The Price of Providing A Live Show: My Clipped Wings Tour Summary

Whaddup my people,

As I was only able to do the Midwestern leg of the Clipped Wings Tour the last show I appeared on was last night in Milwaukee.  I am writing this from my friends apartment in Chicago taking a day of rest here before I head back home to Detroit.  Yeah, I know it’s not a far drive back but I’m lazy and like to take my time.  lol.  As I’ve done more specific tour diaries in the past and will probably bore you with the minute details of the road in the future I will opt out of doing so this time around.  For one I was only on the road a short while to really get into the debauchery that I’m usually known for, and I feel it far better that I discuss how I’m feeling instead of specific events.  It might come off as random and scatter-brained but here goes nothing.

For one the road is a rough place for artists like us that are still out here starving.  We are kind of caught in a catch 22 in the fact that we don’t have a ton of fans throughout the country so it’s difficult to tour, but we have to hit the road in order to build a fan base so there’s really no choice in the matter.  There are no tour buses (honda element), no hotel rooms (although I was able to talk my way into a $25 room one of the nights), there’s not always showers, there’s not always people at the shows, there’s no fancy technical and personal riders sent out so that means there are definitely no bottles of champagne popped.  There’s us, our tour mates, and the artists and people we have built connections with before.  The goal and what ultimately determines if a tour is a success are the new connections we are able to build in each city.

Gone are the days in which artists can breeze into a city, chill backstage, hit the stage, and then dip.  When we are touching down in a city we want to know what the scene is like.   I’m trying to talk to everyone I can to acquire the info, and to share my experience with them inside and outside of music (I still pretend like there’s still a difference).  Gone are the days where artists can even stand behind a merch table.  After I leave the stage the first thing I’m going for is my box of merch and I am talking to everyone personally in the venue.  After I have tried to sell everyone in the building then I go for the email list and I offer them a free download as a thanks for them signing up.  I wait till after we go on stage so the audience has a chance to hear what they’re supporting but next tour I think I’m gonna go in swinging for my career.  There were a few times when the crowd was lost before we got on stage and those were definite missed opportunities.

Still I am not seeing artists do the method I mentioned above enough which is probably one of the reasons I have no problem sharing.  The playbook is nothing without execution after all.  On the other hand, I want to give myself more credit than that.  I want my peers to succeed in this game and I do believe there is a place for us all, but everybody has to put in work.  The only people that really think music is so competitive are the ones that expect something for nothing.  And yes, although making music is important in this game, this is NOTHING.  It’s what you do with that music and your plan to get it to the people, and furthermore your application of that plan that will get you to where you want to go.  Your personal opinion of your own music in relation to others is also NOTHING.  Opinions are like assholes and most people usually ARE.  I’m not thinking about why these whack musicians are successful.  I’m thinking about how they are successful and if there are any strategies I need to co-opt.

When I hit the road I expect nothing.  To every single person that put us up in their homes, fed us, let us shower  THANK YOU.  Although some of you I have known for a long time you didn’t have to do that so I am forever appreciative.  To everybody that put us on a show giving us a path to build a fan base in your city  THANK YOU.  Although there were high’s and low’s in attendance we saw the promotional efforts put in and my new motto is if you give us 3 shows in a city we will build your hip hop scene for you if you don’t already have one (those ego’s can get a bit crazy. i got a few).  To all my friends that came out to the shows along the way THANK YOU.  I know some of yall don’t even listen to Hip Hop but I’m thankful you’ll lend an ear to me and my musical peers when we fall through town.  To the sites such as Fusicology, La Famiglia, Potholes in My Blog, and Detroitrap (if I’m missing anyone forgive the mind) THANK YOU for shining light on what we’re doing.

To my brothers in United States of Mind, thank you.  As I am not able to continue with the tour it is you guys that are spreading the USM name and getting our music out to a larger audience person by person.

To sum up everything touring is rough business.  Nothing is given and everything is hard to earn.  I didn’t even bring up the ego’s. lol.  We’re all crazy deranged artists so of course we’re gonna but heads from time to time. Sometimes the day in and day out can be like walking on eggshells. You want to be mindful of other peoples thoughts, opinions, and schedules without getting yours stepped on.  This is also an impossibility but we do our best in this respect. lol.  Taking all this into account I can logically only come to one conclusion:  I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING.

This is exactly what I signed up for and what a beautiful struggle it has come to be.  The small victories, the big mistakes, the huge shows, the off nights, the getting wasted no matter what happens. lol.  That’s what it is.  Can’t wait to fully process this experience (which will take at least a week mind you) so the next time I hit the road (hopefully touring my new project with Eddie Logix entitled “Progress Report”) I can do it bigger and better.  That’s right folks.  Next time around I’m going for the couch as opposed to accepting the floor.  Until the next time I’m in your city folks.