I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about the differences between the underground creative community versus mainstream. What it means to be an independent artist and why that “independence” is critical to creativity. RVA, like most creative communities, struggle with this dynamic. It’s great to be hot and new, an underground prince, BUT if your band or art gets too known – how do you balance out MONEY (that’s right – real money) and the integrity of your brand? Of course, the answer is no compromises BUT that is much easier said than done – again we are talking about real money as oppose to being the cool but broke artist.  The thing about the underground is that as soon as it gets out — it’s no longer underground…see the rub? But isn’t the goal, to do want you love and have as many people as possible vibe with you? There are no right and wrong answers here – are there? You know it when you see it — for example, The Lox should have never worn shinny suits (and I love Puffy – but that was a mistake). In conclusion to this ongoing conversation, that will never truly end, I offer this:  THE UNDERGROUND IS NOT INVISIBLE — it’s just wants to be. [Photo taken by the Cheats Movement in London, 2010]


  • Lucy Freedom says:

    There are some people that want to keep the underground scene invisible and the reason why it’s not completely is because there are some of us that want it to grow. This is the balance that keeps it progressing.

  • Marco says:

    Everyone has their price. And as long as money is the number 1 form of currency this dichotomy will remain. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with someone getting paid for what they love doing. It’s never a question of “selling out”. It’s more about leveraging your creative talents while maintaining the integrity with which you created with when broke.

    Furthermore, this is a topic that could be discussed for ages. Simply put, money makes the world go round.

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