The refrain from Danny Brown’s song ‘Dip’, the Skywlkr produced track off of his latest album, keeps ringing out in my head lately — “Don’t let me into my zone" — chanted in Danny’s signature squeal. The line is directly lifted from Kanye + Jay Z, and it’s got me thinking about creativity and collaborative relationships.
I think everyone’s zone is uniquely particular to them, but in general it is probably a healthy balance of the comfortable and the experimental. We need the comfortable in order to feel grounded and aligned with who we are (or who we think we are), whether it’s the same notebook for composing ideas or writing lyrics, or a trusty old keyboard with memories embedded in its tones. But at the same time, and perhaps just as much, we need the experimental to take us OUT of our comfort zone — to break into unknown territory, to push the limits of what is possible, and discover who it is we want to be. Collaboration is one way to get there, with multiple forces pushing each other, pushing things forward.
The unknown can be scary and disorienting. Experimentation is often a risk. Wading into uncharted waters can lead to embarrassment, failure, or utter disaster. However, as David Byrne mentions in the video above, the creative value in collaboration is wholly unique, and the results are probably unattainable by any other means. Artists taking these risks every day should be applauded, not ridiculed. Their strength and fearlessness pushes culture forward in ways no one else can.
David Byrne isn’t scared. Just listen to his joint with Selena:
And neither is Bonecrusher, of course.
Dig deep. Dream big. We have your back, and look forward to where you take things next.