Grinding hard or hardly grinding? An introduction to rap music marketing


Behold, a rap marketing genius.

This is part 1 of a multi-part series about rap music marketing.

Confession: I got tired of rappers spamming links on Twitter as the basis of their “promotional strategy,” realized there’s a lack of know-how about marketing in the indie rap world and decided to write this marketing guide.

I’m by no means a marketing “expert” (if such a thing really exists), but I have learned a great deal about the subject as a freelance writer required to market myself to get work and as a music journalist on the receiving end of marketing from artists for nearly 10 years, and I hope to share some of that knowledge in this series. While the info will be geared towards rappers, it applies to most endeavors that require self-promotion.

In this first installment, I’ll lay out a brief overview of marketing and explain the difference between effective and ineffective marketing. Future posts will include information about branding, press materials, using social media effectively, improving the quality of your music, building relationships, staging better live shows, grinding in the streets instead of talking about grinding in the streets, and much more…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

Concert review: Beyonce and Jay Z are ‘flawless’ in Foxboro

beyonce jay zFOXBORO — Two-and-a-half hours, more than 40 songs and too many wardrobe changes to count. Music’s reigning supercouple Jay Z and Beyonce delivered an eye-popping, breathtaking show at Gillette Stadium Tuesday night that raised the bar for joint tours — and tours in general.

It was a concert that featured lengthy dance interludes, video snippets of the pair’s gangster non-movie “Run,” audio segments about feminism and a lengthy barrage of hits.

Their songs frequently blended together and sometimes worked in momentary riffs by artists ranging from Michael Jackson to the Notorious B.I.G. Visually and sonically, no detail was neglected…continue reading at The Sun Chronicle.

Before and after of a bio for pop/R&B singer Ebon Lurks

Before-After-GraphicThis is a bio I recently rewrote for a talented young artist named Ebon Lurks. If you need help with your bio or other written materials, shoot me an email or send me a message through my contact page.


Born on Feburary 18th 1996 in Muskogee Oklahoma, Ebon Lurks didnt have a typical childhood. When Ebon was just two, he lost both parents tragically. Following the untimely death of his mother and father Ebon and his younger brother Malek moved to Tulsa to be closer to family. Their grandmother Hattie and her daughters Tammy & Heidi raised the boys as their own. The family has survived the loss but has never forgotten the void. Read More

My philosophy of life courtesy of Damon Dash

“My win is to never in life have a boss. To always be free to say what I want. To be able to empower the people I love. That’s my dream. My dream is to make the money without selling out. Anything else is a loss to me. Somebody might say ‘If somebody pays me $100 million to be a slave, then I won.’ That would be a loss to me. But it’s about perspective. I’m looking at it through a completely different lens than most people, because most people that judge me have jobs. Entrepreneurs don’t do that. And again, I don’t judge you for that. You’ve never been free.” -Damon Dash (1:09:11)

How to create a freelance writing schedule that boosts your productivity


As a freelance writer, it’s easy to start the day with lofty goals, only to find that by dinnertime all you’ve done is catch up with fifth-grade BFFs on Facebook, play with your cat and write a half-baked outline of a piece you were hoping to finish.

That’s where a schedule comes into play.

As much as freelance writing is about freedom and writing award-winning articles in your pajamas, it’s also about discipline and structure. And it all begins with your schedule.

Having a daily schedule that outlines what you’re supposed to do at specific times — and sticking to it — is how you become a productive, powerful freelance force to be reckoned with. So here are some tips for creating a freelance writing schedule that will help to boost your productivity:  Read More

Why Chuck D was right about Hot 97

chuck-dBy now the Chuck D/Hot 97 beef has been well-documented by blogs, and anyone with access to Twitter can see the back-and-forth exchange that’s spanned several days.

Long story short, Chuck D blasted Hot 97 for this year’s Summer Jam show, calling it a “sloppy fiasco” and criticizing the liberal use of the n-word, questioning where Hot 97 would be if the concert had been filled with Anti-Semitic and gay slurs. He wants urban radio to “get it right or be gone.”

Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97 responded, and a war of Twitter words ensued.

On the surface this seems like just another social media spat that will be forgotten tomorrow, but in reality it runs much deeper than that…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

The force that shaped hip hop but disappeared from mainstream rap

biggieI was driving around blasting The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Gimme The Loot” the other day when I realized what was missing from that song, and from most commercial rap today.

“Gimme The Loot” is – as the title suggests – solely devoted to tales of theft and robbery. There’s little backstory or explanation as to why Biggie and his unnamed sidekick – also voiced by Biggie – are so motivated to rob and steal. There’s no mention of the conditions that have prompted Big to assault people for cash, to run up on females and shoot strangers for some jewelry, other than stress, tight pockets and the fact that “mom dukes ain’t givin’ me sh*t.

Someone could listen to that song and reasonably conclude that Biggie and his young partner are sociopathic criminals, not people who have been driven to desperate measures by structural racism and lack of access to educational, economic and employment opportunities. And that’s dangerous…continue reading at Rap Rehab.

Fun with quizzes: What is mainstream rap music?

And now for today’s quiz!

Also, stay tuned for my new article on Rap Rehab being published later today!


Bio for pop/R&B artist Madisyn Elise

Madisyn Elise

In an era of cookie-cutter pop idols, 14-year-old songstress Madisyn Elise is blazing her own path to stardom. A talented artist with entrepreneurial vision, Madisyn writes her own material, plays multiple instruments and co-owns the independent music label MEK7 Entertainment. Madisyn’s trademark sound is a bold mix of pop, rock and R&B that channels her youthful energy, with positive, inspirational lyrics that reflect a maturity far beyond her years. Case in point is her debut single “Crazy, Crazy,” a powerful anti-bullying anthem she wrote after being harassed by peers at school.  Read More

5 questions I still have about the Jay Z-Solange elevator brawl

jayz-beyonce-solangeI know, I know. Elevatorgate has already been discussed to death. There are more important things to focus on and more constructive things I could be doing with my time than writing about the family strife between Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange. Just because I share the last name Carter with two-thirds of the clan does not mean this is any of my business. And yet, I live on Earth, so I’ve seen the video, and I’ve heard the incessant chatter, and I’ve read the “think pieces,” and even though the trio issued a statement saying they’ve “worked through it,” I still have so many questions about what, exactly, “it” was. So I pose the following inquiries:  Read More


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