“If we create a group of strong individuals who’ll support each other, then we’ll create a power house of people that will exceed all expectations. We’ll change this city for the better,” says every person who forms a group full of talented people, expecting it’ll change the turn out of their shows. Womp Womp!
Too many people have this philosophy but in Baltimore it does not work. Content is key. Content is what brings people to an artist’s show! When was the last time you’ve decided to go to Kanye show because he had a power group with him there? The Jay-Z and Kanye power house was damn near three years ago. He’s currently standing alone. People go because of the content of his show.
I recently read an article from Baltimore Blogger Malika Muhummad titled “Why Baltimore Artist Can’t Make A Deal.” Malika talks of how many Baltimore artist lack originality. Why strive to be the next Lil Wayne when artists should be working to make a name for themselves? They should be striving to be unique. She also talks of how people should seek opportunities in the city that allows them to give support. There are multiple open mic events that happen throughout the city all days of the week. There are very few supporters of these events. She goes on to name a few examples. I’ve actually been to a number of 5 Seasons open mic nights, which is one of the example that she gives, and the crowd was dry each time I went, meaning there could have been more people there but it wasn’t. Majority of the crowd were artists waiting for their opportunity to have their shine on the stage.
What I see in Baltimore is a sign of doubt from the people artists hope would support them. Listeners in Baltimore doubt if an artist will bring what they enjoy so they stick to what they know. What they know is what they hear everyday, 24/7, on mainstream media. If a person was to listen to 92Q for the entire day, they’d hear the same 10-15 songs, minus the 12 O’Clock Rewind and the occasional rap songs they play on Rap Attack. Do people ever get tired of that?
When it comes to the individuals who claim they don’t listen to the radio or mainstream music, they continue to support people who have a larger followership than the artists from their hometown. Those artists are clearly closer to mainstream radio than ever. Take the Weeknd, four years ago we would have never heard him being played on the radio. Since Drake featured him on “The Crew,” the Weeknd’s spotlight has been heightened. We hear of him more because of the major support people had for him after that song, seeking his music wherever they could find it and going to his shows. Baltimore artists could have the same happen for them if their supporters became educated listeners. If they’d realized how supporting good content produced here can make talented people from Baltimore be heard on the radio, it’d be a greater selection of music to listen to.