Now, I must say that my wife has a band that plays all originals, and which has, over the last couple of years, played at the House of Blues, the Viper Room and other major L.A. clubs. One of my sons is also in a band that gigs about 75 times a year, up and down the West Coast, and has a recording contract with a small record label. So, I've had a chance to see what the music business is like today, not at the end of the musical universe, but right in one of its world capitals. That's my perspective. Anyway, here is some of what this guy had to say:
"I’m a 23-year-old rapper, music producer and filmmaker living in the world’s largest open air prison."
That would be Gaza, the only open air prison on earth to have its own inmate-run army, representation at the United Nations and fifty miles of Mediterranean beach property.
"I’m also a multimedia student at university. I’ve worked with many other young artists on creative projects, but unfortunately these projects never see the light of day, because no matter how hard we try, our dreams are constantly crushed by the tyranny of the limitations we face."
This has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the quality of this guy's music, film making and "multimedia production," whatever that is. Because we know how many 23 year old students produce anything worth listening to. And by the way, several of their projects have seen the "light of day," the same way that music from a hundred thousand other bands around the world do- online, where anyone on earth is free to listen to them. And here it is, just in case you are interested/masochistic enough to give it a try:
The first one is a live performance featuring the two brothers which, let's just cut to the chase here, is dreadful. The second is one of a number of things they have managed to crank out on a computer, which I have selected because it has English subtitles available, which is so mediocre that it is hard to listen to more than a minute of it.
"Of the many barriers artists and performers in Gaza face, the biggest of all is Israel’s ongoing siege and repeated wars and bombing raids. But we face many other challenges from the ground up."
Of course, the quality of their work is not a barrier, despite the fact that they have managed to record and place online many music videos just like any other band on earth. In fact, let's get things straight right now: These guys' songs feature third rate knockoffs of music that was dated fifteen years ago, coupled with tenth rate ravings about Palestinian suffering that were stale before they were born. Not designed to win listeners, but it is all someone else's fault.
"In Gaza, there are no music production companies that nurture and help developing artists. What we have right now are various commercial production companies that focus on marketing and advertising in order to make a profit.
These companies have the equipment that is needed for filming and recording, and so with no other spaces available, artists often find themselves forced to work with them. As a result, they become shackled by their corporate rules and regulations, especially the golden rule of never offending any customers.
And so desperate artists go against the grain of their freedom of expression and self-censor their work at a great cost to the quality of their art."
Ha ha. It is only in Gaza where people who start record companies do it to make a living, apparently. And the companies have all the equipment, but cruelly won't turn it over to guys like Mohammed and Osama, because they just don't care to devote themselves to promoting essentially worthless music. And let's just be up front here: everyone knows exactly who they are talking about when they refer to "production companies." Yes, the fact that they don't have a multimillion dollar record contract is just one more oppression by you-know-who.
"Independent artists who believe that art must be a free form of expression, a vehicle for dissent and a conduit of change, find themselves standing alone, unsupported and unfunded.
We desperately need to establish independent institutions to support the arts in Gaza, institutions that will reach all young people. The problem is always how to get there."
I.e. it is the responsibility of someone else to make these guys into stars.
Listen, Mohammed, let me tell you something from my own family's experience, and from what everyone else in the world of music knows: If you want to play only what you want, you can't demonize your audience because they are not interested. That's the price you must be willing to pay to play avant garde music. The audience owes you nothing. And the producers follow the audience, because they do not want to work damned hard only to live in poverty, helping some jumped up loser play out his dreams.
So, try listening to more of what is going on in the music world, which is full of great things, and try practicing your art until you are worthy of our attention. Here's a place to start:
And don't blame the Jews for your lack of dedication to your art.