Early on in my career, I made an offhand remark in an interview that my aunt was a songwriter. I never went into any detail about it, and now my Wikipedia page says that I have an aunt who worked in the music business. In actuality, she wrote songs for fun, in her bedroom, with her friends. The only song registered to her BMI repertoire is the opening track of my debut album, [2015’s Ratchet]. We wrote it together because it was an ode to our hometown.

To be clear: I’m not one of those weirdos who perpetually feel the need to prove they grew up barefoot in the mud to justify their success. I would’ve loved to have been a nepo baby. I sometimes daydream about how I probably would be even more successful had I been one.

I would’ve loved to have been a nepo baby

For the old heads out there who may be confused, the hot new term “nepo baby” is short for “nepotism baby.” It’s used to describe a successful person born into an already successful or affluent family, someone who continues a privileged legacy while the rest of the industry scrambles for the scraps that fall from their well-connected feasts. Although nepotism babies have been reigning since the dawn of time (the British monarch is one of many examples; Julian Casablancas is another), the term itself was born when people on the internet began to notice a substantial increase of popular artists in the music industry with famous parents. Performers like Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett), Gracie Abrams (daughter of director-producer J.J. Abrams), LoveLeo (son of actor John C. Reilly), and Samia (child of actors Kathy Najimy and Dan Finnerty) are, in many ways, currently shaping the future of the industry with their edgy yet sincere brands of pop music. Nepo babies aren’t inherently evil for pursuing careers in music, but their continued successes can certainly discourage truly innovative and freaky artists, the kind who lack the resources and knowledge to make it in an already extremely gate-kept industry.

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CREEM #002

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We made a Number 2. Our Winter 2022 edition features Melissa Auf der Maur's secret Smashing Pumpkins diary, Henry Rollins + Joe Rogan, CCR vs. the CIA, the (unfortunate) rise of rockstar CEOs, and more.

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