Saturday, August 18, 2007

Financial Art

This week, we asked Ardamus to submit to our blog. His expertise is hip hop and this is what was on his mind:

Financial Art
It was kind of hard for a minute to decide what to write about this past week. I almost wrote of those blogs about people saying hip hop is dead but that’s so trendy now that I might as well wear a hoodie in the summer and skateboard. Or I could’ve wrote about how broke I am and all this bullshit about the economy and etc. But then I thought about it: two things in my life that are screwing me right now and give the most stress happen to be my money and my art. My money in terms of realizing that I may need to just get a second job to even put groceries in my house while my main job only can cover my mortgage, my debts that I owe, and other things in between. My art in terms of the fact that I’ve worked hard on it but yet to have that success like others I know.

It puzzled me a minute on how to do a balance of the two. The thing is I kept repeating to myself those two words: finances and art in my head. Then I was like financial art. That’s it? What is it? The art of managing your finances? Or the management of the finances for the artist? Not sure. The more I hear about the music business declining in sales with physical CDs with the increase of downloading and live show attendance (depending on the genre), the more I wonder if artists are thinking like a very successful businessmen with their money. You always hear the stories about the really rich and famous who once dominated with their money…..just letting it flow too loosely. Then all of a sudden, they’re homeless trying to chew on half-eaten garbage they found in the trash. But then, you hear about those who venture in other businesses to stay afloat; knowing that they need to diversify their funds in other areas. So, for the artists out there, do you ever stop and turn of the music and pick up a book that relates to how to handle your money right?

I’ve already so, I’ll make this short and end this. I remember a while ago watching on MTV how much A Tribe Called Quest made off of their classic hip hop “The Low End Theory”. From what I can recall (and correct if I’m wrong) they sold platinum status. By the time it was said and done with expenses subtracted from various places, they each only made somewhere around $30,000 a piece compared to the millions generated. Good thing they ventured into other things (example: Phife from what I heard deals with sports) and performed tremendously at various shows. And this isn’t just for someone on a major label (they were signed to Jive from what I remember). This is for those who do the independent hustle as well to think about it; and it doesn’t have to stop with music either….ALL ARTISTS CAN RELATE TO THIS. Its not to say do it for the money. You should always do what you like; just make sure you like the way you’re doing it and it supports you if you’re in a good position to do it. The art is good but knowing how your money flows is very important as well if you’re not careful.


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