When you’re coming into the money, you’re liable to feel invincible. The thing about money, though, is it is more fleeting than anyone would like to admit. Not to mention, a big check has the potential to breed complacency, which is the kiss of death of any artist. That’s why Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith gave Jay Rock the best creative and business advice imaginable.
“Hustle like you’re broke, baby,” Jay Rock told Okayplayer of Top’s word of caution. “Hustle like you motherfuckin’ broke, no question about that.”
We hear plenty of stories of artists blowing their advances, and conversely seeing their first check and holding on to each penny for dear life. Neither mentality is 100 percent ideal, but Top’s advice to Jay Rock is the perfect middle ground. Certainly, if you’ve earned your money, you should enjoy it. But do not let the bag cloud your creative vision. Fans are fickle and the industry can—read: will—turn on an artist at any second.
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Moving and working with the same hunger of a struggling artist on the rise will ensure the business never pulls one over on you, and it will likely produce more honest and resonant music. In the case of Jay Rock, too, he’s open to more critiques. Don’t be afraid to tell him his shit is wack, but also remember that Redemption was a strong entrance into the 2018 hip-hop landscape.
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