Overcoming Jealously As An Artist

As artists we are very confident in our abilities to craft grooves that the world would/should fall in love with. We spend time writing songs, rehearsing for shows, perfecting flows/styles, creating plans to achieve our goals and aiming high. We work to be the best and sometimes feel we are, if only more people could hear us. Here you are; working your ass off to materialize your music career then you hear your friends talking about some other artists. Someone that's amassing a bunch of buzz with their mediocre (or even dope) song. This could be an emerging Kendrick Lamar or Trinidad James. The artists may not make a difference to you. You think to yourself "I'm better, if not just as good, as this person! Why are they on and I'm not? They don't deserve that spot! I do!" You find yourself spending more time being angry and trashing other artists than you do working on your career. You've now stepped into the territory of jealously and envy. You aren't angry at them, you're angry with yourself. You're angry you aren't getting the attention, critical acclaim, mainstream radio interviews, XXL cover, BET cypher, tour dates with packed venues and so on. You want to BE them!

Here's a quick guideline to moving pass these emotions and making them productive.

1. Acknowledge that these feelings exist. It may seem like an obvious step but without doing so you won't be able to move forward and be productive with your craft.

2. Stop comparing your journey to someone else's. That's the quickest way to distract yourself and kill your passion. Some people don't pop until later (Jay-Z at 27) while others get their careers going pretty young (Bow Wow at 13). Your story isn't anyone else's. Embrace that. Move forward. You'll be alright.

3. Turn them into inspirations. Research what these artists did to put themselves in the position they're in. Did they hire PR to help them work a project? Did they make connections with local DJs? Did they perform whenever possible (open mics, pay to perform) or be selective about opportunities that came their way? How did they get to the point where they can sell out a 300 capacity venue? You'd be surprised how much can be learned even from an artist you don't like.

4. Ask yourself if you are doing everything possible to take your career to the next level. Have you researched different marketing plans? Have you sacrificed hanging out with the homies/family/significant other to spend time or save up for your career? Are you applying for day jobs with a higher pay? Are you learning how to navigate and be effective on social media? Did you copyright your artist name? Too often we, specifically lyricist, expect our music to do all the leg work. We forget that this is the MUSIC BUSINESS. Do yourself a favor and brush up on the business side of this industry. You won't regret it.

5. Remember, many of these overnight success' are actually years in the making. Some folk claim to only be pursuing music for a short time before they fell into success but many more have been working at this for many long, grueling years. From performing in front of 5 people at a nightclub, hearing NO more times than they can count, juggling a day job, sacrificing time with loved ones, making mistakes along the way and so on. These people are just like you! They've struggled just like you. They've seen others succeed and had to wait for their stars to align. You can/will do the same.


To wrap it up, don't compare your journey to anyone else's. Research other artists to see what they've done right. Exhaust all your resources in advancing your career.  Keep in mind these artists are just like you. Work hard on you. Through smart work and dedication this life is very attainable.


P.S. Stop hating.