Fame is not just fickle, it’s feeble.
As you might be aware by now, I am a huge Hip Hop fan. I love both old school and new school Hip Hop music. When I want to turn up and feel good, I listen to new school and when I want to reflect, I listen to old shool.
One of my favorite Hip Hop jams from the 90s is Paparazzi by Xzibit.
In the song, Xzibit addresses rappers who come into the game just to get famous and consequently get the luxury and the women. They don’t do it for the love, they just do it for the benefits. This 1996 masterpiece by Xzibit ties in to modern day behavior of the male masses.
The ailments of ‘fame-chasing’ and ‘validation-seeking’ affect many dudes nowadays. In the age of social media, everyone is trying to be popular. There are people who live for the likes on Facebook and Instagram. Whenever their posts get few likes, they suffer worse depression than a Hollywood exec who has been exposed as a sex predator.
A lot of guys particularly those in the arts also pursue their careers for the wrong reasons. They do it just so they can get famous and get the women. They are more concerned about how many followers they have and who is in their DMs than whether their craft is good enough. Most of these upcoming deejays, artistes, dancers, photographers, social media influencers, models and bloggers are doing what they do for the fame not for the passion.
It’s obvious that chicks dig fame and it’s in a male mammal’s natural nature to do what he can to attract the female species. Artistic guys thus try hard to be famous in their field in order to attract chicks in droves. You probably know people like this on social media. They like to let you know how much of a big deal they are on Facebook, Twitter, and the likes. They force their so called importance down your throat. They create the picture that they are doing really well while in reality, they are suffering inside.
As a writer who has experienced the benefits of popularity, I find it appropriate to use myself as an example. I happen to be semi-famous not super famous. I wouldn’t say I am that huge. I am mostly known among the social media community and people who love reading. I am unlikely to meet a nduthi guy who knows me for example. And guess what? I am totally okay with that.
When I began writing, all I wanted was to be known. I would’ve done anything — anything — to get people to recognize me. I wanted everyone to bow down to me. Whenever I met someone new, I would introduce myself by full names – ‘Philip Etemesi’, hoping they would recognize me from my blogs and worship me. I wanted the attention and the women. I thought that was all that mattered. But I wasn’t happy. In the words of J.Cole in ‘False Prophets’, my lowest moments came when I tried too hard to impress.
It wasn’t until I stopped caring about being famous that I really started to succeed and be happy. Nowadays, whenever I meet a new person, I just introduce myself as Philip. I don’t care whether they know me or not. I don’t care whether they read my stuff or not. I just do what I do. You wont see me posting daily on Facebook and Instagram to get likes and comments. I only post when I feel like. What I focus on is working hard to make my craft better and better. This approach has enabled me to achieve tremendous growth.
The less I care about having a big name, the more success seems to follow me. The days when I would care so much about being known, serious girls would rarely even holla at me. I’d only get the jokers and thots. These days, I write what is in my heart, not what will go viral and interestingly, people love my work more than ever. The less I care about fame, the more I get offered lots of career opportunities in my field, the more money I make, the more quality chicks holla at me, the more I change the lives of individuals and the more life throws good things at me.
And that’s how life works. The more you chase something, the more it runs away from you. But the more, you are at ease, the more you just keep doing you, excellence follows you.
It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it, especially in a culture where we often equate fame with success? But, friends, the two are rarely the same.
Our great temptation as creatives is to focus on hype and not our creation.
When we lose this focus, we become peddlers of hollow ideas. This is the myth of the empty platform. All smoke and fluff, pomp and title. No substance. Platforms are great, but once you’re standing up there, you really need something great to present.
As a creative, you ought to ask yourself “Do I want to be famous or successful?” Of course, success doesn’t have to mean making money; it can mean whatever you want it to mean. Except fame.
Personally, I might never grow to be famous as someone like Diamond, but I can attain his level of life success if I put in work. I can own mansions like him, bang Zariffic women like him, drive expensive cars like him and travel all over the world like him without necessarily being famous. So can you. I would be very much okay with being an unknown billionaire than a Kristoff. Success is more valuable than fame, any day, anytime. Fame comes and goes but success is timeless.
The world is full of famous people who haven’t done anything significant. Understand that the world doesn’t need another Wizkid. It’s need your contribution, your art, your distinctiveness..
Fall in love with the work, not the results. Stop creating for results and learn to embrace the love of the work itself. Because the work, after all, is the reward.
Hone your craft my people. In this world of platforms and instant connection to everyone, the stakes for creating great work have never been higher. Because it’s so easy to game the system, to trick your way into influence without actually doing anything remarkable, we have to be careful.
There were times when you would see an article of mine with a title such as ’10 Female Celebrities That Have The Juciest And Sexiest Thighs.’ Such an article would go viral easily, but was it really the noble way to go? There was no way I’d be taken seriosuly. Nowadays, you get more complex titles from me like ‘Diagnosing The Symptoms Of Impending Infidelity.’ That’s because I opened my eyes and fell more in love with the art than the attention.
We have to avoid the temptation of fame and instead do the quiet work that leads to true success. This is not easy or efficient, but it’s what’s required if you want to be legendary instead of just popular in the short term. If you want to do work that makes a difference long after you’re old and retired.
Fame, it’s not your brain, it’s just the flame. People try to get attention and (some) are willing to do just about anything to get it. What most fail to realize is that fame isn’t a destination. Fame is a minor outcome of doing something that people want to connect with.
Don’t focus on the promotion when you should be getting better. Because all those tweets and posts and shouting matches take energy, energy that you should be spending on the work. Not the marketing.
And once you’ve practiced and honed and created a lot of crap (because we need to do bad work before we can do good work), make your contribution. And then, my friend, you can always be proud of yourself.
Don’t think about becoming famous. Think about creating an impact with the work that you do. It’s not about how many women like you are how many followers you gain. It’s about the the content of your work and how it makes you achieve success as the creator.