As opposed to top-down.
This is what traditional media does not understand, it believes it makes kings and queens and anybody it does not report on doesn’t count.
But that’s fallacious.
You can’t be in it for the short haul anymore, the game is too tough, the lane is too cluttered, if you want to succeed and sustain, you’ve got to start small and grow. You’ve got to infect people who spread the word about you. People don’t want billionaires to tell them what to think and they don’t want traditional media to either, they want to hear it from their peers.
Now ever since the Iraq war, we’ve been expecting a protest song, a hit. But none has come. Many have been written, but none have had traction, because you just can’t reach everybody anymore, and in an era where tracks can take over a year to break through, something of the moment, something timely, does not apply.
This is one of the reasons SNL is challenged, Lorne Michaels has even admitted it…what do we all know, what can we do jokes about that everybody will get?
Concomitantly there are all these stories about starting small and staying small. Sure, you can make money that way, but the power of a musician is their influence. Reach enough people and you affect them. And artists always want a larger audience. And their only hope for success today is their fans, hoping they’ll do the work the media machine used to.
Ever heard of Killer Mike?
If you’re not a rap fan, probably not. Unless you’ve seen him on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” or are aware he’s a supporter of Bernie Sanders.
Killer Mike is no Johnny-come-lately. He was for Sanders back in 2016, he has not wavered, and this will continue to pay dividends for the man and his duo Run The Jewels.
Rappers have proven this, this is what features have wrought, trying to leverage someone else’s fan base to burnish your own.
Then again, people have become wary. But it still works. But despite the dominance of hip-hop, its lessons are ignored by traditional media, even though it absolutely dominates streaming services, never mind the hearts and minds of listeners.
Hip-hop did this by embracing the new. By giving it away for free, mixtapes, Soundcloud. By jumping on Spotify when all the oldsters said it was the devil, they still think it’s the devil! But ask Lil Nas X, anybody with a billion streams how much they’re making. A lot! But you cling to your album and sales as your continue to marginalize yourself.
You’ve got to get in the game.
Everybody wants a button to push, wants to count on someone else to do the job. They believe it’s the last century where the label could blow you up from nothing. But today the label looks at your streams and socials before they even sign you, you do the heavy lifting, not them, they’re just the cherry on top.
As for Billie Eilish…
She was a five year overnight success. Built on Soundcloud, leveraging her acolytes. She just didn’t drop an album and go to the top of the chart, the buzz was already there, she just capitalized on it.
The buzz is with Bernie Sanders.
But ancient ones believe they can control buzz. That they can manipulate buzz. That they are in control.
It’s no different from labels invading TikTok. They think it’s forever, like Guitar Hero. But the thing about the populace is once it smells manipulation, it’s done, and it’s got no bedrock investment in fads.
100 gecs broke doing Minecraft festivals. You probably don’t play the game and have no idea what I’m talking about. Proving, once again, you’re better off sitting on your phone/computer than going to lunch if you want to know what’s going on. Oldsters lament the smartphone, say it’s killing society. Youngsters rely on it, it’s their means of connection, they know more people than ever, and they leverage this connection.
So if you want to have influence, you’d better get on the Sanders bandwagon now.
Not only is Bernie leading in fundraising, but celebrity endorsement. Scroll down to the bottom of this page, Bernie’s musician endorsements:
You see Bernie Sanders is bigger than any musical act. Bigger than Drake, bigger than Jay Z, bigger than anybody who broke this century.
It’s not a reflection on the music, but reality. The only people with total mindshare are politicians, and the occasional billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and possibly Elon Musk. As for Michael Bloomberg, even though he dominates Wall Street the average American is clueless as to his identity. He’s making inroads via television advertising, but it’s hard to change hearts and minds, it’s a process.
Everything’s a process these days. In a world where oldsters say youngsters have short attention spans. Nothing could be further from the truth! Youngsters just don’t want to waste time, they’re always saying “next” until they find what they want, and when they do, they’ll spend hours consuming it, days, they want to drill down deep. Oldsters believe it’s about grazing, youngsters have given up knowing everything, they just want to know some things incredibly well.
Never has a number one record meant less. Never have stars had less reach. There are too many choices.
Yes, labels only focus on a few, to their ultimate detriment. It’s about servicing the populace at large, or sacrificing share to newbies. Add up all the marginal and you end up with the maximum.
And once the spotlight is upon you you must project credibility. In a dishonest world, this is what people become bonded to. They want you to be true to yourself, your ideas, your mission, irrelevant of whether it’s popular. And in a world where nerds have power, why should anybody kowtow to the cool who believe they control the marketplace. Remember when the guys in leather jackets and skinny jeans decried your musical taste, when they thought they controlled what was worth listening to?
Well today, we often find we’re watching different TV shows, never mind listening to different music. Being cool is rarely a factor, and it’s certainly not controlled by critics, but the masses online.
The masses determine what is a hit, certainly in visual media, they just check Rotten Tomatoes and that’s it. A low rating will be the death of you. But it’s even worse, your reputation lives online forever, so if you blow it a couple of times in a row by selling out, not trying your hardest, playing to a theoretical marketplace as opposed to the real one, you’re toast.
So if you get behind Bernie Sanders, you get instant attention. Your credibility soars amongst a huge group of people, primarily the young. It’s like being a featured rapper! And, when you go on stage, doing rallies and fundraisers, the spotlight is upon you, you’re out of your traditional world, people are exposed to you, they become aware of you, which is the highest hurdle in today’s world, if you deliver you’ll crawl further up the food chain.
Maybe Sanders won’t make it. Timing is everything. Maybe the transition to online marketing controlled by the hoi polloi is not complete.
But it’ll be here soon.
And there’s no way to measure it, no way to penetrate it, until there’s a vote. And that’s when people are surprised, the traditional media foremost, who couldn’t see Trump coming.
Every action has a reaction.
Trump was built by television.
Bernie Sanders was built by the internet.
If you’re watching Fox or MSNBC to take the country’s temperature the laugh is on you. Those are just glorified talk shows, they do no reporting. The information is online, it’s spread online, you receive it online.
And right now an army of youngsters has gotten the Bernie memo. Which is why his numbers keep going up and up.
It’s crunch time.
Which side are you on?