By this point, it’s no secret that the music industry is by and large a cesspool run by a small group of people with little to no connection to the actual art they’re commoditizing.
It’s a truth that many artists have realized over time, one that’s led to an exponentially growing number of independent artists to dodge the more shady corners of the business, yet the system is still very much in place and can only be avoided to a certain extent.
It seems that for most artists, the level at which you’re willing to deal with this bastardized system is directly proportional to the amount of success you’re able to achieve, save for the occasional outlier.
One of my favorite current emcees, Nitty Scott, recently took to Twitter to express her frustrations with a heartless, predatory industry, going so far as threatening to end her life to escape a society that made an industry like this not only possible but incredibly successful.
Over the past year, we’ve watched similar frustrations take their toll on the careers and the mental health of others. Artists like SZA, Lupe Fiasco, The Game and Yasiin Bey have all made threats of leaving behind an industry that they feel drain them of their talent and energy and spits them out once all profit has been extracted.
And you know what? They’re right to feel that way.
While I don’t want to even attempt to act like I know what Nitty is going through—especially given the vague nature of her tweets and an implication that she’s under actual physical duress—I have seen the dark side of the music industry firsthand, and I know that generally speaking the more dignity and self-respect you have as an artist, the tougher your skin must be to combat an industry that tries desperately to strip you of those qualities.
The entertainment industry IS predatory, and it DOES do everything in its power to extract all value from an artist before tossing them aside for the next newest, shiniest prospect. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We're currently awaiting a response from Nitty, but regarding the details of her tweets, my thoughts are with her during this clearly tough time, and I hope she can find the strength to continue to fight the good fight, although I wouldn’t judge or blame her one bit for wanting to opt out of a system that’s putting up one hell of a battle.