Tag Archives: hip hop

Infographic: How to Keep Your Creativity Flowing

21 Feb

keeeeep

#thriveorsurvive.

No one goes to the Olympics for silver.

Thoughts? Concerns?
Questions? Think I’m wrong?
Let’s chat.
Need ideas?
Want to learn how to invite?
Let’s chat.
Want a mentor or maybe the guy who will bounce ideas back and forth with you?
Let’s chat-
Tony@Changeinadvance.com
@changeinadvance

http://www.changeinadvance.com

Or simply reply to this article.

#thriveorsurvive

20 Jan
#thriveorsurvive

#thriveorsurvive

RAS KASS INTERVIEW- NEED I SAY MORE???

10 Jun

RAS KASS INTERVIEW- NEED I SAY MORE???

Recently I’ve upgraded my hunger.

Let me explain.  You see i love writing, reading, and interviewing people.

Yup as I’ve built my sites and my dreams I decided that I wanted to interview not just entrepreneurs but my favorite emcees and entrepreneurial heroes as well.

So I made a list, and yeah I checked it twice (lol).

I decided on 7 rappers and 3 DJ’s.  After that the entrepreneurs come.            Now I got off track and lost that order as some amazing people stumbled into my path.  Miss163, Jean Alerte, and Javier Saldana to name just a few.  And boy was it worth it.

However today I’m here to talk about the waterproof emcee, The Lyrical Master, RAS KASS.

This lyricist, sorry rapper is to shitty a term, was not only down to earth but gracious, intelligent, genuine, and cool as a fan.

BH:  How did you get started with rap?

RK: Hearing older cats rapping and getting the bug to rhyme had me.  I was a late bloomer in the rap game.  rap resonated heavy for me after 6th grade.

BH: Who was your favorite rapper growing up?

RK: Kool G Rap, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD and Kool MO Dee.

BH: Nice.

RK: But I patterned myself after KRS One.  He was more informative.

BH: How many albums have you done?

RK: Conceptually 9.  But some were leaked, bootlegged or blocked. A former manager lost one as well so there is a litany of Ras Kass that isn’t out to the market a a whole.

BH:  Speaking of hold outs- did you run up on the label for your masters?   As a non-fan the legend of you literally taking back what was yours by force was awe inspiring to me.  The willingness on your part to go to jail to feed the seed as I heard it, is amazing.

RK: I did  what the situation called for no regrets.

BH: What are your current plans in hip hop?

RK: I’m staying in.  I haven’t done all I want.  I have more to say and more to obtain fiscally.  The game is never done for me.  It is a career not a cycle.  I have so much more in store.

BH: A rebirth?

RK: Naw.  I’m doing it til I’m done with it.

BH: Thoughts on the rap game?

RK: It is really just the pimp game turned on it’s back.  You could call it the new form of slavery.  It is all business nut business has an objective and talent gets the short end of the stick.

BH:  You left handed or right handed?

RK: Left handed.

BH: Word?! ME TOO!!

RK:  you find a lot of talented and or simply successful emcees are left handed  their mindset and general existence is geared towards creativity and expressing innate talent.

BH: thoughts on The Horsemen?

RK: I left the group in 2012 but they are my brothers.  Forever we will work together.  We are friends to the next level.

BH:Thoughts on Slaughterhouse claiming the fame of said name?

RK: Hey, they did what we couldn’t- make commercial success from their unity.  They got it out execution wise so how can I argue.

RK: They did what Wu-Tang did as they set out and respect is deserved.  They say  God laughs when you make plans…

BH: Your son Taj Austin rhymes as well.  Thoughts? feelings?

RK: He was rapping since he was little.  His mother is a singer and I’m a lyricist so he is set up well.  As I was coming up I had no one to bounce ideas and concepts off of. He has the benefit of both our experience to add direction and or guidance to his career/objectives.

BH: How did you come up with the track Interview With A Vampire?

 

RK: It started as a joke.  I said I could do a song with Jesus on an island and if no one heard it, it would still be worthless. From there the song evolved almost on its own.

BH: As a lyricist myself I feel you.  Some songs seem to write themselves.

RK: Indeed some tracks I cough and they damn near done.

BH: What is your favorite song you have done?

RK: I don’t have one.  My catalog is 20,000 songs deep or more and they are all reflective of what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and who I am.  I can’t pick one honestly.

BH: I came to be a fan of yours quite late- 2005 or so to be honest.  But between your verses with CANibus and and the Horsemen I was won over before I heard your early works.  As I’ve matured since then I’ve invested in all of your catalog I could find.  And as such I have to ask- Where did you conceive of the cover for the EAT OR DIE Mixtape that released in stores?

RK: It was a tribute to the photographer.  He went for pictures and came back with a conscious.  And in the end he took his own life.  Reality was really raw for him.

BH: Newest project?

RK: Barmageddon the album that dropped this year.  It is pure hip hop with the feeling of raw lyricism.

If you listen to Barmageddon you hear I’m still human, still love hip hop,  still love to rap.

BH: Amen!  As a fan I’ve heard it and concur.

Where can fans reach you/find you?

RK: @raskass is perfect.

http://raskass.bandcamp.com/album/barmaggedon for the new album and links to cop my catalog.

BH: Shout out to RAS KASS, The Waterproof Emcee.

#blogheavy

Ras Kass 2013 Barmageddon

Nas Aint Got A Grammy?

26 Feb

Nas Aint Got A Grammy?

Guess Who Doesn’t Have A Grammy For Rap?

A) Ludacris
B) Kid Cudi
C) Nas
D) Fergie
E) Naughty By Nature

Waiting…

Waiting…

Give up?

Our esteemed Rap god Nas.
Shitty isn’t it?
Even with the youth in total intellectual disarray I’d expect Nas to have 3 or four by now. And I’m being lenient with Hip Hop.

Now I’m not trying to denigrate the aforementioned acts, however I am aghast. I could make a case against everyone on that list except maybe, maybe Naughty by Nature in my opinion as they came so much earlier in the game, but my opinion is that no body of work from this pocket or artists is even comparable.
A lot of creative genius in this group, no question- let me breathe though.

Kid Cudi is not a game changer. Entertaining? Yes. New- for sure. But to conjure up a rationale for him to receive a grammy, well that’s pure magic.
26 or so nominations is a bit ridiculous. Say I’m hating fine. I just don’t see him as Epic when Nas has guest verses that are prolific.
And don’t get me started on Nas verses on Mobb Deep and Wu-tang tracks!

Ludacris was a breath of fresh air and a welcomed voice to many in hip hop. And his savvy to be able to sell 50,000 units dolo out of his trunk and network weekly was awe inspiring. However for him to get a grammy and not Nas is sheer ignorance. If Ludacris is Hip Hop then what is Nas? With introspective and societal critiques that are vastly understated- Nas is clearly the slept on Ceasar to the rabble and their proletariat. And FYI Nas has gone Double platinum with almost no advertising, hype, drama, or publicity- shout to 50cent!

Fergie is a major icon- not in my opinion though. A good vocalist sure. Interesting public figure, maybe. Yet how is she relevant?
Does she add cultural diversity?
Sounds like I’m the racist but we have seen more trivial matters be exploited for gain.
Also whenever we have a “crossover” vast attention is paid.
Eminem is case and point- better yet case closed.

Naughty By Nature is considered classic Hip Hop by many. And they had hits no questions. And at one point they were socially relevant. Were.
Nas’ track rewind.
Dude did it backwards. Amazing. And it was coherent. Forget the drugs and posturing for a minute. That’s cheap hip hop. Nas spit pure fire. The rap spoke for it’s-self. Nas damn near rewound hip hop literally to when rappers where creating. No posing. No primping. Just RAW. Amen.

Definition of Self.
Nas defines himself on every album. He speaks. Even when telling stories that don’t revolve around him he amazes and astounds us. Ether isn’t a definition of self track but a defining moment and as such it was Nas speaking his prowess into existence as only a Boss would (small snub at Rick Ross intended).
Bottom line Nas speaks his mind every album, and damned if that aint Hip hop.

Live at the barbecue.
The kid was 14! And spit something amazing. A classic some 20 years later (my math right?) And it was not even some superior mastered, hyped track. Go look it up and tell me if I’m wrong.

Willingness to follow his heart.
Nas follows his heart. Kanye follows his vanity. He loves his tirades. Nas loves his craft. Nothing better than that. I can’t front, I might end up the new ye if I was to ever blow but that’s a side result. My first love is always my pen. Well nowadays its my blackberry lol.
My mode of creation may have changed but
my love of lyricism is universal. If you know me you know I love weights too- and even amongst my plates I pen madness.
And as an a lyricist I respect that in Nas. His life doesn’t run him. His pen does. Everything revolves at least indirectly around his craft. And you hear it in his rhymes. Heard the last album? He gets at his ex. Not too beef but to say thanks for his beautiful seed. Now that’s Hip Hop.

#GetHeavy

BELIEF MOVES MOUNTAINS

20 Feb

BELIEF MOVES MOUNTAINS.

Are You A One Hit Wonder

18 Dec

Are You A One Hit Wonder

Are you a one hit wonder-
That my friends is the question.
I’m sure just like me you guys have checked out the one hit wonder shows on VH1.
You guys know, the ones where they show music artists that made it to the top for about 3 weeks and then went and got a regular old 9-5. That one song, that one moment wasn’t parlayed into a successful career. Instead it became a moment in time so brief as to make them fodder for jokes by the little guy at home working like a slave.
One hit wonders make for great filler on an ipod but that’s about it. In business and in life there is no room for one hit wonders.
Success is a numbers game, and your numbers have to be long term.
Success comes from repeating great habits. And then repeating that. And repeating that. You get the point. Let’s examine some of the fine points.

Can they duplicate your system?
A lot of people are in direct marketing and or mlm based business models. In this economy there may be no better business model to thrive and survive (#thriveorsurvive, hint hint). However no matter how good your business, its compensation plan, or your pitch- if the system isn’t easy to duplicate than you may fail but your recruits by a vast majority will fail for sure. If they can’t see how to do what your doing then they can’t show it to others. If you have one of the aforementioned models learn it, be it. If you have your own business- whether you sell financial services or you teach seminars et al you have to be able to show people your concept and its simplicity. When they see that they will buy, duplicate or both.

Can you duplicate quality?
When you teach one recruit or team member to be a leader and a fiscal success or otherwise you are riding high. Everything was worth it. Your pride and self esteem, through the roof. However if you can’t duplicate that quality repetitively you have already lost. Put the team building aside for a second. If you can’t duplicate quality in your own actions and plans what are you doing? Watch a baseball game? The pitcher has to be able to throw the same pitch over and over with accuracy. The batter. For get about it even harder. A .300 average in baseball is good- and they only hit the ball 3 out of ten times. Look at any championship team and you will see that they have found the framework for success and have duplicated it over and over. Build from success to success and do the same things that got you to the top. For you and your team.

Leadership- You keep giving.
A great leader is effective, caring, charismatic and proactive. The list could go on and on but that’s the key components I’d say and as such you need to know if you lead well. If not any success you have will be fleeting. Leadership gives you the tools and lays the groundwork to get you beyond that one hit.
Kanye West is said to be fanatical about putting together verses for his tracks. And Pusha-T said in an article that Kanye did the same to him. He told him to rework it. Then rework it again. Then rework it some more. And at the end he got greatness out of him. Not good but great. That is effective leading and it is also strong and proactive.
A good leader is also accessible. Be there all time. Its not an up sell to mentor. It can be but that is an option not a necessity.

Be Excellent.
There will always be a place at the table for excellence. A great musician can play anywhere. A one hit wonder only has one song. A superior craftsman will always land contracts whereas the shabby, liar will get contracts for a time then they will be few and far in between. Excellence breeds its own success. Excellence makes you a contender. It puts the new guy on his toes and your contemporaries back to practicing. The true greats transcend time and even death itself. The Beatles, Big Pun, Steve Jobs, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, VanGogh, Da Vinci, Botocelli- the list goes on a bit longer but you see the point. Excellence in any form exists forever and becomes the antithesis of a one hit wonder.

Parting shot:
Your destiny is not determined by your critics. Rise above the criticism and run your own race.

#thriveorsurvive.

Thoughts? Concerns?
Questions? Think I’m wrong?
Let’s chat.
Need ideas?
Want to learn how to invite?
Let’s chat.
Want a mentor or maybe the guy who will bounce ideas back and forth with you?
Let’s chat-
Tony@Changeinadvance.com
@changeinadvance
http://www.changeinadvance.com
Or simply reply to this article.

To RAP or not too RAP (that is the question) By T3

25 Sep

To RAP or not too RAP (that is the question)

So, as a self proclaimed lyricist I have to say I’m quite sick of rap. We went from being the moving force to being a marketing one. And its ugly. I grew up with Live at the Barbecue, 36 Chambers, The Infamous, and a few others that were game changers. As a poet first and lyricist later rap exploded larger than life in my mind and my ears. As a teen I went through so many Walkmans I should probably send a check to my dad. I stole his headphones, broke even more Walkmans and then had the audacity to play that jungle music as loud as I could get away with.
Its funny looking back but I remember when words were lined with provoking thoughts and slick soliloquies- and to me I couldn’t live without the words or the girls. Now as a full fledged adult I find it disheartening that marketing is all that’s left of hip hop in the mainstream. Let’s unpack this.

Anyone know of the Jungle Brothers? Or GURU? How about Poor righteous Teachers and Wise Intelligent? Heard the tracks Hurricane Sturang or Wordsmith? These are songs by artists who are amazing. Their style, intelligence, and delivery is obvious to even the most benign poser. However I’d bet you don’t know Sturang of OGC or Chino XL who penned Wordsmith which is the most amazing homonym I’ve heard. Know what a homonym is? Words that sound the same but have different meanings. I’m weak this week- get it? Cool.
Kool G Rap, Rakim and Canibus are a few word wizards I won’t even discuss because they are epic and half of the rap fans won’t listen or aint heard of em. Suffice it to say their greatness is unparalleled. These men twisted words at a whim. To create whole worlds on wax was nothing.

Now I’m jumbling names and eras and I’m sure I’ll piss off a few fans and hip hop heads. Honestly I don’t care. My beef is with the marketing devils that have raped hip hop in pursuit of a fiscal agenda that is to rap what stage four cancer is to a child. Ouch!- I know. However let’s backtrack a bit more.
Everyone remembers Tupac as a leader, poet rapper, and activist. I purposely didn’t include him. Yes he was larger than life. And yes his themes were sick, and needed. Brenda’s got a baby- ridiculous. Dear mama, of course. But on a whole his work was uninspiring and not legendary or classic. Before you label me a heretic let me expound on it. The guy did like 3000 tracks and most are wack! That’s not good rap. Good work ethic yes but that’s it.
However even he was speaking his mind and I salute that. Nowadays we don’t even have a Pac. Hell Big L is gone too! Anyone who could speak truth about their world and transcend it while droppin’ science and true skills are gone. Nas and Jay-z are still here too but I got bones to pick with them.
-Nas not so much. I always know where Nas stands. He does the music he wants and I always get great music and themes. Concepts that evolve as I listen and some that even Rewind (great track). I just want more.
-As for Jay-z, I’m disgusted. To me he is amazing rapper, but no lyricist. And as he transforms himself from man to mogul deeper and deeper he takes rap with him. All marketing and cliches. Cheap pauses filled with marketing. Okay I’m being a jerk but I’m not pleased. All I hear about is Sean Carter and his creations. No more originality. No more truth. Just success stories and chest pounding. Ugh. And a man in his position could be giving true lyricists a chance all day. But he won’t. As not more that a rapper he may not know how. We may relate to his stories, and as such we love them- but that isn’t a lyricist make.
And as for Cam, Diddy, Birdman, Wayne and all the other clever little peacocks- take a hiatus please. Enough bragging and whores. Enough rented whips and cribs.
Enough pretending.
You are all selling out just for a dollar.
How about doing what you love?
How about not objectifying women and schooling the youth in drugs clothes and hoes?
Guess it isn’t worth it to lead when you can follow…

And so I stand at the precipice, a man with a career and a dream as well. And yet I abhor the idea that I’d become the very fools who parade and preen in gaudy rented jewels and womens clothes. I loathe the idea of being that guy signed to live nation for the cheddar- and my real fans can’t afford the tickets. As it stands I rarely record. I have, no question. And its awesome. The pen is mightier than any sword and creates a bond between me and intelligent people, readers, my friends and even my blackberry lol. I copped my first smartphone just to get a full size qwerty keyboard. That Nokia 9300 damn near built my career as a lyricist. At the least it made me happy. And I penned marvelous stories, poems, soliloquies, and so on late into the night. My love for words demands satisfaction. It demands retribution for the death of real Hip Hop. However I prefer the shadows. I write for me. I rhyme for my friends. I share my prose with the few who know what hip hop is. I write for the sake of writing. To expand my knowledge and the truth of rap.
However the game don’t love me. It only wants me to give what it wants, to sell its products. I won’t endorse fools. I won’t sellout. And so as I write this I find myself still in a quandary.

To RAP or not too RAP,that is the question.
For now I think ill J Edgar it and keep my secrets.
Peace,
T3

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