The do-it-yourself revolution is demoralized, but is it the fault of artists?
Why are 99.99% getting left at the starting gate, despite more access and tools than ever? Here’s a discussion that happened at Digital Music Forum in Los Angeles yesterday between Chuck D and TAG Strategic founder Ted Cohen, on this very topic.
Cohen: Let me ask you a tough one. Do you think artists – outside of their craft – are industrious or lazy?
Chuck D: I think they’re children. And they’re honed to be children. You see ―
Cohen: The toughest education for me is saying to the artist, ‘Here’s all these tools at your fingertips. Use them.’ Then the artist saying, ‘Isn’t there someone else that can do that for me?’
Chuck D: Well let me tell you why this happens. When you go to school in the United States, and you’re part of a high school. If you want to play sports, 99 percent of the time you’ve got a coach who’s telling you,
‘You want to play on this team? Seriously kid, there’s a chance that you won’t be good enough and I’ll cut your ass. Oh, you’re the best player on the team but you broke my rules? Run five laps around that goddam track.’
So by the time you graduate in twelfth grade, after you’ve played ball for this coach since ninth grade, you were coached in what you were doing. Musicians are there in high school getting coached by whom? They play in a band and take music classes, but they don’t really teach artistry in the high schools. And they don’t teach the discipline, they don’t teach the music history. So it’s just basically people going home on their own time playing in a band, it’s all outside during recreational time.