Before you go off and say someone is talentless, I'd like you to remember something:

Testing for talent is like testing for drugs.

Now what do I mean by that?  

Let's say a couple of 16 year olds go to a party.   At this party they do a lot of things.  They dance with a couple of girls, sing some Black Eyed Peas songs and drink a lot of really bad—but really cheap—beer.  As the hours pass, people start to leave until there's only five kids left.  One of those kids breaks out some pot.  The two 16 year olds take a hit or two and then they. chill. out.  They spend the next few hours playing Super Smash Brothers and listening to Pink Floyd.  Inspired by the band Sublime, two of the other kids smoke two joints each.  Then there's a kid named Ian, but he goes by "Rainbow Sprinkles."  Rainbow Sprinkles takes out an eight foot bong and he just annihilates himself on a mixture of two types of weed called Rosacea and Lee Sklar's Beard.  It's ridiculous how stoned Rainbow Sprinkles gets.  

Suddenly, something hits each of these kids simultaneously.  They're hungry—really fucking hungry.  So Rainbow Sprinkles decides they should all drive to Carl's Jr.  Together all five of them drive in a VW Bus to get some burgers.

They don't get too far, however.  Rainbow Sprinkles drives the VW Bus into five different mailboxes.  All the lights turn on in the neighborhood and the cops arrive.  Each of the boys gets taken into the station for a drug test.

Now let's reexamine how stoned each of these kids are.  Our original heros—the two 16 year olds—only took a couple of hits.  The Sublime idolizers smoked two joints.  Rainbow Sprinkles? Nobody knows how much he smoked—but, boy, was it a lot!

All of them receive the same grade on their drug tests: POSITIVE.  

Testing for talent is like testing for drugs.

I suppose people can be one of three things in life: a minor talent, a major talent or not a talent at all.  Only one of them will fail the talent drug test and that is the one who has no talent at all.  Everyone else passes—even if their talent is as small as Tinkerbell.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone incorrectly refers to a musician as talentless.  Chances are if you've heard of the artist, they're more than likely talented.  It doesn't mean they're as talented as Bob Dylan or Paul Simon.  It just means they passed the test.  

Most people do not pass the talent drug test.  How do you know for sure when someone does? You're going to hate this answer.  You know someone is talented when everybody is listening to and watching them.  People do not engage with an artist that lacks any talent.  

Now this has nothing to do with how good someone is.  We all have a different test for that.