“The dreams of youth become the regrets of maturity.”
A million times over, as we grow out of childhood and adolescence into adulthood and reality, our dreams and passions fade away. We conform to what society and life requires of us, leaving those naive aspirations which stirred our spirits day in and day out. Not realizing, however, something good could have come from it, if you just stuck with it.
I remember the days of sleeping in music studio’s, trying to drum up the masterplan to achieving stardom through song, lyrics and melodies. I can recall numerous potential hits that remain in my databank, hits that could have catapulted me to worldwide review and admission. The fact that these songs were never heard by the masses has nothing to do with lack, but the fact that I didn’t follow through.
So many can attest to the combination of setbacks, fear of rejection, and then life happens, which often leads you to, first: a settling in one’s comfort zone of having enough to survive and eat, the mindset that, ‘I’ll just do this and leave behind my childhood fantasies,’ the one that would eventually grow tiring and weary due to stains of regret, to now: having to travel the detour’d route to a born-given destiny because settling was just not going to cut it for me.
Looking back, I wish I had the piece of knowledge; the valuable insight that would have inclined me to correct my steps, bringing back my fallen energy to be relentlessly driven, and continue to make the music.
And because everyday is a struggle, the tough only gets tougher. The question is, do you have the muster to muster it?
Industry vet, the once aspiring producer turned author, Chris “MayDay” Rucks shares his insight and fortitude with vital gems in his recently released book Don’t Make Beats Like Me. Broken down into 24 Laws To Guide You Towards Success As A Music Producer, a set of profound philosophies meant to provide the next generation of music producers with better knowledge, wisdom, and tools to aid them in making realities out of their dreams; and while originally purposed for the beatmakers and aspiring producers alike, the acumen’s interpreted throughout hit all spectrums of those severe internal conflicts of becoming greater at some thing or another.
“I understand now that I am your consonant creative, and I didn’t know that when I was a younger man.” – Rucks
The intuition of which you wish you had to make it through to groundbreaking feats, is already inside of you – according to Rucks, but it takes you to not be the self-defeater that you so easily become while pursuing your greatest pursuits.
“Essentially, I followed my creativity, whatever that was, in different directions. Video production and shooting films when I was in college brought me to Atlanta, and I also started doing beats in my last year in college (2004). Music production brought me to working with different producers on the business side; shopping records, organizing conferences and events so they could learn the business, understanding how that billion dollar business works; but all the while, I’ve always been a writer, first. It was always the first leg of my creativity. Which all molded for me to be able to put this book together, to have the perspective of a person who has made beats, who has been on the business side of things, but also, to be able to communicate this stuff as a writer first.”
“I didn’t know what I was going to do as a writer. I studied English in college and I was like, ‘what the hell do you do with an English degree?’ What brought me to writing this book was, I was actually going through my own self-development process in my mid twenties, and I was studying a lot of great works, from Deepak Chopra and all these wisdom writers of the ages, and there was a book of Chopra’s that I read. Leading me to the conversation of Karma, I asked myself, ‘what would I have to give back?’ And putting that in the back of my mind, and working with the company Dynamic Producer, all of a sudden I was in a position to see other producers doing the same thing that I did, and I knew was going to lead them towards failure.”
Refining ideas over the years to build his manuscript based on his own experiences, Rucks came to with a joint. Coupled with both music production tips, recording techniques, etc; the book tackles the core, the most important aspect of the board: the heart of the producer.
Understanding that there is an importance of the backend of things, it would suit those aspiring for something greater to not get caught up in the smoking mirrors as 95% of the game does, therefore eventually falling off or never even getting put on. Sold by the YouTube video’s of a JustBlaze, Swizz Beats, Jay Z, Fabolous, you name it; lifestyles portrayed via Instagram after the work is done, which is cool, but not to be taken for more than a source of inspiration and a tool. The in-between of the vision is intricate and should be handled with delicacy. That piece of success that you seek is somewhat attainable, but the longevity that only few acquire demands all kinds of works to become sustainable.
“Becoming is a Grind,” Chuck Greene
Do you have what it takes to make and keep the spotlight? Does your fear take more precedent than what you produce?
Notable producers and handlers of this industry whose music we can never forget, like Chuck Greene, co-manager of the Grammy Award winning production team The Justice League, DJ Khalil, The Bizness, guys like Troy Taylor who’s blessed folks like Tank, Trey Songz, Waka Flocka, Keyshia Cole, and tons of other with scores of hits; Focus who has produced tracks for several prominent artists, including Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, John Legend, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, 50 Cent, Schoolboy Q, Beyoncé, the list goes on. These guys stress the same concern for those looking to climb the latter; and not just any latter, but the ever evolving one. The desire to be great is not one to overcome easily. Do you have what it takes?
“Chasing dreams is something done only by a few.”
The conversation of beatmaker vs. producer is not one in the same. How many can call themselves a producer? And how many just make beats? Do you even know what the difference is? What sets you apart from the other? Through the lens of the beatmaker, these 24 Principles can be applied to all those chasing a dream, all creators, songwriters, business owners, those with an aim. A how to not get lost in the sauce while building your name.
“As far as smoking mirrors, I know how hard creating and becoming is and I respect that difficulty. I didn’t want to see people get so excited upfront and then all of a sudden get smacked across the face with the real difficulty that comes from the middle.
The middle is where dreams go to die and this book is about conquering the middle.
It’s mental. You can go to YouTube and be taught how to handle a keyboard. But nobody on YouTube is going to talk to you about you, and that’s the most important part. Because if you are fearful, you don’t do well with criticism, or you run at the first sign of adversity; then it doesn’t matter what you learn about keyboards – you’re done.”
Because everyday that you wake up, you are blessed with another chance at gaining territory in your life, there is still time to get it right. Run an inventory report on yourself and see what you come up with.
No matter the analysis, the good news is, the power to conquer your fears, to get that win, to reach those heights, to elevate your future lies with you. It’s a matter of speaking life into the dead parts of your being, and poof. Although, not to be confused with premature arrogance and self-praising, for that can certainly be your downfall too. Humbly, note your gifts and desires, question your strengths and defects, research your craft to practical perfection, to then, breaking down all doors of denial and apprehension.
Don’t Make Beats Like Me, a self-reflecting detail of how to make it happen and sustain success & prosperity from both the technical and subjective point of view.
Go get your copy.