Friday, September 2, 2011

Lil Wayne: 7 Success Tips for Artists

"Musical Notes"  12x12  Mixed Media  ©Toni Ruppert
Last night, I watched something I thought I’d never watch; over an hour of biographical video footage about grammy award winning American rapper Lil Wayne.  I watched the VH1 Behind the Music video,  his interview with American journalist Katie Couric and some other footage with my teen daughter, Kayla.   

Kayla told me she had already watched his VH1 interview with her father.  Since they had a bonding moment over it, I figured I’d watch it with her as well.  Reason aside - let’s just say I was fascinated by the footage.  My daughter got a real kick out of seeing my reaction.

Lil Wayne in one word: industrious. He is hardworking. On one of the videos, he is shown performing a full show and then getting on his tour bus to record new material.  It’s like he was driven to succeed.

I was fascinated by the interviews. Couric asked about the rumors of his alleged addiction to cough syrup and use of marijuana.  He was real about that. That was interesting to me--since I often allow food to get in my way.  I mean I can eat.  Food addiction means I’d rather eat pecan sandies cookies for breakfast than cook a real meal.  Intimate knowledge of my own struggles enabled me to understand this portion of the video. 

After watching this, I now better understand why Kayla was “super gaga” over the Lil Wayne phenomena.  From watching these videos with her, I gleaned 7 success tips for ANY artist:

7 Success Tips for Artists
  1. Work hard: one needs the will to work hard; Lil Wayne tells Katie Couric he has this
  2. Find mentors: one of the videos stated that Lil’ Wayne was mentored since age 9
  3. Get involved:Lil Wayne did odd jobs at his old record label before he ever recorded
  4. Be real and know one’s identity: it was obvious to me that he knows where he is from AND an even stronger sense of where he is going
  5. Practice ones skill: In the Bible, one of my favorite sayings from King Solomon says “skill will bring success.” Lil Wayne embodied this as a youngster and with the old rap group, “Hot Boyz.” After the group disbanded, he was ready to do his thing.
  6. Work with a team: It might have been my perspective, but it seemed as if real commercial success came after Li Wayne’s second album was a commercial thud.  He then chose a fresh team of producers and music folks to create with.
  7. Be prepared to reinvent: Also after the second album, Lil Wayne said he reinvented his method of recording. In previous recordings, he had pre-written his lyrics.  After a reinvention, he says he began recording his music without using a pad of paper.  Whether this was totally “freestyle,” is debatable.  But his new way was different from the way he recorded before.
After watching these video tidbits about Lil Wayne, and gleaning these tips, I realize there is hard work to be done.  Watching Lil Wayne with my daughter has caused me to want to live to my creative potential.


Melanie Jongsma said...

That's an exciting choice, Toni! It's easy to get caught up in the fervor of marketing, especially when you're marketing something that's really worth sharing. But you're right, you can't let it overtake your craft. Good for you!

Toni Ruppert said...

Thanks Melanie, it's so good to see you here. It sounds like you understand. Artists, writers, musicians and other solopreneurs alike have to have this balance don't they?