For some artists, fame is a necessary evil; for others, the fame itself is the devil. And in the modern music industry, young artists can achieve rapid fame overnight. There’s clearly a danger in getting too much too soon and history has shown that some careers can be destroyed by it. As part of Complex’s Get Money initiative, the eight-part series Rules to This Sh*t covers the trials and tribulations of embarking on a rap career, with words of wisdom from Common, N.O.R.E., Too Short, the late Nipsey Hussle, and more.
For the fifth episode of Rules to This Sh*t, the focus is all on fame. Many rappers grind hard to get popular, but some are made famous overnight. From taking photos with fans and knowing how to react to the sudden popularity, to not letting all the fame get to their head, it can be easy for artists to be negatively impacted by the new pressure on their shoulders.
“The fame is a drug, the feeling that you get from being popular is addictive,” admitted Too Short. “Don’t sit in the mirror all day, going, ‘They love me.’ Honestly, they might not love you, they might just love what you do.”
“You as an artist and as a person have to recognize you chose a profession that’s a part of entertainment,” Common shared. “My approach is, communicate with people… Sometimes people can forget to give you respect, but at the same time, as a person that is in the public eye, you gotta remember to give respect too.”
Social media has also dramatically changed the world of rap, with many feeling the need to share a constant stream of updates or new videos and songs to keep fans invested. “It’s like you have to be an actor and an artist now,” said London Jae. “You gotta sell yourself everyday.”
Watch the full episode of Rules to This Sh*t above.