know, where some people feel that it's a lower medium than say TV or movies. That the opportuinity to work in those fields is always a step up.

Anyway, I guess it's the balance that we all try to find.

8:02 PM  
Blogger REE said...

Yeah, I used to make what true skool people call Hip Hop...the pure shit...but, every now and then I'd make that "jiggy-shit." but, I too was on some self-righteous immaturity and was like "naw, I can't come out like this...what would my friends think."
The main thing is that I didn't want to turn it into an "empty" job. Back then, I wasn't in a place where I could seperate the difference between work for work's sake and art for art's sake...if that makes any sense.

My perspective these days is completely open...but, that's in repsect to the visual arts. Sonically, I don't know where I'm at, but, with some new ears and a fresh mind...I'd like to hear what comes out of me...monetary rewards or not.

I'd suggests that if anybody is interested in doing something, what ever it is, make the time and TRY IT. Why live the dream in your head...let it out and see what might surprise yourself. :)

11:33 PM  
Blogger Ryan Kramer said...

good post man...all u gotta do now is create fat animations to go over your own beats..and u'd be living the dream fo real!

7:13 PM  
Blogger Kristian Antonelli said...

Reading this felt like i was reading my own biography..Kindered spirits from across the pond. I got a sp1200 and a ton of records sittin here collecting dust. i need to get back on it too. respect fella

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