This post was written by Rani Veda @RaniVeda

“Martin had dream, Hov had a team” – The True Definition of Support.

“What Is Support?” 
What is support to you?  Is it your friends paying to attend your shows? Is it your circle purchasing your merchandise? Unfortunately, in the entertainment industry, these situations are far and few. Too many artists are selling themselves short. Their circle is a despicable collection of moochers and “Yes Men”. As an artist, you have to know your worth. Do not allow people to use you for your talents, suck you dry, and leave you struggling while they move on. Take heed to the vultures.
Your friends should be the first in line at your shows, with a ticket they purchased themselves. Your friends should NOT show up 15 minutes before your set and hit you with the “I’m at the door, you think you can get me in?” text. Your circle should also be the first to buy and wear your merchandise. Your circle needs to have the understanding that the money will circulate. Some people have the misconception that they’re just putting money in the next man’s pocket, and not getting anything in return. But then again, what is the definition of support to those people?
Support is something that should be given without the expectation of reciprocation. Support is based on the concept that “this is someone or something I want to see go far.” There is no room for the crabs in a bucket mentality in your circle. All of your friends should be hustling for the bigger picture.
Let’s take TDE for example: each artist pushes the next equally, and releases are done strategically. They work as a unit, with friendly competition, but ultimately they all benefit in the long run. Also, they’re all talented as hell and work super hard (something that should not go overlooked).
Keeping It Real With Yourself
You have to be true and honest with yourself. Is your circle benefiting your progression, or are they holding you back? Do they agree with everything you release, or every decision regardless of the consequences? Your circle has to steer you in the right direction. These are the people you have to entrust with your reputation and your career. They are literal extensions of you. Your immediate circle, regardless of their title, has to be professional when accompanying you. You never know who is watching, and that one friend who turned up a little too much at the club, could cost you a prospective opportunity.
Many artists are surrounded by people who just linger about, and agree with everything for the fear that they might get eliminated from reaping the benefits of being in the entourage. You need people around you who will be honest; no “Yes Men” allowed. You have to let that dead weight go. It could be family, friends you’ve known for years, and significant others. The people who are not contributing to your success should be seen as a hindrance, and therefore kept at a distance.
Decide What You Want 
Additionally, you have to keep an open mind, and take into consideration what your circle is expressing to you. If you are creating for the sake of just making money, there is no passion, there is no purpose, then maybe listening to your friends about taking another route would be a wise decision. It is ultimately up to you to decide if this is what you really want in life. You have to be able to determine if your friends are jealous or if they truly care about you, and are trying to tell you that you suck, without the harshness of telling you “you suck”.
Nobody said this lane would be easy, and if you come into this industry with that mind-state, then you are sadly mistaken. The path to success in the entertainment industry is a long, hard road, littered with trash from all directions. This is why it is crucial that your circle remains tight knit, strong, and true. Weed out the un-necessaries and stay focused. There’s plenty to do, so get moving.