I want to tell you about a documentary that has lots of good going on in it (the movie has plenty of Art Of Hustle concepts), focusing primarily on how music artists have been affected by cut-throat labels and how some are ultimately taking back their careers. Whatever your field, from visual art to theater, no matter how “real” you keep it, if you plan on advancing, if you plan on staying relevant, at some point or another, you’re going to have to deal with it – the Industry! My friend, literary artist Barbara Jane Reyes has aptly dubbed the machine that runs the poetry world: Po Biz. Given the countless parallels in our respective arenas, there is a lot that we can learn business-wise from paying attention to genres that aren’t necessarily our own.

While the first half of the film illuminates what most of us might already know about the negative effects of business on art, the second half of the film I find more inspiring – the story of a slate wiped blank and a field leveled by that omnipotent and mysterious thing that we call the Internet. The featured artists, which include such greats as Erykah Badu, QuestLove, and Branford Marsalis, talk about going back to the basics – like art for art’s sake, but they also talk about (as I did in the post Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion) leaping on this never-before-seen artistic advantage in consumer technology in order to actually helm the business that governs your art! In both designing and disseminating your work!

And speaking of technology, go ahead now and pick a time this weekend to see this film at your convenience. It’s playing for free at Hulu! Watch the trailer below. And follow this link when you’re ready to view this great film, “Before The Music Dies”.