Jean Grae: Airs It Out

[Editor’s note: This piece contains language of a frank, honest nature. For mature individuals only.] I’m most probably going to get a phone call both from my label and publicist about writing this, but honestly, I’m just tired of mincing my words and being nice about s###. I haven’t really written a lot on allhiphop […]

[Editor’s note: This piece contains language of a frank, honest nature. For mature individuals only.]

I’m most probably going to get a phone call both from my label and publicist about writing this, but honestly, I’m just tired of mincing my words and being nice about s###. I haven’t really written a lot on allhiphop in a second, mostly because I’m too damn frustrated with everything to write as a hobby. I’m angry, I’m tired and close to spazing out about a lot of s###.

I hate this industry. I hate the music business because it has s### to do with music. I grew up in a family of independent struggling musicians and I’m sick of being a part of that cycle. I’m tired of fighting harder than everyone else to even just get a little bit. I don’t even know why I f###### put my heart into doing this when it’s obvious that so many people who don’t, get what they want out of it. The financial unstability of this is driving me crazy. Why do I have to keep turning out entire albums or releases full of music when some cat can spit on a mixtape once, or give someone a pound and then get on immediately? Why try to do something that’s apparently so f###### different and impossible, that I have to defend it to myself everyday?

I hate myself for dumping my all into this. If I was smarter I wouldn’t have pursued this career. I’m older than most people already established in this business and I’m not thinking of the money coming out of it for balling out purposes. I want to be a mom soon, I want to have some sort of steadiness in my life, but with this job that is close to a damn impossibility right now.

F### everyone at all these labels who even know me and won’t even give me a damn chance to step in the door.

‘Oh, I love your s###,’ but they can’t do s### for me. F### the boys club mentality that they have and the vision they lack.

Years of rejection make you really second think yourself. Maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s me. Maybe my s### isn’t good enough to compete with all the stuff out there. Then I hate everything, then I read “her delivery is trash”, or “her beats are wack” and that solidifies all of that in my head. As much as I can try to fight it and try to like my own material it becomes a chore to listen to it. It’s a cycle. I get like that, then snap out of it after a pep talk and think, no, I am talented. I have something. Don’t pay attention to all that s###, I’m stronger than that. I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter.

My fighter outlook is getting really weak. Less and less I really put myself into this s### with a gung ho attitude and now I do it almost because I’m stuck here and I don’t like to start things and not finish them.

I can have press out the ass, it doesn’t seem to matter. No one really outside of the industry or underground heads know who the f### I am. Doing shows that are difficult to get in the first place and then only having like 20 people there for crap money doesn’t lift your spirits. Promoters won’t even understand that we don’t have the kind of money it takes to get to these damn places unless they’re paying for them. If there are maybe 2 black women in the audience that night it’s a good night for me. I understand that fans are fans and I respect that. But it’s a p############ job when you can’t even see yourself reflected in the audience.

I can’t get on any big mixtapes, labels are scared to f### with something without a great soundscan history and people that have the power to help treat me like the invisible rapper. What am I supposed to do ? I’m tired of writing because everything is coming out angry and I don’t want to be that person. I’m mad that I’m broke, I’m mad that I’m living in the same situation…and you know what XXL??? I’m f###### mad that I can’t make my wedding plans happen again this year. Yeah. You guys put me in your “Negro Please” section a few months ago with the quote “I’m broke and I couldn’t go through with the plans for my wedding I had on Valentine’s day.’

So, what the f###? That was funny? You know, you forgot to mention the fact that the quote you took came from a Fader magazine article in which the next line I spoke was “my dad has cancer”. Perhaps you should have included that too, since you thought that the beginning was so hilarious. You don’t know s### about me or my life and with the amount of ignorant speakers around you chose to include something that you thought somehow was chuckle worthy. F### off.

I’m taking back the nice and putting on the angry face because I’m tired. I’m tired of being overlooked and underpaid.

I’m tired of trying to come up with new f###### ingenious plans of how to let people know that I exist and then scrapping them because we don’t have the money to do s###. It’s a luxury to me to watch people sit in a studio and take time with their s###. It’s a tragedy to see them wasting their time and not realizing how lucky they are to have the opportunity to do that. There’s tons of people I would love to work with, but money doesn’t allow that, so in the interims between albums and shows I gotta come up with all these crazy hustles to keep my name out there and introduce myself to a new audience. Most of them never come to pass because of a lack of money to make them happen. Shows that I don’t want to take I have to, no matter how small the money is because, well, food is something you need. I’m not trying to be whiny about work, trust I’m a workhorse, I’ve never shied away from that. However, I am opposed to working for nothing. For f###### nothing. I’m not retarded, otherwise that would sound like a great idea, but I’m too old for that s###. Everything is a chance, a promise of something that could possibly come to pass and usually doesn’t.

I’m sick and damn tired of explaining who I am to my label. Why we shouldn’t work the same formula that everyone else uses and hearing, ‘it’s about the numbers. It’s all about the numbers.”

Well, I can’t do anything about the numbers cause I’m out of ideas and I don’t want to play the waiting game anymore. I don’t have the time to sit back and think of things because I have to eat.

I’m out of ways to dance around things and pretend like I’m happy and coming up with some great new s### when I do interviews. I don’t have anything to talk about anymore. I’m stuck, I’m p#####, but I guess none of that even matters in the long run, since I’m not even playing in the same league as everyone else.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do now, or why I have to keep explaining to people why I make music and who I’m making it for. I used to rap and make beats because, damn I just did. Doing it for work isn’t a problem, but where’s the work? I don’t think I’m the most incredible person out there, but I want to get better. I understand that when it’s a job a lot of it ceases to be fun, but this is like a 10 year internship with no f###### promotion. I have to sit here and watch people get hired around me and move up to top management positions. I know the people at these labels, they know me, I’ve been here for years and no one ever f###### gives me a chance to even break in. I would respect it even a little if they just told me I wasn’t s### and kicked me out. But just treating me like I’m not even there is some b#######. What the f###? Maybe if I was a damn model I would’ve gotten further ahead. But I’m not. I look like me and only me and I’m not going to change anything or start feeling bad about myself because that’s the only way that females can play in this game. That can get to you too you know. I thought it was about the work that I did, but obviously it never was. My dreamer mentality pretty much ended a few years ago, but even reality doesn’t seem to get me anywhere.

I don’t want to keep venting for nothing either, so I’ll probably just keep all of this stuff inside from now on like I usually do.

I know I can’t state any f###### opinion without someone going “aww f### that b#### shes on her period and she mad cause shes not that nice anyway and plus she ugly.”

I read message boards, I know how it goes..that’s pretty much standard, but f### you too.

Thanks allhiphop for always letting me be me.

F### the rap game. It’s not about the music or the heart or how hard you play.

F### you for not letting me in, cowards.

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