Twenty years ago, being a "struggling musician" meant you were packed in a van, traveling from city to city with your bandmates, drinking cheap beer, and staying in dirty hotel rooms where you lie on a stained mattress and dream of one day making it big. Today, that is called being in an indie band. Today, that is called being an up-and-comer. Today, the term "struggle" has taken on new meaning. The Internet has made it possible for anyone to dive head first into a "music career," but it has also lowered the bar. Now, instead of having to really commit to something and grind it out the way artists in the '80s and '90s did, you can just start a half-assed Internet campaign from the comfort of your crusty old computer chair. Now, instead of actually putting in the work, you can just bang away at your keyboard and hope that your big break will come to you.
You rap/sing over songs by every hot producer and call it a "collaboration"
If you are simply rapping over someone else's production, that isn't a collaboration. A collaboration means that you actually worked together with the artist on a project. It means that, at one point, you actually came into contact with the artist, or, at the very least, the artist's PR people.
You call yourself a "buzz band"
Look, we get it. Sometimes we refer to ourselves as "superstars" and "the world famous Pigeons & Planes" and "Internet tastemakers/influencers/heroes." But we only do this when we're looking in the mirror, trying to gear up for a hard day's work of blogging until our fingers bleed. To publicly announce yourself as a "buzz band" is tacky.
Your cover art was made in Paint
You know that saying, "don't judge a book by its cover?" It's bullshit. Of course we judge things according to what they look like. It's not to say that we're incredibly shallow people, but yeah, on some level, we are shallow, at least a little bit.
You brag about YouTube views
Honestly, in this day and age, YouTube views don't mean much. Unless you're up there in the hundreds of thousands, you're just another fish swimming in the ocean. Prove that you can actually sell a couple albums and it means A LOT more than getting your view count up.