APRIL 2007 / Volume 1 - Issue 3
IS YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER GAY?
There’s no denying the relationship between hip hop and basketball and no matter how many changes they make to the dress code, the culture is still going to bleed on to the court. In between the fact that every rapper thinks he could’ve went to the NBA and every basketball player thinks he can spit a hot sixteen, I don’t see this relationship coming to an end any time soon. Go to any basketball game and you’re likely to hear MIMS, Jay-Z, or Nelly playing throughout the arena. Turn on MTV or BET and you might just catch a story
about Jay-z or Nelly buying a team. So when John Ameachi outed himself, becoming the first openly gay man to have played in the NBA, I had to turn my head toward the hip hop world and wonder... Which one of our favorite rappers is living a life on the Down Low? Now, I’m sure Wendy Williams would love to give you a list of names with addresses and telephone numbers, but for our story we’re just going to focus on one, Kanye West.
ATL’S MOST WANTED TALENT
This Wednesday is just like any other at the Royal Peacock. Smoke and idle chit chat fill the air as the room quickly swells with some of the A’s most dedicated hip-hop artists and fans. What originally started as “Blues in the Alley” at The Underground way back in 2003 has since relocated to the historic Royal Peacock and grown into one of the city’s largest and most consistent open mics. Giving artists of all genres the opportunity to come showcase there talent, “Atl’s Most Wanted Talent” has become a staple in Atlanta’s thriving underground music scene. Through rain, sleet, snow, or hail… the show must go on. “Bring the Industry to the Artist.” This was the basic concept behind the showcase when it was started by Black www.MakinItMagazine.com
Mac Entertainment founder and A-Team Morning Show producer Akini Jefferies and using his music industry connects he does just that as any given night representatives from Def Jam, Bad Boy, So So Def and many other major players in the game blend into the crowd scoping for that next superstar. Every week the top performing acts are selected to return for the best of the best showcase that takes place on the last Wednesday of each month, where one winner will be selected by a panel of judges to have their song put into rotation on Hot 107.9. Some of the notable artists that have graced the stage of The Royal Peacock before getting there big break include Fabo, The Alliance, City (Def Jam / Slip-N-Slide), Continued on page 4
It’s no question that a lot of rumors have been thrown around regarding the Chicago rappers sexuality. And while a lot of it has stems from his diva-esque Grammy rants and prima donna attitude, I believe there was no bigger contributor to the rumors than his notorious outburst on MTV regarding homophobia in hip-hop. For those of you that don’t remember lets just rewind the clock back a few years to late 2005. Kanye was filming a special for MTV to promote his new album, Late Registration. Continued on Page 13
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Message from KC As you can see we done made some major upgrades to the publication. We’ve added a splash of color here and there, some extra content, and a few additional pages. So, I’ve decided to use some of this new found space to talk directly to you guys each issue and let you know what’s going Rich Boy and KC Kickin’ It at on with our movement. the Peacock on a Wed. Night. First off, I would like to tell everybody thanks for all the love and support you’ve been showing us. My goal when I started this publication was to create something to inform, educate, and inspire anybody trying to make it in the game. I wanted to create a resource to help rappers, producers, models, actors, directors, singers, Independent labels, promoters and anybody else traveling on that long, narrow road to success. Although this publication began as the dream of one man I just wanted to let all of you know that it belongs to each and every one of us. If you have a dream and the drive to see it through then we are here for you. So remember that we will always be open to your ideas, advice and constructive criticism. And with your continued support we will continue to upgrade the quality of the publication we bring you each month as well as create new opportunities, outlets, and programs to assist you on your journey.
CONGRATULATE Makin’ It Magazine shows love the grind. Have you publicist send us a press release on your latest accomplishments and achievements and we will help shout it from the rooftops. If you dont have a publicist I suggest you get one. send all releases to email@example.com Congratulations to Willie Joe for just inking his deal with Sho Nuff Records. Ya boy is bringing that Bay area flava straight to your doorstep. Look out for his hot new single “You Beezy!,” produced by The Beat Squad! Props go out to Da Shop Boyz for play list adds on V103 and Hot 107.9. Them boys been killing the clubs all over Atlanta with their hot new single, “Rock Star”. They got everybody in the hood playing the air guitar. Do ya thang! Congratulations To E-Man for taking home the title for the Best of the Best Showcase at the Peacock on Wednesday. Peep his single “Rider” spinning on Hot 107.9. Make sure you call in and request it. Young Dro is out there representing heavy in the streets for PSC. His debut album “Best Thang Smokin’” just hit gold last month after only two singles. Birthday shots to Street Talk Magazine celebrating their one year anniversary. They did it real big out at Club A. DJ Drama and The Aphilliates were in the house hosting with a slew of Atlanta’s hottest up and coming talent. Good look to the Ludacris Foundation for being Awarded 2007 Spirit of Youth Award. Also keep the Bridges family in your prayers as they cope with their recent loss. Conrgatulations go out to DG Yolla whos video just premiered as the new joint of the day on 106 & Park. Wishing you much success!
2 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
PROMOTIONS Myspace Marketing Part 3 - Account Phishing So we’re back for another round of Myspace marketing techniques and advice. I’m sure if you’re a loyal Myspace junkie that you’ve logged into your account at least once in the past month only to find a post from one of your friends telling you, “All girls are str8 up lying when they say size doesn’t matter…” If you don’t know what I’m talking bout then let me elaborate on a little thing called Phishing. This is what they call it when someone uses a phony webpage (usually resembling a Myspace login screen) to steals your account email and password. They then use this information to log into your account and spam everybody on your friend’s list by posting comments for everything from penis enlargement pills to ring tone websites.
know and have added to your friend’s list. The worst part about it you may even be a victim of it and not even know until someone tells you. This can easily lead to a bit of confusion and embarrassment seeing as how they are posting comments using your identity. For instance a couple of months ago I was negotiating an agreement with an artist who contacted me through Myspace when a couple days latter I get a comment from him about penis enlargement pills (LOL). Now if I hadn’t read an article about account phishing the week before, I probably wouldn’t have known what to make of it.
Simply put if you receive a message from someone who you think may be a victim of phishing let them know by sending them a message. If you think that you yourself may be a victim we advise that you change your account password and remember to never give out Unlike most of the spam you may receive on Myspace your account information these are messages from people’s accounts that you
B4 THE FAMEChamillionaire
QUESTION OF THE MONTH What is your idea of Makin’ It? Whether you rap, model, or promote, everyone in this industry is trying to make it in some way or another. We want to hear from you. We want to know what your idea of “Makin’ It” really is. What will it take for you to accomplish to feel that you have reached your goal and be confident enough to say that you’ve made it?
Before the Grammy and BET Hip Hop Awards; before the mega-success of his platinum selling debut album, “The Sound of Revenge”; before achieving #1 chart positions across the globe with his hugely successful single “Ridin’ Dirty” which also took home the title of ring tone of the year, Chamillionaire AKA Hakeem Seriki could be found working at Babies-R-Us. This just goes to show that nothing happens over night and with enough hustle and determination you can make it to the top. We all have to start somewhere B4 The Fame. www.MakinItMagazine.com Inspiration for the grind.... www.MakinItMagazine.com
Send your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Question of the month c/o Makin’ It Magazine 3939 Lavista Rd. Ste E-249 Atlanta, GA 30084 We will pick from our favorite answers and run them in the next issue of Makin’ It Magazine. April 2007 • Makin’ It Magazine | 3
ATL’S Most Wanted Talent Continued from page 1 Roc B (“Kryptonite” Purple Ribbon), Willie Joe and Young Joc, who was signed on the spot by Block of Bad Boy South after performing the now legendary club banger “It’s Going Down”.
Genre: Rap Hometown: East Point Lead Single: “Rider”
When it comes to independent artists… You have to earn my respect as a hustler before you can ever earn it as anything else. Well Atlanta native, E-Man, is out here in these streets reppin’ hard for the city’s Westside. Born and bred in Eastpoint, GA he’s the true definition of an artist and a hustler. With a work ethic only matched by his music, you have no choice but to respect him.
up an emotionally charged show that gets the crowds attention. His lead single “Rider”, which you can currently catch playing on Hot 107.9, has been gaining a considerable amount of buzz on the streets. When I talked to him about his music he described it to me like this, “I mean, I love the music… I got passion for it… I like to call it reality s*** talking, because I use it as a means of venting; it’s like my stress release.”
Over the past several months, I’ve been to every open mic, showcase and networking event that has gone down in the “A” and the only thing more guaranteed than a cover charge and being checked by security is E-Man being in the building. Seven days a week sometimes hitting two or more spots in a night, I would see him hit the stage at every single one and leave it all out on the floor. He would consistently rip each performance whether it was five people or five hundred people. That’s the passion the makes superstars; that’s the consistency that gains fans; that’s the love that a lot of these artists lack. But not only is he consistent with the performance but he is extremely humble. As soon as he gets off the stage you’ll see him in the crowd passing out free CD’s and personally thanking people for their love and support.
More than a bunch of hopping around on stage with the occasional crotch grabbing he offers
Who’s in your deck right now? I like that old school s*** I still bump cassettes… right now im listening to the Dayton Family, Top Authority, 2 Pac, Young Bleed, that old school Eightball & MJG, Beanie Siegel, and UGK What’s your Idea of Makin’ It? I want worldwide exposure but I guess Id be good with just nationwide exposure. You gotta start somewhere I guess. How do you feel about the state of hip hop? It’s just changing with the generations. You got it let it adapt and grow. The south has always done music you can dance to even back when it was Kelo and them. But we just now really getting our shine I just think everybody should respect everybody’s craft.
If you’re an artist that wants to be profiled in the May Issue of Makin’ It Magazine make you come out to the Royal Peacock each and every Wednesday because the winner of this month’s Best of the Best will also be featured in our next issue!!! 4 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
Simply put, if you’re serious about getting exposure or breaking into the music industry The Royal Peacock is where you want to be. Whether you’re and artist, producer, manager, or mogul of tomorrow, this is great opportunity to network, scout talent, and build relationships. Come sign up at 7:30 to reserve one of the 2530 performance slots available every Wednesday. Show Starts at 9:30… I expect to see you there. Sponsorship Opportunity – Help support this event by purchasing your sponsorship package for just $200 and receive a guest list of 7 members and your music or company promoted in the club through out the night.Simply put, if you’re serious about getting exposure or breaking into the music industry The Royal Peacock is where you want to be. Whether you’re and artist, producer, manager, or mogul of tomorrow, this is great opportunity to network, scout talent, and build relationships. Come sign up at 7:30 to reserve one of the 2530 performance slots available every Wednesday. Show Starts at 9:30… I expect to see you there. Sponsorship Opportunity – Help support this event by purchasing your sponsorship package for just $200 and receive a guest list of 7 members and your music or company promoted in the club through out the night. www.MakinItMagazine.com
Send your questions to email@example.com and each month we will find an expert in that field to answer them for you.
“I HAVE A SONG WITH A SAMPLE IN THE BEAT. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET IT CLEARED?” Clearing a sample can be an easy or difficult task depending on the parties with whom you have to deal. Know that if you don’t get the clearance, you CANNOT use the sample, nor can you release the song containing the sample! In some cases you may have 4-5 owners of one song and if ONE owner says “No”, then that’s it! When answering the questions below it’s under the assumption that we are talking about sampling in terms of taking a piece of another song and including it in your song, NOT singing someone else’s song in its entirety (i.e., Cover songs). Question: First of all, what is the definition of clearing a sample and what constitutes the need for clearance?Many records contain samples of other recordings. Being that these samples are most likely created and rightfully owned by other people, any use of them requires a license (i.e., permission) from both the owner of the sound recording and the owner of the underlying composition. The process of doing this is referred to as “sample clearing”. An example of this would be if you were to sample an LL Cool J song. You would probably have to get permission from Def Jam as well as Todd Smith’s publishing company and any other writer’s who are credited with helping create the song being sampled. Clearance is of course required to protect the rights of original owner of the song to ensure their property is not taken and used without their expressed consent. Question: Why should I bother with clearing samples? What are the legal ramifications of not clearing samples? Failure to get a license could result in copyright infringement lawsuits and criminal prosecution for the stealing of another person’s property! If a person sues you for copyright infringement, they could be awarded a judgment against you to: 1) stop you from releasing any album using their song, 2) force you to destroy any record containing the sample, and 3) pay them monetary damages up to $150,000 PER INFRINGEMENT plus Attorney fees!!!! Question: Who is responsible for clearing samples, the artist or the producer of the track?This depends 6 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
on the contract between the artist and producer. It’s usually the producer’s responsibility unless the artist consents to handling the process of clearing the sample. However, a court of law will hold ALL parties responsible regardless of whose responsibility it was to clear the sample!!! Therefore, if you are an artist who is recording over a track that has a sample and you are not sure if there has been proper action taken to obtain clearance, it is YOUR responsibility to protect yourself by making sure those matters have been handled accordingly. Question: How do I go about clearing a sample? Without getting into legal jargon, and confusing details, the best method for properly clearing a sample is to hire an experienced attorney or educated music industry professional that is knowledgeable about getting a license. It is up to you to do your research to make sure this person is an individual that is versed on how to LAWFULLY do this while protecting your best interests as well. There are also a host of books and online websites where you can educate yourself on the process of obtaining a license. If you have to TIME to diligently use these tools, I can provide a small list to get you started. Email my firm at info@ dmeglaw.com to be provided with it. Question: Where does the money go? Monies derived from an original track/ sample go to whoever the initial owners of the song were. This could include the songwriters, the music publishers, and the recording labels based up their percentage of ownership. In some cases a song may be owned by 4-5 different people. In
***Dante A. Marshall, Esq. is the managing partner for the Law Firm of DMEG, an Atlanta based firm. Feel free to visit their website (www.dmeglaw. com) or email Mr. Marshall at d_ firstname.lastname@example.org. these instances all persons may own equal shares of the song OR some may own more than others. It all depends on how the owners decided to split it up when the song was created. Question: When should I worry about sample clearances? The moment that you sample someone else’s record, UNLESS it’s what we call is public domain material. In the case of public domain material, you don’t need anyone’s permission!!! Question: What is public domain material? Public domain material is that which is on record as being owned by no-one in particular. It belongs to the public. When a work passes into the public domain it can be used without permission or charge because no one owns it. However, great care must be taken to determine if a work is truly in the public domain. I would suggest engaging the help of someone who is skilled in generating background information on such material before it is used.
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Makin A Livin Exploring Careers in the Urban Entertainment Industry POSITION: Artist & Repertoire Representative (A&R Rep) for a major record label JOB DESCRIPTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES: A&R reps are responsible for finding, signing, and developing new talent as well as helping guide their careers. Finding artists usually involves going to showcases, checking out artists at clubs, hearing about new talent from a network of associates and other artists in the industry, and even searching the Internet for talented artists. Many A&R reps do not accept unsolicited demos because they believe that if an artist has talent they will create a buzz, which will eventually get to the A&R rep. As industry veteran Danny Goodwin says, “I don’t want you to come to me, I want you to make me come to you.” They also work with record producers and introduce the artist to the other people that will help them at the record company. Sometimes A&R reps will find songs for their artists to record or help decide what songs should go on the album. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES & LOCATIONS: Almost all major record companies are based in L.A., New York, or Nashville. Most of the labels have regional A&R reps across the country. A&R jobs are pretty scarce, so you will probably have to try your hand at other music-related jobs until you gain enough experience to get hired as an A&R rep. EARNINGS: Salaries vary with the size of the company. With the larger companies an A&R rep can start as low as $35,000 and eventually make as much as $350,000. Experience and signing successful artists will help increase income. Your social life is pretty much free, though. A trip to a club to hear a band can be expensed to the company and you can usually get free drinks. RECOMMENDED EDUCATION AND TRAINING: There are various music industry-related degrees at a handful of universities. Otherwise, almost any business or marketing degree would be helpful. Though a college education is not a requirement if you can prove yourself in other ways, like starting something yourself. The best training is just to get out in the industry and get burned a few times. Eventually you will wind up in the right place at the right time. ESSENTIAL SKILLS: A broad knowledge of music is helpful. Besides having good communication skills, an A&R rep should be able to distinguish a hit from all the other songs since they are, in a sense, paid for their tastes. APPROPRIATE PERSONALITIES: Successful A&R reps need to be competitive to sign artists before the other record labels do, they need to be able to communicate a friendly vibe with artists, and they need to love music. www.MakinItMagazine.com
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS: Experience in some sort of music related job is essential. This could be artist management, radio, retail, even being a musician. Volunteering or interning for record companies can also be helpful. Being passionate about music is a big qualifier. CHANGES IN PAST DECADE OR MORE: Today the A&R perspective has become very narrow and most popular artists are generally either the few huge acts that have already proven themselves or the acts that almost mirror the sound/look of these huge acts. The major labels are more often concerned with the bottom line than artistic credibility. Many experts agree that the new artists of today do not have as much staying power as acts did in the past, many of which continue to tour today. A&R reps are finding acts with shorter cycles. INSIDER TIPS FOR LANDING A JOB LIKE THIS: Since I am mostly researching the larger record companies, first of all you should move to L.A. or New York. With a college degree you can probably at least find some sort of receptionist or assistant job with some record company. From there just be enthusiastic, friendly, and have a wealth of musical knowledge just in case the higher uppers should happen to ask your opinion at some point just because they like your attitude. Being well liked is a good way to make contacts with people that might recommend you for a job you want in the future. Continue looking for other jobs that will give you more experience in the industry either with the same company or move on to a better position at another company. If you know your stuff, you should hopefully land your dream job eventually. In summary: know your stuff, be friendly, make contacts. TYPICAL CAREER PATH: For major label A&R reps, the typical career path usually involves starting with any random job in music--journalism, radio, marketing, booking--and then moving up to some kind of artist management job, eventually winding up as an A&R rep at a record company. There are also some artists who settle into A&R positions. Some people move up to an A&R position at a major label after having success at an independently owned record label. PROS AND CONS: The pros are that you get to do something you love, you get to listen to music all the time, you meet and work with the artists you respect, and you take expensespaid trips to check out artists across the country. The cons are the sometimes weird hours, long hours, breaking the hearts of rejected artists, and travel if you don’t like to travel much. April 2007 • Makin’ It Magazine | 7
This beautiful Louisville native reloca the A five years ago to peruse a career entertainment industry. While working h turn those dreams into a reality, a tragic dent on the set of ATL resulted in devas injury that virtually shattered her right But In a tremendous show of both str and resilience she miraculously turned
ted to in the hard to c accistating ankle. rength d this
misfortune into a career in modeling. In her time from work this educated vixen discovered her latent passion for modeling. Not just a pretty face with a body to kill. This graduate of the Carolina School of Broadcast has her sights set on much larger goals. From styling her own hair and makeup to conceptualizing the shoot, she takes an active role in every
step of the process. With experience in radio, television, and film she loves every aspect of the business and looks forward to someday establishing her own production company. Look out for Nina Blaze because she is definitely one of Atlantaâ€™s hottest up and coming models and On Deck to Blow. Contact email@example.com for booking.
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Studio Grille Club The Bomb Club Moya MONDAY Monday Night Hustle And Flow at Club Crucial (2517 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy) Doors Open at 9PM show starts at 11PM with a $10 cover at the door. For More info call (404)794-2114 “This Is Why Im Hot” Open Mic Monday at Club Miami. Doors open at 9:30PM show starts at 11:00 PM with a $10 Cover at the door. Cash Prizes, and a great opportunity to network. For More info call (404) 456-1463 Downtown Pool Palace J.R. Crickets(Jonesboro) Djangos Cafe 290 TUESDAY Microphone Tuesdays at Throbacks (4847 Old National Highway) Doors open at 9PM show starts at 10:30PM Cover 10 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
starts at $8 cost to perform starts at $10. Come out and show what you got every tuesday to audition for sunday nights $500 cash prize. For more info call (678) 6102126 Body Tap WEDNESDAY ATL’s Most Wanted Talent at The Peacock hosted by Akini of Hot 107.9’s A-Team Morning Show. Doors open at 8PM.Show starts at 9:30 with a $10 cover for the men and a $5 cover for the women. Cost to perform $5 for the first $25 and $50 for the 26-30. Win a chance to get your song into rotation on Hot 107.9 for more information cal (404) 246-0621 Hood Idol Talent Show at Paradise Restaurant and Lounge. Doors open at 8PM with a $5 cover charge. Show starts at 10PM. Cost to perform $15/solo and $25/Groups. Music by DJ Sizza of the world famous Superfriends. Hosted by Koliano. Grand Prizes: Studio time, PS3, Ipods, and much more. For more info call (678) 755-7872 Cafe Red Train Dancer’s Elite
THURSDAY The Atrium O’ Reilly’s Club Studio 7 The Apache’ Last Thursday of the month only FRIDAY Downtown Pool Palace Phlash Friday at Seasons (2077 Northlake Parkway). Networking event for models, photograpers and make-up artists mix and mingle. For more info call (404) 558-3036 SATURDAY Babes
WANT TO HAVE YOUR EVENT LISTE OR AD INFORMATION TO YOUR LISTING GIVE US A CALL AT (678) 528-6925 Ext. 710 www.MakinItMagazine.com
Over the next 30 days 60,000 People will see this page who need Beats, Studio Time, CD Duplication, Flyers, Comp-Cards, Hair Stylist, Photographers, Publicist, Managers, Promotional T-Shirts, Legal Services,Accounting Services, DJ’s, Choreographers, Singers, Recording Engineers, Audio Mastering, Posters, Websites, Music Videos, Promotions, Cover art, and more..... and instead of looking at this they could’ve been looking at you? Advertise in the May issue of Makin’ It Magazine - Deadline is April 20th, 2007 Ad Space is limited. First Come, First Served. :)
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EVENT RECAPAlmost Famous Showcase Its wednesday morning and I’m just getting back from another great showcase here in the Atl. A lot of talent was in the building and even more networking was going on. (Gotta take a minute to give shots out to my people at Word On The Streets and spityogame.com - Make sure you guys go check them out.) It went down real big at Vinyl on March 13 as artists from all over the city and across the Southeast came out to put it down at the monthly Almost Famous showcase presented by Versus Entertainment. The nights line up consisted of some of the hottest up and coming rap and r&b acts including Killa Mike and his Grind Time family, Newly signed Sho Nuff recording artist Willie Joe, Life The Great and a dozen or so others. Street Talk Newspaper was definitely in the building as well as The Rennaisance, lead producer of The Beat Squad. For more information on this months almost famous showcase going down April 10 and Vinyl or to get find out how to reserve your spot contact Versus Entertainment at (678) 437-6155 or www.AlmostFamousShow.com
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If you have an open-mic, showcase, or other industry related event that you would like us to cover please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (678)-528-9777 Extention #710
12 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
Is your Favorite Rapper Gay? continued from page 1
50 Cent posing for cover of GQ
While being interviewed, he was asked about a song on the project titled “Roses”, which was dedicated to his mother. Suddenly Kanye went on a tangent about being teased in high school for being a momma’s boy. This tangent then lead into another about gays, hip-hop, and homophobia. Just like everyone else who was watching, my first impression was “Oh sh*t, this n*gga is coming out the closet on national television!” But when I actually took time to listen to what he was saying, I realized the point that he was trying to make.
in reference to statements that Tim Hardaway made the previous day bashing gay people. Barkley said, “You’ve gotta be naïve to think that you’ve never played on a team in the NBA and didn’t have a gay teammate…” Coming from a 16 year NBA veteran, this statement blew my mind. Once again I had to turn my head toward the world of hip hop to ask this question. What if you’re favorite rapper was gay? Would you stop buying his music? Would the DJ’s stop spinning his songs? Would you look at his videos in the same way? Would you even still look at his videos?
Ultimately many viewers were less interested in his message, than the fact that he was talking about gays and appeared to be defending homosexuality. Soon after this incident the rumors began to fly. Of
I ask these questions because working in the entertainment industry you are probably more likely to work with someone who’s gay than you would if you were playing for the NBA. And personally, I don’t believe
“Just look at the way he dresses and acts... Yeah, he’s gotta be gay!” course Kanye was an easy target for the rumors. With his eclectic taste in music and love for fashion, it’s not hard to fit him into the popular gay stereotype. “Just look at the way he dresses and acts... Yeah, he’s gotta be gay!” Comments like this echoed through barbershops and record stores in hoods all across America. But let’s take the spotlight off of Kanye for a second and turn it on ourselves. Lets examine the culture of hip hop. I think its interesting how many people complain that hip hop is stagnant because everybody talks about the same thing. But the moment a rapper like Kanye comes along, one that is comfortable enough with who he is that he doesn’t feel the need to make cookie cutter songs about selling crack, and f*&king b!%#hes, we label him a fag!!! If hip hop is dieing it’s because we’ve gotten to a point where we prohibit artists from artistically exploring and subsequently finding themselves. No one wants to step out the box and be an individual because being an individual opens you up laughter, criticism, and ridicule. The truth is we really don’t want artists to actually do anything different; we just want them to find a new way of doing the same old sh*t. A few days after hearing about John Ameachi I was watching Fox Sports when I heard Charles Barkley make this comment www.MakinItMagazine.com
hip-hop is an exception. While there are a lot of rumors, photos, and rumors of photos floating around, I’m quite sure somewhere within that mix of distorted stories and he-said/she-said there are some grains of truth. As Kanye said way back in 2005, we do gingerly throw the word gay around in hip-hop to describe things that we consider whack or undesirable and it’s generally accepted. But what if… and im just saying What if your favorite rapper, the one who inspired you to pick up a mic, the one who influenced your style and all that other good sh!%, was to came out the closet? I’m sure you would look at him differently, but how would you look at yourself? Disclaimer: You know anytime you speak on this type of thing you open yourself up to criticism and accusations. So, I took it upon myself to address the comments before they come. First, I am not gay! Second, I don’t know if Kanye West is gay. I don’t think he is, but then again I really don’t give a sh*t. And finally, while I have nothing against gay people, I actually don’t care what goes on in anybody’s bedroom except mine. I wrote this article to address the issue that if there are gay people playing in the NBA don’t think for a second that you’ve never listened or even danced to a song written, performed or produced by someone who may have been playing for the other team.
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Join The Movement! Makin’ It is more than a magazine, it’s a movement. A movement dedicated to helping independent artists, labels, models, producers, filmmakers, and business owners come together to make money. Our vision is to put the control of the industry back into the hands of the people who built it. If you are about taking control of your career, your life and your destiny, then join the movement by advertising, promoting, distributing, contributing, and reading. Advertise – Support the movement by promoting your company, artists, and services in each issue of Makin’ It Magazine. Reach over 60,000 new artists, producers, decision makers, models and movers and shakers who are about business. Promote – Join the Makin’ It Magazine’s promotion & distribution team to start spreading the movement. Come network and meet new people as you learn and help build the next generation of the urban entertainment industry. Contribute – Become a contributing writer for Makin’ It Magazine and promote yourself or company by sharing your knowledge about the music business, Modeling, Music Production, Video Production or Film. We’re also looking for everything from photographers to web designers to contribute their unique skills and help build the new entertainment industry. Read – Every issue of Makin’ It Magazine is packed with entertaining stories, interviews and information to give you a competitive advantage in the game. Read it and learn from it. Apply the networking tips to your career. Use the marketing advice on your projects and raise the bar. After you’ve ready save it for reference or pass it along to a friend or someone who might also benefit from the information in it. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE MOVEMENT GIVE US A CALL AT
(678)-528-6925 14 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
PRODUCERS CORNER Talent Vs. Technology Too often I hear people brag on their equipment. I hear studio owners and engineers talking about their new $8,000 microphones, or the number of tracks they can simultaneously record. I hear producers brag about their MPCs, keyboards, software and sounds. But what is the benefit of having all the best equipment money can buy if you still produce bull$h!t songs? It seems to me people have gotten this horrible misconception that technology will make them more talented. Though it can be used to help you reach your true potential, that potential has to already be inside of you. If you don’t understand basic music theory or what it takes to make good music, whether
you produce tracks on an MPC, a Korg Triton, or Fruityloops they’re all going to sound pretty much the same. You can upgrade your sounds. You can even buy new processors and effects, but a poorly produced track is always going to be a poorly produced track. I have yet to see a microphone or the preamp that will make up for bad writing or arrangement. Just because you pour syrup on $h!t, don’t make it pancakes. It’s like buying a Lamborghini and not knowing how to drive a car. You may impress a few people, but its really foolish to spend all your money on something and not benefit from its intended use. But everyday someone purchases a high-end piece of equipment or software
because they’ve been convinced that it’s the industry standard only to never take the time to learn how to effectively work it or enlist the aid of someone that does. Now don’t get me wrong, investing into your equipment can be one of the best moves you make. But before you invest money into a new piece of gear, invest time into the equipment you already have. I’ve seen plenty of people blow a few hundred dollars on an upgrade for a feature that was readily available to them in a piece of equipment or software they already owned. As producers, the most important upgrade we can make is constantly educating ourselves on new production and recording techniques,
pushing our equipment and creativity to the limit. As a business man I could care less what you use to make a hit song as long as one gets made. So just remember before the advent of the MPC-2000, Triton Workstations, Protools and all these modern marvels of recording technology, many of the classic records from hip hops golden age were churned out using nothing more than a four track recorder and somebody’s drum machine, proving once and for all: “Its not the technology; It’s the talent behind it.”
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16 | Makin’ It Magazine • April 2007
In this issue we spotlight Akini Jefferies and ATL's Most Wanted Talent Showcase. We also spark up a bit of controversy when we ask readers...
Published on Dec 8, 2008
In this issue we spotlight Akini Jefferies and ATL's Most Wanted Talent Showcase. We also spark up a bit of controversy when we ask readers...