Kosha Dillz: Help Yourself by Helping Others
Posted by Kosha Dillz on Jan 13, 2011 | 12 comments
It’s 7 in the morning, and Kosha Dillz has already put several hours into his music career. That sentence is true pretty much every day of the year, and stories of Kosha Dillz driving 700 miles for one gig or playing 6 shows in one day have become underground legends. Today’s he got a guest post for Audible Hype about Reciprocity — the foundation for any successful career…
Help Yourself by Helping Others
By Kosha Dillz.
Sure it’s a crazy concept. You’re trying to book your own shows 24 hours a day. You wake up, shower, drink coffee, open up that lab top , and Facebook like it’s your job. (is Facebook hiring?) It’s really not. You spend most of the day “liking” your own music on youtube to sync in with your 4000 friends and by the end of the week, you have once again promoted yourself to people all so much.
We get it.
You’re trying to blow up. You are trying to grind. Your rap group and band deserve to win because you are the best and you are deep and your lyrics are meaningful.
Ask yourself this…what have i done to help another band out today? (silence…)
Hmm…when’s the last time you helped a band out? (tick tock, tick tock, tick tock)
On my first tour in 2008, the Spare Change tour, I routed across the entire U.S.A all by myself and was primarily helped by other musicians. They let me stay at their house, eat food out their fridge, do my laundry, and pay me sometimes out their own pocket for the love of my music. My music? Wow. I thought I sucked and only started to be successful so recently. After all that, they even wouldn’t let me give them my tee-shirts for free. They insisted on paying for them.
Other times there wasn’t much to go around and I might have need to sleep in my car in a gas station. I remember calling up Killah Priest and asked him what to do, and he told me to leave the car running at the gas station ( it was dead winter). I thought I’d die from smoke inhalation, but I remember that can only happen if I am in a garage. I woke up freezing and also a new man, for it was the first time I volunteered to sleep in my vehicle. Not only that, but it was the first time I was getting some really cool and personal advice about a shitty situation and I appreciated it. Obviously I sleep with the car running now if it goes down because I want to stay heated in Boise Idaho during the winter.
Does that sound like you want to have that? It’s not a bad story.
Sometimes its good and sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes the road sucks and sometimes it sucks less.
The fact is that we are so concerned with what it is for us, it can always be a lot worse. Self centered egotistical musicians, which is about 99 out of 100 of us, have issues with entitlement. Imagine me speaking to Killah Priest who has kept a successful underground career based on the notion of being cool and helping others out along the way after selling over 400,000 albums at one point and being on over 1,000,000 albums sold.
Whether it’s giving experience or friendly supportive calls to musicians you know, telling your people to come see other bands on tour, or going to random bands shows you find in the local paper (even if you are a rapper/MC) just to drop some gas money in their bucket and buy their CD, the attitude of gratitude to be in this D.I.Y arena will help you survive within yourself. What does that mean?
Fact is people help you out for the sake of helping out. We are all living the dream. They might not even like the music but might find someone who will, and they want to support, all of us.
After you read this, please repost someone’s video they have been pushing on your twitter page. Pass off a business deal to a friend. Help link fellow musicians that need gigs or places to stay. BUY someone’s CD at a show and go to the front of the stage and support so you can see the others behind you.
3 guarantees come along with this…
- 1. You will make some new friends you never had. (maybe not the band, but other people might like you for this great change)
- 2. You will feel different inside, and also own a CD, t-shirt, or expose others to music they might love and play at their weddings (all because of you).
- 3. You won’t worry as much about yourself and your own agenda, because you will be acting selflessly and thinking about others.
Please note that I do not guarantee anything else (fame, riches, more shows, more merch sales) although that might come along with helping other bands that will do the same for you. As you finish this article, please ask yourself this again.
- What have i done to help another band out today? (silence…)
- Hmm…when’s the last time I helped a band out? (tick tock, tick tock, tick tock)
Let’s change what’s in those parentheses.
About the Guest Author
1 Emmanuel says...
SEEN HIM STEAL THE SHOW TWICE NOW! BORN FOR GREATNESS!
Posted at 9:41 p.m. on January 13, 2011
4 Melissa says...
Very inspirational! I caught him about 2 years ago in Cali and had no idea he was accomplishing so much!!
Posted at 8:36 a.m. on January 14, 2011
Thanks for the motivating post, Kosha. I've been advising artists to "give first, ask later" for a while now. Some are starting to get it finally. On my website, the posts that supply the same advice are my most unsung, but I believe that the true success you are entitled to will come from giving of yourself. From what I know, your words are true. Some of my rapper friends have spoken quite highly of you in the past. Keep up the hard work!
Props to Mr. Boland to facilitating the guest post.
Posted at 4:14 p.m. on January 14, 2011
6 Rosella Management says...
This was great! Justin, you have an eye for choosing the right artists to interview. The content I have seen here, and I've only been reading since 2011 started, has always been positive and focused on community building and hard work. So many social media blogs for musicians are just about things - widgets, software, stuff. Magic objects that will make you have a career. From what I've seen in 10+ years of underground hip hop, that's just not the case. I hear so many young kids talk about old school rapper XYZ and say "oh they had skills what happened to them" and blame it on Weezy and Drake. I hold my tounge!! But I KNOW the story, too!! Rapper XYZ was an ASSHOLE and he was SELFISH and he grouched his way out of the industry!! Skills are not enough, too many young bucks thinking they can just get their bars up or get their buzz up and everything takes care of itself. It's WORK, and it's work EVERY DAY and you gotta LOVE it. I can tell Kosha Dillz LOVES IT!! Thank you for letting me rant!!
Posted at 5:36 p.m. on January 14, 2011
I can attest to KD's DIY mentality, he's in his own league. Only guy i know who came to SxSW in Austin with no scheduled shows and wind up with more than most headlining acts... no bull! Respect due to him and the homie Flex Mathews, who frequently tours/collabs with Kosha!
Posted at 10:16 p.m. on January 15, 2011
thank you so much for all this motivation. i spoke from my heart, and its gotten so many RT's and more.
i know people want to support those who help. K Murdock. in 2008 i was scheduled. in 2009 i wasnt. in 2010 i was and this year now again im official in SXSW.
but i do know every show counts..the show i did with Random is amazing and we built a great relationship.
I have 2 vids on MTV a video game character, tours with everyone from Snoop to Matisyahu, but it doesn't mean anything unless you give back and share your experience and strengths with others. I truely believe in the model and it will help me fill rooms across the USA.
Posted at 12:17 a.m. on January 16, 2011
9 Myron Biggs says...
DAMN. Good. Stuff.
Posted at 3:36 a.m. on January 18, 2011
12 lordjazz says...
Yea i met kosher in Paris France ...real cool dude, he s a go getter i admire that ! keep up the drive and determination homey ! peace DJ LORDJAZZ lords of the underground
Posted at 4:36 a.m. on February 14, 2011