Perseverance: Not Just A Title

I wanted to write a post that explains the reasoning behind my recent album title, “Perseverance“. Some of y’all have been supporting me long enough to know what perseverance means to me, but others might not know just how long I’ve been chasing this rap dream. I apologize in advance for the length of this. I didn’t mean to write a full essay but it just rolled on out once I got going.

Waaaay back in 1999 I started getting into rap and discovered that I wanted to give it a shot. In the beginning I did a ton of awful freestyling using Microsoft Sound Recorder as my “studio software” (you can guess what the quality was like). In 2000 I began writing lyrics instead of rambling off the top of my dome. I never really decided to work on an actual album until 2001 when I was in 10th grade. I also had no idea what I would call myself (“Big Hush” didn’t show up until 2003). Because of the popularity of the Freestyle Kings at the time, I wanted to make an entire “screwed” album of me rapping over popular commercial beats. Since this was “screwed” (slowed down from normal playback speed) I decided to name it “Slower Paced” (I thought that was clever at the time, but today I realize it was more accurately a description of my writing abilities then). So this was the first real album of work I created and thus began my repeated attempts at making something that would appeal to the masses and see me rise to Texas Rap stardom. Here I am 12 years later still working on that.

I won’t go into detail on each album, but I decided to collect the numbers and see what my stats are like at this point. I’ve never paid attention to how much music I’ve created because as soon as I make something I’m immediately focused on what I want to make next. This is one obvious reason why I’m terrible at the marketing side of this game. Anyway, here are the numbers from my first album all the way to my most recent:

Slower Paced (2002) – 14 songs
Southern Knights (2002) – 9 songs
On My Way (2003) – 11 songs
Still Crawlin’ (2003) – 13 songs
Two Word Title (2003) – 10 songs
Easy Come, Easy Go (2004) – 12 songs
Texas 6 (2004) – 17 songs
Texas Reg (2005) – 14 songs
All On The Surface (2005) – 14 songs
Texas Reg 2nd Edition (2006) – 11 songs
Handwritten (2006) – 15 songs
Livin’ Room Flow (2006) – 15 songs
Str8 From Bryan Tx (2007) – 19 songs
Daydreamin’ (2008) – 14 songs
One City at a Time (2009) – 17 songs
Music Over Money (2010) – 25 songs
Always The Quiet Ones (2011) – 16 songs
Can’t You Tell I Rap? (2012) – 16 songs
Perseverance (2013) – 14 songs

Random tracks with no album – 22 songs

Total Song Count: 298
Total Solo Song Count: 249
Total Count That Will Never Be Made Public Again: 114
Total Solo Count Available To The Public: 158

FYI: Four of the albums above were ones I did with other artists. This list doesn’t include three freestyle albums that were recorded or any collaboration/single verse tracks I’ve made.

All-in-all I have 249 solo songs that I have written and recorded in the past 12 years. A typical song for me has three verses at 16 bars (or 8 rhymes) each, which would put me at around 12,000 bars of lyrics written (not counting hooks). Unfortunately, roughly 114 of those songs will never be let out to the public ever again for two reasons: 1) Until I wised up and began writing songs that were true to me and how I really spoke, I was only emulating the rappers I had been listening to. I was using slang that I didn’t even know the meaning of, talking about lavish things I’d only have if I was a millionaire (also called “fantasy flow”), and I was extremely vulgar compared to my music today. Granted I’m RARELY offended by anything, and I cuss like a sailor in the company of my friends, but as far as how I wanted to represent myself in my music, and to the listening world, I felt embarrassed about the things I had been writing. 2) The technical side of recording my music has always been a trial-and-error process of me (with no professional training) trying to figure out how it’s done and what’s supposed to be used in doing it. This means that with every album the sound has gotten progressively better and easier to listen to. My first 6 or 7 albums have so many audible flaws in the levels, mix, back-up vocals, splicing, etc, that they’re honestly hard to listen to without cringing at times. Even some of the stuff I have available right now I know I could’ve done better. Every new song is a learning experience to some degree. But this is the substance behind “Homemade Hit Productions” and why that name is something I will always be proud of. I love the fact that what I do has always been done from my little bedroom or apartments and I’m just like all of you, except I make music.

Now with ALL of this said… With ALL of those songs that I’ve made and ALL of these years I’ve poured into this music, I want you to guess how many times I’ve had mass appeal/success… The answer is once. In 2011 I wrote a song called “Welcome to the Presentation” that was a tribute to everything I love about Bryan/College Station, the place I’ve called home for 22 years of my 28 year life. The funny thing is that I’ve made this same song so many times before this particular one, but all that matters is doing it in the right place and the right time. I was extremely fortunate to have the local top 40 station, Candy 95, get a hold of it and blast it to the B/CS population. Along with that came a news story on KBTX and almost 30,000 views on YouTube which for me might as well be two million. It was by far the greatest moment I’ve had with my music to date. The best part is that I didn’t conform to any trends or do anything other than just make a song that was true to me.

After that happened everything calmed back down. I’ve put out two more albums since then and I’m back to trying to find what will click for mass appeal while making something that I love. I’m no idiot. I know that if I would just stop making music the way I do and mold myself to fit what’s popular then I could have a much easier time finding success. But as any artist will tell you, staying true to yourself is more important than anything. Some artists choose to compromise that because they simply want success and don’t care how they get it. I would rather find success in my own time and be able to look back with a full chest of pride on how I got there. I might be the polar opposite of every rapper you’ve listened to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a fan base out there waiting for us to connect. My 15 minutes of local fame with “Welcome to the Presentation” proved to me that I can make something the way I want to and have it appeal to a large audience.

My latest album is called “Perseverance” to represent everything you just read, what I’ve gone through up to this point, and what I’ll go through in the future. It represents the haters, the doubt, the fans, the support, the talent show, the radio play, the TV interviews, the live performances in four different cities, the countless hours of perfecting mixes/making beats/writing verses/shooting videos/building websites/creating artwork, the paychecks & tax returns that disappeared in order to buy new equipment/press up CDs/print t-shirts, the social events and time with friends & family sacrificed for the sake of making more music, the confidence, the depression, the excitement, and the disappointment. Above all of this though, above anything else that I’ve put into this, it represents the fact that I started chasing a dream and I won’t stop until I catch it. I have been here and will stay here for as long as it takes to achieve success as I see it playing out. I will knock down every wall and dodge every obstacle to see that my perseverance pays off and this music I love to make is shared with everyone that loves to listen. I want you to be there to celebrate with me when it happens. Without you behind me there would be no point in moving forward.

Here’s to another 12 years,
Big Hush

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