Being a Chart-Topping Musician Can Really, Really Suck

After years of struggle and working on your craft, you’ve made it. You’ve got a best-selling record. Awesome, right? Not necessarily. This is from

A couple of weeks ago, a rapper was giving a talk. This rapper had a #1 record earlier this year and he’s a really big deal. Oh yeah, he’s also super fucking depressed.


Because despite climbing to the top of the Billboard charts, he still doesn’t have much time to rejoice or even take a goddamn breath.

“Yeah I have a hit record, but the longer I’m on tour, the further I go and the bigger the gigs,” he explained, “the bigger the chance there is that people will forget who I am.”

It was weird hearing this admitted so publicly, but it was true — attention spans are tiny, content is abundant. The minute an artist stops releasing content 24/7 to begin performing their music in the real world, is the minute someone not attending their concerts finds someone else to listen to.

That’s scary.

“This moment is a gift and a curse,” he said. “I’ve never been bigger, and yet the bigger I get, the more it feels as if I’m being forgotten. I mean, I love it. But the internet just never goes off, and every second I’m not doing something on it — releasing music, tweeting, posting photos — it’s like I disappear a little bit.”

He found this disheartening.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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