The music business used to be simple. You gigged and prayed and waited and hoped that Berry Gordy would give you a contract. Once you had a record label, you were in. The Dip was early and steep.
Now, of course, making a record is trivial. A laptop and some microphones and you’re in. No permission needed.
And making a music video is a lot easier. And who needs MTV if you can get it on YouTube.
Hence the problem. Before, there were thousands of frustrated musicians with no record, no promotion and no Clive Davis. Now, there are thousands of frustrated musicians with a lot more at stake. They’ve got recordings and CDs and videos and MySpace pages but they’re still not successful.
It doesn’t feel fair. It’s not. It’s the Dip.
The Dip is what separates a hit from a non-hit. And the irony is that without the Dip, it would be useless to try to succeed in pop music. Without a chasm that separates the hits from everyone else, the hits aren’t worth anything.
Embracing the Dip, not cursing it, is the only way to stay sane (and become successful).