We were all present a few weeks back during the Twitter meltdown Nicki Minaj had as she reacted to her album, Queen, reaching the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Charts. Travis Scott came under fire as his highly anticipated album, ASTROWORLDdebuted at No.1. Although she sold an impressive 180,000 units, her frustrations with her album roll-out took center stage.

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Photo: Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil

It’s not easy separating your art from business in an industry where data is the primary indicator of success.

Nicki Minaj’s obsession with numbers came with consequences as her image comes into question, but her reactions might have been warranted if there were label negotiations the public aren’t aware of, a point highlighted by Ian from the Joe Budden Podcast:

The measure of who is the best should be left to the art itself. DJ and producer A-Trak shared his thoughts on the unhealthy nature of competing just for the sake of numbers and sales:

Comparison is the thief of joy and A-Trak’s advice to artists help assuage the anxiety around creating. He encourages artists not to get sidetracked, but to focus on themselves and the music. Numbers and streaming wars are part of the game now with artists marketing their album better than others, but the point is to not let that get in your way of creating your best work.

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Photo: A-Trak

Although data is how many artists stay booked and busy, everyone can use that to their advantage no matter where their music falls on the Billboard charts. Map out where your local fan base are and cater to them. Whether you’re doing stadium tours or intimate venues, you have to define success on your own terms.

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