Category: "music"

Mar/28
2006

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

 

Feb/28
2006

Tha One an Only aKa Mister Poizonous the Lyricist. I'm fresh off my trip to Houston, Texas and I'm more tired than a medical intern after two twenty-four hour shifts. I had to write this out before I caught a nap or I would've forgot most of what I was going to say.

If you're just tuning in to my blog I was in Houston for the weekend to shoot videos for two singles off my upcoming album Sinister Ambitionz. I arrived Friday the 24th after an 11-hour plane ride and had to be up at 6:15 Saturday morning for the shoot. I wasn't too tired from the trip but the seven-hour time difference caused some SERIOUS jetlag. I was dazed when we first started, it felt kinda like a out of body experience but once the shooting began I was on point.

The director of both videos is my homie John Wayne (just like the actor) from Chicago and hes got talent and an eye for videos, so the end result is going to be dope. His company is JWS productions a multimedia company and the crew he hired was top notch. To give you an idea of what this man can do, he's done videos for allot of artists and soon will be directing a video for Bodega (his artist) featuring Lil Jon and Bun B, plus the actor in the "I Maintain," clip was in the movie Titanic. His name is Bob (there were a gang of bad puns associated with his name) and although we had him working in the rain and getting chased by a dog (that is one of the scenes in the clip) he was a good sport about it and maintained his professional integrity the whole time. I was invited to fly back for the cameo appearance in the Lil Jon video but I'm not sure if it fits into my schedule, if I got the time I'll be there.

My first day of shooting was marred with issues but we made it work. Although Houston is known for being hotter than hell during the summer time, it was unseasonably cold while I was there. Plus it rained like it was the last days of mankind for most of Saturday. At one point I thought was going to have to build a ark like Noah and paddle us back to the club to continue shooting. Instead of canceling the shoot my crew were real troopers so we worked through the rain until we got almost all the scenes done. We didn't get done until around nine oclock (4am Amsterdam time) and everyone needed some sleep. I didn't get any though cuz I had to make calls back to Europe and make sure the business was still getting taken care of while I was gone. I got to sleep around 1:30 am and was back up at 6am the next morning for the "Diggin U,'" shoot. We packed two video shoots in two days so there was very little room for error and egos.

Sundays shooting went better cuz we were indoors almost all day plus it was the "Diggin U" shoot so we had some nice eye candy to keep the men motivated. There were quite a few attractive ladies who came thru to make sure the shoot had the kind a flavor to match the lyrics. Then my homie Big Jamie (Whatsup playboy) called up the Houston ghetto supastar Billy Cook to come thru cuz he was feeling my style. Billy Cook has been on over 400 albums with everyone from Scarface to UGK he can sing in almost any style, has constant airplay in the south and Asia, plus has the range of an opera singer. He was signed to Rap-A-Lot for 4 years but now runs his own label and has a few of his own artists. Were going to collaborate on a few tracks for this album so you'll will hear his talent for yourself. Also I met this cat named Golden Boy (his complexion matches his name perfectly) and his manager/ producer while I was shooting on Saturday in downtown and he also had some flavor. GB (Golden Boy) is an emcee whose built a nice buzz for himself, thru his mixtapes. We vibed a little in between shots and I had him come through for Sundays shoot. Im also going to do a few tracks with him for the upcoming album cuz this cat has some lyrics. Most people think the entire south is bass and crunk music but GB is a real lyricist with a vocabulary that would astonish some cats from NYC. All the people im talking about will be in the clips so now you can place a face with the name, and get to know them before they blow-up.

I was only in Houston from for 4 days (Friday to Monday) so I didnt get to see much of the city. I did get to go thru North Houston (where my hotel was) the fifth ward (cuz theres a guy there named Steve making some T-shirts for me) and most of downtown. One of the funny parts of my trip was going through downtown and seeing the infamous Enron building, which amusingly enough was almost totally empty. The Enron buildings are a group of three buildings connected by a circular tube tunnel between them. I was told by JW (John Wayne) that when they announced that the company was broke, employees started taking desks, chairs and anything else they could get there hands on. Although my trip to H-Town was brief I learned quite a bit about the state. For instance, Texas was once its own country (for real) also that it still retains the right to separate from the rest of the nation if it needs to. Also that it has almost as many police officers as Las Vegas and that is saying ALLOT. The two most important things I learned were, everything is bigger (food, drinks, clothes, animals) in Texas. Second and more importantly for those who think Texas is all cattle rodeos and dumb country bumpkins. You're very wrong EVERYONE carries a gun. Not just some of the people EVERYONE, from your little old lady to the average teacher or bus driver. Its not illegal to carry a gun its only illegal to conceal it. You can go almost anywhere in the city and buy a gun, people collect guns like someone else would collect comics, stamps, or sports cards. Joel (JWs younger brother and producer of the clips) told me that the gun ranges in Texas are usually so packed you had at least an hour wait before you get to shoot anything.

SO if you plan on going there and causing problems or jacking a few senior citizens, beware you might find yourself filled with more lead than a pencil, or worse taking a dirt nap. Other than those small tidbits of knowledge Texas seemed fairly laid back and I would definitely go back to work with the local talent if the price and time was right. Thats it for my weekend adventure and I'll keep you'll posted on when the clips are done and added to my website (it takes 3 weeks for the editing to be completed).

Til Then, Be Safe

Tha One an Only

Feb/01
2006

I'm back with more news than an anchorman on CNN. My masterful machinations at the Midem convention have produced a bodacious bounty of business ventures. I bet a few of you are wondering what's with the descriptive dictation. Well I'm feeling fabulous and relating my emotional elation with words is one of my means of communicating creativity with the world.

The biggest news aside from my upcoming album is that I will be returning to the states after a 5-year hiatus. Last time I was in the US was 2001 and that was one unpleasant visit. Due to unforeseen circumstances I received an undesired tour of the Nevada correctional system. I did a lil bit of time in N. Las Vegas, County, and Municipal Jails before finally getting everything squared away with my Bail Bondsman so I could leave the state. For those of you who've never been to Nevada, Las Vegas has more lawyers than local citizens. Also they took a poll on drivers in the city and found that statistically 86 percent of the drivers in Las Vegas have been drinking. (No Joke) What does all this have to do with my news? That reveals itself as you read on, right now I'm just letting you know that LasVegas isn't all hot strippers and fun Casino's. If you do decide to cross the continental divide and venture to the adult Disneyland, remember it's still owned by the Mob, has more cops than a police academy, more lawyers than citizens, and more people buried under the sand than walking on top of it (For Real).

Wow reminiscing on Vegas got me slightly side-tracked from my news. I'm going back to the states from February 17-20th to shoot two videos for the first two singles (I maintain & Diggin U) off my upcoming album "Sinister Ambitionz." The twisted part of this is I'm shooting the videos in Houston, Texas. I got a good connection from Chicago living in Texas and we're going to shoot in some local spots in the city. To make this even better NBA all- star weekend is also February 18-19 so the city is going to be packed with celebrities and parties. I'm not really there for all that, but I do want to connect with some of the local emcees and maybe get my record played in a gentleman's club or two. Texas is the home of Scarface, The Geto Boys, UGK, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and a gang of other catz. So there's no lack of talent and I hear that Houston is rich in foods and culture.

This all sounds dope until you look at it from my standpoint. I'm not going into a city full of talented artists and southern hospitality; I'm going into Bush land USA. Yes, that's right Texas is the home state of George W. Bush, our current president and strongest supporter of war on (innocent women and children) terror and capital punishment also known as the death penalty. This state has more executions than any other state in the US and still has such a racial divide that in small towns you can still find a cross burning on your lawn. I have a friend from Minnesota who was in a rural part of Texas (I'm not going to mention where cuz I'm not trying to blow up anyone's spot) where he actually witnessed a Clan (Klu Klux Klan) meeting. For my foreigners who are unfamiliar with the clan the KKK are guys who believe in white supremacy and love to wear their wives and girlfriend's linen as robes and pointy hats.

Now taking all that (and then some) into account, I'm a little skeptical about my return to the US. I like to keep it real with you (my avid reader), so to be real about this I have to say I'm excited about the videos. On the flipside to that I'm BEYOND nervous about going to the president's hunting ground. I'm a east coast cat and although I lived in the Bay (shout out to Coley Cold, Kayla Da Grave Digga, YB, 5.0 band and all my homies in East Oakland) for a year and Vegas for another, I've never lived in the south. When I was in the Marines I was stationed in NC, SC, Huntsville, Alabama and somewhere else I can't recall at the time. During all that time I never got into the southern way of life. Things weren't just too slow for me, there was also the difference in language (the accent is thick in Alabama) and leisure activities, alot of drinking and (for SOME locals) shooting off the shotgun out the back of their pick-up). I'm trying to keep an open mind about the situation and look at the positive for the sake of my album and career. As things develop I'll keep you'll posted, but if one day in late February the blogs stop, that's most likely a sign of negative interaction with local law enforcement. See it's not the locals that bother me, cuz most southern catz I know are cool. But cops and I have never gotten along and I've had more than my fair share of friction with the law in a variety of states. So hopefully this event can go off without a hitch and after my visit the next blog will have a link to my new BANGING video clips. Only time will tell, Til

Then Be Safe

Tha One an Only