I’m A Shotta: I Shoot From The Hip

It has recently caught my attention that I have a certain personality trait. It can be perceived as being good or bad, depending on your perspective. I was out with friends one night and we had it all planned out to a tee. What the others weren’t aware of was an impending situation which would eventually dictate the tone of the night. As we were enjoying our preloading session at my friend’s flat, I got wind of a gig happening on the opposite side of town to our agreed destination and we ended up ditching our initial plan. Not only that, we ended up making our decisions on the fly, even though we had a clear plan in place. Luckily for us in this instance, we had an amazing night which I dare say wouldn’t have happened had we followed the plan.

I have a tendency to shoot from the hip, i.e. I get random thoughts and ideas which I execute without putting too much thought into. As a musician, this seems to have worked really well for me to date. A lot of songs have been produced as a result of this, though I must say that a few songs have fallen victim of this that remain unfinished. I have had the odd moment where I am in the process of writing a tune, which I would have been contemplating for a while, or building a riddim template for one of my producer friends to complete, and before I even realise it some random thought hits my mind and I end up going in a completely different direction. What seems to be the constant in many of the situations this has happened, is that the song or project I end up completing (the unplanned one) almost always tends to be really good. I’m not going to front though, sometimes this trait does back fire.

It’s one thing having random change of plans when you are working alone, or in a controlled environment, it’s another case altogether when you are working with several people or you are in a group environment. Apart from the situation I outlined at the start of this post, I have several instances whereby my spontaneity has created tension within the group. A few times I have found myself at odds with one or more of the group members which inevitably ruins whatever experience we will be attempting to create. I have also found myself in a few of songwriting sessions, especially back in the Yung Shottaz days, where I’ve gone as far changing the direction of a song halfway through the process. As you’d expect, this did not go down well with the others, especially the more prolific writers in the crew (I’m looking at you Hlats). Needless to say, other people rarely appreciate a sudden change in direction, and given that old adage about change that I can’t quite remember at this stage, even if the change is good it will most likely face resistance initially.

The question of shooting from the hip has come to the fore quite recently when planning our next moves, i.e. for the Shottaz and Blacq Alex. A few ideas were triggered, on the fly, by yours truly which were initially met with a bit of resistance but luckily for me I’m working with open minded individuals so once the benefits of said ideas came to the fore, my peeps came around. Keep an eye peeled for some new initiatives coming from the camp in the coming weeks/months. When they hit streets remember Max Shotta, the wild gun slinger from the Shottaz crew.


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