TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I believe it was fall semester of 10th grade when i first read this poem, and coincidentally monster.com used it in their Superbowl add that year also.
The road less traveled could be any avenue in life, really. I for one choose to relate it to the music industry and hip hop artists. Let me first begin by saying hip hop culture is very much alive still and steady pushing through the unsung hero’s that support the local art, artist and movement in their area and nationwide.
Major labels feel they have some type of control over hip hop because they see it as a business commodity. They can manipulate the masses to drink certain beverages , wear specific clothing, dress, act, walk, talk, etc., by having artist mention it in songs. On one hand we see a rich cultural identity turn into a materialistic label, and buying into the souljaboi’s, lil jons, and other mindless music…but its the people buying the records that manipulate where hip hop goes. Without money to fund your art…the art soon vanishes. I give it up to the souljaboi’s and lil‘ jons because they make music that makes people want to move, and that’s cool because they are doing what they set out to do…make people happy. But what about the people in hip hop that actually made thought provoking records and still bump like Little Brother, Living Legends, Tribe, Slum Village, Strange Fruit Project, Common, pac, pharsyde, mos def/talib and so on and so on.
For my generation to the next generation…being first hand in the classroom with students as a teacher and as a student i see that our schools are plagued with lazy thinkers. Its a painful reality that our future lies in the hands of today’s youth, and we’re not investing nearly enough time into them.
Being young to the industry, i still speak as though I’m not affected by the inherent affects of what the people want, and to some degree its not true. At this point in my career the music i make and the music i write is from the heart. real life experiences from a confused kid that’s trying to figure his world out. But I’ve seen dudes start out on the same path as me…and i see them now 5 or 6 steps ahead and their mentality changes. the industry can make the warmest souls turn cold hearted. To go from “I’m about the music” to “fuck you, pay me. ” ..and it has nothing to do with them not loving their career, but everything to do with not being able to survive of making music that is…well, thought provoking.
“i write for my life because I’m scared of a 9 to 5″
but what happens when passion doesn’t put food on the table or pay the rent?