What's In A Name? / by Randy Ortiz

WIAN_WGMI ask this every time I see an artists submission email so it comes up quite often, sometimes it peaks my interest and sometimes I forcefully try to not roll my eyes. More importantly what's your reaction to a name if it use symbols ($,▲, †, etc.) as a substitution to a letter for stylized purposes? Ma$e is probably the first one I noticed years ago, I've always disliked the blatant focus of money in an artists vision and this didn't help. Nowadays you see all sorts of symbols, Wingdings and such on profiles to spell out their names, it ends up looking like a kid got to a symbol spelling kit and went nuts. Probably the importance in a name isn't as important as it was before and Prince changed certain things when it comes to symbols as names. The dollar sign is overhyped and overused in certain subcategories of Hip-Hop but now with artists not even spelling letters out, does it diminish the importance of the artists name? I believe it narrows the consumers perspective of the artist and pigeonholes them into a certain type of attitude or look. Never-mind the 2-3 worded names for indie rock bands, that I can stand if the music is good enough and usually have nothing to do with what the music actually sounds like. Those with the '$' symbols in their name however have puffs of cash signs billowing out of their music as it plays. Now you can see my reaction to a submission that has those kinds of names in BOLD capped red/green/whatever crazy font downloaded off 1001 Free Fonts.

I believe in presentation and vision greatly and when I see these symbols in music I tend to think this is a makeshift issue to gain popularity with 'the kids' or you just can't/didn't see beyond that. I would say to those wanting to have wordplay, think a bit more about the overall picture than a cash sign to encompass who you are as an artist, it comes off very unprofessional or amateur if the first thing you think of substituting an 'S' with is the '$' sign. Amirite or amiwrong?