Tag Archives: music

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

From: “Bob Lefsetz” Advice

22 Dec

From: “Bob Lefsetz” Advice

1. Empower Your Fans
They’re the key to your success, not the mainstream media. Fans are forever, newspapers are not, never mind the reporters who write for them. Your fans believe in you, have time for you, are dedicated to you, reciprocate.

Fans want information. Which they can spread. Encourage fan sites. Give exclusives. Give interviews. These are your partners.

2. Say Yes Not No
No only applies if you’re a superstar. And there are very few of those left. Let me be clear, say yes to your fans, to the Internet, don’t say yes to intermediaries, like corporations or hustlers who say they can do something for you, which they almost definitely will not, and if they do will extract compensation far in excess of what you desire to pay them.

There are no rules. Do it your way. Stumble upon new ideas, forge new pathways, there’s no right way, only your way.

3. Be Three-Dimensional
Mystery is history. The more you reveal, the more people can bond to you.

Social media is a running dialogue that pays dividends long after you wish. It’s a walk into the wilderness that could leave you very lonely. So don’t start unless you plan to finish. It’s a commitment almost as strong as your music. Only try to goose it with contests and stunting occasionally. But giving away something people want always works. Give away a free house concert, a free guitar lesson, and don’t do this to increase your reach, but to motivate your fan base.

The best tweets are not self-promotional. Sure, you can say you’re here or there occasionally, but if you’re using the channel as a sales/promotion outlet, people will tune out. Twitter is where you’re real. Post thoughts and ideas. Pictures of what’s interesting to you. Social media is about coming down from the mountaintop to engage, just like everybody else. But in your case, people are insatiable in their desire to know more about you.

4. Live
Is free and should be promoted ad infinitum. Every one of your shows should be on YouTube and available on the Internet for streaming and downloading. Make every one different, change the set lists, improvise, and your fans will be hooked.

The web is all about getting people to come back. And they’ll only come back if you change your site and deliver something intriguing. Live tracks are a reward for those who already come see you and buy your stuff. They’re thrilled you’re giving back. And they won’t stop talking about you.

That’s how you succeed today. By having third parties hear about you from your fans. Which is why you want your fans talking about you constantly, to wear down the resistance of third parties. Don’t pressure your fans to convert others. Give them the tools, the music, and they’ll spread the word.

Come on, who hasn’t been on a car or plane ride with their seatmate boring them to death about their passion. But then, if you hear about this same passion from another person, you check it out.

5. Mistakes Count
In other words, make them. We’re all imperfect. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking chances. When you screw up, people love it and are endeared to you. Your screw-up evidences your humanity.

6. Don’t Shoot Beyond Your Limits
If you make klezmer music, you’re not gonna get on Top Forty radio. Be realistic. If you’re making cutting edge, dissonant music, few people will be interested, certainly at first. If your goal is to be ubiquitous, make music in a genre that dominates, like Top Forty/rhythmic or country.

7. Don’t Be Sour Grapes
Nobody likes a complainer.

8. Don’t Always Be Positive
This is hogwash spread by religious zealots and self-help book writers. Express your disappointment and frustration, just choose your moments. People love to sympathize, and they gloat in your triumph down the line.

9. Honesty & Transparency
Scalping and other ticket shenanigans are for the ancient classic rockers and the here today, gone tomorrow Top Forty stars. The more information you give people, the more they understand. Go to all-in ticketing. Those fees are promoter profit, not kickbacks to Ticketmaster, only acts can change this perception, to the benefit of the industry at large. Go paperless. If you’re not doing your best to get your hard core fans into the show, with their rumps in great seats, you’re doing it all wrong, you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

10. If You’re Not Going To Play Your Hits Say So.
People might pay to see you once, but not again. If you’re not delivering what people expect, be sure they know. And play smaller halls and charge less.

11. Tastemakers
If they’ve got credibility and a loyal audience they can get you tons of look-sees almost instantly. But you’d better be ready when you get the attention. Justin Bieber broke Carly Rae Jepsen. Howard Stern boosts careers on a daily basis. Stern has a reputation for being honest. If he endorses something, if he says it’s worth checking out, his audience does so. If you’re a classic rocker or a Gen-X’er there’s no better place to promote your product. But Howard does not take you from zero to sixty, you’ve already got to have a head of steam.

Just because someone has an audience, don’t believe they’ll give you a ride to commercial heaven. Most talking heads are meaningless. Get on morning television and you think you’ve made it, but you’re part of an inner circle of jerks unaware the rest of the world is laughing at you.

12. Friends
You’ve got to have them. They’re the ones who will get you gigs. Yup, you’ve got to have a good relationship with not only your fans, but other bands, so you can trade favors. If you think you can make it alone you’re wrong. It’s okay to have enemies, but if you have no allies, you’re going to be defeated.

13. Charts
Are for dummies. It’s a full time job keeping your position. And no one’s on top forever. You live in the heart of your fans. That can’t be quantified. Other than in your income, which no one other than yourself will ever truly know.

14. Criticism
Be wary of it. Don’t try to be what others want you to be. They’re never satisfied. You’re best off being yourself. People don’t know what they want until you give it to them. Unless you’re giving them what they’ve already got, which puts a time stamp on your career. Ignore people who say your songs aren’t political, that you can’t play your instrument, that you’ve got to do it their way. Unless, of course, you’ve got no traction. But if you’ve made it, ignore the naysayers. They just want to turn you into a faceless ideal they’re going to put on the scrapheap. Artists are not remade. Artists are singular. Artist go against the grain. Artists are leaders.

15. Advice
Don’t heed it if it doesn’t feel good. Resonate with your inner tuning fork first and foremost. But don’t be afraid to question yourself, don’t be afraid to learn.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

http://www.twitter.com/lefsetz

If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,
http://www.lefsetz.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

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.

Image 30 Apr

latinscientists:

1st gen nano recall!
(Click pic for link)

Dear iPod nano owner,
Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano
(1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.
This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.
Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.
Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.
Replacement Process
You may order a replacement unit via the web. Click
here to begin.
Your iPod nano serial number will be checked to verify that it is eligible for this program. You will receive a replacement unit approximately 6 weeks after we receive your current iPod nano (1st gen).
If you have a personalized iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalized replacement. Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit.
Additional Information
Identifying an iPod nano (1st gen):

It has a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back – later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.

If you need assistance with placing an order, please visit an
Apple Retail Store or an
Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) and bring your iPod nano with you for serial number validation.

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