Makin' It Magazine - Issue 29

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Makin’ It


Jermaine Dupri Nobody cares about kid rappers... or kid fans.





DJ Scream

Working within the System to Break Records?







Follow Atlanta’s #1 Music Industry Magazine online at @MakinItMag


Brand New Trap... Same Old Hustle?

ISSUE 29 Meet the DJs

Nick Love

MAKIN’ IT MAGAZINE Publisher Kelby Cannick



Operations Manager Kimberly Cannick Contributing Writers D. Banks B. Walker C. Mathews Contributing Designer Kouture Designs Promo Reps Omar Grant Tavaris Roberts Michael Miller Brooke Wigfall Shivon Keith Melissa Costley


Published by Cannick Media Group 3939 Lavista Rd. E-249 Tucker, GA 30084



Office: 678.528.6925 Fax: 888.812.9710

SALUTE DJ Luke Nasty Dvante Black Nick Grant


INDIES MAKIN’ MOVES Angel B Block Chi G x Mr. Lucci King Webster nYne O’nYne J. Nolan Coline Creuzot Michael Stokes Alexis J. & Shuan Scott T. James


THE FOLLOW UP DJ Kurupt Tha Captin Law G Nate $avage Myah J









Andre Writer


Keith ‘KD’ Fergus


Tamiko Hope


For Feature Consideration Submit at

Join #TeamMakinItMag Apply at Opportunities for Writers, Sales Reps, Junior A&Rs, Promoters Videographers & PR Assistants.


NICK LOVE 10 Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag


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FIRST TIME READERS What you’re holding in your hands is a tool, and like any tool, the value you get out of it is determined by your ability to use it properly. Imagine this magazine as a music conference on paper. Inside its pages are contacts, advice, and ideas you can use to expand your career. Every person featured inside has contact information and is accessible to you. This can be an excellent opportunity to expand your network or find the missing piece to your puzzle. To make the most of this opportunity, be sure to have a clear purpose when contacting anyone featured in this magazine, and let them know how you found them. We do not sell editorial coverage. All independent artists featured in this magazine have been selected by our editorial staff based on their music and background. Take the opportunity to get to know these individuals now, as we have featured several Grammy Nominated artists, producers, and songwriters well before they caught their big breaks. Also, pay attention to our Advertisers. The independent artists and talent who have advertised in this publication are among the few that understand the importance of business, and are serious about promoting themselves. For over 8 years, readers have used this magazine to sell beats, find artists, secure management, get booked for shows, find clients, and build relationships with contacts from across the country. Every page in this magazine is full of opportunity. What you choose to do with it is on you. -Kimberly Cannick Makin’ It Magazine

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Let me just start off by saying that Digital Music News, DJ Booth and all others who would call services like Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes and Real Rap Promo scams are 100% unequivocally WRONG. Before anyone gets too defensive and starts taking shots at me, my character, or the company I’ve built over the past 10 years, let me state that as a former rapper who gave up a profitable music career to help other artists make money, I feel uniquely positioned to weigh in from both sides. Hopefully, all you purists out there will be able to take your capes off long enough to really hear what it is I have to say. In the immortal words of Project Pat, “Don’t save them… they don’t wanna be saved.” In the mid 90’s, a sexy story was concocted about the ex-dopeboy getting out the streets and becoming a music industry mogul. Whether the protagonist was Master P, 50 Cent or Jay-Z, the story always omitted the serious work, financial investment, connections, personal loss and good ol’ fashioned LUCK that made their situations a success. In any case, a generation of aspiring rappers and music enthusiasts bought into this rap fantasy that belongs on a shelf between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I’m actually cool with Fats (the owner of Coast 2 Coast), Emil (the owner of Real Rap Promo) and a lot of other people who provide services that disgruntled artists or purists would not hesitate to label as scams. But here’s the problem I have with overzealous bloggers labeling them as such, they all provide the exact service they promise, especially Coast 2 Coast. They have perfected the art of the Open Mic, they execute each event with near assembly line precision. Now, is it a questionable practice to target gullible artists with emotional appeals that you too can live the rap dream for only $300??? HELL YES.... but is that any more immoral than a woman grinding her naked ass in a man’s lap in exchange for money… NO! But somehow, I’ve never seen a strip club characterized as a scam. As a matter of fact it’s promoted in many circles as the naked hustle. If a man

complained about spending thousands of dollars on a dancer and not “smashing” you wouldn’t look at the dancer with disdain... you would look at that guy as a “TRICK”. If you believe every artist with an MP3 is seriously pursuing a music career, you’re the same person that believes every stripper is just dancing their way through college. A majority of these artists you’re throwing your cape on to save are not pursuing rap careers, they’re pursuing rap vacations. They’re chasing a lifestyle that they’ve seen in videos and songs. These are just average people looking for an escape from their day to day lives, whether that’s trapping or mid-terms. Many of these rappers are more concerned with p**** than publishing checks. They’re not spending $300 to perform on a Coast 2 Coast showcase, they’re spending $300 to post on Facebook about their “show in Atlanta” and to name drop the “celebrity” judges that will be there. They’re more concerned with looking and feeling like rappers than actually being successful. Whether that’s worth $300 is not up to any blogger to decide; That’s up to the artist. I’ve spoken with indie labels who’ve dropped $10,000 to go on a tour in a list of cities where NOBODY knew their names, but didn’t see the value in my suggestion to spend $100 to set up premium accounts for Soundcloud and Mailchimp. While that additional $100 would have enabled them to build a mailing list to maintain contacts with the people they met, and track the impact the tour had on their streaming, it didn’t give them that tingly “I’m a rapper” feeling inside. So that’s where they decided to cut corners. The truth is… Worldstar, Real Rap Promo, and Coast 2 Coast are all tools, and each of them serve a specific purpose in the toolbox. Now, whether they are necessary for your particular campaign is something you have to decide for yourself, but if you decide to use a hammer to nail a screw, that’s your fault. You can’t disparage all hammers just because you don’t know how/when to use one. Coast 2 Coast in particular receives a lot of shade purely from being successful. They cracked the code and created a million

dollar open mic. They didn’t do it by getting someone signed or accomplishing some unsurmountable task; they did it by creating a solid business infrastructure, and marketing an event that could be replicated in any city where more than 20 artists with $300 and a rap dream would pay for a taste of the industry. Kicking it back to the strip club analogy… it’s like all the dancers hating on the new chick who’s getting to the money. There are plenty of real scam artists out here taking tens of thousands of dollars for Concerts, Radio Campaigns, and Video Placements that NEVER materialize. To use such an inflammatory word to color a legitimate business that provides a service that people are willingly paying for is beyond reckless in my eyes. This isn’t to say I don’t understand the positions of Nate over at DJBooth, or the bloggers at Digital Music News. I too would get infuriated when I felt companies were selling artists dreams. However, after years of working with artists directly, I understand that DREAMS are all most of them are willing to purchase. They don’t want a real assessment of their situation, they want a magic bullet. They want someone to tell them the ONE thing they can spend money on that will make them a success. They don’t want a marketing plan… they want a promo package. They don’t want to discuss budgets and goals… They want to see prices and services. They’re not INVESTING money in their career…. They’re SPENDING money on their hobby. These are Recreational Rappers. Most CLAIM to be serious about pursuing music as a career, but the truth always comes out in their actions. In my opinion these are some of the most dangerous people in the music industry. While a scam artist

may rob you of your money, these people will rob you of your time. I’ve seen plenty of genuine Promoters, Publicists, Managers, and Producers give up on artists altogether behind investing massive amounts of time, money, and energy into people who just wanted to play industry. These businesses that some are describing as scams, provide recreational artists a playground to live out their fantasies. I speak from personal experience as an individual who was nearly burnt out from dealing with artists and managers that just wanted to have a million meetings and talk about the industry. Instead of restructuring our business model to capitalize on those individuals, we restructured to weed them out. We began charging for magazines to make sure that we were reaching people who placed a value on knowledge and connections. Then we launched our membership program to focus our marketing efforts on helping those willing to invest into themselves. I personally quit attending many of the record pools and events that attracted hobbyists. I quit consulting for artists more concerned with appearances than results. I didn’t have to compromise my beliefs to make money, but I also don’t criticize others for having different beliefs. Any business that truly produces nothing of value will soon be out of business. As long as people are willing to pay for a slice of an ad in XXL, 5 minutes on stage at an open mic, or the right to say their video is on WorldStar… who are any of us to say it’s worthless? If you really want to save an artist, focus your efforts to assist the ones genuinely working to build a career, and quit worrying about the rappers just doing it for the ‘Gram. --Kelby Cannick

Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag

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Everyday life presents us with opportunities to move closer to our goals. While very few acknowledge these opportunities, even fewer by D Banks take advantage of them. This single quality is often what separates those who fail, from those who succeed As winner of both our Kill the Track 7 competition with T-Black The Hitmaker, and our Kill the Verse competition with GSE’s Tha Captin, DMV artist/songwriter, Andre Writer, has put himself firmly on our radar. No stranger to competitions, he’s previously won Power 106’s “Roll Call” Freestyle Battle and Def Jam’s Rip the Mic competition, which landed him a deal with multi platinum producer, 7 Aurelius. Born and raised in LA, music has always been a part of Andre’s life. His mother, Dwan Smith, is an actress and singer most known for her role as Delores in the 1976 film Sparkle. His father, Nate Fortier, was a producer and writer who notably

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introduced Chris Stokes to the industry. Finding his passion for music at just 5 years old, he began getting in the studio at age 12. Though he raps and sings, his primary focus is currently writing. Having landed several TV placements, he’s built up a pretty impressive resume including being featured on Ja Rule’s 2012 single “Never Had Time”. Then going as Jon Doe, he’s grown tremendously as an artist since and is looking to rebrand with his upcoming EP, “Explicit”. Currently promoting his singles “Volcano” and “Autograph”, be sure to look out for his new music with T-Black the Hitmaker and his winning feature on Tha Captin’s “Bring My N---- Back” (video soon to be hitting WorldStar). Wrapping up his EP, Andre looks forward to releasing it this summer. In the meantime, he’s working on placements with other artists looking to collaborate with producers and songwriters. For more information contact at the following. Twitter/IG: @ImAndreWriter Phone 818.400.2804


“Sometimes you have to stop to Celebrate the accomplishments of others.”

First introduced to his mysic by founder J White, Nick Grant has been on our radar for a short while. In that time, the Carolina born, Atlanta raised emcee has been making his presence known throughout the industry. We want to give a big #Salute on his latest mixtape release, “88”, which quickly hit over 100K plays on Datpiff. (@NickGrantMusic) → → Dvante Black has earned his place in Atlanta’s music scene as one of the city’s go to engineers for mastering. Recently joining Cap 1’s Caviar Dreams imprint in an administrative capacity, Dvante will be putting his talents to use outside of the studio as well. (@DvanteBlack) → → North Carolina is becoming a force to be reckoned with in urban music. With J Cole reigning high, and artists like Colonel Loud coming from nowhere with a massive radio hit... DJ Luke Nasty is positioned to continue the trend with his debut single, “Might Be”. First grabbing our attention a couple months back when it debuted on SiriusXM, the record has definitely grown legs. (@DJLukeNastyy)


Every week our team reviews updates posted on our site to find independent Artists, Producers, DJs and Music Professionals making an impact. Here are a few that caught our eye this quarter. Scan the QR Code to see the full update and to submit updates about your music or career visit “Angel B ‘Aint Seen Nothing Yet’ feat. Marley Waters” “Block Drops Another Phenom, ‘Hoodfella’ feat. Mykel Jarmar” “#X2MONSTA AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER!!” “King Webster... Pittsburgh’s Secret Weapon” “nYne O’nYne Steps outside of the Box to bring you ‘Funtime Girl’” “J.Nolan Asks “What’s Love?” in New Single” “H-Town Singer/Songwriter, Coline Creuzot, Hits FM with ‘Truth Is’” “Michael Stokes - Dancin on the Wall” “‘Nostalgia’ by Alexis J. & Shaun Scott, Touches The Soul...Vibe!” “New Music Video: T James - Pack In feat. PIT & Blu Hellion”

Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag

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DJ KURUPT Issue #22 & 25

THA CAPTIN Issue #24

Since his first appearance in Makin’ It Magazine two years ago, GSE’s Tha Captin has made steady strides with his brand. Known throughout Tennesse, his latest mixtape offering, Big Ball Cappin’ has started expanding his fanbase well beyond the region. His Cassius Jay produced single, “Wait” made a strong debut on Worldstar. Just returning from Grammy weekend, he’s gearing up for SxSW with 5 shows already scheduled. Keep up with Tha Captin on Instagram and Twitter at @ThaCaptin.

One of the city’s strongest advocates for indie artists, DJ Kurupt’s light was nearly extinguished through a senseless act of violence. In an instant the rising DJ went from fighting for indie artists to fighting for his life. Surviving the near fatal gunshot wounds, it was a slow road to recovery, but he’s back on the 1’s and 2’s. He’s doing what he loves and putting out new mixtapes, even while continuing to go through physical therapy. Check out his latest releases XXPOSED 1 and 2 now available on Livemixtapes. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @DJKurupt 8 | Makin’ It Magazine


Issue 27 We were among the first to co-sign Good Life’s LAW G. Not only featuring him in the magazine, we also brought the Cameroon (Africa) born emcee out for an exclusive listening session during one of our Music Monday events. Impressing attendees with a barage of high energy hits, the streets were soon demanding an official release. Dropping his debut mixtape “Came A Long Way” at the end of 2015, records like “Ghost” and “Bond Money” have been impacting both radio and the streets. Steadily in the studio working on new music, fans are eagerly anticipating Law’s “Hannibal” LP. For more information follow him on IG at @Law_GoodLife or contact his management at 678.654.2540

Nate $avage Issue #28

Nate $avage has been making steady career strides since we first introduced him to readers in the last issue of Makin’ it Magazine. Landing his first placement on a feature film, the Texas Emcee’s song “Caught Between the Two” will be heard on the title and credit sequence of the forth coming release. As he’s once again preparing for performances during this year’s SxSW, his latest single, “Darkness”, has begun picking up mixshow spins on STL’s 104.1 FM. Stay in tune with his movement online at @1BigBadBandit. For more info and booking contact his management at 214.693.1324

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MYAH J Issue 12 (Formerly Jemiah Jai)

Myah J continues to grind harder than most men. Having struck gold with her latest single, “Jumpin”, she’s been picking up considerable radio spins in NC, AL, MS and GA. Consistently building her fanbase since last featured in the magazine, she’s

released a series of singles and mixtapes that have prompted international attention, especially in Africa. Touring Nigeria in November 2014 she was featured in a variety of overseas magazines and blogs. Follow her online at @MsMyahJ Makin’ It Magazine | 9


Although often forgotten in the music industry, success is always team effort. While the spotlight often shines on the star, there’s always someone holding that spotlight, and someone else paying the electric bill. One of our primary editorial missions is to cast a light on those individuals who have quietly helped shape the culture. While many of you may be familiar with the phenomenon that is Jeezy, many of you may not be familiar with the man who served as the VP of Marketing for CTE (Corporate Thugs Entertainment) throughout much of Jeezy’s reign. When we decided to launch our Music1on1 series, Nick Love was one of the first people that came to mind. An industry veteran who’s gotten it “out of the mud”, I’ve never known him to be afraid conquering a new challenge. Re-inventing himself and brands time and again, I was intrigued to sit down with him to discuss what seemed to be his sudden departure from music altogether. Having helped elevate the status of brands spanning from Young Jeezy to The Coalition DJs, for the first time ever, Nick has made himself his priority client. A self proclaimed foodie, four years ago Nick established ATLBiteLife, a brand that combined his passion for fine dining and urban culture. Unfortunately, as he was consumed with maximizing the growth of his clients, this gem remained tucked away and un-cut. Now, with Nick’s full attention, it has not only be cut, but polished and ready to shine. Rebranded as TheBiteLife, the horizons for the brand have expanded well beyond the borders of 285.

Check out our Music1on1 interview to learn more about Nick’s journey and latest business ventures. This is a great conversation packed with potentially life changing advice for aspiring industry professionals.

Scan & Listen

ACTIVE LISTENING Look for the answer to these 3 questions as you listen to our Music1on1 with Nick Love. 1. What was one book that influenced Nick’s thinking? 2. Nick changed the name of his marketing company from ______ to _____. 3. True or False, Nick worked at the CDC before joining CTE?


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#NewReleases “Crazy” by Amiah Booking: 708.663.2234

“The Expansion” by Blizm IG: @Blizm_Chainless

“I’m Hott” by CEO Dolla IG: @IamCEODolla

“Get Rich Or Die Trying” by Chanz Booking: 502.224.6750

“Truth Is” by Coline Creuzot Booking: 410.725.3996

“Hoodshit 2” by DJ Blak Boy Booking: 404.399.3906

“Xxposed Vol.2” by DJ Kurupt IG: @DJKurupt

“Xxposed” by DJ Kurupt IG: @DJKurupt

“Street Sixteen Vol.1” by DJ Sly Tay IG: @DJSlyTay

“Add It Up” by Flipsyde Booking: 254.458.3305

“A.R.T. (All Real Thoughts)” by Kris J IG: @IamKrisJ

“BrickWork” by Lamborghini IG: @Lamborghini_City

“Came A Long Way” by Law IG: @Law_Goodlife

“Jumpin” by Myah J. Booking: 470.424.9128

“Caught Between The Two” by Nate $avage @1BigBadBandit

“Put It In Reverse” by Nazo Bravo ft. E-40 IG: @NazoBravo

“ ‘88 ” by Nick Grant IG: @NickGrantMusic

“PedroDevyl” by PedroDevyL IG: @ThaDareDevylNWF

“China Cafeteria” by Runway Richy Booking: 404.388.0262

“Big Bankroll” by Slicc Da Kidd IG: @IamSliccDaKidd

“B4 The Heartbreak” by Sy Ari Da Kid Booking: 678.471.4889

“Big Ball Cappin” by Tha Captin IG: @ThaCaptin

“Episode 2 - Agent on a Mission” by The Agency Operative Booking: 609.858.3137

“My Box of Unsent Love Letters” by Tommy Swisher IG: @HiTommySwisher

“Skoobzilla” by Trouble Booking: 337.244.6337

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THE RAP GAME Being invited to the premiere party for Jermaine Dupri’s first reality TV venture, “The Rap Game”, I was initially confused to learn that the show revolved around discovering the next child rap star. Having to remind myself of the success that JD has had with acts like Lil Bow Wow and Kriss Kross, I realized there was actually no better person for the job. After watching the first episode, I was thoroughly impressed. Though it incorporated much of the personal drama that we’ve come to expect from reality TV, it did so in an age appropriate manner while giving viewers a real glimpse into the artist development process. While waiting for the first season to wrap before writing this article, I was happy to see that music remained the chief focus throughout the show. Although there could only be one winner, the decision to not have weekly eliminations gave all participants equal exposure and a chance to really grow. Having had the opportunity to watch Miss Mulatto mature as an artist and young woman over the past 7 years, the show

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definitely accomplished its goal of finding a star. But with lifetime already ordering a second season, I think the real winner just might be the kids watching at home. In several interviews promoting the show, JD attributed part of his motivation to his feeling that no one cares about kid rappers. Hearing him say this made me think. With rap being one of the top selling genre’s and so youth oriented, why is it that there aren’t more kid rappers? Outside of a couple quick flips done by Major Labels to capitalize on undeniable YouTube hits, there seems to be a complete lack of interest in producing age appropriate content for kids that listen to rap. Take from that what you will, but as a hip hop lover and father of four, I welcome the thought of The Rap Game introducing a generation of fresh new talent that my kids can relate to. Maybe then Kids Place Live will be able to expand their hip hop offering beyond Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.

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DOPE MUSIC HIP HOP & DRUG CULTURE I recall being criticized for referring to Future as the “soul of Atlanta music”. Maybe I was premature in my assertion, but that same statement today would hardly raise an eyebrow. I can clearly remember my first time meeting Future at the Def Jam office in Atlanta, and not too long after, spending an evening in the back of Magic City for the Dirty Sprite listening party. Atlanta was buzzing; but I was still on the fence. Having seen so many independent artists come and go, there was a clear pattern of their buzz lasting only as long as their budgets. “Racks” was an undeniable record, but it was YC’s record. When “Tony Montana” dropped, it was inescapable. Even Drake jumped on the wave. While all of this pushed me further over the fence, I remember the exact moment I became a Future acolyte. It was in 2012, and I was in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. In a club full of 800+ people, I watched as he performed for at least 40 minutes straight. At that moment I realized the depth of his still young catalog, and his prowess as an emcee and entertainer. Future was indeed his name sake:The Future.

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The seed for this story was planted almost two years ago, the first time I heard “Move that Dope”. The Mike Will-produced banger immediately caught my ear. The beat slapped, the hook was infectious, and even Skateboard P, a featured artist on the record, spazzed out on the track. It was an instant hit in my eyes, but while my head was outwardly bobbing it was inwardly shaking at the hook: “YOUNG nigga, move that dope!”, repeated over and over (60 times in total). Considering myself a socially conscious father of four, I often have difficulty reconciling my work and love of hip hop with my passion to change the world I leave for my children. As an 80’s baby, songs like “Move that Dope” appeal to me on an almost instinctive level. But as a man in 2016, I have to pitt the stereotypical images we often project against the present day issues, like the murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. What does it say about the perception of Black men in America when “Move that Dope” makes #4 on Rolling Stones top 50 songs of 2014, above Kendrick Lamar’s “I” (#10) and Taylor

Swift’s “Blank Space” (#6)? We make excuses for the negative impact of rap music because it has given so many young black males a way out of the hood; but for every ONE that it gives an exit, it entraps thousands more. I know I’m about to tread onto some very unpopular grounds by saying this, but hip hop is Black culture. Does that mean it’s exclusively for Black people? No, but just as people from all ethnicities learn and practice Kung Fu, no one would ever argue the point that Kung Fu is not a part of Chinese culture. With this in mind, we must acknowledge that Hip Hop is one of the biggest platforms black people have. It is a way that popular thought and beliefs are disseminated throughout our own community, whether it’s fashion, dance, ethics or the notion that it’s ok to “eat the booty like groceries” (Thanks Kevin Gates!). But more than that, Hip Hop is also a publicity vehicle that conveys the black experience to a global audience. When I hear a record like “Move that Dope” I

know that it is doing two things… Programming a new generation of dopeboys, and portraying all young black males as thugs, which is reinforced by Pharrell’s feature. I mean, even the “Happy”, Despicable Me II, “Blurred Lines” singing, light skinned, The Voice hosting, quirky dressing, skateboard ninja is selling dope too! (Slaps forehead). Am I insinuating that street culture has no place in hip hop? No. But, we must find balance in the images that we project to the world. An argument I often used to defend rap music was that we don’t place the same burden of responsibility on other types of artists. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger can be in a movie shooting up a police station (Terminator-style) and still go on to be elected governor of California (real life), but the lyrics of an independent rapper can be used against him in court to secure a 30year conviction. As clever as that argument is, it neglects the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t also go into TV and radio interviews claiming to really be a Cyborg from the future. In an attempt to justify the destructive messages oversaturating today’s rap music, this argument overlooks the fact that in comparable artforms, there is a clear delineation between the art and the artist. Only in hip hop do we criticize the “actor” for not living the role. No film critic has ever questioned a Schwarzenegger performance because his on screen character didn’t exactly mirror his real life persona, but this is the logic we apply to rap music. Whether Rick Ross was ever employed as a CO should have no bearing on his ability to create great records. Whether an artist sold dope, is really from the hood, or has ever shot someone shouldn’t impact the perceived quality of their music. Conversely, we allow wack ass artists to get a pass on horrible song structure, juvenile rhyme patterns and a complete lack of stage presence, because they’re “keeping it real”. Somewhere along the line Dope Music got replaced by DOPE Music. Before you rush out a Youtube conspiracy video about private prisons and the rap industry, let me paint a simpler less nefarious picture for you. The music industry has always been an expensive endeavor. In its formative years the barrier to entry was on the production side. The cost of creating a demo (Beats, Studio Time, Mixing, Mastering, etc) priced many aspiring artist out of the market. With no personal capital or access to

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bank financing, many aspiring artists turned to their hustling friends who had it. From the beginning, dopeboys were the patrons of hip hop and just like any benefactor they left their fingerprints on the canvas. As the genre matured and major labels saw the potential for profit, corporate money began to flow into hip hop. Rap music started to become commercialized in an attempt to make it palatable to a broader audience. Rebelling against this perceived whitewashing of the music, underground rap became increasingly countercultural. To avoid selling out to corporate interest, hip hop sold out to the streets. Though gangsta rap rose to the forefront, the tales of crack sales and general braggadocio were complemented by an album full of records that gave a more complex and realistic view of street life. These included songs about family, the struggle, loss of loved ones, catching cases and day to day trials that all urban youths could relate to. While Master P may have been the man to perfect the formula, his success and general detachment from the ARTFORM led to a surge of hustle-preneurs looking to recreate the “No Limit” magic. A record label soon became every dope boy’s retirement plan. This infusion of artists with “money to blow” coupled with declining production cost created the perfect storm. There was simply too much music. Everyone had a single, album or mixtape. This totally redefined the structure of the music industry. The barrier to entry was pushed from simply producing product to getting that product heard. This promoted the role of gatekeepers such as Program Directors, DJs. As major label budgets dominated radio, the best alternatives for an independent was to attack the clubs where once again, money set the precedent. When a local trapper hits the club 50 deep and slides the DJ a couple hundred dollars to play his record… it isn’t long before this accepted practice becomes an EXPECTED practice. Suddenly every DJ became a record promoter. Some played any BS that came with a check… Others stood on principle and only spun records they felt were good. But even standing on principle you have to wonder, how many GREAT records were lost to GOOD records with budgets. How many records like “Bitch Bad” (Lupe Fiasco) were displaced by records like “Bad Bitch” (Lil Webbie).

of talent, Major labels adopted the practice of betting on projects rather than investing in artists. Signing solely based on buzz, even the major label releases became increasingly street, as those were generally the records with enough money behind them to generate a buzz. This has gone on longer than I intended, but I believe pointing out a problem without also offering a solution is just complaining. Too many people complain about the quality of hip hop. Too many people buy into conspiracies about private prisons and rap music. Too many people point fingers for the problems they created. Over the past year I’ve increasingly asked myself, “What is culture?” It’s like every blogger, curator, gatekeeper and journalist throws the word around. But what culture are they referring to? What culture are they protecting? What culture are they promoting? Is it black culture or street culture? Is it hip hop culture or is it drug culture? Though the lines have gotten considerably more blurred over the years, whose responsibility it is remains clear. It is up to us as journalists, DJs, bloggers, curators and gatekeepers to not just expose music, talent and ideas to the masses for capital gain, but for cultural gain as well. The ideas and content that we co-sign today dictate the ideas and content that we will get handed tomorrow. Collectively what we post, spin and promote set a precedent. Don’t just post for views… Post for value. Don’t just spin records that bring you a check… Spin records that will bring some change. You can’t promote songs about “popping X” today and wonder why everyone is taking molly tomorrow. Simply put, “It’s a slippery slope, my nigga.” #DOPE -Kelby Cannick Comments, Feedback, and Opinions are always welcome. Leave them at

With declining profit margins and a surplus

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With over a thousand mixtapes under his belt, DJ Scream has carved out a name for himself in the history books of hip hop. From coast to coast, the Hoodrich name has become synonymous with premium street music. Through all the success, Scream remains a supremely humble individual, acknowledging how his success is a result of the collective effort of his team, a sentiment that carries over to how he perceives breaking records.

Scan & Listen

ACTIVE LISTENING 3 out of these 5 facts are true about We recently sat down with DJ DJ scream. Listen carefully to the Scream for our new Music 1on1 interview and separate the real from podcast series. More than a Q&A the roomers. style interview, we allow listeners to be a fly on the wall for casual 1. Majored in math & engineering at Tuskegee University conversations with some of the urban music industry’s most influential figures. Chopping it up 2. DJ’ed for Jordan with the mixtape king, he gave a lot of insight into the music industry for 3. Basketball career was cut short by a torn ACL. aspiring artists and DJs, as well as his take on the evolution of the game. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes 4. Worked at Guitar Center to get your music spun by a DJ like Scream… you definitely want to 5. Started DJing to jump off his rap career. check out this interview.

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2016 DJ DIRECTORY DJ M-EAZY Maryland | 443.459.7496 x @djm_eazy a @djm_eazy

DJTAKEOVA407 Florida | 321.420.2236 x @iamdjtakeova a @iamdjtakeova407

DJ SWIPER Florida | 904.392.9637 x @djswiper3 a @djswiper1

TEE RECX Alabama | 334.521.2623 x @livebyterrence a @livebyterrence

DJ MANISH Alabama | 404. 903.4681 x @djmanish205 a @djmanish205

DJ BIG HOUSE Georgia | 228.342.3080 x @djbighouse228 a @djbighouse228

DJ SNEAKYDOG Maryland | 240.593.3012 x @djsneakydog a @djsneakydog

DJ HI VOLUME Alabama | 334.389.6243 x @djhivolume a @djhivolume

DJ SEAN BLU Georgia | 706.250.2205 x @djseanblu a @djseanblu

DJ NOLOVE Florida | 954.594.4799 x @djnolove954 a @djnolove954

DJ J5 Louisiana | 318.676.2105 x a

DJ MONEY MOOK South Carolina | 803.316.6459 x @djmoney_mook a @djmoney_mook

DJ VERBALKLINT Tennessee | 931.241.7755 x @djverbalklint a @djverbalklint

DJ I ROCK JESUS Virginia | 757.776.6148 x @djirockjesus a @djirockjesus

DJ DUCE Pennsylvania | 717.542.2645 x @therealdjduce a @therealdjduce

DJ J-FLAVE Rhode Island | x @dj_j_flave a @jflave

Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag

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DJ GUESS WHO Texas | 210.535.0589 x a

DJ BLAKGHOST Pennsylvania | 484.425.9934 x @djblakghost a @djblakghost

DJ GRIF8 California | 949.813.8177 x @nochill.____ a @djgrif8

QSOWAVY Georgia | 404.618.1588 x @qsowavy a @1qsowavy

DJSERIOUS407 Florida | 407.280.0167 x @dj_serious407 a @dj_serious407

DJ SEAN SWIFT Georgia | 404.853.9115 x @djseanswift a @djseanswift811

KD AKA HAN D MAN Georgia | 877.874.5653 x @kdakahandman a @kdakahandman

DJ CRUNK South Carolina | 803.415.0262 x @djcrunk23 a

DJ SKEW(SCHOOL) BEEZY Texas | 512.931.4520 x @djskewbeezy a @djskewbeezy

DJ WILDCHILD Florida | 386.547.1583 x @djwildchildbsm a @djwildchildbsm

DJ RICO BANKS Texas | 870.740.6447 x @ricopanacea a @ricopanacea

DJ LUMINATI Michigan | 810.449.1093 x @djluminati a @djluminati

DJ WRIGHTFUL Tennessee | 760.429.5878 x djwrightful a djwrightful

DJ ANT BOMB Iowa | 319.601.0971 x @djantbomb101 a @djantbomb101

DJ NOLO TURNUP North Carolina | 252.565.9902 x @dj.nolo_turnup a @nolo_turnup

DJ SCRATCH G SHOTTA Georgia | 404.436.2121 x @scratchgshotta a @scratchgshotta

TWISTED E Texas | 214.919.9634 x @djtwistede a @djtwistede

DJ DACICK 1 Texas | 254.285.1308 x @djdacick1 a @djdacick1

Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag

Makin’ It Magazine | 19

DJ EXQUIZIT Tennessee | 615.485.9439 x @djexquizit229 a @djexquizit229

DJ COCO-Z Ohio | 216.965.9576 x @djcocoz a @djcocoz

THE MADMAN DJRK Maryland | 443.366.7333 x @madmandjrk a @madmandjrk

DJ TESTAROSA Kentucky | 843-776-9321 x @djtestarosa a @djtestarosa

DJURBANCREW Florida | x @djurbancrew a @djurbancrew

DJ PASSION Texas | 972.748.7336 x @djpassion256 a @dj_passion256


DJ LOC Texas | 432.813.2658 x a

DJ NEEDLE 9:14 Michigan | 313.320.7073 x @djneedle914 a @djneedle914

DJ O 601 Mississippi | 601.668.5424 x @dagreenhousefx a @bigodogg10

DJ G BOX Georgia | 678.260.4580 x @djgboxatl a @djgboxatl

DJ ACE BOOGIE NOLA Louisiana | 504.495.3067 x @djaceboogienola a @djaceboogienola

DJ EMCEE Florida | 407.694.7755 x @dj_emcee a @dj_emcee

DJ XRAI Indiana | 404.721.2384 x a @djxrai

DJ M.Z.I. Florida | x @djmzi a @djmzi1

DJ TURN UP Georgia | 770.401.8173 x @tuurnuup a @tuurnuup

DAREALDJJUMPOFF Maryland | 404-913-0722 x @darealdjjumpoff a @darealdjjumpoff

DJMIXMASTERCASH California | 310.857.0218 x @djmixmastercash a @djmixmastercash

DJ CURRENSY Texas | 512.947.2479 x @djcurrensy a @djcurrensy

20 | Makin’ It Magazine

TAMIKO HOPE by B Walker As an urban music publication, we tend to have a love-hate relationship with those who call themselves Publicists. This is one of the reasons we take extra care to acknowledge those who do an exemplary job for their clients. Getting her start years ago as an intern at Laface, Tamiko Hope’s resume now includes work with acts such as Big Boi of Outkast, Janelle Monaè, Killer Mike, Shawty Lo, Goodie Mob, and Cee Lo, as well as producers like DJ Toomp, Zaytoven, DJ Montay, Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and, DJ Spinz. An excellent writer, Tomiko has also contributed to publications like XXL, Upscale and Rolling Out, on top of penning several books giving inside perspectives on achieving success in the music industry. Learn more about Tomiko and her other projects including the H.O.P.E lecture series at or contact 404.388.0262

KEITH ‘KD’ FERGUS by C Mathews

One of the most important lessons to learn about the music industry (and life in general) is that real power seldom announces itself. As A&R to B.oB’s No Genre label, Manager of Streetz 94.5’s DJ Holiday and Co founder of Beer N’ Tacos, Keith “Kd” Fergus can often be found unassumingly chilling to the side of the stage at Exposure Open mic. With

several artists under his wing, including Saucelord Rich of FKI, Runway Richy and Kasey Rashel, he continues to create platforms throughout the city for aspiring artists to develop their craft and potentially catch his eye.With a resume that includes work with Gucci, Waka, Niki Manaj, Wale, Big Sean, French Montana, Lecrae and tons more, Kd is strongly positioned as an executive to watch for in Atlanta’s entertainment scene.

Upgrade Your Timeline! Get familliar with a few of our readers making moves. Don’t just follow... ENGAGE! #DoubleTap #MakinItMag #Networking









Twitter & Instagram: @MakinItMag

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22 | Makin’ It Magazine

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