A rule for creatives looking to be fulfilled: put the art over the bottom line.
6ix, Logic’s trusted in-house producer, adopted this approach when crafting the beats for the Def Jam emcee's latest album, YSIV. Going back to boom bap, sampling was a must, and as 6ix revealed to Nick Huff of Hard Knock TV, taking a pay cut never stops him from achieving the right feel to his music.
“That was definitely a decision I made on purpose,” 6ix said of his sample use. “In order to get that feeling—I feel like the feeling is most important. When you start doing stuff based on splits and percentages, that’s when the art gets messed up, you know what I mean. So I was like, ‘I know I’m gonna take some Ls on some samples here and there, but at the end of the day, the feeling and emotion of the record is most important.’ That’s what I care about, honestly. Getting the music out there no matter what it takes, even if it’s me sacrificing some of splits or whatever… I don’t really care about that, honestly. The feeling of a good song coming out is better than anything.”
Where it feels like more and more major releases are cash grabs—see: bloated albums meant to game streaming services—hearing 6ix discuss losing money is refreshing. As Logic cemented a portion of his legacy with YSIV, 6ix’s dedication to craft over currency absolutely played a major role in the rapper’s success.
Last year, we spoke with sample-based producer Blockhead about sample clearances impacting his creative process. His take was right in line with 6ix’s: “It’s something I’ve worried about for years and years, but you learn to work around it. I never want to compromise my music for reasons that have to do with money.”
There you have it: art first, and the rest will follow.
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