Producer Psychology 101: Avoiding “Fu@# You Syndrome” & Taking Losses Like A Man! by Jim Bond

cash_birdHi.  My name is Jim.  I used to write for this blog way back in the day.  Since my last post*, I have found a new calling.  I am officially an internet marketing nerd.  My goal is figuring out how to make a modest amount of  money online in a completely passive manner.   I have been focusing ALL of my time toward it the last couple months…

What this nonsense has to do with Being A Better Producer…

I recently took my first big loss in internet marketing (read about it here).  While reflecting on it, it reminded me about the losses I took while trying to break into the music biz, how I reacted to them and how I see others react to their own losses.  So I decided to delve into the psychological aspects of success and failure in the music biz…

“Fu@# You Syndrome”

The first thing I want to address is something that I call “[email protected] You Syndrome” otherwise known as “FYS”.  FYS is the natural reaction most up and coming producers have to rejection.  For some reason, when a producer is rejected they feel as if the rejector is automatically hating on them or is just an industry a$$hole.  Then the producer basically writes them off with a big “FU@# YOU”.    This is a major mistake.

60+ Possible Examples Of FYS…

Since I started placing tracks, there have been at least 60 or so producers who have emailed me about their music.  A lot of these guys also wanted to know if I could forward their tracks to some of my connects.  This is something I have no problem with (When the music is top quality).  Unfortunately, none of those producers sent me anything that in my opinion was forwardable.  In EVERY SINGLE response to these emails, I told them that I wasn’t feeling the tracks enough to forward them.  I also told EVERY SINGLE one of them to keep sending me tracks…  Out of all of those producers, there has been only ONE of them who ever sent me anything again.  I also know for a fact one of them called me a “[email protected] [email protected]” over that response…

Now I know I am not the Lyor Simmons of the rap biz, but if you are emailing me in the first place looking for help, why the hell would you not follow up when I leave the door WIDE OPEN for a follow up?!  In today’s industry, if you even get a response, you should consider it a win.  Most industry people won’t even take the time to say no.  Don’t let a negative response to your music affect how you conduct your future business like that.

Taking Your Losses Like  A Man

Flashback to about 6 years ago @ the 2003 Dynamic Producer Conference.  I had no placements and didn’t really know anyone in the industry.  I was, in my opinion, starting to become a pretty good beat maker.  I was ready to take the conference by storm and get put on!  Needless to say, I was getting shot down during all of the listening sessions & showcases…

At the conference, there was one A&R in particular who I was trying to get to.  For the sake of privacy, we will call him Figgs Borales.  I got a chance to play him some tracks during one of the listening sessions.  He wasn’t feeling the tracks and gave me the infamous “I have heard that sample before” critique, which is the last thing a sample based producer wants to hear.**  So I left the conference defeated.  It was raining like CRAZY that night & I took the long walk back to my train to go home.  I was soaked, upset and emo music was playing in the background while I walked to Grand Central.

Instead of writing Figgs off, I stepped my game up.  I knew where his office at Phady records was and came up with a plan.  I started grinding out more beats.  Even if I only came up with a few tracks, every week I would go up to his office and drop a CD off.  I’d always ask if he was there and since I never had an appointment, he never was.  But I still dropped the CD’s off.  After a steady six week diet of trips down to Phady, I finally broke though.  Just like all the other times, I brought my CD up there and asked if Figgs was in.  This time he was and he took me in for a meeting.   Since then, I developed a good relationship with him and have an open door policy up there.

Summation

How you react to losses WILL effect how successful you are.  Use whatever disappointment or anger you have as motivation to become better and/or try harder.  Also remember that opinions are only opinions.  Berry Gordy didn’t like and didn’t even want to release Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, but Marvin threatened to stop recording if he didn’t put it out.  Now it’s one of the greatest/popular records of all time.    Nobody was giving Kanye any love when he was first trying to become an artist, but he manned up and now he’s one of the biggest artists in the world.  Next time you take a loss, turn it into a win.

Jim

*I wrote this before the New Years post.

** Looking back on it now, he was right and I really didn’t even flip the sample.

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About Jim Bond

Jim Bond is a good dude, veteran Hip Hop producer & has been helping producers out in one way or another for over 10 years. He is also the creative mastermind behind such illustrious sites as Kicksandsnares.com , SaturdayMorningSamples.com & Beabetterproducer.com!

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11 comments

  1. The rejection aspect of music is a tough pill to swallow……its kind of like baseball where if your battin .300 you doing great by most standards.

    and LMAO @ Figgs Borales

  2. “For the sake of privacy, we will call him Figgs Borales”

    Priceless!

    Maybe an ebay diss track would be in order….

  3. lol great post! Couldn’t agree more with this, the resolve to keep on going even when your getting shot down is a key factor in success. Not a musical one I know but Stephen King apparently got rejection letters over and over again for many of his novels before he got his break, then went on to become one the biggest horror writers of all time.

  4. Yeah that dude is fair he will take tracks and hit you back if it’s hot and ask you to make adjustments or send in more.

  5. Man… you really nailed it. I used to be one of those guys back when I was in bands. Once I got into the production side of things it all started to makes sense to me why I wasn’t breaking through, I was taking everything the wrong way.

    Having worked on a bunch of 1 hit wonders and a also a bunch of acts that have had sustained success I came to realize that the difference wasn’t how good the music was, It usually had to do with their attitude.

    Great post.

  6. Mr. Bond,
    You are totally a down to earth for sharing this. Alot of times when we producers get shot down we stay shot. Thanks for the self healing process, which is to use these rejections as stepping stone towards rising to the top.

  7. Thanks for the jewels.I for one have been on that same road more than twice.I was mailing beats to various acts/companies and kept getting the same response.One said they needed something more Organic and in the end I eventually stopped and focused on something/someone else.Maybe it’s their loss or maybe was mine but no matter what I realised hindsight that the beats am making now sound much better but hey pressure bursts pipes..unless its adamantium. In a nutshell ATTITUDE determines your ALTITUDE. Arigato Jim

  8. Great article…I’ve been making beats for many years and never came close to getting a placement, but first…beat making is a hobby for me and if money comes with it then I’m happy…just hearing someone spit on my track is like getting paid.

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