Your Passion is the best marketing tool you have.
January 17, 2012

Song: Jitta On The Track (J.O.T.T.) - "Friday Night"

And its free....

Okay, I'm going to be honest, this sounds like something I'd expect from Mac Miller or Yelawolf.   So to see that it's an artist from Connecticut is actually a bit of a change I wasn't expecting... not really.   

Before I get started, I want to point out that this artist inspired me to write this opinion post on what I perceive to be a much larger a topic than just him or his music.  This isn't a personal attack, I actually really like J.O.T.T.'s music.  So now that's out of the way,  pardon me while I pull out this here soap box....again.

Lyrically J.O.T.T. is talented, his band is talented, he can sing (well at least hold a note) and even though the hook doesn't seem to make a lick of sense with the track overall, it has a Travie McCoy-ish / Kid Rock-ish feel to it, which is cool.  So he's a backwoods type dude, and he's all about getting down in Connecticut, I'm with it.

But wait, I also received four other songs from his people.  One song sounds like a U.K. Dubstep type of joint,  another sounds like a real lyrical hip-hop track (sample heavy, sweet flow, great lyrics),  another sounds like a Young Jeezy (gritty, synth-heavy club sound) type of track and another Drake inspired, emo-auto-tune and type of joint with great lyrical content.   So who is J.O.T.T.? I'm kind of lost.   Is he confused about what type of music he wants to make?  Is he experimenting on our ears?  Or is he simply trying to find something that sticks?

In my opinion, this is a microcosm of a much larger trend that we're seeing in our indie hip-hop world and there are assumptions and theories I've made about artists in situations like this.  And although I know what happens when we ASS-U-ME, I'm going to do it anyway.

As music fans, we appreciate all artists and respect most.  Personally I never hate the hustle and I'm not hating on J.O.T.T.'s versatility or talent.  He's definitely talented (much respect) and  I could never do what he does.   I just can't figure out who he is and I probably wouldn't buy his album for fear that it would be a collection of random singles like the ones I received.

A lot of hard-working artists out there seem to be executing this same method of trying to gain exposure.  Maybe it's their management, their peers, their label, the pressure for versatile iTunes singles or all of the above, but I believe they're actually hurting themselves by not following what they're truly passionate about.  Why not do that one thing the best they possibly can?   By no means am I saying anyone needs to box artists in or define boundaries, art is art.  Create.  Please. Create till your hands bleed, we music fans LOVE it!   But I also know that a lot of artists are making music that really doesn't move them in an attempt to get a few extra youtube views, sell three more records, or get a re-tweet.

I believe that if you focus on what inspires and moves you and focus less on trying to be appealing or making numbers, you're going to get to where you need to be.  Whether a night with Mandy at the Bouncy Bimbo downtown inspired you to write a song about her tatted behind or God spoke to you last night sending lyrics by way of Archangel, the point is to be honest with yourself, make music for you and it will shine through and infect everyone who hears your music.

We, the true music fans have amazingly efficient bullshit detectors.  And if we smell it, we aren't buying.

I believe an artist can't grow if they're not doing something you absolutely love.   For example, I can hate on Mac Miller all day for subject matter, I don't like his music.   But the fact still remains the guy sold A LOT of records because his fans BELIEVE him.  His fans believe him because he absolutely loves what he is doing.  Even though the majority of his superficial music is about weed, parties and  beer bore the everliving shit out of me, you can't deny he's very passionate about his subject matter.  And that my friends, creates a fan base that cares about you and ultimately sells records.  Especially today, in an age where transparency is a must.

J.O.T.T. is a very talented MC.  I hope we get the chance to spin one of his tracks on the show this Thursday because I like it a lot and I he's definitely got talent.  I also hope he finds his lane, sticks to it, and does it better than anyone else.  Because right now he seems very confused as to who he is musically.

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