When I first became a songwriter, I had very kind people trying to help me with marketing. They told me that hashtags were crucial when trying to be noticed by online social circles. I thought to myself, "Cool, I just need to put a symbol in front of my words, and I will get record sales and fans!" As time went by, I wasn't getting either. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure most of my friends and family weren't even listening to my music. I spent hours researching hashtags and search engine optimization. I not only found it incredibly boring, but I did not see any improvement. I paid for Facebook advertising, but I only have a certain amount of money I can spend. My conclusion was that I sucked, but wait, I liked my music. Since I liked my music, there have to be some other weirdos out there like me. That's when I concluded there is just too much damn noise on the internet, and my weirdo tribe cannot find me.
Have you ever been in a crowded room at a party or a social event? There are a plethora of conversations happening simultaneously. A lot of times people cannot hear or attend to someone sitting right next to them because there is just too much commotion, and if they can hear them, they are too distracted to truly focus on what is being said. That is all the internet is. It is a crowded room filled with distractions. Algorithms are made to favor those that can afford to pay for advertisement; therefore, the wealthier you are, the more noise you are capable of making. This pisses me off. Artists and intellectuals of all mediums are being stifled because of the massive amount of information on the web, and they are the ones most likely to promote social change and expose injustices. Instead, we rely heavily on what we are told by the voices with the most money.
Everything that starts out as a strong voice for the people always ends up getting into the hands of those with more money and power. 112 years ago William Randolph Hearst, the son of a wealthy senator, built a publishing empire sensationalizing stories using what is known as "yellow journalism". He is even quoted as saying, "You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." He was able to cause conflict by interpreting the pictures for the people that ultimately led to the Spanish-American war. Do you see parallels today? Most people have become so rigid in their beliefs that they side completely with one politician who uses words, pictures, and situations to their advantage. Corporations and politicians use dogmatism people have to manipulate otherwise intelligent people, but how do intelligent people allow themselves to be manipulated?
People have an innate need to belong. Prior to his rise to power, Hitler planted multiple people throughout the crowd at his speeches to cheer loudly for him, and some that did not believe in his ideologies still cheered for him due to fear of judgment from the rest of the crowd. Could that be what has happened on the internet? Are most people that are overly dogmatic politically just strategically cheering? Are they agreeing because they want to fit in with their co-workers, friends, or any other group? Could this have completely changed our country's government?
A longitudinal Princeton Study was done and concluded that the United States government is so influenced by big business that it is no longer a democracy or a republic but, in fact, a constitutional oligarchy. If I am being honest, I cannot identify myself as either of the two major political parties in the United States. Most of us are just working from paycheck to paycheck and trying to feed our families and be happy, but one of the things that make people happy is feeling like what they do and say matters. The internet is becoming more and more like a bunch of advertisements and political disagreements, and unless you have something someone can argue about or a catchy and expensive advertising campaign, you are merely white noise.
In response to all of this, I wrote an avant-garde jazzy rap song called "Hashtag". It combines the ignorant bliss of the roaring twenties prior to The Great Depression with more modern electronic elements. As a modern artist, I know my chances of being heard are slim, but it was put into my consciousness for a reason. As a result, I am going to hashtag that shit, expect the worst, and hope for the best.
P.S. If you were able to find this blog and/or able to pay attention to it long enough to read in entirety, message me. Message me! I want to know who is able to weed through all the noise on the internet. Hashtag is set for release on August 16, 2019