As contributors to We Out Here Magazine, my squad and I share the common goal of increasing the visibility of Northwest hip-hop and promoting the culture as something we can export. There’s a reason that people come to WOHM on a regular basis; we share what we think is relevant when we think it’s relevant and discuss our thoughts. For whatever reason, people seem to like what we do, so we keep doing it, and it keeps working.
So it kind of annoys me when people who submit music to us forget that we are a small group of people with an array of responsibilities extending far beyond the posting of music and complain that we have not posted their submission. It’s even more annoying when the person complains publicly, as if they were owed an article on OUR blog. Or when the submission they are whining about is not great. But the most annoying thing is when the person complaining that we have not posted their music has NEVER submitted their music. Sometimes, it’s all of the above.
Enter most recent offender and catcher of thine literal wrath, ATO. Despite having NEVER received an email from the young fella, I happened to click on a Twitter link back in December and came across his album, Philosophizin’, which I thought was cool. I also noted that he was in the same circle as Kamara Slim, who’s Done Right EP I’d positively reviewed in November, so I decided to show the crew some love. Apparently I set a bad precedent.
In February we got a mysterious tweet from ATO, which led to another tweet (from his videographer) which mentioned a music video that ATO dropped back in December. I checked it out and it was OK, but felt rather low budget and experimental. Being over a month old already, I figured it was no rush and I’d run the video the next week. Apparently that wasn’t fast enough because 3 days later we got this.
When people mention their music to bloggers on Twitter, do they think that gives us enough information to discuss their music intelligently? Do they not realize that the mention they tagged us in was buried beyond retrieval within mere hours? Do we have a press picture of you? Album art? An explanation behind why you didn’t shoot in HD? Info on the producer? These are real concerns that are not and should not be addressed on Twitter. As I’ve stated so many times in the past, this information should always be sent to blogs via the submission email if you expect any sort of consideration.
Beyond actually submitting the music, it should be understood that as a blog, we choose what we post based on what we like and/or feel is relevant at the time. That means, however hot you and your little friends think you are has absolutely no bearing on whether or not we post your music. Explaining that we post music by artists that you can “kill off lyrically” provides us no preference for your music either as we don’t typically turn on music in search of verbal homicide.
I took some heat the other day for talking about the “Participation Trophy” generation but it really applies to rappers sometimes. Just because it’s the best video you’ve ever made doesn’t mean that I have to care, Mr. Stotle. When you demand that I explain why I haven’t posted a video that you put out a month ago yet only has 234 views and has not been reported on by any decent blogs, it offends me. You shot a video for a song with 428 plays on Soundcloud in which it sounds like you come out the gate repping Vancouver, and then proceed to rap like a member of Onyx. What did you think was going to happen? Your first hypothesis should not be that you’re being slept on. The obvious answer is that you are failing to promote yourself in any useful way and that you need to go back to the drawing board because the mere possession of potential does not equate to anyone owing you their attention. I understand that you need press to get press, but WOHM is not a free pass. By no means are we out here scraping the barrel for music to post.
All in all, Hip Art is a chill song with an odd video which features a few interesting concepts that are not very well executed, and it’s part of a cool project worth checking out. I wish ATO and his merry crew of Twitter buddies the best of luck and I hope this critique propels him to produce something great instead of filling the timelines of bloggers with braggadocious complaints.
Till next time. #OutHere #SayNoToYesMen