Over the past few weeks, or rather in January 2019, Soulja Boy has made a huge comeback. It is because he claimed he had the biggest comeback in 2018 that makes this ironic. When he made the claim on Instagram live, his followers said Tyga had the biggest comeback. Soulja reprimanded his fans and questioned Tyga’s credibility; ever since then, it has been a snowball effect. People like Drake, Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, Migos and Kanye West have been part of Soulja’s ‘comeback’ rant.
Most of Soulja’s music claims aren’t far from the truth; like him being the first artist to blow from YouTube, Drake taking his flow on a song, putting Tyga on his first video and giving Migos the Versace beat, for example. Yet him having the biggest comeback in 2018 is questionable, given Tyga earning 884 million streams while Soulja earned 98 million in 2018. Moreover, the release of Meek Mill was a major highlight of 2018. Additionally, Drake was arguably one of the biggest artists of 2018.
On the local front, Rasta’s art has been more about him versus the people. The artist has been attending funerals and drawing his perspective of the deceased. However, his momentum really started picking up last year when fallen hip-hop artists became his subject matter. Without anyone knowing who invited him, he randomly arrived at a funeral and began sketching the late artist during the funeral program. One questionable portrait gets a pass, but one after the other is a definite haai bo! Usually, mumbling will start at the ceremony and before you know it social media is buzzing with questions around his drawing.
I could be wrong but I believe South Africa is not feeling Rasta, yet he hasn’t slowed down. Now, he has graduated from drawing at funerals to attending rallies, concerts and getting prime time interviews. He even does commissions! Some of the people that have gotten the Rasta treatment include Pro Kid, HHP, Cyril Ramaphosa, Beyonce, Jay-Z (yes, he was right there in the front at Global Citizen), and myself. Honestly, I think his portrait of me was his best work. He defends himself, saying people judge his work before completion and, most important, that he has fans who love his art.
Here are a few lessons from Soulja Boy and Rasta to take into 2019!
If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will! Soulja Boy and Rasta have received negative media attention, but they’re still newsworthy.
Your opinion matters most. Soulja Boy has seen a spike in his music streaming numbers since he started ranting, Rasta now has people calling him to do work, and that’s all because they believed their own opinion over anyone else.
Learn to look for the positive. Rasta doesn’t hold on to what people who do not enjoy his work say. Soulja pioneered much of what we see in hip-hop today, but gets no credit; yet he focuses on the fact that he made changes, influenced peers, etc. instead of not getting his credit.
Sometimes confidence trumps quality. Find out the quality of the audience being entertained, their interests, and what entertains them. If you want *that* audience, and they don’t rate you, maybe the problem lies in you, not them.