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The real world VS. The internet 

I realize that I frequently make references to this subject matter in my posts, but with each post it doesn’t become less relevant.  Here’s the way I see it, even if just one person reads it and it helps them focus on the things that truly matter in real life like their family, relationships, hopes, dreams, and goals? It was well worth it. 

The internet is a tool and too many people have allowed it to become the dictator of their reality. Too many people are starved for real human to human interaction and many don’t even know how to communicate socially face to face without discussing the internet. When was the last time you had a personal conversation and absolutely no references were made to some sort of online activity? Have you been to a store lately? Most cashiers have their phone in their hand. Most people can’t even enjoy a social gathering without checking their phone. 

What’s more disturbing is that there is crisis everywhere in the world and people forget about disaster as soon as a new post flies through their feed. People (human beings) are lost, sick, struggling, and hurting all over the planet and most people are too busy posting their comments about it instead of actually getting involved or at least trying to be an agent of change. If you found yourself in the middle of a crisis or you have loved ones that are,  I’m sure you appreciate the people who have decided to put down their phones long enough to get involved. 

You are not “woke”, a revolutionary or any other sort of agent of change if all you do is fall into the peanut gallery comment section of the internet. Stop allowing yourself to be so self absorbed and distracted. Get involved, do something that matters, & enjoy your real life. 

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Are you too distracted? 

Asking yourself if you’re distracted seems like a silly question because I think most people would agree that in this day, we are all distracted to a certain degree. It’s still a question worth asking because sometimes you have absolutely no idea just how distracted you are until your assessment of it can be objective. 

Today marks the end of my 3-month reprioritizing of social media. For the last 90-days, I have stayed off social media from 7am-7pm daily. At first? I couldn’t wait until 7pm rolled around and honestly after the 3rd week of being off for 12-hrs a day? I started to go days then weeks without checking it at all. 

Social media is a useful tool. For those of us that use it for business purposes, sometimes it’s necessary. However, a tool is all that it is. Most people have no clue how much real life they are missing being sucked into the internet on a daily basis. They have no idea what’s going on in the world, the only information they know or can recall for basic conversation is something they saw in a post and that is sickening. People have full blown family discussions about what someone’s posting and “posts” have manifested into the core of real life drama for most people. 

Most people have completely lost the ability to think for themselves and most of what they do is dictated by what they’re feeding themselves with on a daily basis from the internet. What you spend most of your time doing? Is exactly what you’ll become. If you don’t believe me, challenge yourself to stay off social media for at least 30-days during the hours you’d normally be on. You’ll see. Refocus. Reproritize. Your future self will thank you. 

#MondayMotivation Getcho Mind Right

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When you live kingdom minded, don’t expect everyone to comprehend what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The light of The Lord inside of you is quite capable of drawing others unto Himself. Less talk, more action. Clever memes and inspirational post sharing doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not snatching souls out of the fire. All you accomplish with that is portraying an image but if you are not living that image you’re not fooling God.

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

#WednesdayWisdom Are you dating your phone?

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So many people are missing out on what real life has to offer because their most important relationship is with themselves. There’s nothing wrong with healthy self-esteem, taking care of yourself, and setting boundaries but when it’s an ego issue? That’s dangerous.

Most people (even older ones) have conformed to this new mindset in regards to the importance of your cell phone (which lets not forget is an object). Most people will go back home if they forget it and some will have an all out emotional melt down if they lose it. There is nothing healthy about that. It was unheard of professionally for you to have a cell phone on or with you while working and these days you can find every cashier at almost every store with phone in hand. People spend more time on their phones at work then they do actually working.

We are becoming more and more out of touch with what is actually reality. Dating has become a tap, swipe, or like. People develop relationships off a filtered presence on social media based on a character that they have created themselves to be as opposed to who they actually are. Nobody actually meets anymore because meeting would cause them to have to come out from behind their self created phone world and the hard core truth is most people are afraid to do that because they honestly lack the social skills and the ability to handle human to human interactions including rejection, so they avoid it all together and tap, swipe, or like their way on to the next. If this continues, all of the things that help make life beautiful like memories, family, friendships, dating, will all be non-existent and we will find ourselves in a world much colder then the one we already have.

#HipHop101 How NOT to promote music on social media

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Social media forums have both helped and made a total disaster in the independent music community. The internet is a wonderful tool for the independent artist to be able to put their music in the hands of folks in other states & counties absolutely free.  It allows music lovers to discover music that they otherwise would know nothing about. In that respect? It’s a beautiful thing. However, as of late it’ become a very bitter sweet thing for most underground music lovers. Do you remember being in elementary school and one kid acts up and the whole class gets in trouble? That’s what it feels like on most social media forums these days when it comes to music. Unfortunately, there is an overabundance of individuals annoying the hell out of a lot of independent music professionals as well as potential listeners who are the regular social media users.

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ARE YOU ANNOYING?  Answer these questions: 

Are you a person who is auto messaging every person that accepts a friend request or gives you a follow back with your music?

Do you send your music directly to people via tweet or message that follow you but you have never spoken to?

Do you send your music directly to people via tweet or message that you don’t follow or have on your friends list?

Have you ever added your music to a tweet or other media message between other people who don’t know you?

Have you ever posted the link to your music in a comment or on a post that had absolutely nothing to do with music (i.e. commenting your music link on someone’s Instagram picture) ?

If you have answered YES to ANY OF THESE, you are annoying. What you are doing is not only annoying, but 99% of the people who are falling victim to your unwanted spam not only don’t click your links and more then likely never will, but you may very well find your account suspended if too many people report you as spam.

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If something was easy, everyone would do it. Just because you have access to free tools on the internet, doesn’t mean promotion is easy. Promotion is an actual skill that some people make a very decent living doing. What you are doing in the above mentioned behavior is not called promotion, it’s called spam. Real promotion costs money. It is ALWAYS more valid that another source is saying check you out then just you spamming strangers to death saying you’re the greatest alive. Can you do some yourself? Of course you can, but there are ways to do it. In the digital music world (especially on social media), it’s important for people to like you in order for them to support you. Building relationships with your following is just as important as the actual music itself. Someone who chats with you regularly may very well be inclined to check out your music. If you don’t feel that you have the kind of time to invest in your fan base because you should have been famous yesterday? Then you better put a whole bunch of money where your mouth is and hire yourself a publicist.

Feel free to share this post as needed, especially when receiving unwanted music links.  For more do-it-yourself independent music tips, check out the Hip-Hop 101 section on this blog (which is now also available via our good friends at the International Underground Rap & Hip-Hop Connexion at promote.hiphop).

 

 

 

 

New #Video by @_joseph_sd “In My Zone”

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Brand new official video by Joseph SD, “In My Zone”! 

Be sure to follow Joseph SD on Twitter & Instagram at  @_joseph_sd , soundcloud.com/painforglory and his

EPK at artistecard.com/painforglory 

#Blessed to be a #blessing

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I just learned something and I felt compelled to share it with my beautiful readers. Let me back track for a second and tell you that today for me wasn’t exactly ideal. Spent the entire day in the emergency room and about an hour ago noticed that I had a flat tire. For some people that would have been enough to drive them right over the edge and they would have started screaming, swearing, asking “why me?” and all of that. I wasn’t thrilled when I saw the tire however, I realized that it could have been a lot worse. I had actually just added road side assistance to my policy two-weeks ago, my car was at home in my drive way, and I was grateful I didn’t notice it at 6:00 a.m. when I had somewhere to be. I’d like to also point out that this calm, cool, collective individual I am describing as me was not always me, believe me. But the trials and tribulations that allowed God to mold me this way we’ll visit another day during another lesson.

The tow-truck guy gets to my house and all of the sudden I found myself lending an ear as this man poured his entire life out to me as he was changing my tire. I learned that his son was killed in a car accident a few years ago and he suffered a heart attack soon after. He also was letting a friend who is battling cancer live with him and that friend lost his wife to cancer a few years ago. You might be thinking “Wow, that’s not really professional” or “Who cares?”, but that’s not what God wants you to think.  See sometimes we get so caught up in what’s happening to us and we as a people have become so self-drama centered that some of us have even lost the ability to feel compassion for other human beings because we can’t think past our own emotions or own situations. Here’s a shocking reality check though, YOU are not that important. I am not that important, WE are all important.

As this man got up to leave, I told him I was sorry I didn’t have any cash on me to tip him and he said, “don’t worry about it”. I told him I will pray for his friend and he looked back at me and said quietly, “Please do, his name is Juan.” I realized that sometimes when things happen to us, even bad things, there is always an opportunity for you to help someone else. We can’t allow ourselves to be so consumed with the little annoyances of life that we end up missing the chance to be a blessing to someone else who may very well be in more need then we are. If you’re a believer, then you fully comprehend exactly what I’m saying. We can’t say that we love God, make witty Facebook or Instagram posts to make people on the internet see how super “spiritual” we are and then miss the chance to share God’s love with someone who needs it just because we’re drowning in our own drama.  What that man was carrying in his heart was more important then my stupid tire and maybe all he needed was someone to listen.

A lot of people have their hands held out to receive a blessing but have closed fists when it comes time to be a blessing. Trust me when I tell you that if you want to see the favor of the Almighty move in your life? Be a giver, be a blessing. Stop telling people you love the Lord, SHOW THEM. You can’t be a “boss” if you haven’t learned to be a humble servant and the reason for that is because you can’t experience a divine appointed promotion without being a humble servant. You will always be called to be a server, you will always be required to be humble, you will always be required to think outside yourself. The most amazing thing about all of this is, God is so merciful and gracious that even a non-believer can find evidence of God’s hand on their life simply because they allow themselves to be a blessing to others. We are not animals or savages but if we continue to choose to behave like them then we have nobody but ourselves to blame when we reap the fruit of planting those crops. I used to be one of those mad at the world for everything that went wrong in my life people. It made a world of difference when I started to develop (and I’m still a work in progress) an attitude of gratitude.

I hope this post was a little bit of soul food for you, and if you are a praying person? Please send up a prayer for “Juan” because God is still in the miracle working business.

Be Blessed-

Q

#HipHop101 #Music #Promo, Do your homework BEFORE spending!

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Greetings folks… For my readers that are also Twitter followers, my infamous random Twitter rants are no surprise especially as it relates to the independent artist. There is nothing I can’t stand more then a liar and a thief. I have found throughout my time in the music industry that most people are in this business to get money and a good number of them will do it by any means necessary, even if it means misleading people (such as yourself) that don’t really have a whole lot of money, don’t know any better, are just starting out, and aren’t the kind of people that have money to lose. Most people (from my experiences) can’t afford to be full-time in music. They have jobs, families, and bills so every dime they invest in their self needs to be a good investment. I give away a lot of information for free (quite honestly you would have to hire a Manager or Publicist to give you and sometimes even then you could be learning a very expensive lesson) because I don’t want to see anyone get robbed. I remember what it was like when I first started out. Music is expensive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you’re involved with music (no matter what role you’re in) it’s expensive and for someone just starting out, you will spend thousands of your own money and realistically quite possibly not make a dime back. Even if you one day get signed to a major label, this will come after you’ve spent a significant amount of your own money and even then when the label is picking up the tab for your expenses, they take it back off the top with interest. However if you do it for the love and not the money? You’ll never be disappointed. With that being said, today I want to address the area of promotion especially purchasing online promotion for social media, radio spins, mix tape slots, and showcase performances.

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Realistic Expectations: 

You have got to keep an open mind and have realistic expectations. You can’t “make” people like your music. The only thing you have control over is giving it your all, having it professionally recorded, mixed, mastered, quality artwork and the rest? Is going to fall where it may. When you are purchasing promotion services, you are hiring someone to do a specific task. The best you can hope for when investing your money, is that the person you employ delivers the work you hired them to do. You can’t hire anyone to give you plays, downloads, or purchases. If you’re looking for organic (natural, not purchased “plays” or “hits”) numbers the best you can do is make sure the person you hire is doing what you paid them to do and that you are hiring the right person.

Budget: 

You have to have a budget for promotion. Period. Once you have established that you are taking your music seriously and have dotted all of your I’s and crossed your T’s (check the Hip Hop 101 tab on this blog for other articles that lead up to the point where you’re actually employing promoters) you need to set aside money that is specifically for putting your music out there. I don’t care if it’s $20 a week, you need to have a budget. You also need to understand that the more money you spend on good promotion, the better your results are going to be.

Publicist: 

Ideally, you’d be able to hire a Publicist. This costs thousands of continual dollars and is a regular expense or staff person to an artist that has a fan base, buzz, and music income that warrants hiring a Publicist. You can hire one for a campaign (i.e. to release a debut album or mix tape) however, this is still going to cost you thousands of dollars. Just to give you an idea, some years back for a gospel artist, I hired a reputable publicist in the gospel music community for a Myspace/ Email blast and that one service alone for 30-days was $750.00 USD. The artist this was done for was an established independent artist with an existing fan base in the gospel community and in his case the investment was well worth it because he sold a few thousand albums during the first month alone. If you are not an “established” artist / producer as of yet, spending that kind of money on a person with no credentials or existing fan base would more then likely be a huge waste of money unless of course you just hit the lotto and had the extra money to burn.

“Showcase Performances” : 

DO NOT EVER pay anyone to perform. Ever. “Artist Showcases” are a hustle. You’re paying to perform in front of other people who paid to be there. The “A & R” from so and so records that’s also allegedly in the audience? Big, huge, fat joke most of the time. If you want to know who an actual A&R is for a certain label? Look it up. It’s public information. Don’t just believe something because someone told you, CHECK. There are companies that make ALL of their money taking yours. They book venues with club owners they have existing relationships with, you pay your own expenses to get to the show, you pay for your performance time, they give you a flyer with their logo on it that says you’re performing so you can post it on Facebook and feel like a rock star, and they split your money. Open Mic nights are usually free (with the exception of a door cover charge or a small entry fee) and if you make great music and can present yourself in a professional way, most small local clubs or bars will let you host your own show there during the week for a reasonable fee. You can also find out if there are local events already going on in your community and you can inquire about performing. This works the same way with a “prize” at the end. I know several artists from different states that all found themselves “winners” and no cash prize, radio interview, or record deal ever manifested after “winning”.

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Mix Tape Slots: 

Purchasing Mix Tape Slots is a great way to get your music out into other people’s fan base. You want to make sure that the slot you’re purchasing is actually geared toward the fan base you’re trying to target. Placing your hip-hop track on a jazz mix tape would be pointless. Any mix tape opportunity that offers free slots is something you should jump on because it can’t hurt and it doesn’t cost anything, but these don’t roll around too often.

How much can a slot cost? In all honesty a slot can cost anywhere from $25- thousands depending on the DJ or who’s mix tape it is. The higher it is in the ranks of fan base, reputable brand, and DJ the more it’s going to cost. In my experiences, you can get on a decent mix tape for $50-$150 and the good and great ones are going to cost you $500 & up. You want to ALWAYS do your research. I know too many people that have been robbed out of $10, $15, $25 for “mix tape slots”. You have got to cross check who you are doing business with! Who are these people? Who is the DJ? When you google them, what comes up? Do they have an actual website or were they trying to hustle you a slot in a direct message on Twitter? What other mix tapes do they have out? What are the numbers? Can you find previous projects on more then one site? Who’s on the mix tape? If they’re telling you Hell Razah (Wu-Tang Clan/ Sunz of Man) is on it, check his time lines, is he promoting it? This is a lot of work folks, but if you don’t have money to lose, you better do your homework.

Radio Spins: 

To launch a radio campaign on major radio stations costs approximately $100,000.00 for six months, possibly more. That’s how much it was last time I checked almost four years ago. This is why the artists you see on television and hear on the radio are people with millions of sponsorship dollars behind them (and why you constantly hear that real hip-hop is not on the radio). Your local radio stations may do certain segments in order to let local people compete in contests or be played on the radio but it’s not consistently unless someone is getting paid a large sum of money. Most college radio stations will play your music for free if it’s good or they have a radio show that supports your genre. The only way to find this out is to start supporting your local college radio stations and listen to their shows and figure out who you’d need to submit music to, the web site, and if there’s possibly any upcoming events that you could participate in. Most college stations though are going to tell you that your music has to be “radio edit” meaning profanity and illegal drug reference free (check with them about guidelines). You can also buy “blog talk radio” spins and don’t sleep on blog radio because it’s on the come up and some shows have huge followings. If you check my bio information on the front page, there’s a link to when I appeared on the Nikki Rich Show awhile back. If you aren’t familiar, Nikki has made quite a large following with blog talk radio, has always offered promotional services at a reasonable price, and has moved on to bigger things (check out her Instagram @ msnikkirich and side bar, this is exactly what I was referring to about doing your research on people before hiring them to do something). Check out the show though, find out how many listeners they have, if they feature someone is that person also sharing they were featured there? All of this validates the source and although of course nothing is guaranteed, you can cut down on the instance that you may get robbed simply by doing a little research.

Social Media Promotions: 

This isn’t rocket science folks, as I have mentioned above you have got to do your homework on people. I can’t tell you how may “Twitter promoters” I’ve seen that claim celebrities use their promotion services yet there is absolutely no evidence anywhere on the internet that they do. I’m going to use Hell Razah as an example again because it’s not a secret I’m affiliated with his movement and work for his label. If Razah has a new song and I promote the new song, Razah shares the promotion I’ve done so that his fans know that the promotion I am sending out is real. This is public information and can be cross checked on both of our social media accounts. When people “appear” to have millions of followers, etc. you have to check their time lines. People can purchase followers, re-tweets, plays, etc. You have to be very careful because there are individuals that sell these purchased services and loop people into their time lines only to hood wink them with a few robot followers and they’re basically taking your money to share your music with fake follows. Look at when people’s accounts were established, how old is it? How long have they been selling promotion? I sell promotion, occasionally. I say occasionally because I won’t send just anything through my time line for a few bucks. I value my fans and supporters and they click my links because I don’t give them garbage. I know in this respect not everybody agrees with me but they can keep their $100. I am a person that poured a lot into my brand and name and a few hundred dollars to me isn’t worth discrediting myself. There are good reputable people out there that sell real social media promotion, but you have got to do your research. Face Book and Twitter now both offer “boosting” for posts. I haven’t found it to be hugely effective, but it’s reasonably priced and at least you’re purchasing the service or boost from the site directly.

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Manners:

Lastly, I want to mention manners. If someone takes the time to blog you, or share your music? Don’t forget to also promote the article or at least return the music sharing with a thank you or a shout-out. I can’t stress enough how important it is to respect people. You don’t have to be the best emcee, producer, or DJ in the world but in the digital age where everyone can just reach out and touch anyone on social media, the only fool-proof way to gain a following and real supporters is to be respectful and remain humble. Too many times people forget (mainly because of the trash they’re brainwashed with on the radio) that manners, honor, integrity, and respect will get you places money can’t buy.

If you found something in this article helpful for you or someone else, don’t forget to share it! Best wishes in all your endeavors!

QTP

The #CharlieCharlieChallenge

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The “Charlie Challenge” has not only gone viral over social media, but it has also made major news headlines. Unfortunately, many have participated without knowing the “game” they are participating in is very similar to the use of a Ouija board and has an occult-like origin (similar to the “game” Bloody Mary). A few days ago when the game was at it’s peak, information began to surface that the game it’s self  was “an old Mexican tradition and a supernatural ritual that is used to contact a ghost.” Yesterday, I saw headlines from even the likes of Fox News titled that the social media craze was “trying to summon a demon” (all coming up on the first page of Google’s search engine) and when looking for similar headlines today about the same topic, all I have found on front page searches is comments and articles downplaying the game and rebuttals that there is no demon associated with the game (which I’m sure are written by the same people that believe Ouija is a harmless “game” as well) starting with the ever respected TIME (time.com). It is so important in this day and age for you to KNOW what things are and are not and you can’t rely on major media to be that final say. What you need to keep in mind that anything funneled through mass media is owned by a corporation and the wealthiest folks in this world are calling all of the shots for what you need to know and don’t need to know based upon what suits their needs basically because they think you’re stupid and as long as you buy, sell, go to work everyday and continue to support their “system” that’s all they care about. John 8:44 “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies” NLT

It’s so much deeper then “conspiracy theories” (which by the way, many of them turn out to be absolutely true i.e. Asbestos, Watergate, The Mafia, Manhattan Project, MK-Ultra, Operation Snow White just to name a few. http://www.infowars.com/33-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true-what-every-person-should-know/) it’s about knowing the the truth according to the Word of God, because without it? You are going to fall in between the cracks of the world’s evils being tossed to and fro emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually. You don’t have to agree with or believe something is real in order for it to be real or the truth.

Does anyone remember the last challenge that swept across the internet not too long ago? The “ice bucket” challenge? In the name of raising money for ALS? Although this challenge was launched in the name of raising money for ALS research (which includes stem cell research on aborted human fetuses)  the act of dumping fire or ice on yourself  is part of a occultism ritual used for “energy cleansing” or purification.

Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge” The word “perish” means “to suffer death typically in a violent, sudden, or untimely way”. Why should you die for what you don’t know if all the knowing in the world is freely available to you right now?

Wu-Tang Clan / Sunz of Man HELL RAZAH @heavenrazah “INFERNO” MXTP drops hosted by @dj_fiyaa

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In celebration of his 38th Birthday, Wu-Tang Clan / Sunz of Man affiliate  drops “INFERNO” hosted by DJ FIYAA. Upcoming projects? Be on the look out for Hell Razah Music, Inc./ Ghetto Govt’s next MXTP “USA (Under Seraphim Authority) Volume 3 which will drop Election Day (11/5) alongside the Anonymous Million Mask March and the long awaited digital release of Dr. G’s “The Coalition” album (pre order via thecoalitionalbum.com) which features a healthy batch of new Hell Razah music. Raz will be releasing the “El Raziel” album in December 2014.

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“Inferno” can be downloaded FREE via Soundcloud, Dat Piff, and Audio Mack.

 

If you haven’t already, check out iapparelstore.com and see the new fall Hell Razah Music, Inc. apparel! Make sure you tag us on Instagram @officialghettogovt wearing your gear & we’ll re-post!

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