I’ll never forget the gas stop on the way down to Florida for Spring Break. My older brother and I couldn’t believe we were seeing such a star, waiting for our line at Burger King. I must of been 7 or 8 years old. MTV was at peak, cultural relevance and I was able to stay up with cool and popular artists thanks to my older brother.
And there he was waiting for his burger and fries like the rest of America: internationally known recording artist, Snow. His global hit, “Informer,” was in the process of spending 7 weeks on top of the Billboard 100 Charts.
The music video is still vivid in my mind today, sun glasses and all.
Snow, the Canadian-Reggae superstar, was labeled a “one hit wonder.”
Fast forward 15 years later. Another artist who had one massive hit, that coincidentally also spent 7 weeks on top of the Billboard 100 Chart, was SouljaBoy’s “Crank That.” SouljaBoy saw the digital revolution coming. Today, Soulja Boy has a massive platform to push any product he wants. 2.4M subscribers on Youtube, 5.8M followers on Instagram, and 5.4M Twitter followers provides some serious leverage.
Naval Ravikant, a popular entrepreneur, investor, shared a valuable insight: “Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.” New media makes this much easier to do than back in 1992.
I asked some friends, what is the best one hit wonder they can think of in the last few years. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” immediately came to mind. Amazingly, her scorchingly addictive song was released back in 2011. Similar to SouljaBoy, she has millions of followers between Youtube subscribers and Twitter / Instagram followers.
What does all of this mean?
The content you produce today compounds thanks to technology. Also, one piece of content can make a career for the rest of your life. It’s harder than ever to break through the noise, but consistently putting out insightful, relevant, and talented art goes a long way.
Snow, SouljaBoy, and Rebecca Black may not be the next John Lennon, but for a minuscule period in history, they had chart-topping cultural relevance. In today’s world, that relevance can be leveraged into an influential platform and artistic playground that lasts for decades.