Legends Speak: The Key to Success

Success is relative to most people based on their experiences. Some measure success using personal accomplishments and gains, while others use outside references to gauge their success. When it comes to a successful music career, well...the entertainment industry is fast paced, hardcore, and constantly changing. 

Only a few from the Athens-area have had mainstream success, and even less from the Athens Hip-Hop community.  Many in the current Athens Hip-Hop community have only experienced the good times, the packed shows, and the constant Athens spotlight, but it has not always been the thriving community it is today. Recently, I had conversations with some of the trailblazers and legends of the Athens Hip-Hop community. During these conversations, I asked them all a question about the key to success:


“There are many keys to success in the entertainment industry, but if you had to pick the primary key to succeeding, what would it be?"

Be like water, the game always changes.
— Shawty Slick (aka Lo Down of Lo Down -N- Duddy, National tour with Yung Joc)
Diligence is the key ingredient to making it in the music business. You have to remain steadfast through all of the shifts and changes in the music business. Success in the business has a lot to do with timing. Trends dictate the course of success. The ability to adapt and change but remain patient and diligent is key to enjoying success in the business.
— Ishues (World Tour with a concentration in Africa, National Keep Right Tour with KRS-ONE)
I would have to say availability. The music business and its opportunity are very on demand. Today’s chance may never come again. The aspiring has to be ready all the time.
— Kaliko (The Last Assassins, First Strike, Fashionably Late, True Fiction)
Stay consistent and persistent, because without them you can’t make anything happen. If you’re not consistent and persistent, it defeats the purpose of even doing it. The industry throws so many obstacles at you, you gotta be consistent and persistent enough to get up when you get knocked down.
— Noble Bahdum (aka Big Earl, major national tours with many different artists)
The ability to accept criticism to improve.
— Travis Williams (Trickle Down, Learning Curve series, illTravis, Lean on Me)

These artists have been major players in the building, maintaining, and advocating for the Athens Hip-Hop community since the genesis. These artists have also prospered in one form or another outside of the Athens-area. They have had personal and mainstream success, laying the foundation for the next wave of Athens Hip-Hop to come roaring through. Artists do not become successful overnight. The path will not be easy; in fact, most of you won’t make it. So to all the aspiring artists, there are many factors involved in becoming a success such as diligence, availability, accepting criticism, consistency, persistence, and constant evolution. Just remember to listen, study, and respect those that blazed that trail for you.

Click photos above for link to personal profiles.