Think What the Phrase 'Sell Out' Implies in the First Place

RECEIVED Wed., March 21, 2012

Dear Editor,
    I don't look down on the sell-out. In order to make your brand or business expand, you have to sell out. That is what the phrase "sell out" is implying in the first place. I laugh when I hear people gripe about their favorite musicians not being popular because of industry politics and then praise their favorite rapper for not selling out. You cannot have both. Besides Jay-Z, one of my favorite rappers is Pharoahe Monch. He's not a well-known rapper outside of hip-hop circles. I have no problem with him not being popular. Just like I like it when my favorite bar is not popular because it's more intimate and comfortable. But I'm sure Pharoahe Monch wouldn't mind more recognition, and I'm sure that bar owner would love a larger clientele. They are not in the business to please a few people. I never knew anyone who had a cap on how much money they want their business to make. I feel the same way about Austin. It's my favorite place to visit, day or night. More people mean prices go up due to supply and demand. More people means my favorite places to go get filled up before I get there. More people means my favorite parking spot is taken most of the time. More people means I get to know the people of Austin less. But I'm sure the city of Austin would love more people and more recognition as the premier stop for the music industry and music development.
    South by Southwest doesn't belong to us anymore, Texas. It's time to accept it. But Jay-Z's SXSW uppity crowd of transplants won't stop me from listening to his music or trying to attend his show. And SXSW's commercially driven vultures with their corporate interest won't deter me from having a great time in the capital city and seeking out my favorite local acts like Love at War, Ben Cina, Cientifiq, and MC Overlord (among many more). The way corporations defeat the consumer is by allowing the corporation to tell you what to buy. And as long as you have a choice and a voice, you have nothing to worry about. All cultures get exploited. It's up to you to unveil what is and what isn't culture. It ain't hard to tell.
Jorge L. Velez Jr.
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