Will your friends tell you when your music stinksWill your friends tell you when your music stinks?

Of course it feels great when people compliment your music, but do you have someone in your life you can count on to always tell it to you straight — even when their honesty hurts?

In an article on Pigeons & Planes called “The Most Important Person in My Corner,” one young rapper talks about how a friend of his who can be an outright jerk helped him mature as an artist by not pulling any punches when it came to criticizing the music.

Before meeting the critical friend (named Chris), the artist was getting praised by his friends and family, and believing every word of it. Here’s what happened:

This approval just fueled my confidence, and I started taking rap seriously. I started practicing, recording freestyles over beats I ripped off YouTube. Eventually, I was connecting with producers online and making original music. Years passed, and rap became a huge part of my life.

But even when I started promoting my music on YouTube and SoundCloud, I wasn’t gaining any traction outside of my friend group. In my little bubble, I was the dopest rapper alive, but the rest of the world wasn’t hearing it. What was going on?

When I left the suburbs for college, I started meeting people who weren’t as easily impressed (no offense to my high school friends—they meant well). That’s where I met Chris.

According to the article, Chris is “mostly just a grumpy, sarcastic asshole” — but he made a huge difference in the life of this rapper. Check out the full story to find out how unfiltered criticism ended up being beneficial to the young artist’s growth.

And then let us know, do you have a Chris in your life? How can you tell the difference between honest feedback and just some angry person trying to take you down a notch? Leave your comments in the section below.

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[Picture of dude hating on music from Shutterstock.]