About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Extending A Helping Hand
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Yesterday I snapped and I snapped on the wrong person, a good friend. Thankfully I didn’t completely snap, but it definitely wasn’t a good look. Apparently, though I would never be the first person to say it, I’ve done a lot in life and my friends will occasionally come to me for advice on how to go about doing the things that I’ve done. I have no problem with this at all as I’m always glad to lend a friend a hand and have been known to go out of my way to help out my friends even at the expense of my own wants and needs. My problem is not with my friends, it’s with the masses of artists looking for a hand out.

I snapped yesterday because ever since I started getting my work in print magazines all I have heard from artist after artist is “yo, can you get me in Elemental,” and the uber-popular, “yo, you got Hushh in XXL, can you get me in?” Half the time these queries come phrased as partial insults or demands, “yo, how come you won’t put me in XXL?” I don’t fault an artist for wanting to be in a major magazine, but 99 times out of 100 it’s just not going to happen, not at the stage of their career they’re at when they ask. Rather than just brush them off I attempt to tell those who ask for me to get them in major national publications, most of the time before even handing me music or a bio, the right way to go about things. I literally lay out the entire plan they should be doing if they want to get in those publications. This is the kind of information most people would have to pay to get, yet I’ve been giving it away for free as a way to help independent artists. Guess what kind of replies I get. “So you’re saying you’re not gonna get me in XXL?”

In addition to the rarely eloquent replies to my attempts to help artists I’ve also become extremely annoyed at another question, or rather demand, I get constantly, “yo, lemme get on your radio show.” Once an artist hears I have a show they automatically want to be on it. Like the want to be in magazines, I don’t fault artists for wanting air time, that’s just the natural want to do a little self-promotion. Here’s where it gets annoying, when they ask what station I’m on, or what time I’m on. How are you going to say you want to be on a radio show when you’ve never heard it?!?! Show some familiarity with the program before asking for a guest spot, you’re a lot more likely to get a positive answer if you show some knowledge about the show. It’s like a job interview, you don’t go into a job interview without learning about the company first.

Obviously this dance has become tiresome and these idiotic artists are hurting both themselves and other artists because it’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to deal with the majority of indy cats, especially those in-state. I’m oftentimes asked to show up at local events and I almost always turn down those invites. I can’t see having fifty artists asking me to help them out as a good time. I can count on one hand the number of times an artist has actually volunteered to help me out on some kind of a reciprocal deal, it’s almost always “yo, I’m an artist, hook me up” with no thought to how hooking that particular person up actually helps me in any way. If all I’m getting out of hooking someone up is lost time pitch to me why this is a task I should take on because I’d love to hear the reasoning.

I don’t want to seem like I’m bitching, though I probably am. I strongly believe in concepts such as karma and fate, God testing people and the idea that to whom much is given much is expected. These are some of the reasons I’ve been so ready to help people, be it a friend or an artist. The responses I’ve been getting, however, have led me to cut a lot of people off because along with those aforementioned concepts I’m also a big believer in the idea that if someone does something nice for you it’s important that you recognize that and at some point in time, when the situation arises, do something nice back. Want a good example of this? A few years back I met up with local artist who’s work I dug and wanted to give some press to. I had a site where I could guarantee an interview would be posted so we set up a time to meet up and do the interview. His manager, who I am still friends with to this day, came with. When the bill for lunch came he picked it up. I told him he didn’t have to and that it wasn’t necessary but he then pointed out that with me being in the position I was in it was actually the other way around and he knew it wasn’t necessary for me to be interviewing a local artist. He realized right off the bat that I was doing something to try to help my local Hip-Hop community and he wasn’t going to let that go unnoticed. We have both been big time supporters of each other ever since.

So how does this all relate to my friend? It doesn’t and that’s why I had to call him this morning to apologize (though I won’t apologize for waking his lazy butt up at 10:30AM on a Tuesday). Loyalty has always been the quality of mine that I am most proud of. If you’re one of my people I’m there for you, end of story. So even when I’m completely sick of being asked to hook people up, if you’re one of those select few who are in my inner circle don’t worry about it, I got you homey. And that’s the moral of the story, even when all the artists have pissed me off to new levels, if my homey calls it’s a wrap, I’ma make whatever needs to happen happen. The other moral of the story is if you’re an artist come correct, because nonsense will not be tolerated.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 11:26 AM  
  • At 2:03 PM, Anonymous CRASH said…

    Yo, so when u gunna hook me up?

    ..sorry..I couldn't resist.. O:-)

  • At 5:37 PM, Blogger Ketchums said…

    I really, really feel you on this entry. I'm not even where I want to be yet, and people are always hunting me down for help. Granted, those in my inner circle, I try to help them out, but sometimes even they get a lil too gimmicky. People need to understand that working relationships are normally mutual, not just one doing for the other. If you're so hungry, be willing to give as much as you're getting (not you, but the people riding you)!

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