Ever heard an artist or all-round entertainer complain about how difficult the entertainment industry is or how they always say that this industry is cut-throat? Well, with the passing of HHP I’m sure the warnings of this industry now cut deep huh?
I, like many other South African hip-hop lovers, was an avid listener of HHP’s music. My favourite album from the late rapper was Omang Reloaded released back 2003.
Although the album had a lot of club bangers my most favourite track from the album was “On My Own” remix featuring Slikour and Selwyn.
I pulled out the album in my batch of local hip-hop favourites and in the song, the verse that I think most entertainers would relate to the most is Slikour’s verse which went as follows:
“Please man, understand, I’m a humble soul/When I rap, I feel warmth but the industry is cold.
People only give you love for copies you sold/Wish I could find happiness from my inner soul.
But we find it in these companies & what we’ve been told/If nobody feels you then you’re on your own/Your friends disappear and you become unknown & frustration keeps ringing but not your phone.
In the streets, you’re always at home, too embarrassed to be seen in public the shine is gone. Depression takes place & drugs are the escape can’t believe your existence is determined by a tape.”
It really is tough
Although the song came out fifteen years ago, it is still as relevant as ever, especially now that Jabba is no longer with us and how a lot of entertainers suffer from what Slikour mentioned in that verse.
The likes of Salamina Mosese whose had her fair share of struggles within this industry tweeted yesterday: “This industry is tough on artists. Yal don't even know the half of it…
And looking from the outside in, I can definitely believe what she said. The entertainment industry is a bit different from other industries, especially considering it’s unconventional ways of doing business. One minute you’re getting paid hundreds of thousands of rands and the next minute you struggle to get even one gig.
This industry really is tough, I also think HHP’s death has made entertainers realise that they need to be each other’s pillar of strength in this cut-throat industry as they’re all fighting the same struggle. Fighting for their talent to be acknowledged, fighting for people to pay money that is due to them, fighting to keep up with appearances when they sometimes do not have it all together like that. Ja neh, kunzima.
So what now?
How do artists ensure that they protect not only themselves but their fellow entertainers from the hardships of this industry? An industry that is able to chew and spit you out like you never made it business with your talent?
To be honest, I do not know the perfect answer to that, but what I do know is that we’re at a level where we can’t ignore how many entertainers suffer in silence in this industry.
Main Image credit: Instagram/@Jabbaman_01