May 07, 2014
Open Letter to HOV!
Cam Osteen is the man behind the sounds that recently catapulted Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa to the limelight. After sending a beat made specifically for Jay-Z and being rejected before making it to HOV, the brilliant young producer writes Jay-Z an Open Letter on behalf of himself and the entire craft of producing!
In this letter, Cam identifies some of the key issues with the world and commercial infrastructure we live in:
I was encouraged to make something more along the lines of what you’re already making with other producers. While taking this advice would have increased my chances of getting a record placed with you, it would have also defeated the purpose of me producing a record for you in the first place. Producers depreciate their artistic value when they subjugate their vision to someone else’s. In all my work I seek to set myself apart, not blend in. Without an understanding of their own artistic worth, producers will tend to create as a directive. Consequently, the culture of beatmakers in the music industry begins to resemble that of a sweatshop. Creating your own platform for the release of your first album was the result of your belief in your own worth, which prevented the major labels from being able to dictate your future. That same understanding in myself is what has birthed this letter; choosing to stay true to myself instead of doing what I was told.
What it comes down to is standing by your art; investing yourself into yourself and not selling yourself short. Otherwise, we become simply tools within a framework that's designed to keep us as tools, that see consumers as targets. It's clear that Cam Osteen believes in the beat he created for Jay and is unwilling to compromise on it. Do you feel that his sound has integrity?