Hola mi amigos Y amigas, I've been back from Berlin for a couple of weeks hustling like I stole something. My new single "Welkom 2 Amsterdam" gets pressed next week and I can't wait to get it to the masses. For all my true fans I post the remix (clean version) on MySpace next Monday.
Now let me break down my Berlin experience to you cuz it was worth a visit, but not somewhere I will return to for business. Berlin the city was dope! It's very big, but easy to navigate if you're comfortable on metros and buses. Most of the people speak some if not perfect English and if you're lost most can give proper directions to get you where you need to be.
I spent most of my time focused on the Popkomm which turned out to be a waste of travel time and money. It's "pop" music oriented so most of the exhibitors there were focused more on dance and happy music. I don't do dance and I NEVER make happy music. I'm just not in that place right now. The people outside of the Popkomm were more business worthy than those at the conference. There's a new up and coming German MC called Megaloh who is really making moves doing his thing. His whole team was cool and down to earth hustlers that I definitely plan to build with.
The club scene was poppin as well. I hit up a dance spot called Icon and danced to some house and drum n' bass music till 6am the next morning. The next night I hit up this Hip-Hop spot called H2O that had dope music but the crowd was too young. The DJ's were mixing Hip-Hop and Reggae jams till sunrise and everybody (girls and guys) were 18 or younger. I saw girls as young as 15 in the spot and a few of them had drinks. (Real Talk). Once H2O closed allot of people were going to another after hour spot that went till 12noon. I couldn't go cause I had to be back at the Popkomm by 9am the next morning. The last club I hit was called Delicious Donuts and although the name is funny the club was dead serious. People danced like they were on extacy from 11pm to 5am and left sweaty and exhausted. I loved the energy and the atmosphere was so relaxed I even had a few drinks.
Warning to tourists who don't drink allot but like mixed drinks like "Mohito's, Long Island Ice Teas, or Alabama Slamma's". Germans use ALLOT of liquor in their drinks. I'm not talking a shot I'm talking about half the drink being pure alcohol. I had one long island Ice Tea and was fucked up. I spent the next hour sitting in a chair waiting for my buzz to chill. Now to some of you that would make me seem like a light weight, but if you go there you will understand. Even career alcoholics would have a problem drinking more than one of those Ice Teas without feeling hammered. The night life was a diverse mix of people from all over Europe. I met people from Austria, Finland, Poland, Sweden and a few from the UK. I only saw two Americans and they were guests in my hotel. I knew they were Americans cuz they were drunker and MUCH louder than everyone else in the room.
I was busy most of the daytime so I didn't get to see many tourist attractions. If I ever make it back to Berlin I'll actually take time to see the city during the day. I saw allot of nice spots that I would like to visit but it was always from the Metro while heading to and from the Popkomm. Over all Berlin was interesting but their nightlife (from my limited experience) has nothing on Amsterdam. I'm glad to be back and ready to finish this year with another hit. The Midem is in January and I'm looking forward to doing double the business that I did last year. Gotta get back to work.
So til next time, Peace
Tha One an Only
Fresh off the plane and I'm back on the grind.
I'm back on the grind after my two week US tour. If you read my last blog you know I jumped through more states than a kid hopping on a pogo stick. I Also said I would give you the scoop on what happened while I was gone. Well fasten you seatbelts kiddies cuz daddy has a story to tell... and its going to be one bumpy ride.
I started out in Miami on May 27th so I could do a show on the 28th. Right off the plane I was hit with waves of heat so intense it felt like a blow-dryer set on high was blowing directly into your face. Once I made it out the airport into the city I saw how serious memorial day weekend was in Miami. There were people crowding the streets from one end to the other. You couldn't stake two steps without someone bumping into you. Imagine the most crowded club or party you've ever attended then magnify that by ten and add on ten degrees of heat and no air conditioning. (For Real) I spent the majority of my time hitting up the beach and the strip where all the clubs are. I wanted to get a real feel for Miami without being to much of a tourist. Every club was packed to the gills and most played top forty music.
My show was held at the Paradise lounge and the organization was seriously messed up. I was scheduled to perform at 11pm but since the host started the party late they had to re-arrange the performers order so I ended up going on at 2:30am. Most of the acts were by this guy called the "Bling King" and true to the name almost all the songs were southern style about how much bling they had in their wrist or in their grillz. Plus what really bothered me was everyone who performed used their original track and lip synced to their own songs. None of the people before me spit their flows live, and to me that's not real showmanship. When I performed I brought that rugged east coast lyricism to the party and had niggaz nodding their head and giving me dap ...while spitting. Not to boast but I definitely brought some different flavor to the party by spitting every verse live and with the energy of a steroid charged bull high on caffeine let loose in a china house. After my show I was disgusted with the way things had been organized so I bounced out and checked out the club scene. Just like the night before things were super crowded on the strip and everyone not clubbing was sitting outside their hotel rooms just drinking and hollering at people walking by. It was a scene straight out of ghetto Boyz in the Hood minus the gunplay.
Don't get it twisted, Miami is a beautiful city, one look at the clear blue water and scenic landscape will tell you that. I just wish I had chance to enjoy it without being mashed between a million other people like I was a fish in a sardine can. Anyhow I left the next day after spending a few hours chilling in a Salsa club that had live performers called Mangos. It was a nice spot playing Salsa, Meringue, and allot of other jams with a Latin vibe.
I flew from Miami to Chicago and got stuck in O'Hare airport for several hours cuz thirty minutes after I arrived we had thunderstorms so severe air traffic control had to cancel most peoples flights. As you read on you'll find that rain is a daily theme during this trip Anyhow I made it from O'Hare in Chicago to Bradley Int'l in Hartford CT several hours late. After riding on a plane that was a exact duplicate from a scene in FinalDestination. The plane was shaking so hard from the turbulence that the flight attendants couldn't roll the beverage cart without banging it against someone's chair. It got so bad that the captain had to tell the attendants to sit down and strap themselves in. All around me people were whimpering and one guy two rows ahead of me to my left started clapping his hands together praying to whatever deity he held in high regard. It was a fucking TRIP!!! Words can't express how happy I was to be back on the ground in Hartford.
My homie Big D picked me up at the airport and gave me a ride to Springfield, MA where I visited my mom sisters and cousins. It was strange being back in my home town cuz everyone and everything had changed for the worse. Most of the peoples houses were run down and allot of family was out of work. Times are very hard for the working class in the states and regardless of how the news wants to portray the US economy as doing better, it is lie cuz it's only better for the rich. My visit in the field was four days of which I went to all my old haunts to get footage form my new DVD. One of the first places I went was back to the projects I grew up in Robinson Gardens aKa the RG. It looked pretty much the same as when I had been growing up there, a mix of black and brown skin all mixed together in a area the size of four city blocks. I didn't stay long cuz seeing my people live in such poverty without being able to help always depresses me.
Almost everyday I was there it rained and on one of the days it had thunderstorms so strong they had flooding on the streets, hail the size of quarters and winds up to sixty miles per hour. On my last day there June fourth it finally stopped raining so I took advantage of the clear weather to get some pics of downtown and visit the Basketball Hall of Fame which Springfield is famous for... only to have it be closed. Luck wasn't with me while I was home and it didn't get much better with I was in New York.
I rode down to New York with my homie Big D and two of his Co-workers. We went to this place called Club City who hosted a party by Hot 97 every Sunday. The party was flavor but what they didn't tell us on the radio was that it was reggae the whole night. At some point one of D's friends got bored with the monotony of the music so we went over to Club Speed. Now if you've never been to Speed you cant relate to what I'm saying and if you have you know exactly what im talking about. Club Speed is one ghetto ass club..FOR REAL! They charged $40 for men and $20 for women, only to have you take off your belts, baseball caps, du-rags, cigarettes and lighters before entering the club. The killer is they make you throw your du-rag away cuz they say it can choke someone out. After going through all that and paying that crazy price we get in the club to find out that their playing reggae all night too. Since we paid so much of course we stayed for awhile but around 5am it was time to get some food so we hit a diner and Big D and his friends rolled back to Hartford while I stayed in the NYC. I spent the next day rolling through Money Making Manhattan taking in the sights playing the tourist. I have madd family in Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island but none in Manhattan so I wanted to see the city. I took some nice pics of Manhattan and bounced on the Greyhound bus line at 4:30am that same night cuz I had to fly out to Las Vegas the next day.
I flew to Vegas in relative ease and finally thought the rain was behind me. I was wrong I got there at around 5:30 Vegas time and by 7 the rain had caught up. They had lightning storms setting off brush storms in the mountains and flooding on through most of North Las Vegas. The only thing about it is the storms would come and go so the streets had a chance to clear before becoming water logged again. Las Vegas was dope I got to see some former colleagues, family and go bowling at 3am in the Orleans casino cuz bowling is 24 hours. Out of all the places I visited Vegas was the funniest. Now I know it might seem like I'm giving Vegas praise but don't get it twisted it is still the wild west and while watching the news it reminded me of how wild it gets.
On memorial Day weekend, while I was doing a show in Miami, the city of Northern Las Vegas was having a Unity Bar-B-Q. Since it was about unity some brainchild decided to invite to rival gangs without alerting anyone. So the two gangs see each other and beef pops off ending in 7 people getting shot 4 of which die and the remaining three in critical condition. Now here's the mind blower.. none of the seven people shot were in either gang, they were all innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. How messed up is that? You go to a Unity Bar-B-Q for a burger and end up eating a bullet. Shows you how some people feel about unity.
Anyhow after two days in Vegas and a million shots of the strip I bounced back to Holland where I slept for about 16 hours. Once I woke up I contacted all my peeps to start banging out the hits, cuz hustling is in my blood and although allot of catz like to talk about what they're going to do...I believe actions speak louder than words. So be ready cuz Sinister Ambitionz is coming and if you haven't seen the videos for "I Maintain and Diggin U" yet you need to log onto <a href="http://www.tygervinum.com" target="_blank">www.tygervinum.com</a> or my <a href="http://www.myspace.com/tygervinum" target="_blank">myspace</a> page and take a peek.
Til Next Time, Be Well
Tha One an Only
Greetings blog consuming connisures,
I'm on the move again at the end of the month and it feels great. First I'm off to Maimi to perform in the VIP room at Club Zno on May 28th. Then I fly to my hometown of Springfield, MA to visit my family who havent seen me in over 5 years. Then i'm off to New York city to attend the Kay Slay show Hosted by 721 Promotions. I'll probably be in NYC for 2 to 3 days hitting up the mixtape DJ's and radioshows before and after the show. From there I fly to Las Vegas, NV to see more family and connect with a long time friend, producer and entrepenuer Butterscotch Tate owner of Buttaphunk production and Sinstyle. Butta helped with the production of the Infuzion EP and produced the cult club classic "Smoking on a blunt sippin on a Heineken." That song was made for Europe cuz they love those fast house beats with my razorsharp rhyme style. I leave Vegas June 8th and fly back to Europe and continue with the promotion of the new singles and hopefully hook-up with a couple of long tours for the summer.
I'm going to the US with 10 new songs and two new videos so I'm trying to connect with everybody I can. Even with all the new music I still want to record another 10 songs before finishing the album. Amazingly enough all the adversity in my personal life has made for great musical inspiration. Last time we talked I had people tripping out left and right. Well that hasn't changed much cuz its summer and people tend to get a little crazier the hotter it gets. When girls show more flesh, guys brains become a mess. What's changed from before is how I let peoples behavior effect me and my ability to continue hunting success down like Ahab did Moby Dick.
SO if you're a hot producer, emcee or singer and want to connect while I'm on my state hopping, city jumping mini tour shoot me a email and we can schedule a meeting. Also if you're a DJ for radio or mixtapes and looking for drops or exclusive freestlyes hit me up as well, cuz I always got that vinum. Other than that be chill my people and next time you hear from me will be the report on how the US trip went.
Til Then Be Well
Tha One an Only
Hello my people, this is the second time Im posting this blog, the first one got deleted so youre gonna have to settle for the condensed version. I'm currently writing from Canne, France where I'm attending the 40th Midem Conference (as I said in a previous post for those of you who dont know) and I have to say it's been a very successful venture for me. I came here to find a national distribution deal and I've done that plus found one for Asia (Japan, China, and Indonesia, etcetera) as well, I've been making power moves. This was my first time attending the Midem so I didnt quite know what to expect. As you already know or heard the music business is 80% bullshit an 20% business in theory. Here I actually got to see how that percentage rate played out. Things are never the same in practical application as they are in theory; if you dont believe me just ask any scientist. Most will tell you theoretical science has very little to do with practical science cuz most discoveries happen by chance, thats fairly similar to how the Midems work.
Most people plan all their meetings and workshops in advance so they can use their time wisely. Thats a great plan in theory but the truth is most of the best deals happened from just walking around the conference and slipping in talking to people in between meetings. Why? Because when you have a scheduled meeting you have time to prepare your monologue and know how lead the conversation in the direction you want it to go. When you have a walk up meeting you dont have allot of time so you say all the important stuff first and skip the BS. The walk up meetings worked better for me (thats how I got my deals) cause I hate to waste time and hate BS even more. Just like the rest of my associates I planned meetings all week and some were good but the walk-ups were quick, concise and to the point, and thats just the way I like to do business.
Aside from the industry execs, there was allot of workshops and concerts going on throughout the week that covered all genres of music. I got to see some dope performances by guys from the U.K, France, Finland, US and several spots in between. Chuck D was here and he introduced this group out of Toronto, Canada called The Dope Poets Society, and they're going HARD at George W.B. They have a new album called ProIntelPro (Promote Intelligence Program) that talks about the whole war (for oil and power) on terrorism and other injustices committed against the free world by the US. Chuck D also introduced 2-time Canadian Grammy winner Maestro and DJ Spinister like they were the new Public Enemy. This cat named Professor D, a white cat with dreads down to the floor who gets real passionate when hes talking politics, leads TDPS (The Dope Poet Society). You could tell they had some serous history and that the vibe was strong. Not on some business (we paid Chuck to give us props) vibe, it was straight love and respect for their craft. Chuck said he knew them from way back in 1989, so that's a long term contact. Then there was my manz Juice aKa Rochester (BIG Shout-Out to JUICE holding it down for the T-Dot) who came in for a short cameo and ripped a hot verse. Juice is the next generation of emcee coming out of Toronto and he has real lyrical prowess, plus hes a cool dude. I'll be real with you'll, they did their thing and there is some inferno hot flavor coming from the Icy north above the border.
There was also a performance by my homie Bodaiga, (Big shout out to Mike, Zoe and the whole DL click...them catz know how to PARTY!) on Down-Low records. DL is an independent label from Florida making major moves in the south. Bodaiga is their marquee artist coming out of Wisconsin; yes you read that right, Wisconsin (the cheese state) and he ripped a show in this little sweatbox club near the convention center. I know when you hear Wisconsin its hard to take it serious but dont get it twisted Bo is a savage, he can spit plus he gots some hits coming... so be on the look out. Then there was this cat Redum out of Finland, who wasn't bad considering I never heard Finnish Hip-Hop so I had no one to compare him to. My only problem with his show is he tried to sound (and look) too much like Eminem and you'll know how I feel about biterz (if not read the blog titled Biterz). In between all that there were local artists and musicians performing all over the Canne and most gave good shows.
Beyond the shows and the business, the conference is sitting right the edge of the French Riviera and it is GORGEOUS. Sunny weather, airbrushed skies, clean beaches and water so clear blue, it makes you wonder if its been chemically treated. Walking on the beach is literally like walking into a postcard. It's hard to believe it's real until you see the digital picture with yourself in them, and ever then it looks like you're standing in front of a very detailed wall sized poster. I've been to Monaco, Nice (where my hotel is at), Canne (where the conference is at) and some small town in between the two called Antibes. They're all beautiful, and next year when I come back ...Oh yes I WILL be back next year. Im going to schedule a little time off so I can go sight seeing and really appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. Adding all that together along with the fine French cuisine made this one very pleasurable trip. I think the most annoying thing about my entire trip is this keyboard, cuz everything on it is in different places and they have symbols I dont even recognize. Its like trying to decipher a VCR manual written in Chinese, backwards. So I'm gonna stop right here and go get something tasty to eat and maybe do a little shopping before I go. If you ever get the chance to come here its highly recommended, until next time, be safe.
Tha One an Only
It's Saturday night, 3am and I'm wearing insomnia like a bride in a veil. I keep hearing the term "old school," when applied to MC's who still send out vinyl or CD. The "new school," is the net MC and the digital advertisers and distributors. Even the big wigs like Sony, Warner, Def Jam, and others are getting involved. My take on the digital market is...It is dope for the indie label trying to cut out the middle man, when it comes to marketing and advertising a project to a wider demographic. Say you’re in the US but want to break into the UK market …Since the Internet is world wide it only a matter of clicking a button. Of course I’m simplifying the process, but you know what I mean. It’s not so great if you don’t have a budget. Net marketing and advertising is just like trying to buy physical real estate, first you have to shop around and compare prices then see if the place has a good rental agreement. Man to be real with you if someone told me I would be doing real estate I would've hired an agent. Agents and lawyers are similar to pet reptiles; they're both very expensive, cold blooded and speak with a forked tongue. I'm too self-efficient to deal with them unless absolutely necessary, so I'm learning the market as I go, my best advice for a newbie trying to get his product heard through digital marketing. Is (1) Make sure your product is TIGHT (ask people not in you circle to critique your work). (2) Have your EXACT budget ready, cuz when you find a hot spot you have to jump on the deal immediately. (3) Know your audience and concentrate your marketing efforts to appeal to them first! (After you've established a fan-base then you can expand your marketing demographic for more popular appeal). Last and most important PUT IN THE WORK! Don't depend on anyone else to get your music out there. You know your product better than any agent or advertising firm so use your ideas for them to draw up their marketing concepts. The more active you are in the direction of your career the more positive the results will be, just some food for thought.
Til next time, P.E.A.C.E (Proper Education Always Corrects Errors)
Tha One an Only