At 2am yesterday morning I recorded my verse to complete a song with a popular artist in the city who has a hit song that is doing great on radio and in local clubs. After sleeping for a few hours I woke up to a UPS truck backing into my driveway with the second shipment of my 5th solo album from Discmakers. After giving the album a celebratory run through, I mixed down an entire mixtape that my dj hosted for another local artist. Throughout the afternoon, I got numerous calls and text messages from artists who wanted to book studio sessions during this week. Later that evening, I packed up my studio equipment and drove across town to a friend's house to record a few songs for him and a friend of his for a mixtape they're working on. While recording and mixing them I finished reading a book that I recently bought on being a self-promoting musician. I ended up heading home around 2am and immediately watched a promotional video for a friend of mine who's album I produced the majority of and recorded, mixed, and mastered in its entirety.
I say all this to say that most of my waking hours are dedicated to this craft. I invest a great deal of money, time, and energy into music. The monetary gain from it, at the moment, is very minimal in comparison to work that goes into it. I'm so focused right now in everything I do in music but the fear is still looming that I may never become financially successful enough from it to make it my livelihood. When I think about my name...5th Child...and how much work I've put into developing a reputation to coincide with that name... all the sacrifices I've made and all the relationships that were strained or broken to preserve that name... honestly, I worry all the time that that name will eventually become an afterthought. There have been plenty of times when I wanted to let it all go. I just wanted to quit because seriously the chances of being a successful musician when it seems like EVERYBODY has the same dream as I do are slim to none. Not because I don't feel like I'm talented but because I'm not sure how to stand out.
I know for a fact that God has a plan for my life but I'm not always 100% sure that it involves music. As much as I feel it in my spirit, I can't always see it with my eyes. Actually, I often don't see it with my eyes. I believe that I have a lot of developing to do but I also believe that I'm really good at what I do and I have a strong work ethic. Nothing bothers me more that the thought of getting nowhere with my art. What would I do with all the wristbands? The t-shirts? The music websites? Will my catalog just turn into sort of a time capsule for my kids like "Come here y'all. This is from when Daddy used to be a rapper." As much as I don't want that to happen, I understand that it's possible. And as I stare at this box full of shrink-wrapped, barcoded CDs bearing the name "5th Child" with my logo and my face on them, I can't help thinking "What if my best effort isn't enough?" If nothing else, I'll be able to live without the regret of never trying. I'll never have to go on with my life knowing that I quit because of the pressure.
There's no telling how I'll feel about it tomorrow. Something great could happen or tomorrow could come and go just like any other day. But for now, the world's just gotta deal with me...
Song: I Wanna Be
Artist: 5th Child
Album: 5th Child (2011)