Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 DMV Awards: Time To Build... on Politic With Permiss

Dre All Day and Shaka Pitts go head to head on the many issues of the past DMV Awards.. while trying to figure out how to fit Baltimore into the DMV equation.

Politic With Permiss

2011 DMV Awards

The Mindset of a Winner

Seth Godin is a marketing mastermind, and I’ve been checking him out for a few years now. This is not my first post on him. I just feel that some of his words of wisdom can be beneficial to anyone trying to succeed in any career.  It’s words like the ones contained in this video, that inspire me to make this blog a tool that improves your life after you visit it.  Apply them when thinking about your craft.

"The Dark Knight Rises" Starts Shooting in May

Yesterday, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Christopher Nolan was on hand to receive the Modern Master Award for Inception, and talk quickly turned to his upcoming DC Comics projects.
There's been a brewing hype behind the third installment of his Batman series and the press and fans alike were treated to a few gems. During the discussion, moderator Pete Hammond asked where The Dark Knight Rises title came from, and Nolan joked, "I banged my head against the wall." Nolan remained tight-lipped in regards to whether recently announced cast member Anne Hathaway will play Catwoman, but the hardworking magician did let loose information about the sequel's start date. "We've worked on it a long time, David Goyer and myself. We're about 12 weeks away from shooting. We start in May."
The Dark Knight Rises, with returning stars Christian Bale and Michael Caine and franchise newcomer Tom Hardy (Inception) already confirmed, is scheduled to strong-arm box offices nationwide on July 20, 2012.
At the same time, Nolan will produce the new Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot, Superman: Man of Steel, which will star the just-announced Henry Cavill and make its way into theaters December 2012. At this point, DC should just stand for "Don Christopher." 
-Kevin L. Clark

Game Reveals Title And Concept Of DJ Premier Collaboration, Roots For Green Bay Packers In Super Bowl

Game Reveals Title And Concept Of DJ Premier Collaboration, Roots For Green Bay Packers In Super Bowl
Exclusive: The Compton icon teams with an east coast legend to make a song about the south, champions "Green and Yellow" and talk about mainstream Rap going global.
Last week, Compton, California emcee Game revealed to that he and DJ Premier were able to secure a collaboration for this year's R.E.D. album. Speaking with HipHopDX last week, Game was asked to describe one of the three final tracks that the Gang Starr producer crafted with the Black Wall Street rapper. "The name of the song [DJ] Premier did is called 'Born In The Trap,'" revealed Game to DX. "I'ma say that it's an east coast beat from an east coast producer, a west coast artist rhymin' on it, and it's about the south. So get that. That shit is crazy, man."
Previously, Chicago, Illinois emcee Lupe Fiasco teamed with Soundtrakk for a song about the Houston Hip Hop experience on "Hip-Hop Saved My Life" from 2007's The Cool. Later on, Lupe claimed the song was inspired by Slim Thug and Bun B.
While speaking with HipHopDX, Game, an avid sports fan, was asked about his allegiance in this Sunday's Super Bowl XLV. "The team with a G on their helment; I'm Game," said the emcee with a chuckle, referring to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. "I'm biased to the letter." Although Game remixed Pittsburgh anthem "Black and Yellow" with Wiz Khalifa on Purp & Patron (as "Purp and Yellow" ) he continued, "All I got is 'Green & Yellow, Green & Yellow.'"
Lastly, Game spoke about his recent collaborations with French emcees, and if he believes mainstream Rap will be more globally accepted. "I think that Hip Hop, as an individual entity, just grows and flourishes, all around the world. More power to anybody who picks up a microphone and does anything on it, or plugs an MPC and a laptop in, and makes a beat," said Game. "'Cause we're all a part of this wave - where it is, where it'll stop, where it'll land, nobody knows, but I'm championin' everybody."
-Jake Paine

VIDEO: Rick Ross x Wale x Meek Mill – Pandemonium BTS


Directed by Spiff TV. Behind-the-scenes by Dre Films/Maybach Films.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

T.I. ft Rico Love – “Lay Me Down” [Video]

T.I. continues to keep his presence felt from behind bars. The latest video lifted from No Mercy [read our review], “Lay Me Down” features Rico Love on the hook and is the typical A&T fest alluded to by the track, with a hareem of scantily-clad girls taking up most of the on-screen time.
In related news, No Mercy, which was released early December, has been certified gold, shipping more than 500,000 units.

Nicki Minaj ft. Drake – Moment 4 Life (VIDEO)

Nicki Minaj Ft. Drake – Moment 4 Life from Red Hoodie on Vimeo.

Dr. Dre x Ashanti x The Game Hit the Lab

For The Game’s latest mixtape Purp & Patron, the rapper collabed with many celeb guests including Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Fabolous. But when it came to working with Ashanti on the gushy “Soft Rhodes,” he got some help from the man behind the boards, Dr. Dre. Read what Game had to say after the jump…

While in the studio with the Compton rapper, Dr. Dre asked him if he had ever collaborated with the former Murder Inc. princess, and if there was anything keeping him from hopping on a song with her. “We were in the studio. Dre asked me if I had any drama with Ashanti, and I was like, ‘Nah.’ He was like, ‘You worked with her?’ And I was like, ‘Nah,’” Game told “He was like, ‘You mind working with her?’ I was like, ‘Nope.’ He called her up and she came through and we did that.”
The Dre-produced cut, which boasts a soothing beat and catchy hook, sees each artist tackling the touchy issue of hooking up with an ex. “Just ’cause we break up don’t mean it’s over/ When I call, you comin’ over/ To get this here like I told ya/ I’ma get it every time I want it,” sings Ashanti.
Game is currently assembling the leftover tracks from his Purp & Patron sessions for another mixtape, The Hangover, scheduled to drop Monday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

@ABThePro - 43 Thrills (Walking On A Dream) (Official Video)

1st visual off of AB The Pro's upcoming mixtape "Crown Vic Music"

Young Chris – This Is Hip Hop [Directed by Court Dunn]

@Restlessfilms released a new video for YOUNG CHRIS, as part of their “This Is Hip Hop” series with In this segment he talks rocking a Kanye show, Roc-a-fella, and working with Jay-Z and Dame Dash. Cameos by Peter Rosenberg, Yelawolf and Lloyd Banks.

Raheem Devaughn ft. Wale "Greatness"

Directed by Tabi Bonney (Cool Kids Forever Films). "The Love and War Masterpeace" is in stores NOW!!

Discovering How To Get Ahead in the Music Industry

Be Professional: Sounds obvious, right? But this rule is at the top of the list for good reason. You may be getting involved in the music business because you love music, but a lot of people flock to the business because they think it's just a non stop party. While there are certainly plenty of opportunities to have fun when you're working in music, but the key word here is WORKING. Getting to the good stuff requires hard work and commitment. When you have a job to do, show up on time, and do it. Show people that you can be counted on to work hard and you know the difference between work and play, and you'll find doors swinging open.

Be Polite: Here's a hard truth: whether you're trying to break into the industry or you're already there, working in music involves lots of cold calling/emailing. Some people will ignore you. Some will take ages to get back to you. Some of them might respond to your 10 emails with a single word response. It's incredibly frustrating. What can you do about it? Nothing. It pays to stay polite and professional at all costs. If someone blows you off, resist the urge to tell them off. If someone takes the time to help, SAY THANK YOU. The music biz is a smaller place than you think, and your shoddy behavior will come back to haunt you.

Don't Be Afraid to Make Some Money: Getting involved in the music business because you eat, sleep, and breathe music is the RIGHT reason. Going into music purely for monetary gains is a drag, and in fact, there is definitely an argument to be made that chasing profits has come at the expense of good music at many labels. But, don't confuse that fact with an idea that it is wrong to want to make money in the music business. To able to work in the music business, you need to be able to pay the bills from your music job. Period. Getting a paycheck doesn't mean you are crossing over to the dark side - rather, it lets you keep doing what you love.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask: If you don't ask, you don't get. Do you want an internship, a job, to work with a certain producer, an opening slot on a bill with your favorite band - the people who can get you these things aren't mind readers. They're not going to come along and knock on your door one day to offer you the shot you're after. If you want something, ask for it. Sometimes, people will say "no." That's not a problem, because sometimes, they will say "yes." Don't be so sure you know what the answer will be - ask, and you may be surprised what you can get.

Get it in Writing: Yes, even when you're working with friends. Even when there is no money involved yet. Beyond the financial reasons, a contract is a good way to clarify working relationships and responsibilities. You'll be able to get things done a lot more effectively if everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them.

Say "I Don't Know": If you're working at your first music business job, or your band is meeting with a label, and you, well, don't have a clue what everyone is talking about, say so. People often feel a lot of pressure to appear "cool" in the music business, and so they pretend to know a lot of things they don't. Having the nerve to say you don't know what something is about is absolutely a lot "cooler" than flubbing your way through a conversation that is over your head - you'll almost always give yourself away. Besides, if you're serious about this, you'll have to learn the ropes eventually. Do yourself a favor and speak up.

Above All Else - LISTEN: Whatever you're trying to do in the music business, you can bet you're not the first to try it. Now, granted, most people who enter the music industry have a life long love affair with music that gives them some level of knowledge - but don't assume that because you've bought a lot of music and read a lot of magazines that you REALLY know how things work. When you get a chance to get some advice from someone who has been around the block, listen up, even if you think it sounds like a sell out. The people who really get ahead in music are the people who never stop learning from those who went before them.

- Heather McDonald

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When Should You Seek Permission To Use A Sample?

In this video clip, professor and copyright law expert Dr. E. Michael Harrington examines the legal challenges of sampling copyrighted material, and discusses why he believes sampling should, in some cases, have fair use privileges. He also discusses the sampling legal issues faced by hip hop group, N.W.A. when they released one of their top selling albums.

Music Producer Timbaland's Mobile Studio

Take an indepth tour of Timbaland's fully loaded mobile recording studio.

Wiz Khalifa To Debut New Video Tomorrow; Explains 'Rolling Papers' Title

(AllHipHop News) Rapper Wiz Khalifa released a statement to to explain the concept behind his new album Rolling Papers, just hours after announcing the title via uStream earlier this morning (January 26th).

While the album is an obvious nod to his love for good marijuana, Wiz said that the album's title also had a deeper meaning since he no longer writes down the lyrics to his raps when he records.

"I quit writing a long time ago," Wiz told in a statement released this afternoon. "I stopped physically writing it down or putting it in my BlackBerry or iPhone. I write notes down, but I don't write whole verses, so it was like saying goodbye to the paper. The paper's rolling out too. So
everything is real natural."

The album features production by Jim Jonsin, Benny Blanco and Stargate, who produced Wiz' RIAA certified-platinum hit, "Black & Yellow."

To build buzz for Rolling Papers, Wiz is releasing a video-only track titled "On My Level" featuring Too Short tomorrow (January 27th) and will make an appearance on Lopez Tonight.

Although he doesn't write his lyrics down, Wiz said he was focused while recording the release.

"I paid the most attention to this sh*t when I did it. I was real focused," Wiz Khalifa said. "I was real keyed in on this sh*t when I was working on it
and I didn't use any paper, except for rolling papers."

Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers is due in stores on March 29th.
-Mike Winslow

JAY-Z Forms New Film Venture With Will & Jada Pinkett Smith

Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have formed a joint venture with Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter to develop and produce major motion pictures.  One of the projects being discussed is the re-imagination of the classic Broadway musical ANNIE as a vehicle for Willow Smith to star. The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Mr. Carter.
The partnership began over dinner with Jada, Will, James Lassiter and JAY-Z, where they decided to co-invest in the now successful beauty products line Carol’s Daughter. They continued this partnership as co-producers of the successful Broadway production Fela!, which earned a total of eleven Tony Award nominations in 2010.
Additionally, Willow Smith, managed by OE Executive Miguel Melendez, signed onto JAY-Z’s record label, Roc Nation which produced her first single titled “Whip My Hair,” which has been certified Platinum.  JAY-Z previously sampled the classic Annie song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” in his chart-busting single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”
“The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow’s talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project.  A decade ago, JAY-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with Hard-Knock Life. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with our friends at Overbrook as they launch this new venture.”
“We are excited to partner together to develop and produce a wide variety of films with our longtime friend JAY-Z, with whom we share a common global vision, both commercially and philosophically, and look forward to collaborating once again with the incredibly talented executives at Sony,” said Overbrook Co-Founder James Lassiter.
Stated Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, “The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision.  We’ve already produced a Tony Award winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in Willow.  This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”
Overbrook Entertainment, founded by partners James Lassiter and Will Smith, is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment focused in film and television and has produced a diverse slate of both critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films, which have generated more than $2.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts and even more in home video sales.  Some of Overbrook’s most successful films include ALI, HITCH, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, SECRET LIVES OF BEES, and most recently THE KARATE KID.
Roc Nation is a groundbreaking, multi-tiered, multi-genre music and entertainment company. Founded in 2008 by Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter in collaboration with Live Nation, Roc Nation encompasses artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; new business ventures; and a music label.
The Broadway musical “Annie” is based upon the popular comic strip and features songs with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan.  The show originally pened on April 21, 1977, and immediately became a hit, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  In 1982, Columbia Pictures released a film adaptation directed by John Huston and starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Tim Curry, and Aileen Quinn as Annie.

Wiz Khalifa Pumps Up Steelers Home Crowd With 'Black & Yellow'

As reported last week, Pittsburgh rapper and devoted Steelers fan Wiz Khalifa made an appearance at Sunday night's NFL AFC Championship Game to perform his Steelers-glorifying anthem, "Black and Yellow."

Khalifa emerged in the stands behind the end zone before the opening kickoff armed -- but of course -- with a yellow Terrible Towel. He pumped up Pittsburgh die-hards with a rousing rendition of his tune, leading them in the Terrible Towel Twirl.

Video: Wiz Khalifa Performs "Black and Yellow" at AFC Championship Game

The 23-year-old rapper must have done something right -- Pittsburgh defeated the New York Jets 24-19 AND "Black and Yellow" currently holds the No. 5 position on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
-Kevin Rutherford

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Game Features KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane & Doug E. Fresh On "Purp & Patron"

Game Features KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane & Doug E. Fresh On
The Compton O.G. professes his deep love of 1980s Hip Hop on yesterday's sneak attack double-mixtape, but does he fuel the Jay-Z back-and-forth with some remarks about Beyonce?
Yesterday evening, Compton, California emceeGame released his latest mixtape, Purp & Patron. The double-mixtape, is split in discs - one hosted by DJ Skee, and the other by legendary radio host and deejay Funkmaster Flex. With numerous Hip Hop guests including Rick Ross, Bun B, and Pharrell Williams, the Aftermath Entertainment star upheld his tradition of grandiose mixtapes. However, on one song, the controversial emcee aligned himself with three Hip Hop icons, known for making classics since the 1980s.
Disc 2's  "History" features Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One. The song finds the four men finding commonalities in their love of Hip Hop, as Game rhymes about getting his first boom-box "since I was five, maybe six / So what I'm tryin' to tell you is that I've been fuckin' with Hip Hop since the '80s, bitch!"
A similar Kane and KRS collaboration (along with Grand Puba, PMD and DJ Red Alert) happened on Cormega's "Mega Fresh X" on his 2009 album, Born & Raised.
Purp & Patron listeners may have also caught what may be the latest in Game's five-plus-year back-and-forth verbal war with Jay-Z. On the song "I Just Want To Fuck," also featured on Disc 2, Game rhymes, "If I met Beyonce today, I'd tell her I love her / And maybe we can play footsies under my covers / The dream I had about you last night, I'm tellin' you now / Turn the lights off, and we can have a destiny's child / We can throw on Jay-Z, who got the best of you now? / Or we can watchWaist Deep and you can wrestle me down." Beyonce is now the wife of Jay-Z, making the song arguably a perceived diss.
Similar to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Just Playing (Dreams)," Game mentions several other notable singers and celebrities in the song. 
-Allen Jacobs

Lloyd Banks Feat. Jeremih - "I Don't Deserve You" [Behind The Scenes]

 Thisis50 takes you behind the scenes for Lloyd Banks' new single off HFM2 with Jeremih, "I Don't Deserve You" for an exclusive look of the video. The video will premiere on & this Sunday, January 23rd, Stay tuned!

Monday, January 24, 2011

David Banner to Score 'Footloose' Remake, 'Street Fighter' Game

David Banner to Score 'Footloose' Remake, 'Street Fighter' Game
David Banner spoke to XXL about his work on the upcoming 'Footloose' remake and latest 'Street Fighter' game.
Between placements in Gatorade and Motorola commercials and the release of his own critically acclaimed project with 9th Wonder Death of a Pop Star, David Banner has been keeping busy. Now, in a recent interview with XXL, the famed Mississippi rapper and producer revealed that he is tackling new forms of media by scoring the upcoming Footloose remake and the next installment of the Street Fighter video game series.
"I just finished doing something for [the new] Street Fighter [game]," he said. "I also did the music for the Megamind trailer and the score for Footloose." (
He later added, "I’m blessed, because not many artists get the opportunities that I get...I’m so humbled for these opportunities. This is something I can do for the rest of my life." (
News of Banner's upcoming film work comes after the announcement of his recent induction into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. He is also currently preparing his sixth solo album MTA 3: The Trinity Movement.
-Sean Ryon

50 Cent Calls Up Angie Martinez - Screams on Q (WORLD STAR HIP HOP CEO)

Here is what you didn't hear on the radio..

Sleek by 50 coming this april!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

DMX Stars In New Movie "The Bleeding"

DMX Stars In
X is back on his acting grind as he stars in "The Bleeding," a new film where he gets tortured.
From Belly and beyond, DMX has tried to venture out of his comfort zone in Hip Hop and he's gotten a few roles. His latest is as Tagg in a new film, The Bleeding, a movie that will be released in May, according to The Internet Movie Database.
The film will not be in theaters but X supporters can find it on a straight to DVD release.
-Andres Vasquez

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wiz Khalifa Talks Performing at Steelers Vs. Jets AFC Championship

This Sunday (January 23) Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa will entertain die-hard Steelers fans against the New York Jets with his hit anthem, “Black & Yellow” at Heinz Filed. 

“This is the closest to being a Steeler that I’m gonna get.” the Pittsburgh native said of the opportunity…

“It’s gonna be crazy man,” the 2010 XXL Freshman said in a statement on the event. “It’s gonna be really monumental to see everyone out there. Knowing where I grew up and everyone rockin’ in the same place. This is the closest to being a Steeler that I’m gonna get.”
The Steelers are urging excited fans to arrive to the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets early in order to catch a live performance by several other Pittsburgh musicians including the Taylor Gang leader.
In addition to performing, the rapper has been given the honor of leading the fans in the Terrible Towel Twirl before kickoff. Currently, No. 5 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart, Wiz’s  “Black & Yellow” single has been purchased close to 1.5 million times, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“I’ve always had that Pittsburgh pride,” he said of the song. “I just wanted to let people know where I’m from and represent any way I can and what better way than through our colors. I took that hometown pride and put it in a song.” —Nicole LoPresti

Exclusive: Duke Nukem Forever Has A Release Date, New Trailer

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for a little while. To give you a sense of just how much time has passed since it was first announced, Gran Turismo--a series known for its punctuality--saw releases 1-5 hit shelves in the intervening years. Skepticism turned to actual anticipation last September, when Gearbox unveiled Duke Nukem Forever in playable form at PAX. OK, so the game was really, really, real. A lingering question remained, however: When would we be able to finally take this thing home and play it?
As it turns out, we now know when that's happening.
"Somehow the guys at Game Informer magazine discovered Duke Nukem Forever's launch date before I did," joked Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software and executive producer of Duke Nukem Forever. "But I cannot imagine any better video game news source team than Game Informer to reveal the moment of truth for the most inconceivable, incorrigible and inspiring turn around story in the history of the video game industry – the coming of Duke Nukem Forever on May 3, 2011."
“The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here,” says Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “May 3, 2011 marks Duke’s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history!”
May 3 is the North American release date. May 6 is worldwide. Check it out below.
-Jeff Cork

Grammy's Celebrate The Evolution Of Hip-Hop During Grammy Week

(AllHipHop News) This year the Grammy Foundation’s Music Preservation Project will explore hip-hop as an art form in a celebration called “Word Revolution: A Celebration Of The Evolution Of Hip-Hop."

The Grammy Foundation’s goal is to work towards preserving the music’s rich history, by focusing on the contributions from the genre of Hip-Hop and its influence on America’s culture.

The red carpet event will take place on February 10th at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, and will feature an extensive list of guests including, but not limited to; 9th Wonder, Marsha Ambrosius,, Arrested Development, Beat Freaks, DJ Beverly Bond, El Debarge, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kid Capri, Lil’ Mama, MC Lyte, Chrissette Michele, Phife of A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Skee and Paul Wall.

The Grammy Week celebration, which is being presented by Centric and the BET Network, will not just recognize the genre of hip-hop, but will also promote the Grammy Foundation's mission of educating the public about music history.

In addition to a list of great hip-hop contributors, Neil Portnow President/CEO of the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation will be in attendance at the multi-media presentation, which will include performances and appearances by other music industry leaders and members of the Recording Academy.

The event, which is open to the general public at a cost of $25, kicks off at 6:00 PM PST on Thursday, February 10th.
-Jake Crates

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Classic Footage. Watch 50 Cent perform in Tampa Bay, Fla with Tony Yayo. This show is from his "Power Of A Dollar" promo tour. 50 shows early hunger as he spits his way to becoming a multi millionaire. Yayo has been there from the start of his career

Hit Songs Need Hit Song Names: What's In A Title?

Writing a great chorus is integral to catching the ears of our listeners. Within the chorus lies the heart of our message, and that heart is summed up in the title or hook that often supplies the first and last lines of our chorus. Some choruses have the incredible effect of tying up an idea so perfectly, it almost breathes a sigh of ‘ah-hah’ throughout the audience as it is uttered. But what makes a title really work, and how can we apply that knowledge to the writing of future songs?

You might keep a notebook of title ideas in your back pocket, and that’s an excellent idea for gathering lots of little snippets from which to generate song material. If you don’t start from the title when you’re writing, you can certainly end up with great song material through some of the techniques I’ll explain here. Both ways are completely acceptable processes for writing songs.

If we start with the title, we have a unique advantage of knowing the conclusion before setting up the situation. We already know what we’re ‘foreshadowing’, so designing the clues that end in that final explosion of realization should be easy, right? Well, theoretically. I still end up in a corner sometimes, realizing that I intended to end up at the perfect place to deliver my title in the chorus, only to see that I didn’t quite set it up right in my verse. This kind of misdirection can be remedied, however, by a few simple ideas.

First, look at each word in your title. Let’s say the title is ‘Picture Me Gone’. There are three important words there, and two that are heavy meaning carriers. So what I’m going to do is brainstorm some ideas for the content of my song based on those heavy meaning carrier words. I’ll start by listing all the words and phrases that come to mind when I consider each word. For instance:

Hanging on the wall
Nail in the wall
Old farmhouse
Old photograph
Creased edges

Even though my original idea of ‘picture’ was a verb, I took the word out of context and let my mind wander where it wanted to go. Then I’ll do the same for the word ‘Gone’:

Left in the dust
Coming and going
Without a trace
Wisp of smoke
Hubcab spinning in the road
Tired skidding
Packed up
Nothing left to say

Now as I write the content of my song, I can use these words and phrases to foreshadow the title that lies ahead. When I include ideas that link directly to the title, the title will feel as if it were handpicked for this song. In other words, I have carved out a hole in the chorus the exact shape of my title. No other title will have the impact that title would have.

If we’re not writing from the title, we can look inside our verse sections for clues to what the title might be. As I posted in a previous blog, we can look for the title within the first few lines of the song. We can also see if there is a metaphor we might lift out of the verse sections that could be continued in the title. Continuing one metaphor throughout a song can be more effective than mixing and matching metaphor for this very reason. The more we make the listener jump around from thought to thought, the less invested the listener may be in each of those ideas.

Next time you develop your song based on a winning title, try making lists of related words to help brainstorm content and keep that content focused on your title message. The more focused the song content towards the title, the more bang for your buck your title will have.

Words By Andrea Stolpe

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Melanie Fiona Lets Fans Into Her Personal Life In New EPK [Video]

MELANIE FIONA'S 'THE MF LIFE' (FULL EPK) from Concrete Loop on Vimeo.

“Singer/songwriter Melanie Fiona gives her fans an exclusive look into the realities of The MF Life” in this EPK. Her new single “Gone and Never Coming Back” is now available on iTunes and her sophomore release, The MF Life is set for release this Spring.” - Concreteloop

Monday, January 17, 2011

4 Steps to Film and TV Placement

Step 1: Lay the Groundwork

After being a songwriter for a many years (while being a comedian for a living!) it was only two years ago that I decided that my next “job” was going to be getting my music licensed. I was already a prolific writer and had learned how to record my own songs in my own style at home (and still learning everyday). If it was to be my job, then I was going to work hard and do whatever it took, all day everyday (around kid’s pick-ups, housework, etc).
So I started writing and producing more, listening to critiques and honing my craft (which turned into a song a week for a year). The learning curve was huge, especially on the technical side. I signed up on various music sites and submitted my songs to every opportunity that I thought would fit. These are the sites that I uploaded music to and monitored the listings that came into my inbox on a regular basis:
I also uploaded my music to every other music site I could find:, ReverbNation, OurStage, thesixtyone… It’s all very time consuming but you want people to be able to find you easily.

Step 2: Build Your Team

I found a publisher through Sonicbids that I spent time forging a relationship with, and signed many songs with them exclusively. They have found me placements that have really upped my fan base. It also connected me with a music supervisor who wanted my music for an indie movie and also with a producer who flew me to Sacramento to record Beatles songs. It has gotten me two music business conference showcases and many internet radio play spots and features. So Sonicbids has been the best money spent so far.
Through Taxi I found another publisher who I have also signed many songs with, but non-exclusively, which means I can also pitch these songs to other people when the opportunity arises. Taxi costs the most but that publisher has made me the most money, plus Taxi has a free music conference for its members every year.
I got one of my songs on an ad through Broadjam but submitted to MANY listings to get it. But they are good at showing off the artists that they do get placements for.
I had pretty much ignored YouLicense until I got an email from a Korean Record Label through them, who are now working on releasing a CD of my music in Korea.
All these sites cost money either to join, submit or both. Each has it plusses and minuses but I figured it would cost a whole lot more to go back to school. I have been relentless and found success with all and will continue to submit because you never know where the next placement will come from.

Step 3: Produce Targeted Content

Consistently writing and producing a lot is so important because I can’t be too precious about my songs if I want to make money. If I do make a mistake and sign a contract that I regret then I like having a lot more songs where that one came from. Also, instead of just having songs that I think I can submit, I have started writing with placements in mind. Taxi had a listing that was looking for a song with the word “happy” in it, so I wrote a song called Happy, which was picked up and is one of my most successful songs… and it’s only 1:40 mins long!

Step 4: Make Connections

After reading an article by a music supervisor on how they are okay about getting polite emails with links to music, I then sent out hundreds of individual (no block) emails out to any music supervisor I could find an email for. I was very polite and sent links only (they hate attachments!) and follow-ups when I had new music. I got nice replies from about 10 of them but some have lead to placements and at least a direct contact who knows my music.
And then there’s the social networking. Yup, you have to do Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, because you never know who you will meet there. I read an article on “Be Interesting and Interested” and that has served me well in my interactions. But you have to be genuine. If I can spot fake from a mile off then so can everyone else. There are several supervisors who use Twitter to find music and I have had a few placements just by reading my Twitter feed at the right time.
So that is how I have managed to get my music on TV, movies and ads. In case you are wondering, here are my placements. It all started with the “Insight” ad in September 2009.
MTV – Plain Jane (3 placements)
MTV – Real World (3 placements)
MTV – 16 & Pregnant
Ghost Whisperer
Mayor Cupcake (movie) – 3 songs including opening credits
Seeking Happily Ever After (documentary) – closing titles song
Royal Caribbean (ad)
Insight Communications (ad)
I am sure there are many ways to skin a cat (unlucky cat) and this is just my story of how I am getting my music placed. I love what I do, from the writing to the recording and mixing, and even the social networking and emailing. More importantly is that I am grateful for getting to do what I do every day, and this makes the days that I get an email telling me of a placement even better. Those are the happy dance days!
-Helen Austin

Yelawolf Speaks On Signing To Shady Records

Vibe Magazine caught up with southern rapper Yelawolf shortly after news broke he’d just signed a major deal with Shady Records. “Eminem started rapping my lines,” he begins to tell the mag. Check out the rest of the story after the jump.

On how he got signed:
“Keeping quiet was the hardest shit in the world, honestly. I was just so excited for a while. And everyone from my team who did know was really responsible about not letting it out. But I met with Eminem about four to five months ago in Detroit. Paul and Em flew me and my manager out to just kick it and get acquainted. From that meeting, I had no idea it would turn into this situation. I remember Paul was asking me about the meth problem in Alabama and I told him that I wrote ‘Pop The Trunk’ based off that issue. Next thing I know, Em starts rapping some of my lines from the song. I can’t even describe how that felt, I actually got super nervous. Em’s a real hip-hop fan, he knows about everything that’s going on.”

On breaking the news to his mother:
“When I called my mom to tell her—she straight started ‘boo hoo’ crying, she was just so happy for me. She knows how big Eminem is and she never imagined that I would get to this level. My team actually even surprised me with the news and literally just said ‘the Shady deal is done’ one day. I remember five years ago sitting in my cousin’s car and asking him ‘would Eminem get this, would he sign me?’ We even went through what the meeting would be like and all that. So I can’t say that I never thought about it. Then, a few years later when we were shopping my demo to different labels in New York, I told KP lets take this to Marshall and he just kind of laughed at me. But I always had a feeling he would fuck with it.”
On recording with Eminem and his upcoming album:
“We kicked it a couple times but we haven’t laid anything down yet. But I think we’re supposed to go to Detroit next week, so it’s coming. Just wait. I already know the pressure is there but if I let that shit get to me, it’ll affect my music. A lot of rappers have this obsession with staying underground, but I want to take it to the stadium level. We’ve been sitting on records for like four years that we knew were too big for a mixtape. So I’m just focused on writing a great album right now. That’s why I’m calling it Radioactive because I want to personally challenge myself and the industry. It’s a metaphor for my version of radio records. Now, it’s just time to put out a major album and let everyone know why I’m Shady.” —As Told To Mikey Fresh

J. Cole Confirms Trey Songz Single, Still Lacks A Release Date

J. Cole Confirms Trey Songz Single, Still Lacks A Release Date
DJ Semtex gets J. Cole to confirm a possible collab with Trey Songz for his debut which still has no release date.
The release date and possible next single from J. Cole’s upcoming debut both seem to be undetermined, and as such, Cole hasn’t been giving out a lot of information about the album. However, during a recent interview, DJ Semtex managed to find out about a completed single featuring Trey Songz, and J. Cole did at least acknowledge the single’s existence.

“Aw man, I don’t know anything about that,” Cole answered, when Semtex brought the collaboration up. “I don’t know when…every time I give anybody a date on anything, it never happens. So I just kind of let things flow how they’re going to flow. But that song, as of right now, exists and it’s very good. I can say that.”

A Trey Songz cameo could certainly boost the potential for a crossover hit, and J. Cole has previously stated that one of the delays on his album is waiting until he can capitalize on the largest possible fan base. And while some of the delays are beyond his control, Cole said he’s also keeping a few things under wraps on purpose. He added that he would like to work with Kanye West again after completing the album. The pair previously worked together on the G.O.O.D. Friday release, “Looking For Trouble.”

“From when you heard [the album] last, it’s probably changed,” J. Cole told Semtex. It hasn’t drastically changed, and even some of the songs I played for you won’t make it just because I’ve done better songs. It just keeps changing until they give me a release date and a date I have to turn it in…it’ll keep changing and getting better.”
-Rashad Phillips

Pusha T Talks Mixtape, Solo Album

Clipse rapper says his highly anticipated Fear of God mixtape is coming in February…

Pusha T recently spoke to Shade 45’s Karen Civil and DJ Wonder to discuss his forthcoming mixtape, Fear of God, as well as his untitled solo album.
The G.O.O.D. Music signee said that he is gearing up to release his debut solo effort— which will feature production from Swizz Beatz, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West—sometime in the fall.
In the meantime, fans can look forward to his Fear of God tape, which will be released “sometime in February,” he said. The Virginia MC said fans could expect, “hardcore hip-hop, taking that whole dynamic of the ’95 mixtape, competitive spirit,” he added. “And just going in on everything, any and everything. It’s old instrumentals, it’s new stuff, it’s original stuff. It’s just hard, it has to be hard to have a title like that.”
None of the cuts featured on the mixtape will be on the album,” he explained, “I like to keep every project in it’s own lane. As of right now, this thing is going to stand on it’s own.”
Pusha also cleared up any rumors about the status of his relationship with his brother Malice. “Malice is working on his book,” he explained. “That was always the plan. The plan was always to expand the Re-Up Gang brand. Right now, he took the path to work on his book. While he’s doing that, I was like I’m going to work on this music.” Nicole LoPresti

Producer Lex Luger Talks Working On Kanye West, Jay-Z's Watch The Throne

In addition to gents like Kanye West and Swizz Beatz, 2011's musical landscape was also led by another gentleman, Lex Luger. The Virginia native-turned-sometimes-Atlanta transplant produced Waka Flocka's "Hard In Da Paint" and Rick Ross' "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)," and since we based our 2010 Mixtape Daily Year-End Awards Top Producers selections on beats that utilized samples, we couldn't include Lex. So to begin the new year properly, we're saluting the 19 year-old — and so is Kanye West.
"In 2011, I don't want to speak too much on it but Jay-Z and Kanye West working on an album and he's really messing with me, so I got Kanye West," said Lex, when asked what he's serving up this year. "I've been working more with Fabolous. I've been working with everybody, a lot of people been saying that 'Lex Luger only got that Waka sound' so I'm trying to take it somewhere else because I do have another sound, and that's where I want to take it for 2011."
The young man, who also contributed to Ross' Ashes To Ashes mixtape, said that he created "Hard In Da Paint" at 16 years-old and met the recently incarcerated Flocka through the web.
"I met Waka through MySpace and I was sending him beats like every other day and he told  me 'I want to fly you out here in a couple months, I just want to get everything squared away,' " recalled Lex. "He was blowing up, but he hadn't really popped but once he got everything right I went out there and stayed with him for a couple months. We just went hard, and every since people heard me and Waka working together, that's when Rick Ross and Fabolous came because they liked that sound."
Admitting that his style often comes across as angry, the "B.M.F." producer says that his talents don't stop at street hits.
"I'ma still be angry and have my drums, it's still gonna blow your speakers but I know how to play the keyboard," said Lex. "I can come up with a melody that somebody like Trey Songz can sing like that, but it'll still have my drums."
And as he prepares to expand his career, the Southern gentleman who just welcomed his second infant daughter last month, says his success is still sinking in.
"I'm still surprised, a lot of people say that it ain't really set in yet," admitted Lex. "Jay-Z and Kanye West, that's cool to me. I'm enjoying it. I ain't gon' say that I've really got the feel of this position but I like what I'm doing. As long as my family's straight, that's all I care about."

The Making of J. Cole’s “In The Morning” By L & X Music

Shatek The Producer interviews Brooklyn production duo L & X Music. The two producers talk about first making beats in 2004, getting their music to J. Cole, and how the single “In The Morning” featuring Drake eventually came to be.
Of course, L & X Music also talks about sample based producers and using Akai MPC 2000 and MPC 4000, Yamaha Motif, Open Labs Neko, Roland Fantom X before finally settling on Apple Logic as their preferred tool.

Video: Rockie Fresh ft. Naledge x Phil Ade – Living

Rockie Fresh - Living (feat. Phil Ade and Naledge) from Davy Greenberg for Elephilms on Vimeo.
@RockieFresh, @NaledgeKIDZ and @PhilAde301 come together for the new visuals off the track they collaborated for on Rock’s project, Otherside. Directed by Davy Greenberg.

Songwriter Rico Love Interview

Joe Budden Speaks On Shady Records Deal

Drake & J. Cole Remember Aaliyah on Her Birthday

While on tour across the pond, Drake and J. Cole met up with Soul Culture. Both rappers shared their thoughts on the late Aaliyah, who would be 32-years-old today. Ten years after her untimely passing, it’s still amazing to see the legacy she left and how her music has affected artists who never had the privilege to meet her.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

50 Cent Says New Album 80% Done

Fif updated his Twitter followers on the new album he has been working on with some hot producers. Remember, he has moved on from the Black Magic concept.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Diddy Talks Humble Beginnings x Explains How He Got Started x Talks Working for Free

Diddy chops it up with Tim Westwood and talks his humble beginnings and how he got started in the industry.

Aston Martin Rapide Commercial

The commercial is created to be cinematic for the new vehicle by Aston Martin. If you don’t already know, Swizz Beatz had a hand in designing the vehicle and even appears in the first commercial. I don’t know where they’re going with the commercials but I’m guessing we are going to see that car rip streets in Lisbon, Spain to shreds.

Any Given Monday Ep. 8 Ft. Drake & J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League

3 Little Digs Presents "Any Given Monday" Episode 8... Drake & J.U.S.T.I.C.E League from 3 little digs on Vimeo.

Here is a sneak look into a studio session with producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Drake. Drake, not only an artist but a fan as well, asks the guys to throw a classic sample battle. Afterwards, Drake does name a winner but let us know if you think he was right. The funk track that gets put on goes H.A.M.

2011 Release Preview

HipHopDX's 2011 Release Preview
Every type of Rap fan has something to be hopeful for with this comprehensive breakdown of everything from Dr. Dre to Tyga, Pusha T to Kool G Rap, with all sorts of things in between.
With a new year upon us, we thought we'd over Hip Hop fans a comprehensive preview of what's to come - or at least what we've been told will release, and why every type of Rap fan has plenty to be hopeful for this year. We included some samples of songs said to be included on these albums, where applicable. We just hope that 75% of these get delivered this year, and continue the upward trend of great music coming from many places.
SoundscannersDr. Dre - Detox (TBD) ["Kush" ]
The Game - The R.E.D. Album (TBD) ["Ain't No Doubt About It" ]
Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne (March 1) ["H.A.M." ]
50 Cent - Black Magic (TBD)
Jeezy - TM103 (TBD)
Long Awaited
Lupe Fiasco - Lasers (March 8) ["The Show Goes On" ]
Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told (February 15) ["The Greatest Story Never Told" ]
Immortal Technique - The Middle Passage (TBD)
Crooked I - Million Dollar Story (March 22) ["Villain" ]
Sam Sneed - Street Scholars (January 25)
Debut LPs
Big K.R.I.T. - Title TBA (TBD)
J. Cole - Title TBA (Spring TBD) ["Blow Up" ]
Yelawolf - Radioactive (Spring TBD)
Wiz Khalifa - Title TBA (March 29) ["Black and Yellow" ]
Jay Electronica - Title TBA (TBD) ["Shiny Suit Theory" ]
A Rapper’s Rapper
Jadakiss - Top 5, Dead or Alive (May 31)
Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows (January 25) ["I'm On One" ]
Royce Da 5’9” Success Is Certain (April 26)
AZ - Doe or Die 2 (TBD)
Pusha T - Title TBA (TBD) ["Arm Piece" ]
More Debut LPs
Big Sean - Finally Famous: The Album (TBD)
Freddie Gibbs - Baby Faced Killer (TBD)
Jay Rock - Follow Me Home (May 17)
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid In A Mad City (TBD)
Pacific Division - Grown Kid Syndrome (TBD)
Young Money
Lil Wayne - The Carter IV (Winter TBD) ["6'7" ]
Drake - Take Care (TBD)
Lil Wayne & Birdman - Like Father, Like Son 2 (June 21) ["Fire Flame (Remix)"
Mack Maine - Maine 4 President (TBD)
Tyga - Careless World (Spring TBD)
Veterans Day
Q-Tip - The Last Zulu (Winter TBD)
Brotha Lynch Hung - Coathangastrangla (April 5)
Kool G. Rap - Riches, Royalty & Respect (April TBD)
KRS-One & DJ Premier - Return of the Boom Bip (TBD)
DJ Premier vs. Pete Rock (TBD)
Clan In The Front
Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (March 8) ["Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang" ]
Masta Killa - Loyalty is Royalty (TBD)
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele 2 (TBD)
Ghostface Killah & Sheek Louch - Wu-Block (Spring TBD)
Raekwon - Title TBA (Fall TBD)
Lyrics To Go
Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. (March 22) ["Shine" ]
Killer Mike - Pl3dge (TBD) ["Burn" ]
Apathy - Honkey Kong (TBD)
Talib Kweli - Prisoner Of Consciousness (Fall TBD)
J-Live - S.P.T.A. (Said Person Of That Ability) (April 5) ["No Time To Waste" ]
Atmosphere - The Family Sign (April 12)
Evidence - Cats & Dogs (TBD) ["To Be Continued" ]
Blueprint - Adventures In Counter-Culture (April 5)
Brother Ali - Title TBA (TBD)
Freeway - Title TBA (TBD) 
Another Year, Another Album
Tech N9ne - All 6s & 7s (TBD)
Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don’t (TBD) ["Pandamonium" ]
Snoop Dogg - Doggumentary Music (March 22)
Common - The Dreamer The Believer (TBD)
Fabolous - Loso’s Way 2: Rise To Power (Spring TBD)
Sophomore Sets
Fashawn - The Ecology (TBD)
Slaughterhouse - Title TBA (TBD)
Consequence - Cons TV (TBD)
Maino - The Day After Tomorrow (TBD)
Roc Marciano - Marcberg Reloaded (TBD)
Group Efforts
CunninLyguists – Oneirology (March 22)
Smif n Wessun & Pete Rock - Monumental (March 8)
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee (TBD)
The Alumni (Lord Finesse, Large Pro, OC) - Title TBA (TBD)
Artifacts - Title TBA (TBD)
For more release dates, click here

Musician Strategies – 10 Keys to Success

Here are 10 recommendations for strategies that can lead to success in music, and in life. Take them with a grain of salt. With this new year comes the promise of digital music, the power of the entrepreneur and the tools to connect with an audience and deliver the goods.
1. Living a life in music is a privilege. Earn it.
There is very little more satisfying then spending time making music. If you make this your life’s work, then you can be truly joyful. However, the chances of being successful are extremely low and the only people who are going to get there are going to have to work hard and earn the right to be a musician. Respect the privilege of being free enough to have this choice (if you do) and honor the opportunity.
2. No one is in charge of your muse but you. Be happy and positive.
People can be their own worst enemy. Countless times I have heard artists tell me the reasons why their career is not working out. Most of the time they are putting blocks in their way and pointing fingers at people and things that are holding them back. Stop whining and blaming other people and make the conscious decision that you are going to be successful and that things are going to work out in your favor. You are creating your own reality every day, so make it a good one and excel.
3. Practice, practice, practice – then go for it. Over prepare.
You can never be ready enough for opportunity. Your live shows can always be better, your songs can be more amazing, and your playing can only improve. As the CEO of your own musician business, you can learn how to run the company more effectively, reach out to more fans and be an more effective social media marketer. Don’t hold yourself back by not being ready. Be a professional.
4. If you suck, you will never make it. Find a way to be great.
Lets face it, it is really hard to be amazing. Some people have the natural talent and you can see it in the first 5 seconds of meeting them. They are truly blessed. The rest of us have to find our niche, our passion, our calling and then reach for it. Ask people around you for feedback. Find what you are good at and focus on that. Get other people to help you. If you don’t stand out and rise above the pack, you will struggle forever. Be amazing.
5. Learn how to breathe and keep your focus. Stay calm.
There is nothing more pleasant than working with someone who knows who they are and what their goal is. Remember the old adages of thinking before you speak, and taking a deep breath before you lay into someone. Most of us have a lot going on in our lives and we can all benefit from staying focused on our goals and remaining calm in most situations. Learn yoga, exercise, run, meditate, sit still, breathe, learn who you are.
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously, no one else does. Have fun.
I am amazed at how many people spend so much time looking backwards and trying to understand what people think of them. This is worrying about the past and not embracing the future. Reviews are important, but don’t run to them or let them ruin your day. Not everyone is going to like you, but more people will if you are having a good time.
7. No matter how difficult things get, move forward. Don’t give up.
The only thing that will help your career take off is forward momentum. That is how you are going to reach your goals. A lot of people are stuck in their own mud. Take action, make a move and then see what happens. Don’t spend time procrastinating or worrying about how hard it is, just do something positive to advance your cause. You will feel much better by acting instead of waiting or worrying.
8. Find a way to make money. Start small and grow. Avoid being in debt.
This is probably the most important strategy of them all and why so many artists have gotten into trouble in the past by taking label advances. All that is, is a big loan. Get some kind of cash flow happening right away, no matter how small. Sell merch, play for the door, license your songs, play sessions, teach, write, start your musician business. The biggest mistake you can make is to borrow a lot of money and then spend it on things that don’t matter.
9. Be unique and true to your vision. Say something.
The people that we remember are the ones that are unique, exciting, special, provocative, fascinating, original, inventive, interesting. Music is a basic form of communication. The really successful artists have something to say and work on delivering their message. Your chances of success go up exponentially if you have a unique position and message and create a following of fans who really listen to you because you have something important to say.
10. Work and play with people you like every day. Collaborate Often.
Music is a tribal experience. You cannot make great music alone. Surround yourself with talented people, write together, play together, try new things. Bounce inspiration off of each other and learn. Listen to each other and let the music weave it’s way around you. Find a producer, songwriting partner, other musicians and dive in together. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Wonderful things are waiting to happen to you.
-David Kusek

Agent 007 Returns, New Bond Flick Gearing Up For 2012 Release

The 23rd installment of the 007 franchise is gearing up for production, with a release date of Nov. 9 2012. Last April, money troubles at debt-hobbled MGM forced the movies producers to suspend the film’s pre-production indefinitely but you can’t stop the classics.
Quantum of Solace Bond, Daniel Craig has signed on to reprise his role as the debonair spy. We still wouldn’t mind seeing Jamie Foxx or even Boris Kodjoe in that role. Maybe producers will get a clue by the time they get to the 50th Bond flick. [Entertainment Weekly]

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eminem Signs Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse

After months of speculation, Shady Records have finally signed Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. The union is immortalized on the cover of the March issue of XXL, which goes on sale February 8th. Below, Eminem discusses the new signees.

“Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it’s kinda phase two of Shady,” says Eminem. “It’s the new generation of Shady Records and as we’re trying to rebuild our label, it’s exciting for hip-hop and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody’s capable of on the mic, it’s gonna be fun.”
As far as Yelwolf is concerned:
“Considering where I’m from and the shit I’ve been through, it’s hardto put into words what partnering with Shady means to me, my team at Ghet-O-Vision, and my state of Alabama. I can tell you that when you’re willing to give yourlife up to see a dream through, the reward is great. And now that I’ve become anapprentice to one of the greatest artists in the world, my potential reaches beyond anything I ever imagined. Let’s kill this shit.”
(Rap Radar)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

6 Great Tips For Musicians Getting Started In 2011

Whether we plan to create the likes of a recording, composition, concert tour or promo campaign, we have to launch our project and work on it regularly. But we all know that creative ventures often fizzle because we, the would-be creators, stall. We convince ourselves that no one will care. We procrastinate. In the end, far too many of us never get started on the things we hope to create and thereby cheat ourselves out of meaningful accomplishment.

Personally, I don’t intend to miss out on forging a meaningful life. I’m committed to doing the creative work that matters to me. The key to my output is that I live by the following six habits that enable me to get started on my projects every day.

1. Set Incremental Goals: By working in increments, we carve out achievable goals that fuel our motivation. For instance, this week, I’m writing three short articles and learning 30 minutes of solo music for an upcoming performance. I’ve notched incremental goals for each article and in each composition. My objectives are clear and attainable, so I’m primed to begin working at any moment.

2. Create First: Scheduling creative time becomes simple when we decide that our creative work will be our first task of the day. If an early meeting obliges me to get up at 6:00, I rise at 5:00 and practice or write for an hour. In doing so, I get things done and also prepare to resume working later on.

3. Remove Distractions: If we sit down to create and we leave the phone on and an email program open, then we’re baiting ourselves to flee into distraction. Before I start writing or practicing, I silence the phone, disconnect from the Internet, and ready my materials. That’s my opening ritual: off, off, on.

4. Counter Negativity: I suppose that there are people somewhere who have purged all of their negativity, but I’m not one of them, and I assume that you aren’t either. So instead of striving for saintliness, let’s aim for mindfulness. Let’s agree that we’re going to say unhelpful things to ourselves, but instead of believing what we say, we’ll notice our negative self-talk and replace it with positive steps. For example, if I sit down to write music or an article and I hear myself complain, “I have no idea what to do,” I laugh inwardly, because, of course, I do know what to do. I then compose some phrases. I begin.

5. Take Action: We’ve all heard stories about individuals who claim to have done brilliant work in a flurry of inspiration. “I was in the zone,” they say. Phooey, I say. We all get flashes of insight, but few, if any, creative achievements happen in a flash. Rather, significant work results from persistent effort. If we tell ourselves that we can’t start unless we’re in the right mood, we won’t get anything done. Truth is, we don’t need to be in the zone to produce excellent work. We just have to show up regularly and take action.

6. Make Peace With The Process: The products of our creative work may be graceful, but the creative process seldom is. My work certainly isn’t. I write lousy first drafts, stir up vexing problems, and flub on the fingerboard. If missteps and predicaments caused me agony, I wouldn’t start at all. I accept my mistakes as essential. I know that creating is hard, messy, and, most of all, rewarding.

If you’ve been hoping to initiate a project, whether musical, promotional, or otherwise, I invite you to try this: Before you retire for the night, jot down several incremental goals and then set your alarm clock; when the alarm sounds, get up and get started.

- Gerald Klickstein