Rapper, Songwriter, Visionary

Don't Be An Artist, Be A Brand

I was watching one of my favorite Ted Talks recently and one of the keynote speakers was speaking about branding. And as if he was reading my mind, he put in perspective a few things I have come to know on my own. People don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it. Everyone is making music, everyone is selling the same products and offering the same service but what separates them all from the bunch is something we like to call BRANDING. It is the one thing that gives something value far beyond quality, popularity or net worth. What do you stand for? What do you wear? Who are you seen with? Who do you endorse? What is your message? Why are you doing this and why should anyone care?

KNOW YOURSELF. Alot of artist can't tell you who they are. Like any great company, you have to have a slogan, an ideology that can be marketed and sold. If all the things your marketing are yourself then it shouldn't be hard. But first you have to ask yourself who am I. What are your morals, what codes do you live by, what do you not cosign, what values do you preach and how is this relatable?

BE MORE THAN JUST AN ARTIST. Maybe you like to cook food. Well there is a market for this. You have now opened up your brand to another network of people who like food as well. Maybe you do vlog's of you cooking, or you have a recipe book. Or maybe you cook while your rapping. These are all ideas of marketing who you are and branding yourself. Find the other things in your life that make you who you are and add them to your brand and open up a market or yourself.

PEOPLE CAN TELL WHEN IT'S NOT REAL. People know when someone is pretending or not passionate. Its the one thing that separates those who are good from those who are great. People believe in Kanye West, in Beyonce, in Steve Jobs because everything adds up. From the clothes you wear, to the way you speak and how passionately you speak shows people that you are someone of integrity. You have to understand that in this day in age people want a certain lifestyle and anything that doesn't represent the lifestyle they want to have they will not endorse. So if you preach positivity, let it be seen. If you support local businesses, show that you do. Stand by your morals and ideals in public and corner the market of people who feel the same. People put themselves on the line when they cosign something. It says alot about them. So keep that in mind when your telling someone to support you.

IMPROVE ON YOUR WEAKNESSES. Some people will say oh I'm not good at that. And they never try to work on it but want the overall success. It doesn't work that way. If your not good at one thing, you not discipling your weaknesses is going to make you overall mediocre. You have strengthen your networking, strengthen your production, strengthen your photos, your interviewing skills. Stop ignoring your short comings. If your great at something, by all means continue to work on it but don't neglect the other aspects that come with this game. 

CONSISTENCY. One day your Mr. Positive and then the next your posting memes making fun of people. This shows your customers or fans a lack of consistency. You aren't the same person all the time, granted. But your business shouldn't suffer because of your personal- in- the- moment feelings. Stay consistent in your online presence, in how you speak to people, when people see you, and even on your production ouput. Everything has to stay on point. You only want to increase productivity. Taking L's for laziness, for emotional outburst or personal issues is nothing short of amateur. 

TAKE YOUR DAMN TIME. You don't have all the answers. If you did, you'd be a millionaire. And the funny thing is, if you talk to a millionaire they will tell you they don't know everything either. Be patient. Take baby steps to finding who you are. You only get one first impression. Don't make people sit through your personal search for self while you lose fans. Become a full person inside out and you will be able to focus on branding. You can't become a business if you don't even have your personal characteristics in order. Success is a daily mindset that requires happiness, positive thinking, critical thinking and more. Relax, pace yourself and stay organized in your plans and in your thoughts. Holla!

Dear Artist, Love Your Photographer

If you look up your favorite artist you will see websites, social media sites and press riddled with some of the most epic images that captures them in supreme light. Billboards, posters, and even flyers are all images that brand the artist at their best. This is all thanks to the people behind the eyes better known as The Photographer. The relationship between artist and photographer is an often under appreciated  bond. In the industry we have a saying, if no one was there to capture the moment then it didn't happen. You hear stories of artists saying their shows were lit or they went out and had the time of their life but without that epic picture and caption, it doesn't exist. Dear artists, get you a camera man!

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Why The A&R Is Still Important

It's no question that the rules of being a successful artist have changed thanks to the internet. I hear the conversation constantly. Artists don't need labels, they don't need budgets and they don't need A&R's. I shake my head when people say this all the time. It's every artists' dream to see their ideas manifested in the best way possible. Is this talk out of frustration and inadequacy or is this truth. What has happened to the development side of the industry? What happened to the guy or girl telling the artist they weren't ready? The person sitting in on every session guiding the direction of the project. The person overseeing the visuals and pictures to make sure the artist is being branded correctly. What happened to The A&R?

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How Do You Love A Creative?

One of the hardest things to do is to have a long lasting relationship with a creative. A creative of any art form has a million things running through their mind and you can sometimes get lost in that pile. You will find yourself feeling your not interesting enough, you have nothing inspiring to say, or you simply have nothing in common with him or her. If all of these things sound correct to you, I got news for you. YOUR WRONG. You are more than enough for anyone. It's just, dating a creative takes a certain understanding of a few things and Im hoping I can point you in the right direction. 

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How Do Artists Deal With Depression?

You just played a gig, you had the time of your life and you look around and everybody is smiling and happy. Then it doesn't hit you until you swipe your metro card and it says Insufficient funds, that your pouring sweat and your have no money to get home. You start to contemplate the longevity of this life you love. This life that gives you joy. How can you keep doing what it is that you love to do and struggle to find a meal or a place to stay?

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Why Album Artists Are Still Important

I've frequently been ridiculed for choosing to do full projects in today's microwaved society. The feedback is usually shock when somebody hears that you're dropping anything more than an EP worth of music. People often feel that fans of today's music don't have the mental capabilities to listen to a full project from any artist, let alone an artist they don't know. 

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