Blueprint presents “Fan Questions: Episode 1″

Last friday, I got on facebook and twitter to asked my fans to ask me as many questions as possible for a videoblog I wanted to make.  They were good sports and responded with a gang of good questions.  The result is the first episode of Blueprint presents Fan Questions.  This new series will be posted every Friday.  If you asked a question at the beginning, tune in for your answers. If you haven’t joined in, hit up my Facebook or Twitter, or leave it in the comments here.

http://youtu.be/12LJW45Q_vs

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Fear Comes in Many Disguises

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Although I love the fact that I have been able to create a career as an independent artist and entrepreneur, it is not a perfect career by any means.  That imperfection lies in the fact that art, and people’s perception of it, can change at any time.  Although there is definitely structure and institution within the music industry, music itself is not a fixed commodity; it changes as our culture changes. New trends pop up, in many instances overnight, and change the way we perceive everything that existed before their arrival.  The positive side is that new stars and styles are created, but the negative side is that the existing artists and styles are often displaced. Continue reading

The Last Five Albums That I Bought: November 2013

Its been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Not that I haven’t been picking up any new albums the past several months, I think it’s more that I haven’t had much time to sit down and write about them. But now that I’m getting back on top of my writing again, let’s do this!

5. Atoms For Peace “AMOK”

 For those that don’t know, Atoms For Peace is actually a side project of Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, Redhot Chilli Peppers basssist Flea, and a couple other cats from established bands.  I’m a big Radiohead fan so picking this album up was pretty much inevitable. Continue reading

Looking for Some Session Musicians

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One of the early benefits of attempting to change my home production setup into a more mobile one is that it has made me question all parts of my creative process.  I’ve realized that there are certain points in my process where the momentum I have in creating art comes to a standstill. In most instances, this is caused by a technical flaw in my workflow.  A example of something like this would be not having enough midi inputs or cables to connect a drum machine that I really like. The fact that the drum machine isn’t connected all the time makes connecting it an inconvenience, and therefore reduces the likelihood I’ll use it. Continue reading

I Don’t Want A Traditional Studio Anymore

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There was a time, back when I was living in a small one bedroom apartment, that all I dreamt about was having more space (and time) to do music. Back then all I had was my MPC-2000, an 8-track recorder, a pair of studio monitors, and my record collection.  It wasn’t much but I did a lot with it.  The fact that I had to keep all that stuff in my bedroom meant that there was a limit to the gear and space I could dedicate to my musical endeavors.  I had a decent vinyl collection in my living room, but it wasn’t anything too crazy because the space I was living in didn’t allow it.

With success came the ability to move into a larger space, which is the house I live in now. I realized that I finally had the room to expand my studio space into what I had always dreamed about, so I did.  About three-quarters of my basement is dedicated to music in some way.  One room in my basement (“the record room”) is dedicated entirely to records and is about 15-feet by 12-feet in size — larger than the entire bedroom I once did ALL of my music in and slept in.  The second room, that I now do all my music in, is at least twice that size.  The only room in my basement that isn’t dedicated to music in some way is my laundry room. Continue reading

Weightless Releases Are Back in Stores

Those who support this Weightless movement know that we have not had our records readily available in retail stores for the past few years.  This was due to the changing nature of the music industry and the fact that we realized it was easier to reach our fans directly through touring and our website, than it was to send a bunch of records to distributors who often times sold our records but didn’t pay us for them. However, we have started a new relationship with Fatbeats Distribution which will help us get our newer releases in Mom & Pop stores again. Check out the video:

http://youtu.be/mANqnkXOJiI

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A Major News Update from Blueprint

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Photo by Anthony Gilbert

Its been quite a while since I wrote a blog, so I wanted to take some time to give all my fans and supporters a news update. Although I’ve been home from the road for about three weeks,  I’m just now getting comfortable enough to return to my creative routine and officially get back to work. Since I’ve been pretty quiet on my social networks, I figured I’d make the update in one post right here.

So here’s my news update: Continue reading

Shot Composition As It Relates to Music Videos

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Although I’ve been pretty active with the camera in the last couple of years, it’s been a while since I entered the music video realm. Well, I’m officially back.

The first music video I shot was for “10 Stone” for my good friend and fellow artist, Latimore Platz back in the winter of 2010.  The fact that I volunteered for the job didn’t stop me from being any less nervous about it. Continue reading

It’s Official, I’m Writing My Next Book

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couple of weeks ago on twitter, I made the statement that it’s easier for a performing artist to remember their bad shows than their good shows. I wasn’t suggesting that good shows are meaningless or unappreciated, my point was that we remember the bad shows more often because they provide a larger opportunity for learning and growth.  In most instances, it’s hard to justify a reevaluation of your strategies when you’re being successful. But as soon as you fail, you start to question everything. In my opinion, the best performers aren’t the best because they have a talent others lack, they’re the best because they’ve all had bad experiences that made them take their level of preparation and performance up a notch.

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The Most Difficult Thing About Being an Entrepreneur

rapper blueprintOne of the questions I get asked the most often is, “What’s the most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur?

Whenever I hear this question, it brings me back to when I first made the transition from a full-time corporate employee to a self-employed artist.  While there were many things that were legitimate causes for anxiety – like healthcare, steady paychecks, and the idea of job security – none of those things bothered me too much at the time. Continue reading

Artists and Producers: Blueprint is now doing guest features

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A few times a year, when I’m not on the road, I have some time to do some guest features on other artists albums.  Now is one of those times.  If you are an artist and have interest in getting me on your next project please contact me at HERE or e-mail me at info(at)printmatic.net to discuss rates and details.  Serious inquiries only.  Keep in mind, I do not do these for free, but they are affordable for serious artists.

For those that are curious about the level of what I do on my guest appearances, here are some snippets I put together of a few other guest appearance I’ve done already:

Word is Blog

Quote of the Week: Jacob Abbott

hannibal-african-warrior-jacob-abbott-paperback-cover-art“When the tide once turns in any nation in favor of war, it generally rushes on with great impetuosity and force, and bears all before it. It was so in Carthage in this instance.  The party of Hanno were thrown entirely into the minority and silenced, and the friends and partisans of Hannibal carried not only the government, but the whole community with them, and every body was eager for war.  This was owing, in part, to the natural contagiousness of the martial spirit, which, when felt by one, catches easily, by sympathy, in the heart of another.  It is a fire which, when once it begins to burn, spreads in very direction, and consumes all that comes in its way.” – Jacob Abbott (from Hannibal The African Warrior)

Three Blueprint Albums and Two Signed Posters for $10

While it is true that I have a great number of fans who know me primarily as a vocalist, I’ve also realized that there are also many fans that don’t really know how serious I am on the beats.  In addition to producing both of my solo albums, 1988 and Adventures in Counter-Culture, I’ve also produced three albums for my homie Illogic, as well as albums for my fellow Columbus artists Envelope and Zero Star. So, I’ve decided to run a special sale to bring people up to speed with some of my production where you can get my Chamber Music, Sign Language, and the Weightless Radio CDs for just $10. Plus, you get 11×17 posters for the Chamber Music & Sign Language albums.

That’s right, three albums and two signed posters for $10.  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.

chamber_cover signlanguage_coverweb weightlessradiocover

Thanks for the support yall.

Word is Blog

NOTE: ALL PACKAGES HAVE SOLD OUT. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

The Myth of the Lucky Hit Song

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If you’re a fan of music, you hear it every couple of months: the story of an unlikely band that blows up from an unlikely song. Usually, the song “came out of nowhere” and was “all the sudden” a hit everywhere, knocking down the barriers of entry and unseating the previously all-powerful gatekeepers of the music industry.  At that point, the song itself becomes more than just a song.  It begins to take on the collective identity of all the fans who, through sheer will and enthusiasm, propelled it to its unlikely position at the top of the charts.  Proof of what happens when the people speak loud and clear, this unlikely (or “lucky”) song embodies their generation in a way no other song has before…at least until the next one comes along.  If the song had a theme song, it would be Rocky’s theme song.

Sounds pretty epic, doesn’t it?

Sure it does.  I’m just not so sure it’s accurate. Continue reading

New Slang: Ranchin

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I’ve decided that I’m bringing back the slang term “ranchin,” and will start proliferiting it into cyberspace effective immediately.

The term ranchin was first brought to the limelight on the debut album of ganster rap pioneers Above the Law. They dropped it many times on their album, as well as a lot of other never before heard west coast slang, but ranchin never took off like the other slang on the album.  I think ranchin deserves another look.

I’m sure you’re asking, what does ranchin’ mean?

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The Role of Space in Creativity

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For the past month or so I’ve been stuck; unable to write a rhyme or make a beat – even though I had plenty of time on my hands.  Even my blogging has been sparse.  In the past, being stuck creatively was usually caused by something very heavy going on in my life that I needed to work my way through. In that sense, it was very easy to understand and remedy – resolve the personal issue and become unstuck. Unfortunately, there were no personal issues hanging over my head this time around. Although last year was pretty rough family-wise, the past six or seven months have been great.

The other day I noticed that the only times I was able to squeak out a rhyme or a beat was when I wasn’t home.  I had no problems writing on tour or while I was visiting my family, but as soon as i got home things were at a standstill.

So, I looked around my house.  And that’s when I found the culprit. Continue reading

If You Hate Your Job, Then Get a Different Job

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I just had a very awful customer experience checking into a hotel this afternoon.  When I got to the hotel, the lady at the desk told me to come back in two hours because the room we needed wasn’t available.  I didn’t have a problem with that, so I paid for my room and told her I would be back at the time she asked.

Things went for bad when I returned a couple hours later.  After standing in line, she asked me “Can I help you?”  I was a bit confused that she had forgotten me already and showed her my paperwork. After looking it over, she started asking me for information that she had already gotten from me, looking visibly frustrated as I calmly pointed out that she already had the information.  Then she said,”Why is there so much paperwork?” as she leafed through the paperwork that she had given me just two hours prior.  It took her about five more minutes to assign a room to me, all the while she was grunting and sighing underneath her breath, as if assigning people rooms they paid for is the most difficult job on earth.  After getting my room, I realized that she never told me which building the room was in, so I went back to look at the room chart. When she saw me glancing at it she said,”it’s in the second building” which is true, but didn’t tell me what side of the building the room was on.  I just ignored her and looked for myself. Continue reading

How to Decide If You Need a Manager

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Despite the up-and-down nature of the music industry, I have managed to make a career as a full-time artist for almost eleven years now. As one would expect, being an entrepreneur hasn’t been easy, but it has been extremely rewarding. It has also been an experience that, for the most part, I have navigated alone. Although I’ve received great advice and counsel from other artists and people along the way, I have never had a real manager.

I’m not saying that my decision to not have a manager is the right decision for everybody, only that it has been the right decision for me thus far. There are days when I wish I had a manager to handle certain things and days when I’m glad that I didn’t. Continue reading