Notoriety is an interesting sort of balm. On one hand it is wonderful to be known for something that you’ve done. Somehow I feel that despite their desire to change something or make particular situations better inventors subconsciously crave notoriety. This can be said of anyone who does anything for any reason.
I write these articles not only for the love of a culture or for money. Everything is written out of a need for someone to know who I am. It’d be interesting and a huge ego boost to hear someone say “Oh my God. I love your articles…”
The dark side of notoriety is usually called infamy. December 7th is a day that FDR once said “will live in infamy”. Criminals are infamous but often immortalized in film or in writing, Jesse James and Frank Lucas being the examples my mind first stumbles upon.
A less substantial level of that would be being known for one thing, one act.
Most murders have that dubious honor.
One hit wonders have the same.
I know there have been many hip-hop artists we’ve seen with a one popular record only for them to fade into the backdrop. It’s a sad fact but it’s a part of the fickle nature of the industry.
Sometimes the song is a novelty song like “Lookin’ Boy”. The song was funny but we all silently knew that there was no happy ending for a group that pointed out “Raz B lookin’” boys or “Mike Vick lookin’” boys. It was probably only destined for them to have that one hit.
Sometimes it’s the one song that they know you for and you try so hard not to get lost in the dying lights of your career. DJ Unk will forever be known as the man who brought us “Walk It Out”, a take on the Atlanta dance called the Pool Palace. The success with the other songs was marginal. We may have like “2 Step” a bit, maybe even enjoyed the remix for its features. But everyone knows Unk for his debut single. And through no fault of his own that will never change.
“Tatted Up” and “Party Like A Rockstar” join this list as well.
Despite the stigma the phrase ‘one hit wonder’ brings I have found a silver lining, albeit a smaller one:
At least you can say that you had one hit. It’s a Pyrrhic victory truly but a victory all the same.