Jay Smooth: Balancing fun and honesty online ‘is like doing cardio while you eat a burger’
Striking the balance between being informative and being interesting, activist and hip-hop DJ Jay Smooth said in a new commentary, often leads to fighting who he called the “two little haters” in his head.
“Trying to make good media and have an honest conversation is like doing cardio while you eat a burger,” he said. “They’re just not a natural fit with each other, and especially when you’re working in web video, it’s hard to do both without compromising either one or the other.”
When he tries to make something fun to watch, he said, is he will start hearing a stern voice calling him out.
“That first little hater pops into my head and says, ‘You are a clown and everyone sees right through you,'” Smooth said, donning a dark shirt and glasses to illustrate “him.” “All you ever do is riff on the latest conventional wisdom and find clever ways to say obvious things.”
But when he focuses on illustrating the complexities of a given topic, Smooth said, he’s pushed by the other “hater,” a deathly bored character.
“That’s cute that you think you’re smart or whatever, but nobody cares,” he said as the other voice. “And the saddest part is, you’re doing this at home by yourself, so you don’t even realize that everyone stopped listening already. Paul McCartney once wrote a song about how pathetic this is.”
Normally, Smooth said, he would close his video with a “snappy solution” to his dilemma.
“But if I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t figured it out at all,” he admitted. So this time, he reached out for people to submit their own experiences with the creative conundrum.
“In the meantime, I’m gonna keep showing up every day and taking another beating,” he said. “Because even if I’m that one wrestler whose job it is to get beat up by the other wrestlers every time, even if I spend every day as the S.D. ‘Special Delivery’ Jones for those little haters, I still think it’s worth it to get in the ring.”
Watch Smooth describe the perils of the creative process in this video, posted on Tuesday, below.