Today is my three year sober date. To be completely honest, the idea that I would be able to go three years without drinking wasn’t something that I believed was possible when I first decided to quit. So I’m equal parts proud and surprised today. Continue reading →
A 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.
One 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 →
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:
“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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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 →
I first got familiar with Maw several years ago when he popped up on the Weightless Recordings forums. He quickly became a regular poster and welcome contributor. Although his conduct was very mature, we soon found out that he was only a teenager at the time, which made him the youngest regular on our forum. Even more interestingly, we found out that he was from Finland and english was his second language. You never would have guessed it by the way he interacted with everybody.
Over time, Maw started getting into hip-hop production and posting his beats in our “show & tell” forum. His beats were decent at the beginning – especially for a young kid who didn’t even seem to have any equipment – but he seemed to get exponentially better every time he posted something. Eventually he was damn good. From there, I always kept my eye on him, and every year he gets better and better. It’s reached the point where I check out anything he releases and try to spread word about him as much as possible. Continue reading →
One of the movies I was heavily anticipating this fall was The Man With The Iron Fists by The RZA. Being a huge fan of his work with the Wu-Tang Clan as well as his books, I’m about as big a fan of The RZA as it gets. His love for classic martial arts films and their history is well documented and makes him the kind of person you want to see making them. Continue reading →
This past weekend I drove to New York to do my first photoshoot as a photographer. I’m used to photoshoots as an artist, but this time around I was on the other side of the camera; doing press photos for my friends and fellow artists Illogic & Blockhead. They have a new album coming out later this year and I’ve been hired to do some photos and video work for the project. It’s a huge compliment and a great opportunity for me to apply what I’ve learned the past couple of years. Continue reading →
A few months ago, I made mention that I had been tapped to score my first independent film. The name of the film is “Friend” and it is now moving into production. I’m pretty exited and humbled that I was asked to do the soundtrack. As most of you know, doing anything independent is not cheap, and making a film is no exception. Everybody aboard the film is doing it pretty much for the love of it, but there are still considerable expenses. Therefore, all of the members of the production team have created an Indiegogo campaign to allow people to contribute to the making of our film. Please take a minute to review the synopsis and trailer. If you can dig it and would like to contribute, please do. Thanks for your consideration. Continue reading →
One of the most overlooked and underutilized qualities in making albums today is pacing.
In short, pacing is the speed and sequence with which events occur. Since we are talking about music, the events we are referring to would be songs. To master pacing is to master the speed and sequence with which the songs on an album are delivered to the listener to create the maximum impact. Continue reading →
When I started messing around with video a couple years ago, I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy any professional video equipment until I reached the level where I was getting paid for my services. I had picked up a used Canon T2i camera for pretty cheap and was determined to not become a gear junkie. Plus, it just didn’t makes sense to buy a bunch of equipment when I had no idea if I would ever reach the point where I could actually make the back any of the money I had invested.