Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Farewell?

I had to share this note with you, because I was sitting here this morning, seriously thinking about quitting music. ...and THIS happened...

Somebody sent me an email today, reminding me that even if I stop doing music, the music is ALWAYS in me. They were right... So in that sense, I don't feel like I've lost. But honestly, there's too much drama in this business. And I've worked TOO hard for TOO long, to be treated like this.

OTHERS have exploited my name and my work, for their own personal gain. I've fought "the system" for many years. I've built Wallshaker Music from the ground up, BECAUSE of this! But for years, my label basically survived in obscurity. It proved to me that people were willing to take my "best" work, release it to THEIR territories, without even giving a fuck about ME. Hell... some motherfuckers are STILL re-releasing "DOWN," 12 years later! ...as if that's the ONLY record I've ever done.

Don't get me wrong... I'm grateful to those who have licensed my records like "Sky" or "My House" or "Tears..." But it hurts my feelings to know that if I release a record on my own, it's not good enough? Or nobody will hear it unless I attach "some other label" to it?

It's all about control, isn't it? And in a world filled with competition -- wait... wait one second...

One second... You will not believe what just happened to me -- RIGHT NOW.

I just received a phone call from a DJ acquaintance of mine... He asked me to contact a good friend of his, who is a big fan of MINE.... The friend is dying from cancer. ...and I mean he doesn't have much longer to live. I've sent this same guy an email once, while he was in the hospital -- it brightened his day. I IMMEDIATELY called him as soon as I heard the news just a few moments ago. He answered the phone...

I told him who I was, and his spirits were lifted. We talked about Detroit, about the Miami Winter Music Conference -- he's convinced he's going... I told him about the women in Cannes who skated around topless -- he wants to go, of course! And I also emailed him a copy of my latest album, Bittersoulfulsweet -- because while a few of my records are still in his DJ crate, he hasn't heard the new album. (Maybe because it's not released on a label like Subject Detroit, or UR or something... but that's another story.)

But whatever the case, I was HIT by a revelation... This man was touched by ME... by my music. I actually got to hear the happiness in his voice. He was so delighted when I sent him my album to download. I gave him my phone number, and told him to call me whenever he felt like saying HI, or anything.

Y'all don't understand. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes... I'm crying because i KNOW he's about to die very soon. But I'm also crying because THIS is the real reason why I've continued to do my music for so long... IT TOUCHES PEOPLE. That's the most important factor... Yes, I fight with distributors. YES, I deal with crooked labels. YES, I've licensed away my control, so others can make money from my music -- but you know what? When I get to speak to angels like the guy I just got off the phone with, I know it's all worth it.

There's no way I can stop making music now... There's no way. Companies can continue their wicked practices, I don't care. Obviously, I'm rising above the madness. Obviously I'm continuing to touch people's souls. BECAUSE OF THIS, I will never stop. If I never have a formal distribution deal again, or if I never get signed or licensed again, I know that MY MUSIC will still make its way to the ones that MATTER -- the ones who NEED it.

Thank you Lord, for opening my eyes and allowing me to see this beautiful, amazing thing...

Aaron-Carl

1 comment:

augustus said...

Fuck UR. Fuck SubjectDetroit. Like many of your greatest fans we don't live in Detroit. I'm stoaked you do digital releases. Just keep doing what you do. :)