I was browsing through some blogs and I was reminded of a question that I get from alot of aspiring producers, and that is:
"Tony, how do I get my name out there?"
I do realize that there are producers that look up to me, and I take that with great honor and thanks to God, hoping that I can make the most God glorifying impact on them. But I would like to answer every producer with a similar question in this one blog.
Whenever I'm approached with questions that are about how I got where I'm at or how can younger, newer producers get to where I'm at, I never know how to answer. I can't answer because I don't know myself how to actually get "out there". I had no big business plot or model that I was following. I began making music seriously around age 18 even though I was making it for years before that. But beyond making beats, I had a passion deeper than music, and even deeper than doing any ministry, however honorable: I wanted to study the Word of God.
There would be days that I'd literally spend hours sitting on a bed reading and taking notes on the Bible, only stopping for a food break. It was a daily process that lasted a period of 3 years before I completed a study of every book of the Bible. It is a process that I keep repeating over and over, continually going over the Scriptures over and over, learning more every time around.
During that 3 year period the early stages of "Tony Stone" began to develope, as I was also working dilligently making music. I didn't know that lots of people were really enjoying the little bit of beats that I had online. I simply wasn't focused on that! God had literally elevated me without me even knowing it, right under my nose! I was more concerned with learning who Christ is rather than anything else, so I wasn't distracted.
Fellow producers, until you get to the point where you are seeking Christ with all of your heart, wanting to learn more of Him- being "out there" will only do you more harm than good. It will distract you from the more important posession of Christ. It will preoccupy your agenda. Do not seek to be exalted, but abase yourself. Concern yourself MOST with learning the God of Scripture.
What should I do with my music?
I don't want to sound like I'm overemphasizing spirituality (I say that tongue and cheek) while advocating laziness in your craft. It doesn't mean that you should be sloppy and lazy with your craft. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't make any beats, or strive hard to be original, or try to make dope tracks. It doesn't mean that you are sinning if you are working long and hard to make dope music. You should be dilligent! You should work smart and hard! However, your greatest goal should be to get closer to Christ, not to make the hottest tracks, land your beats on the biggest albums, or be known.
Dig into the Word. Pray. Obey what you read.
For the Christian hip-hop listener
Many of my readers aren't rappers or producers. You may be a Christian, but a bank teller. A Christian, but a manager. A Christian, but a teacher. Let me encourage you also! It's easy to look at the Christian rapper or the Christian producer and tell them that they should spend more of their time in the Word, and rightly so for many! But these principles aren't just for the artists, they are for us as Christians in general- So whatever is YOUR job, don't preoccupy yourself with seeking your next promotion, the pleasure of your boss, or the status of your benefits, etc. Rather, preocucupy yourself with glorifying God and the persuit of Christ in your workplace!