Have you ever seen Oprah, Martha Stewart, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates whine by meme all over social media about who’s supporting them? Of course not, that’s not something successful minded people waste time doing. If you find yourself angered enough to publicly address it? You’re not winning. How are you going to grow into a billion dollar CEO if you can’t even control your emotions on the internet? Think about it….
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted in the HipHop101 section, but what I’m going to talk about is really going to be able to help some people who listen. Although I am an artist, my first love in music has always been the business side as far as marketing, management, and promotion. One of my favorite things to do behind the scenes is organize collaborative Mixtape or Album projects which requires you to work with and organize a lot of different people that do a lot of different things. You have artists, producers, DJ’s, record labels, managers, graphic artists, bloggers, promoters, etc who can all be involved with this kind of project. It can be extremely difficult sometimes when you are dealing with so many different people and personalities but no matter how difficult it can be, I personally find that the finished project always ends up being worth it and whatever or whoever the difficulty was, you learn from it and move forward so that you can make each project better than the next.
With that being said, what I want to address is the Etiquette of Artists. I am very aware that we live in a day and age of social media and we are living in a generation of selfish people. Be that as it may, I am going to explain to you the honorable way to conduct yourself and you can choose to ignore it or pay attention. I am going to tell you the truth about somethings and it might hurt your feelings, but you will be alright if you can get out of your emotions and listen to the logic because this is after all business regardless of what you see portrayed on television or social media.
- YOU ARE NOT FAMOUS. Unless you are cashing million dollar checks, have hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements, have gold or platinum records, or have been recognized as one of the greats for your well seasoned and decorated music contributions? SIT DOWN. Relax. you don’t deserve to be disrespected, but you better stay humble. If you are unreasonably a jerk, nobody is going to want to work with you and eventually you will end up biting every hand that tried to help you get fed and burn down all the bridges extended to you. Unless you are an outstanding artist, producer, graphic artist, DJ, blogger, promoter, manager, and record label all in one? You will eventually need the help of other people so it’s best to conduct yourself as a professional. In my opinion I don’t understand how people can say they want music to be their full-time job so they don’t have to do anything else but they’ll behave like professionals for their job at the gas station and act like they have no manners or common sense when it comes to conducting themselves as an entrepreneur (which is technically what you are as an independent artist).
- Value an invitation. There is a lot of work that goes into a collaborative project. Far too many times people undervalue the time and work that’s put in to a collaborative project especially if all they did was submit a song. This is no way means the creative process and recording is under valued, but the point I am trying to make is a collaborative release has many components to it and if you are invited onto a collaborative project (especially one being presented by an artist, group, or label that holds weight under their name or brand) there are a few things you can easily do that show you appreciate the opportunity of exposure and free promotion. The LEAST you can do is share the project and support it especially if you were invited on. Even if you pay for a slot, what was the point of purchasing your exposure opportunity if you don’t even support it? If you are invited onto a project, turn in your music in a timely manner. Nobody should have to chase you down to give you an opportunity. If you want to be taken serious as an artist? Be professional. Nobody is going to keep calling, texting, inboxing, or emailing you in order to put your music on a project that’s overall cost isn’t coming out of your budget. What all of us as artists need to remember is that there are millions of us. Sometimes it’s not even natural talent that help people move forward in this very competitive business, it’s things like honoring your word, professionalism, and integrity. For me personally? I will help a less talented artist who is a good person ten times over breaking my neck for someone who is super talented but a headache to work with.
- Label your tracks properly. When you are submitting a song, nine times out of ten whoever is collecting the music is slammed with emails. Make sure you do your part to cut down on the instance of error and costly mistakes. Your email should come with the MP3 of the song, Artist name, track name, and producer name. One thing that happens far too often is people do not label their tracks properly and then expect everyone to stop what they’re doing to correct spelling errors, add something or delete something. Once things like promotion is started or track lists have been designed and released it is far too time consuming and costly to make changes and frankly, unless the error was a track by a heavy hitter? Chances are you’re going to have to deal with the error and move on. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another and nobody died because of it.
For those of you who may be very new, there is a difference between a Mixtape and Collaborative Album. A Mixtape can be done by an individual (normally a collection of their music they are putting out for free in order to generate a buzz before an album comes out, a free project an individual releases in order to start building a fan base, a free collaborative project from a group/label/ DJ that showcases a collection of artists / producers. The key word though is FREE. The only time there is ever a charge for a Mixtape is if hard copies are pressed up then you are paying for the actual hard disk and shipping, not the actual music. Artists can be invited on by a DJ/Group/ Label or slots are sometimes available for a fee. Purchasing a slot would be something you charge to your promotional budget and you should only purchase slots on Mixtapes that target the fan base you want, and or are hosted/produced by a reputable organization/DJ/Label/Group. I say that because I can’t even count the number of times a no-name brand or group has slid in my inbox trying to sell me a Mixtape slot for hundreds of dollars. No thanks. If you are debating on purchasing a slot, google the other Mixtapes they’ve done. Combine all the numbers from all of the sites you see it posted on and decide if the slot fee is worth that investment for the level of exposure you find. ( Side note: Any slot fee over $100-$150 you should look for downloads and plays of ten thousand or more but BE CAREFUL…. some of those “downloads” aren’t organic, meaning they could have been purchased. So the best way to make sure it’s legit is see if the project comes up on multiple sites and check all of the stats before making your decision.
A Collaborative Album is actually for sale. Normally a collab album will have one producer and feature many artists on their beats, or put out by a label/group and showcasing their artists and producers. On this kind of album purchase you can expect all original tracks.
I hope some if not all of this was helpful or enlightening. One more helpful tip until the next time… if you are an artist and consider the music industry your ideal profession? Do some research about the “business” you say you’re in. There’s a lot of “artists” that don’t even own the name they’re making beats or recording songs with, and there’s a lot of producers selling beats they don’t technically own although they made them.
That’s all for now! Be blessed –
Tags: album, artist, DJ, Emcee, facebook, Hell Razah, Hell Razah Music Inc., hiphop, HipHop News, indie, indie artist, instagram, Mixtape, music album, music producer, producer, Production, qtp, queen the prophet, radio, Rap, Rapper, record contract, record label, singer, social media, sunz of man, twitter, underground hiphop, wu tang clan
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.
Soon God will separate the Wheat from the Weeds and you will no longer wonder who was truly righteous and who was out here sayin a bunch of nothin. Sad that so many people who “know God” out here loosin their minds on social media over an election like the King of Kings & Lord of Lords somehow is no longer in control. Personally, I’m excited. There has never been a time that God hasn’t used what appeared to be a “set back” as a set-up for something awesome. The flood is coming alright… some will be washed away but a whoooolllleeee lot of folks are about to dance in the rain on the deck of the Ark.
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.
I think people really somehow think that they are fooling people because they’re sitting behind a computer screen or phone fooling themselves. Some folks are SO unstable and inconsistent. Every day with you most of us have no idea which you is showing up. One day you’re a boss, one day you’re spiritual, one day you’re poppin bottles, etc. and the whole time you’re doing stuff that’s just plain old inappropriate for someone your age. Back and fourth, in and out, up and down. “A double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways” (James 1:8) You will never be wise until you realize you’re stupid. You cannot portray anything correctly while pretending to be a bunch of things that contradict each other. I’m not saying this to hurt you but to help you, and I am not telling you anything about yourself that I didn’t have to learn about myself. You cannot expect and provoke the favor of God upon your hypocritical mess. It doesn’t work like that because the way your blessings account is set up you’ve got to sow before you reap and believe when you can’t see.
“OSHUN” also referred to as “Queen of the witches”.
I know, I know all these “conspiracy theories” because why on earth would Beyonce be using subliminal symbolism for millions of people to subconsciously accept in their spirit? Crazy right? (Please apply a generous amount of sarcasm when reading)
2nd Timothy 3:1-3 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Micah 3:7 “The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced.
They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.”
1st Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Leviticus 19:26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.”
John 3:16 ” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1st John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
Posted in Community Educational Resources
Tags: album, Bey, Beyonce, beyonce as oshun, Beyonce in yellow dress, beyonce lemonade pictures, beyonce lemonade video, bible, Conspiracy, conspiracy theory, free apps, God, Illuminati, Jay-Z, Lemonade, oshun, santeria, social media, sorcery, Tidal, TIDAL number one in free apps, Truth, US, witchcraft, Yellow Dress
Believe it or not, most people absolutely fail at being single. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and a ton of people who are not coupled off took to social media to cry their woes. Being single is a topic most people actually desire more helpful information about but nobody will ask for it, because nobody wants to talk about it. For some reason society has painted us a picture of the ideal time to be engaged, get married, buy a house, have children, etc. and when we don’t live up to “social norms” we somehow have allowed this to make us feel “less than” in the area of relationships. This is especially true for folks who are living for the Lord. Soon as you make the decision to follow Christ and realize that pre-martial sex isn’t a part of the bargain, like clockwork the first thought that passes through most people’s minds is ” I gotta hurry up and get married”. Now before I continue, this blog piece is going to be more of an introduction summary. Reason being is that I actually have a book I’ve been finishing up on this very subject and by the grace of God will be available for purchase early 2017.
The very basis for my book encompasses answers and strategies for this very problem, most people fail at being single. Did you know that 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce? It is my belief that much of this directly relates to them failing at being single. If you fail at being single, you’re going to make a mess or fail altogether at commitment. “Relationship hopping” is one giant red flag you’re failing at being single. No matter how tough or strong willed you think that you are, anytime you are in a relationship with another person (especially if it becomes sexual) you are exchanging thoughts, time, emotions, experiences, and creating a soul tie. ( and the two shall become one flesh-Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8) There is a spiritual component inside the scope of relationships that generally most people ignore. We are 3-part beings, we have a physical body, we have a spirit, and we have a soul. Your soul is your emotions, it’s the part of you that remembers your experiences both good and bad and it is the part of you that shapes your reality. The more women a man sleeps with, the more lost he is. Every time the man “releases” he is depositing a part of himself into his partner. The more men a woman sleeps with, the more lost she is. Every time a woman sleeps with a man she receives a deposit from her partner. Reckless behavior with the very intimate beauty of who you were created to be by God Himself can pollute every ounce of your being and make you feel disconnected, drained, hopeless, used, tired, heavy, and cynical. Then what happens? Most people never heal, never let God rid them of the spiritual baggage they’ve inherited and instead they hop from relationship to relationship with every single hurt, pain, and disappointment they’ve ever experienced and even if a new relationship seems like a happy one at first? Eventually those feelings of hurt, pain, rejection, and disappointment reappear. Unfortunately we live in a society that caters to your ego and does not teach self-responsibility and pretty much just tells you “leave if you’re not happy” and instead of ever getting healed people hop from relationship to relationship with outrageous and unrealistic expectations that another person is somehow ultimately responsible for their happiness.
Most people fail at being single because they don’t have a clue what is is that they need. Everyone has a long list of what they want, but rarely do we ever take the time to include God and ask Him what it is that we NEED. This can’t be successfully found if we are hopping from relationship to relationship and never taking the time to get rid of all the baggage we have picked up over the years physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many people will pray for a husband or wife but never take the time out to be single and ask God to prepare them to be a husband or a wife. Marriage, relationships, and commitment are a job and a responsibility, real ones anyway. Your happiness is your responsibility, not another person’s. Before committing to another person, if we want the best chances of having a successful commitment we need to learn how to be “whole” by ourselves. Two half people don’t make one whole person but two whole people that come together form a bond that is not easily broken. We have got to seek God and make an effort to have our lives whole before bringing someone else in the picture. If you don’t have regular time you spend with God as a single person don’t expect it to magically appear because you get in a relationship. If you don’t know how to productively occupy free time as a single person, you’re setting yourself up to be absolutely miserable when you find out your partner is incapable of entertaining you every second of everyday. Being single isn’t a disease. It’s far better to be alone then in the wrong relationship.
We live in a time where everything that flies through our media time lines or television is completely sexualized. Don’t make the mistake of confusing sexualization with committed love because they are two entirely different things. Committed love is not based on a feeling, it is a decision. One of the most important decisions you can make is a decision to not prematurely involve yourself in a relationship until you’re really ready and don’t let what other people are doing or what it appears like everyone else is doing be the standard you adapt for your own relational happiness. For those of you who have experienced a significant trauma (i.e. rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse) it is absolutely necessary for your own peace of mind and your future relationships that you get help and take the proper time to heal before you find yourself in a situation that you’re emotionally unable to handle. If you want to build a strong relationship that will stand the test of time, you have to first make sure that whatever you’re building is on a strong foundation or the house won’t stand. You are the foundation so make sure that you take the time to make sure you are sifted, mixed well, and formed before you start laying down bricks.
Keep a look-out for the full book “Living Successfully Single” by Queen the Prophet in 2017!
Tags: Boyfriend, Christian Life, Commitment, dating, Domestic Violence, encouragement, family, Girlfriend, God, happiness, healing, How to be single, Living Single, marriage, men, on-line dating, queen the prophet, Queen the Prophet Book, relational happiness, relationships, sex, Single, Single Life, social media, Successfully Single by Queen the Prophet, valentines day, women
I’ve spent the last month or so observing the social “norms” of human behavior both online and in person. I’ve actually been online a lot more then I have been posting and out and about a lot more then I make mention of. I’ve been observing several age groups and since I really have made an effort to disconnect myself from the majority of my music demands and interactions with others, I was able to get a very clear yet disturbing insight on a few things. I even pondered if I should bother writing about it because quite honestly, most people aren’t going to care. Most of the time most people don’t seem to care about anything these days really until it happens to them personally or it’s too late. After that thought passed through my mind I had to rebuke myself because it doesn’t matter if “most people” don’t care, I do and because I do, even if what I’m writing only falls on one set of ears that pays attention it’s worth it.
Let’s start with the basics, if you can honestly look around you at the state of the world and not see that something is very, very wrong? I feel sorry for you. The lack of compassion we have for each other is at an all time disgusting high, people (both young and old) are entirely self absorbed, selfish, and the average human ego is out of control. The number of people on anti-depressants is alarmingly high, most working class people are “working poor”, poor people are kept poor because if they make $5 over a certain number they lose their medical insurance and can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket, the average working person is absolutely exhausted on a daily basis working 40+ hours a week to still struggle with bills, marriages are falling apart, children are being raised by electronics, the future leaders of tomorrow have role models with zero morals, and we all know that organic is the best food to buy because it doesn’t contain harmful poisons yet most people can’t afford the food without poison in it.
We live in a time where a tiny electronic device allows each individual person to feel like the Mayor of their own little world. Most people, spend most of their day inside their phone, in their private little town. People spend hours taking pictures of themselves and no longer know how to enjoy a moment with their family or friends without making it a social media update while it’s happening. The next time you go out to eat, take a look around you. Most people sit at a table on their phone. Kids no longer know how to use their imagination and play. Nobody goes outside. These small devices are holding people hostage and nobody realizes it or cares. Why don’t they care? Easy, because the entire trap is designed to stroke your ego. It feels good. You like “likes”, you like followers, you like messages, you like comments. Some of you like them so much you’re addicted to them. The sad part is all of this is a distraction. Most of us are so busy in our tiny bubbles, we have no idea what laws are being passed and every major crisis only has the impact of a status update. We have been trained to filter information so fast that it is impossible for us to hold on to anything because we’re being hit with a million things every single day.
All of what I mentioned above ties into the title. See because of all the things I observed during the last month or so, one thing stuck out to me more than anything else and that was Love. It’s not a secret or a surprise that the Family as a unit has been under attack for years. I firmly believe that what we are witnessing is the manifestation of a well calculated and executed plan that has been in the works for decades. If you distract people from the opportunity to find love or even think about it, you are destroying family. Why attack family? Because strong families make strong communities. Marriage and family aren’t even goals for most people anymore. If you ask people about their goals most of what they start talking about has to do with money. (1 Timothy 6:10 “for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” NKJV)
If you’ve had the fortunate blessing to have someone 70 or older in your life, then hopefully you’re going to fully grasp the rest of this writing. I would like to hope that most of us have heard a beautiful story at some point in our lives as how maybe our great-grandparents, grandparents, or even our own parents met. Some of us have even known people that met when they were little, grew up, and are still together. At one time the sense of commitment was strong. Families were supported by their community (family, friends, neighbors, church, schools, etc) and marriages withstood the test of time. We now live in a society that caters to our ego and nobody teaches problem solving skills anymore. We are taught to move on to the next thing that makes us “happy” which is the same kind of truth farmer’s use to catch a rat. Farmer’s don’t leave rat traps out in the open, they cover them with a little bit of hay so the rat doesn’t see the trap and gets caught. I am not talking about abuse, it is never okay to tolerate abuse. I am speaking directly of people throwing away marriages due to lack of self-control, boredom, and unrealistic expectations they put on their partner to make them happy. Nobody teaches people how to make themselves happier people in general and folks are finding themselves in “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome and nine times out of ten if they took the time to water their own grass it would be just as green.
We live in a microwave world. Everybody wants everything in under sixty seconds and the things that we are giving our time to are not things that are going to sustain us. Everyone is running, running, self absorbed, running, running, and running right into the grave. If you were to take your last breath today, what kind of legacy would you be leaving behind for your family? Have you accomplished all of the things you wanted to accomplish? Are you happy? Did you enjoy your life? Did you spend as much time with the people you love as you would have liked to? If you died today and God gave you a chance to come back but you had to give Him a good reason, what would your reason be? Would it be so you could work more? Post on Facebook one last time? Send out a few more tweets? Buy that one last insignificant piece of expensive crap that consequently didn’t fit in your casket? By the way, while you were so busy running, did you ever happen to get the chance to make time for God and sow into where you’ll spend eternity? When your eyes closed for the final time, did they close with the assurance of where your soul is going?
I may not have the answers on how to fix the entire world, but I am certainly revealing to you some ways that we can fix ourselves. The point I wanted to make is that we are robbing ourselves of life and the real experiences and opportunities that shape and mold us. We are not being good parents if we giving our kids more gifts then time. We are not building a strong family if we’re too busy for it. We are currently failing the next generation because those of us left with some sense and some good foundation are getting caught up in all of this to a certain degree and as you look down from your age to the age groups behind you, it gets worse by each decade of ages. We need to start remembering the things that gave us the good parts of our foundation, our fond memories and give those experiences and opportunities back to the generation behind us or they will not have them. Think about all of your favorite things from your childhood and then ask yourself what of those are you imparting into your children? If we do not impart these lessons, they will not have them. If we do not allow the opportunity for “nature to take it’s course” and keep trying to control nature it is absolutely going to blow up in our face to a degree nobody is prepared for and it’s already starting to.
In closing, I hope to some degree this has struck a nerve (or two) in a way that gets you to actually pause, re-evaluate, and do something different. I hope that you do not allow yourself to be a social media hostage and shift it back into the “just for fun” category so that real life doesn’t continue to pass you by. For myself personally, I want to one day be able to tell my future children and grandchildren a story of how I met, fell in love, and married their future father and grandfather, and no where in that story will their be anything ratchet that you see on television or involve social media.
Tags: anxiety, children, Christ, community, coping skills, Crisis, Depression, Divorce, electronics, emotions, facebook, faith, family, God, human behavior, internet, kids, Life, Love, Love Story, marriage, Music, Parenting, parents, schools, self help, social media, Society, Teenagers, Television, twitter