There’s nothing quite like an artist ready and willing to take notes. Hit-maker and apparent critique-giver to the stars, The-Dream, admitted as much during a new interview on Apple Beats 1 radio. While discussing his recently released triple album, Ménage à Trois: Sextape Vol. 1, 2, 3, Dream also noted that critiquing top-tier artists is always more favorable than the rest.
“The easiest place to be is in a room with a Kanye, Rihanna, JAY-Z, Beyoncé and be able to correct or push them to do something greater,” he said. “The worst room to be in is the artists that are right in the middle, who know everything and you can’t tell them nothing and then it reminds you why they’re great and they stay in the middle.”
The-Dream’s experience speaks to a very important virtue the superstars have likely had to learn over their careers: if you do not challenge yourself, you will not grow. Sometimes, you have to hear something you never wanted to hear about your work in order to level up and become an enduring artist.
Kanye West and company did not rise to fame simply by making the same music and stagnating. They pushed themselves, and taking notes is one of the most important ways to grow. Thus, when The-Dream mentions middle-tier artists, what he is speaking to are the creatives who let their ego get in the way of their growth.
While it is important to see yourself as a strong artist and be confident on wax, it is equally important to be able to step back and see the forest for the trees. There’s no other way to truly improve.