I have to admit that I've chronically underestimated Fetty Wap.
When "Trap Queen" first started buzzing I assumed it'd be the next "Racks," a rap hit that soon went away along with its creator. And even when "Trap Queen" exploded into the stratosphere and Fetty started racking up a long list of other hits, I thought he'd eventually end up as another hip-hop cautionary tale. Nearly every artist who blows up that big, that fast, so early in their career, mismanages their money, becomes trapped by early bad deals they signed, always trying but never quite able to match their initial heights again.
But Fetty's new profile in Interview Magazine is changing my mind about that too. Fetty appears to be thoroughly unattached to fame and completely willing to walk away at any time. Throughout the interview he insists that he would be perfectly happy playing the background support role for his friends, like Monty, and that he's not going to let the music industry machine grind him to a pulp like so many before him:
I don't care about being Fetty Wap. Like, this doesn't mean anything to me. My plan was to make sure that my son would be good, and I have a daughter now, so now she's included into the equation... I'm also not stupid. I'm not going to overwork myself. If I have to chase the money, then I can't do this no more. That's not what I signed up for. I didn't sign up to tire myself out. I signed up to get enough money where we could be all right for a little while, and then we could just start to find little businesses or enterprises.
Those are impressively wise words from such a young artist. I've always thought of the music industry like gambling at a casino. You might be able to play a lucky hand and hit a big payday, but the longer you play the more likely you are to eventually go bust. No, the truly smart thing to do is hit that big payday, walk away from the table and cash in your chips before the house can grab those winnings back. Make no mistake, eventually the house always wins. Always. They own the system that you're just playing.
Of course, walking away from music is a lot easier said than done. Throughout the interview Fetty also stresses how many people he's taking care of, how many cars and houses he's bought for others, and while he might one day be willing to walk away once it looks like his days are numbered, it won't be so easy to walk away from his growing responsibilities to his family and friends.
So here's to the young man getting some of those businesses and enterprises up and running. There's nothing I'd like to see more than a rapper work the system and win for once.