Not sure if this wall of text will even be read by anyone but that actually doesn't really matter or bother me.
Aesop Rock has always been an influence on the art I make and I assume that anyone else that grew up with the resurgence of alternative hip-hop in the early to mid 00's can relate.
The song 'Rings' especially hits hard - at times I wonder if Aes has a scope into my mind and has been secretly trailing me over the last 20 years but then I remind myself that most of us feel these totally normal things and only notice when the connection occurs - usually though our art. I've recently been reconnected to my beatmaking past in a strange way that prompted me to write this. I was looking for a word that describes the exact opposite of 'serendipitous' and couldn't really find one. I'll settle on happenstance.
A month ago, my wife gave birth to our first child. Us both being fans of music we constantly have something playing around the baby and she seems to enjoy music playing more than silence. One afternoon my wife asked me for a suggestion to put on and I recommended a 'DJ Krush' mix on YouTube.
Literally the first track that played was one of my own tracks but uploaded under a different name and title. The track 'Floatship' that I uploaded to Newgrounds in June 2010 was re-uploaded by some dude in October 2010 under the name 'Ronin - King Instrumental' and amassed 2.5 million views. My Newgrounds post has 3,169 listens as of this exact moment. My takedown request was fortunately honored a few days ago by YouTube but there is still a sickening feeling about 2.5 million listens to a song you produced that was stolen by some unknown audio poacher that now has his name associated with it the obscure corners of the internet. In addition that this flew under the radar for a fucking decade and was only discovered by chance when I was looking for a newborn nap playlist.
I realized that the sickening feeling was not so much that someone stole the track to pass off as their own (which still sucks and I know is not the first time that anyone has ever stolen a beat), but the realization that I walked away from producing work that I loved to work on. It turns out that work was accepted as 'good' albeit under someone elses name. I let my insecurity constantly belittle into thinking that I was mediocre and should focus my energy elsewhere. Ignoring that any skillset takes years to improve and the improvement curve becomes more gradual as we refine.
So 'Rings' speaks to me more than anything else I can think of at the moment or maybe having a child and wanting to encourage them to not walk away from something that they love and enjoy is really what was driving all of this. Either way, it's hard to admit that I “used” to make beats.
It was never about any kind of notoriety or fame, I have 71 Newgrounds fans that know me under a pseudonym taken from a Sega Genesis game from my childhood.
I'm grateful that anyone outside of my local hiphop scene from back in the day ever gave my work a listen and critique. Hell, I'm grateful if anyone powered through this venting post that is more for myself than anything.
I suppose the only option it to start making music again...