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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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True Hustle
Friday, February 22, 2008

Jay-Z penned a song where he boasted about being “a hustla, baby.” Cassidy spit venom about the topic on “I’m a Hustla” (coincidentally, using a Jay-Z sample). How many artists are really hustling to make things happen, though? This past Friday I saw a shining example of what real hustle is, the kind of hustle only a handful of artists have, in the form of my good friends Hushh (pictured above) and their unreal trip across two states just to network.

Hushh have been featured on this site before, and I even managed to write about them for XXL a few years ago, as well. What many people don’t know about them, however, is that when it comes to their hustle they are head and shoulders above most everyone else in the game. The duo of Status (right in picture) and Diadem (left in picture) find a way to be everywhere even though Status still has a regular job to go to in the morning. Last Friday I received a call from Stat asking about the Ludacris concert at Fairfield U and what I knew about it. I told him I honestly didn’t know much. He let me know he’d be driving down to try to politick with him, so I told him that if security gave him any trouble to just tell them they were looking for the radio show. I figured even if security was suspicious they’d call the station, I’d pick up and say it’s all good. Stat, Dia and a few Hushh team members jumped into their car and headed to FU. Did I mention this is a 90+ minute drive EACH WAY for them?

Everyone arrived on campus at around 9pm. I told them where Luda was performing (luckily it was the building right next to the one the radio station is in) and wished them the best of luck. I had a feeling they’d talk their way in. Hushh is fairly magnificent at networking. Every year the two of them make the trip to all three “local” Summer Jam shows (CT, NYC, MA) in one weekend. At around 10:30pm I received a text saying they not only got in, and they not only networked with Luda, but they also met a person who books concerts for over 70 colleges in the US.

Most artists would call it an evening at this point, especially those with an early wakeup call the next day. Hushh, on the other hand, didn’t drive back home, they drove PAST their home and all the way into Massachusetts, a drive that was easily 2+ hours, just to try to link up with another artist. Keyshia Cole was performing in Mass and since Hushh had opened for her before they wanted to say hello and drop off some beats. Unfortunately this networking attempt didn’t go as well as the first. Hushh, and apparently everybody else who had been waiting for Cole in the freezing cold, were ignored by the R&B singer. Normally it wouldn’t be too odd for an artist to not remember an opening act, but Diadem has no arms or legs and I’m guessing he’s the only person with that distinction to ever open for Cole, so ignoring him and Stat was pretty wack on her part.

Regardless of the final outcome of the second networking attempt, Hushh illustrated perfectly what true hustle is really all about for an up and coming artist who wants to make it. It’s about jumping in your car and driving for nearly four hours to shows you have no in at just for the opportunity to possibly, maybe, be able to network with somebody. It’s about finding where those popular mainstream artists are performing and making yourself known in a positive way.

A lot of artists don’t even make an attempt to network with the stars. For one reason or another they either feel the stars won’t talk to them or care about them, or that their audiences don’t match (in actuality if you’re up and coming you’re still searching for your full audience. Realizing this is pretty important), or that big stars get too many artists coming up to them already (probably true, but so what?), or the worst of all, that somehow an artist being mainstream makes them less artistically valid and therefore the up and comer doesn’t want to network with them at all. The latter excuse is used about 50% of the time by artists who are simply scared. They’re scared of rejection. They’re scared they’ll walk up to a big name and the big name won’t care. Well, you have to knock on a lot of doors before one opens. Just ask Hushh. Now they’re working with Method Man.

On Friday night there was a chance that Hushh could have left both events with nothing gained. Four hours of driving could have been for nothing, but their networking ability got them in at one event and they made some new, very big, connections. Yeah, it cost them a full tank of gas and yeah, there was some sleep lost, but Hushh proved on Friday night what they’ve been proving for years, that their hustle is top notch and it’s one of the biggest reasons they continue to be in the right position to make the big moves.

I love hanging out with Hushh and others that share their spirit (you know who you are!). Their hustle makes mine stronger because just seeing how hard they work makes me want to find news ways to step up my own game. How’s your hustle and who inspires you?


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:54 AM  
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Justin Boland said…

    This was a really excellent read, man, very transparent copy and a very compelling story. I dig it.

  • At 4:06 PM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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