The “Beef ” Issue
OCTOBER 2018 Vol. 3 Eminem vs MGK Cardi B vs Nicki Minaj Spotify vs Record Labels? Also: Plus the Rapper
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S T O R I E S
38 CARDI B vs NICKI MINAJ 4 P.I.F.F. 2018
SPOTIFY DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
Breaking into the modeling game and already making a statement at 19 years old, Serenity Paradise is laying down her foundation early in her career and setting her path from model to actress. Check out her cover feature spread and get familiar with this Dallas, Texas beauty.
Plus the Rapper is going hard for Toronto and trying to become the next face of Toronto hip hop. With love for both old skool hip-hop and new skool, Plus is ready to bring his gift to the world and emerge as one of the next Toronto legends.
Eminem drops a surprise album and attacks the entire hip-hop industry, reigniting the feud between him and MGK, and landing him right back on the top of the music charts.
“It’s disheartening that we can’t have all of these badass, super-dynamic females coexisting.”
vent “The music industry hates that Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music reduce the relevance of the traditional music business.”
Cover & This Page: Serenity Paradise
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Photo Credit: Essence of Abstrax Photos
departments EDITORIAL Positive Influence For the Future [Editor’s Note]
MODELING Snaps Model Life
ENTERTAINMENT Who’s That Chick? V.E.N.T. Playlist P.I.F.F. Review P.I.F.F. Poetry P.I.F.F. Preview
44 50 52 70 78 84
(volume Founding Editor
Xavier “CompleX” Prue
Public Relations & Operations Manager Brand Ambassador Promotions Manager
Ana “MzGotti” Montes Shawn Smith Brenda “Mzz BK” Lowery
Associate Director, Content Development
Taj “Real Talk” Thomas
Xavier “CompleX” Prue
Bloggers Writers Photographers
Averie McKinney; Kimberly Napier; Natalee Gilbert Malissa Hurry; Taj Thomas; Xavier Prue; Averie McKinney; Natalee Gilbert; Mara Prose NeVaughn Brown; Edward “Trey Photo” Louis Smith
Copyright © 2018 P.I.F.F. Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
three) Music Review Manager
Xavier â€œCompleXâ€? Prue
Poetry Manager Contributors
Mara Prose Serenity Paradise; East Coast Killa Beez; Legal Mobb Entertainment; Undadawg Entertainment; Starving Artists Creations; Trey Photo; The Littles Project; Jasmine Yvonne; Jasmine Angeline; Vett Adams; GBoi; Sticc Hyde; Rico The Truth; Dionne Baldwin; Mr. Network; Tru Barz; Steve Williams; Plus the Rapper Contact us to get involved with P.I.F.F. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @piffmag Facebook: facebook.com/piffmagz Instagram: @piffmag www.piffmag.com
Positive Influence For the Future ter, beef season is amongst us. Cardi B said it’s “on sight” when she see Nicki. Eminem’s back with a fire new album called ‘Kamikaze’ and he’s sounding off against the majority of new-age rappers, most notably recognized for his shots at MGK which prompted a quick battle between the two. MGK sounds off on Em in response and Trump? Well... everyone’s sounding off on Trump and vise versa... Only thing we can do is wait and see what happens with that...
t’s been a summer full of heat as [music] artists have kept the scene on fire with some of the best projects out in hip-hop in a long time.
Now, as we approach fourth quar-
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I hope you enjoyed our relaunch issue last month. If you didn’t get it, order a back copy. This run, we got cover model Serenity Paradise representing straight out of Dalls, Texas. Jasmine Angeline out of Connecticut. Also, Plus the Rapper holdin’ it down for Toronto. Spotify is disrupting traditional music industry rules as they roll out a new platform for artists to upload music directly without a middle man (i.e. the record labels). And our Assistant Editor, Ri Royal, went out and put to-
gether a mini-series of rapid-fire interviews at her studio. Putting together this issue of P.I.F.F. was an adventure this month as we recently took on a few new faces and added them to our P.I.F.F. family. They’ve been working hard and busting their a** to make sure we provide the content that you love to see each issue. They’ve got me working hard... as they should. I want to start a hashtag video challenge this month and see how many people out there are truly passionate about their dreams and why does their dream matter to them? If you guys are interested in participating, all you gotta do is shoot a 30 - 90 second video telling P.I.F.F. what your dream is and why it matters to you and/ or why you deserve to be featured inside P.I.F.F. Magazine. At the end of your video, finish your video with the words, “I am P.I.F.F. Mag”. Post your video or the link to your video and use the hashtags #IAmPiff and #IAmPiffMag to enter the contest.
We will be picking our favorite videos to go on our P.I.F.F. website and all those who participate in this challenge will get a free access code to an issue of P.I.F.F. So, what are you waiting for? You wasting time sitting here when there’s so much to get inside to.... crack a bottle, crack your fingers, crack whatever it is that you normally crack, but make sure you crack open this month’s issue of P.I.F.F. Get those videos going and for more info, details, and updates, hit the website at: www.piffmag.com I love all of our supporters! Peace! -- Xavier
(feedback from last month’s issue)
“awesome entertainment” -- Tina Likely
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P.I.F.F. POLITICS “ it’s disheartening that we can’t have all of these badass, super-dynamic females coexisting.” -Mona Scott-Young, executive producer VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop”
by MALISSA HURRY
And This Happened: Nicki Minaj and Cardi Brawl at the Harperâ€™s Bazaar Icons party. By Author Mara Prose
leasing a line of merchandise with the phrase “Nicki Stopped My Bags, “poking fun at their highly publicized feud.
Cardi B. and Nicki Minaj’s altercation at the Harper’s
Many believe this is another case of society pitting two women of color against one another. However, let’s not forget that this is hip-hop, an art form that created a unique culture by battling and dissing.
It is no secret these two female rap artists have endured their fair share of shade from one another— leading to hurt feelings on both sides. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that tensions rose out of control resulting in Cardi throwing a shoe at Minaj and catching an elbow from a security guard.
Personally, I feel this goes far beyond a hip hop battle. Why do veterans in the industry feel threatened by new upcoming artists? If you have solidified your place in the history of music, there should be no problem supporting one another. Yet, female artists are notorious for feeling insecure, throwing shade and tearing one another down. I believe it is time we look back at some of the greats like Queen Latifah and MC Lyte , who kept it real with relatable rap stories; not unnecessary, petty catfights. To these two very talented ladies, I would like to say remember what Beyonce says: “the best revenge is your paper.” Keep it classy, ladies and maintain your dignity. Enjoy your success and stop the grade school fighting.
Bazaar Icons party marked the final straw in a feud that has played out via social media.
“I’ve let a lot of s— slide! I let you sneak diss me, I let you lie on me, I let you attempt to stop my bags, f— the way I eat!” Cardi wrote on Instagram.
Cardi accused Nicki of allegedly attacking her parenting skills and speaking negatively about her and rapper Offset’s child. Nicki insisted that she never spoke about Cardi’s 2-monthold daughter Kulture Kiari with husband Offset. We love you, Nicki & Cardi- PIFF Magazine Nicki retaliated after the event by re-
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5 CLASSIC HIP-HOP BEEFS 5.) Canibus vs LL Cool J - Although it got Canibus blacklisted in the industry, this was a direct example of a lyricist who wasn’t afraid to go against a GOAT. In light of the actual battle, most critics say that Canibus won with his ‘Second Round Knockout” track; however, LL Cool J soon took him out the game due to his massive fanbase.
face of hip-hop and that’s exactly what 50 Cent did to Ja Rule’s career. Before this battle, Ja lead music sales for years and after that, he never sold another platinum hit.
2.) 2Pac vs Biggie - The most influential and controversial battle of all time, this battle led hip-hop into losing two of its biggest icons of hip-hop history. It was a battle which sparked from many personal issues, but was 4.) Game vs G-Unit - After being released from the G-Unit label due overexggerated and inflated into an East Coast vs West Coast war [by the to some disagreements with labelmates and label owner 50 Cent, rap- media] that affected entire regions, per Game went on a mixtape ram- threatened friendships and relationpage in a battle that led to him and ships, and changed hip-hop forever. the G-Unit camp going back and 1.) Nas vs Jay-Z - This was one of the forth for years. The respect is that Game took on the entire label all by finest examples of a classic hip-hop battle and it’s deeper than the fact himself and bodied them at that. that Jay-Z slept with Nas’ children’s mother or the fact that Nas bodied 3.) 50 Cent vs Ja Rule - It was one of the first times in hip-hop that an him on Ether and threatened Jay’s music sales. What makes this battle emerging artist was able to come one of the greatest of all time is the from the underground and disfact that at the end of it all, these two mantle a multi-platinum artist’s were able to come together and join entire career, get him discredited, forces for the love of hip-hop. and ejected from the mainstream
SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 21
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this could any size, any contact us to
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MODEL LIFE PHOTO : Trey Photos
MODEL MAN by Xavier As a special dedication Magazine, I will include P.I.F.F. from my book ‘Model Life’. Stick with skills and learn the basics of industry.
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MODEL LIFE MODEL : Vett Adams
NAGEMENT 101 “CompleX” Prue to our relaunch of P.I.F.F. one chapter in every issue of on model management, titled, us each issue to pick up new managing people in the modeling
part 2 of 10
MODEL MANAGEMENT 101 -- Xavier “CompleX” Prue
Model: Jasmine Angeline
R U O Y D FIN
There are pros and cons to all of these determining factors and any variation will shape your company – and management career – in completely different aspects; so let’s break down the differences, shall Once you’ve decided which type we? The more informed we are to the of modeling you’d generally like your different perspectives, the beter deciprimary focus to be in, you’ll then sions we’ll be able to make. be ready to begin placing the type of models you want in your company’s Let’s start with discussing the open positions. The two most impor- experience of a model. As you’ll soon tant factors in selecting your models find out as you embark on your manis to first know how many models agement path, you will get submisyou want to – and have ability to – sions from all types of models. Some manage at one time, and also which will have many years in the game; degree of experience you’d like your others will have some experience, yet models to bring to the company.
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1 S L E D O M
The thing about working with experienced models is that they usually already have a name in the industry, a following of fans, and still in need of much more; and yet, connections with people looking to others will have little to no experiwork with them – all things you can ence at all. In my experience, I found use to your benefit. With beginner that for me, working with beginners and minimally-experienced models, proved to be a more enjoyable expe- you’re pretty much building up evrience for me. erything from the ground up. Beginners are easier to shape and mold to what you need them to develop into since they’re not exactly sure what they should be doing or even what it is they want to obtain in their career. That means less fussing and more paying attention. The problem with very experienced models is that some of them are very high-maintenance, spoiled, and demanding. The ones with a decent amount of experience – not too much, not too little – are usually typically right in the middle... but, not always.
However, the big difference is that while you can usually contract a beginner model or model with little experience for free, the experienced ones are going to be looking for a signing bonus majority of the time. This can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on numerous factors: their level of experience; whether they’re freelancing or already in a contract; and what connections or project deals they’re bringing with them. If they’re worth the sign-on fee, you may want to pay it and sign them because it may ben-
MODEL LIFE efit you in a major way. Maybe you pay $10, 000 to contract them and flip their contract for $50, 000. If you can’t afford it though, or don’t feel it’s worth the risk, keep looking. The number of models you plan to work with and manage at one time is a major decision, also. How will you divide your resources, connections, and finances on your number of models? How much time will you need to focus on each individual model and do you have the time schedule to realistically manage all of them to your greatest ability? Don’t overdo it and place yourself in a pressure-filled situation where you can’t handle the responsibilities because once you start slacking on one area or model, the rest will soon follow to crumble shortly behind. Better to start small and see what you can handle and expand than to take on too much at once. If you’re working with experienced models, you may be able to swing a
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good number of models at once since they’ll mostly already be established and branded, requiring less time from you. However, if you’re working with beginners, you’ll need to spend a lot of time developing and training time with them, so the smaller your group, the better. Ok, so now that that’s established – we have our number of models and the degree of experience we’d like to work with... how do we go about finding our models? There are a few ways to accomplish this task, so let’s examine the options: 1.) The first and most obvious option is to do some in-person networking and scout for models in the real world. The easiest way is to start with people you may know who may be pursuing the model life. Another way is to press up business cards and flyers and hit public areas such as malls, casinos, concerts, and
MODEL LIFE model events and other events. 2.) Another option to gather potential models is by throwing your own modeling event such as a competition or fashion show. 3.) Of course, in this digital era, a great way to find models will always be via online. You can accomplish this with social media networking and advertising, through promoting your website, and/ or online contests.
amongst completion of a successful search. Once you’ve found the models you need to keep the ball rolling, it’s time to solidify all your hard work by having them sign the modeling contract...
GET THIS BOOK HERE
4.) If all else fails and you need additional help finding your models, it never hurts to bring in a talent scout or two. You can either pay someone to find you a model or you can offer to include them in on the model’s contract commissions. If you decide to pay a scout outright and retain all commissions, then a best practice is to only pay them a down-payment to begin the search and the remainder
PHOTOS BY : Essence of Abstrax Photos
INTERVIEW BY : Ri Royal
FROM MODELING ACTING, SERENITY TAYLOR GEE ISTOTHE ARTIST HEAT PARADISE IS BREEZING STRAIGHT THROUGH BURNIN UP THE INDUSTR THE INDUSTRY AND MAKING IT LOOK EASY 38 P.I.F.F. 2018
Peace of Mind PIFF: Who are you? SERENITY: I’m Serenity, I’m 19, and I’m a model, make-up artist, and aspiring actress. How did you get into this career and what sparked your interest? When I got into high school my freshman year, I wanted to be a lawyer. I went to college for criminal investigation. I really thought I wanted to be a detective at first, but, on the side, I had auditions in the city doing fashion shows and open calls. Doing that while I when I was in school, I realized that modeling was what I wanted to do. I had a lot going on. I had to make time for studying no matter what. I was going off of 4 hours of sleep, drinking so much coffee, and I lost a lot of weight. Later, I took a lot of interest in make-up, but I didn’t really know that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I was 15, I had my first audition in Manhattan with Ex-
plore Talent, and it was my senior year that I finally decided that I wanted to do make-up. I started doing my own pictures, and had some done professionally before I had my first photo shoot. In New York, I had random support. It was just strangers showing me support. I was doing make-up out of my own house where I had a studio set up in my apartment. At first, I wouldn’t charge. I just wanted to see what I actually could do. After, I would charge $25-$30. That’s how I started. My last photo shoot with Abstrax Photos, was published in the[ir] magazine. That’s when I realized I wanted to get into acting. Was it what you expected? Modeling was easier than I expected. I thought it was going to be more hectic and very stern. It was way more simple than people think. Well, at least for my experience, it came easy. The acting
TING IT UP IN ALASKA & SHE’S RY WITH HER NEW (continued EP on page 43) OCTOBER 39
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PHOTOS BY : Essence of Abstrax Photos
“I’m really focused on modeling. I want to focus on taking those opportunities, getting my exposure up, and get my face out there and then I want to proceed with acting. ” -- Serenity Paradise
was different. It was only different financially. I expected there to be some type of fee, but I didn’t know it would be such a big fee to get signed. Who are you greatest influences? Who inspires you? Since I was really young, Tyra Banks, has been my number one idol. I, unfortunately, missed my first audition on America’s Next Top Model, but I definitely plan on re -auditioning. What are your goals for the future? I’m really focused on modeling. I want to focus on taking those opportunities, getting my exposure up, and get my face out there and then I want to proceed with acting.
PHOTOS BY : Essence of Abstrax Photos
(continued from page 39)
WHOâ€™S THAT CHICK? Jasmine Angeline
A young, mixed-race sassy bartender from CT is more than ready to make her break in the modeling industry in any genre. Given the right training and experience, she is confident of her sucess to positively infulence the modeling game with her long natural curls, bright eyes, and amazing curves. Sheâ€™s created unforgettable cosplay, bouidor, and glamour photos. She hopes to work with people that share her love for unique art. 44 P.I.F.F. 2018
Interview by Dionne Baldwin
WHOâ€™S THAT CHICK?
PIFF: Tell me about your experience as a model. Jasmine: My experience as a model started when I began cosplaying in 2014. It started out as me just having fun at cons and getting asked to get my pictures taken in my cosplay. These photographers that I met became close friends and I was able to get more comfortable doing photoshoots and gettinâ€™ out of my comfort zone. Whatâ€™s your biggest weakness as a model? I would say that my biggest weakness is that I doubt myself. Which can sometimes read in the photos in my eyes. The more experience I get, the more at ease
I will feel. Another thing that helps me is having a photographer that is understanding of this and willing to work with me by telling me a new pose to try out or letting me review the photos before we move on to something else. What is your greatest strength? I guess my strength as a model would be my ability to try new things and step outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes the ideas that sound the craziest are the ones that make a photo look spectacular! What made you decide to model? I have always been interested in modeling, but never bought I had the body type for typical modeling. I had a skewed idea of what modeling really was, assuming it was only for girls who were either size 2, or plus sized, and tall. Cosplay gave me the opportunity to model without realizing I was doing it and helped me realized the diversity in the modeling industry. What are your goals? To become a professional model and cosplayer along with going back to school and getting my degree in psychology. What is your ideal photoshoot theme idea?
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I donâ€™t have one ideal photoshoot theme because there is so much fun in every
theme. But my favorite photoshoots tend to be boudoir or pinup style. Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you, from just looking at your portfolio? Something you wouldn’t know is that I have immense love for animals. My dream is to have the funds to open my own animal shelter and be able to give them the care they need. When you suffer a setback in a shoot, how do you recover? Things never go as planned. So, I go into every photoshoot with the only expectation that I’m going to have a good time. If the modeling industry was femaledominated instead of the other way around, how do you things would be different? Although it is more typical to have a male photographer, I feel that if there were more female photographers there wouldn’t be such a hesitation for newcomers to get in front of a camera. There have been times where I have been harassed by male “photographers” who were not professional and made me feel uncomfortable about setting up a photoshoot. Where can the reaaders see more of your work and do you have any upcoming
projects on the way? Most of my work is displayed on my Instagram page. I’m working on getting a Facebook page up and running and will hopefully have a page for exclusive content available soon. I have several photoshoots lined up for the near future and will be attending Super Mega Fest Comic Convention in October. Any shout-outs or last words to the readers? I would like to thank all of my photographer friends who have worked with me and continue to work with me. I am amazed by the progress I have made and I owe it to the amazing people on the other end of the camera. It’s truly amazing to be able to see myself the way other people see me. And to anyone out there thinking of cosplaying, modeling, or simply pursuing a dream; you will never know unless you try! You can’t know your true potential until you have explored it. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. And also never be afraid to speak up for yourself in any circumstance. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I am so thankful that I have made it this far. Best way to contact would be through my Instagram (@vixenjay_) , or my email (email@example.com)
â€œSometimes the ideas that sound the craziest are the ones that make a photo look spectacular!â€? -- Jasmine Angeline
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VersatilE Expressions oF Natural Talent
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64 75 OCTOBER 51
P.I.F.F. Playlist (September- October 2018)
The songs that got us through the past month and helped us create this issue 1. THE RINGER 2. NOT ALIKE 3. LUCKY YOU 4. BET THAT I WILL 5. 2LIT2QUIT 6. LOST ONES 7. LATELY 8. PEOPLE SAY 9. REGULAR PERSON 10. GTS
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eminem eminem eminem snow tha product snow tha product tâ€™swan mgk wu-tang a boogie mgk
interviews by Ri Royal
My name is Rí. I’m an independent videographer and film editor, and also a videographer for Top Floor Studios as well. I’m also the Assistant Editor for P.I.F.F. I work with many artists around Arizona filming [and editing] their live performances and videos. There’s been a huge conflict for awhile now when it comes to the Arizona music scene artists have been confronting it. When I was told about the topic of this issue for the magazine, I thought it would be a perfect fit for a few well-known artists to come in and speak their piece. Especially because some are from here and some came from a different state. There were a lot of arguments circulating about what the scene should look like and how it’s being handled, so I thought it would be perfect to bring them in and shed some more light on the subject. I contacted a few very well-known artists who I work closely with and who I know have a lot of experience. I also knew, from the post, that they had a lot to say about what was being said. I proceeded with the interviews at Top Floor Studios here in Phoenix and we got all the cameras rolling ready to go. This is my passion. This is what I love to do. I love working with everyone I work with and I love that we all have the same drive and ambition. I love this industry. We’re all goal-oriented and making moves to get where we want to be at. There’s nothing more freeing, attractive, inspiring, and motivating to me.
GBoi, Sticc Hyde, & Rico The Truth PIFF: Who are you? GBoi:: I’m GBoi, a Chicago native. I’ve been in AZ since about ’96. I started messing with the music real tough in 2008, GBoi Entertainment. I manage it and I’m an artist as well. Certified Thursday’s are every week. Sticc Hyde: My name is Sticc Hyde, born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. I have two companies. Just trying to promote positive hip hop right now. I’m doing a lot of positive events out there; the backpack drive, and I’m also doing the show for fighting Autism. Just getting involved in as many events as I can be involved in as far as bringing the community together. Rico The Truth: I go by the name of
56 P.I.F.F. 2018
Rico The Truth. I’m part owner of Desert King Entertainment.I do a little bit of everything. When someone reaches out and they need something, I’m willing to help out and put in my part and do my part try to bring the city together as much as possible. Mr. Network: I’m Network, CEO of Longevity Music Group and of our music group. I’ve got a few events coming up, T’d Up Tueday’s. Steve Williams: I am the CEO of Black Sheep Entertainment. I’ve been doing this off and on for about 5 years now. I came from California. It’s really easy to get following out in California; not so easy out here. We just did the Underground event. I feel like there’s a
lot more support from artist to artist than there is from the community to the artist. There’s so many artists that everyone’s like, “everybody wants to be an artist so we’re not going to go see them.” Unless it’s like a tight knit group of people that doesn’t feel like there’s not going to be a lot of people who come to support. That, and a lot of flooding is taking days that people would want to go out over all of the days that people get to perform. Tru Barz: What’s up yall. My name is Tru Barz. I’m actually from Brooklyn, New York but I came out here doing my thing. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years now and engineering, producing, rapping, for 9-10 years. PIFF: So I wanted to talk about the current state
of the hip hop industry in regards to local events here in Arizona. There’s a lot of beef about supporting other artists and leaving right after performing their set. Just a lot around how the events are being handled. So I wanted to bring a few wellknown artists and industry professionals such as yourselves and hear what you have to say about all of it. Some artists feel that there needs to be more support for each other and others claim that performing is the only thing they came to do. What is your take on supporting other artists? GBoi: I’ve been able to see the game from early 2000’s until now, and support is a little bit better than what it was back then because before we didn’t have social media. Social media helps a little bit, but we still have that same little problem where people have their certain clicks. We’ve got people on the Westside that might not go to a show in Mesa or vice versa. We’re in Arizona. Everyone’s going for the same goal; so why not shoot
out this way and try to get that support? Ya’ll shoot this way, and then everybody try to bring it in half way. That’s what they’re doing in Atlanta, L.A., and down south. They’re making that trip.
there will probably be only 5 there staying with you. The way to keep them there is to make it probably a smaller show, and everybody kills it. You’d still have a crowd, and then everyone leaves at the same time.
Sticc Hyde: As far as support, I’ve seen it good back in the 90’s and I’ve seen it bad too. I’ve seen it good up to the era right now and I’ve seen it bad too. Some promoters have more success than other promoters. I guess it goes down to who’s putting together the show, who’s part of the show, and how they try to put it together. I think where a lot of them fail at is where they put too many artists on the cart. Everybody doesn’t want to sit around and stay all night. You might come by with 20 but by the end of the night,
GBoi: If you’re going to jump on a show, every artist should have it on their mind ‘let’s make this show the best that it is.’ The only way to do that is for everybody to stay. If you brought 10 or 20 people, don’t leave at the end of your performance with those 10-20 people. That’s not fair to the rest. Everybody should make it a point. If we got on this show, we’re here for that night. Let’s make this event an event. It’s not going to be an event if people keep leaving.
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Rico the Truth: I’m the outcast of the whole scene. I’ve seen the unity, but also I haven’t been in it for as long as these guys. I did my first show in 2009. Nelly and the St. Lunatics came out first as a group before there was Nelly. They didn’t sell well. The one that caught everyone’s attention happened to be Nelly. So the rest of the group took the money that they invested and supported Nelly. The city fell behind Nelly, and the city blew. If Arizona could work together as a unity, instead of one person wanting to be that main guy, we’d get a lot. We forget that we’re already on the map. You can go get a map from Texaco or QT, open it up, and we’re there. We’re just not known for hip hop because we can’t come together yet.
still a lot of support in the building. There’s multiple artists and we’ve still got crowds who like the music. Being in a place like this where hip hop is really not generating what it should be, you’re not going to get that. This is a do-it-yourself city when it comes down to hip hop. Anybody can go be a promoter, anybody can be a rapper, and anybody can do anything out here. These clubs are not limiting, and they’re not cutting these artists off. They’re taking anybody in. Even if you’ve got 15 people; they don’t care. If you’ve got 2 people; they don’t care. There’s so many promoters and artists; so that’s where you get that confusion from. Steve Williams: I feel like in California, everybody wants to hear something different, so they give that
Mr. Network: It goes both ways. I mean, I’ve been to a lot of different states where people do that and there’s (continued on page 82)
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TELL A FRIEND TO TELL A FRIEND
SPOTIFY VS RECORD LABELS? by AUTHOR MARA PROSE
Spotify’s Dominance of the Music Industry - Are traditional music deals a dying art?
Advantages Spotify Offers Today’s Music Artists
People today are listening to a broader range of
music, thanks to Spotify’s platform and many others like it. Paid streaming allows the users to explore different genres and discover artists not represented on traditional radio stations.
This has opened the market to consumers who were not previously purchasing a lot of new music. For a monthly subscription fee, music lovers can now enjoy all their favorite artists for a fraction of the cost. However, this does not bode well for major players such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group.
“The music industry hates that Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music reduce the relevance of the traditional music business.”
-Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG Rights Spotify and the record industry should have Management a solid partnership after 15 years of decline in global music sales. However, both sides admit to a very rocky relationship. Music executives accuse Spotify of being the ar-
rogant bad partner with unreliable licensing and protocol. Spotify counters their accusation by insisting the labels are stifling their innovation efforts.
keep more of their sales. This enraged the music labels because of the threat it poses to their traditional way of operating.
With the success of independent “It’s a strange relationship because artists, such as Chance the Rapper, the record labels want Spotify to it is very likely that label companies succeed, but not too much,’’ said will become obsolete. This will not Amy Yong, a Macquarie analyst. happen anytime soon, since record “It gives them too much leverage.’’ labels still offer artist more resources. However, the possibility of SpoThis friction could lead to Spotify tify once again changing the game and creating an entirely new market cutting out the labels altogether, for musicians is a fact that cannot despite their insistence that they have no desire to operate like a label be denied. company or own copyrights. Based off of their recent developments such as planning tours, collecting royalties and funding music videos, it is hard not to assume this is actually Spotify’s game plan in the long run. At the beginning of this year, Billboard reported Spotify was licensing music directly with the artists; allowing the artists and Spotify to
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ADD IT UP Toronto-bred and raised, Plus the Rapper is out to get what’s his and claim throne as the face of Toronto’s hip-hop scene. Get the inside scoop behind this man as we sit down for an exclusive and pick his mind.
interview by Xavier “CompleX” Prue PLUS THE RAPPER OCTOBER 65
PIFF: What inspired you to start making music? PLUS: People will think I’m wack for this, but growing up my inspiration really started when i first heard Bow Wow. I was like 11 when his Wanted album came out. I used to watch 106 & Park and Rap City: The Basement everyday when I got home from school while at my Great Grandma’s waiting for my mom to pick me up after work. I grew up around a lot of Ice Cube and NWA growing up. My dad is a big fan, so I was always around it; but Bow Wow and Ludacris early on inspired me at a young age then Drake inspired me later on in my highschool years. What do you do when you stumble upon having writer’s block? I never knew how to deal with writer’s block till recently, but last summer there was a point when I linked up with some old homies and we was in the studio every Sunday and they all smoke heavy, so I started smoking a lil’ and that really cleared up all my writer’s block and if that doesn’t work, just driving around Toronto at night also helps. I don’t smoke anymore, but its about to be legal in Can-ada next month, so we
66 P.I.F.F. 2018
will see what’s up - maybe you’ll catch [your] mans with a blunt in the studio again. What’s your take on the current state of hip-hop and who’s in your playlist these days? I’m not really too into the current state of hip hop, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some really good new artists out there from my city and just in general. I’m not really into the lil’ wave going on now, but I still bump it just to hear what’s going on in the scene. My playlist right now really just consist of Toronto artists; like that’s really what my day to day sounds like right now. Smoke Dawg, Pressa, LB, Bizz Loc, Drake, Tory Lanez, Pengz, Two Two, the list goes on... just take any Toronto hood or block and I got something from them in my playlist probably. Any comments on the beefs that have been going on this summer? Everybody’s talking about MGK vs Eminem – are you in support of either side? Honestly, I don’t really rate MGK and I don’t really rate Eminem for a long time now, so I don’t really care too much, but I did think Rap Devil was the better
track, though that’s just how I was feel- terludes with some skits. I’m really haping. py with how some of the stuff turned out, so I guess we’ll see when it drops Do you find yourself connecting more what the response is. As for the other with older hip-hop or the new genera- one, I got some music that I really like tion of hip-hop and why so? that’s just like taking a trip back to my old ends with some really dope samples I always seem to connect with both like, on it. As for features, there ain’t much, I love old hip hop, but I connect a lot but I move pretty dolo so it’s to be exwith Drake [and] all the Toronto rap pected. because I lived my whole life here, so the things they are saying is relatable What’s the style of Plus the Rapper and seen or experienced first hand, re- compared to? Or is there no comparially. I do love old hip hop though, don’t son? If no comparison, who would you get it confused. Not too long ago, I say you relate to the most? bought a The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff He’s The DJ I’m The Rapper LP for like I would say my style is the most com$90 unopened. My record collection is parable to a Drake mixed with trying to definitely more old music then new, but tell some stories like B.I.G - not that I an ex girlfriend of mine gave me TPAB am comparable to BIG, but I see myself on vinyl for my birthday a few years on that kind of wave like I definitely can back... that album is fire on vinyl. So, get into my emotional bag like Drake, I would say I don’t really connect with but I have had some people tell me I one more; just that I f**k with both can kinda create an image and tell a heavily. story like Big. I personally don’t see that as much, but people say it so I guess we Tell us a little bit about your own proj- will rock with that. ects you’ve been working on. Do you have your eyes on anybody in I been working on a few projects. I got particular who you would like to work one of them almost done; its an EP with? about exes and my experience with women etc... almost like a bunch of in- (continued on page 73)
“As for the viewers, make yourself aware of Toronto hip hop cause it’s crazy right now and it’s bubbling and the views are poppin!” -- Plus the Rapper
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iving the new generation of carbon copied rappers a crash course about being one of the illmatic, divergent (and unapologetic) lyricists of all time,
Eminem holds nothing back
on his tenth album “Kamikaze” (and he makes sure to show no mercy towards his rivals or commentators)...
The Ringer - He adds fuel to
EMINEM KAMIKAZE kamikaze takes an aim at your favorite rapper and no, he isn’t sorry about it by Natalee Gilbert
70 P.I.F.F. 2018
the fire with “The Ringer” where he takes jabs at negative speculators, the new style of auto tuned rhymes (that essentially just talk about drowning your life away with pills or derogatory remarks against women), choppy flows and even current big named artist like Lil
Xan, Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly and Iggy Azalea over a spine crawling instrumental that makes sure to stress the fine quality of boom bap, apparent virtuosity and demolishing floetry. He’s not happy with how artists that have no content behind their message are making it big (and he has every right to be).
Greatest - “Greatest” once again
makes sure we don’t forget he’s well... the greatest in the world. He implements a slight spin off of the song “Humble” with an emphasis on the low hitting drums and twist of churned guitar chords and piano keys.
Lucky You - Following his boast-
ful rhymes in “Greatest” is “Lucky You”
which features Joyner Lucas (who adds a star on his chart of success every time he releases a song due to his mastery of creating bangers while still keeping them informal, heartfelt and witty). The instrumental resembles another daunting lullaby that’s sure to put his competition to sleep. As Eminem goes on a tangent about booming rappers that have done absolutely the least bit of work to get to where they are, he also makes sure (in case we missed the point) to remind us that we’re all just letting “f*ckin songs about nothin’” go viral instead of giving the real spotlight to rappers with substance.
Normal - “Normal” documents his
P.I.F.F. REVIEW by Drake. The reason behind it all? He thinks she’s being extra “like a f*ckin terrestrial.”
Stepping Stone - Taking a leap
over the skits, Eminem allows himself to be vulnerable in “Stepping Stone”, as he opens up about the death of his
best friend Proof (who was murdered in 2006)[that] had a huge effect on not only him but the members of
D-12 (a rap group that Em uprooted
from early on his career). “The death of Doody broke us in two/ We were thrown for a loop, ain’t none of us knew what to do/ and through that time I was going through my own struggles too/So I really wasn’t in no condition to be coaching us through” Em spurs over a spin off of war-ready synths and drums. He’s honest. He’s saying his piece and is ready to make amends with the friends he’s hurt.
Not Alike - Onward, “Not Alike” attest Eminem and Royce Da 5’9’s
troubles with women he’s dated in the past over a beat that just sounds like a lyrical dexterity and they are far from slowed down version of “Hotline Bling” phased. Bringing the cross fire to a
P.I.F.F. REVIEW spin-off of the “Look Alive” instrumental, Eminem and Royce take aims again at the antics of recent rap. “Y’all music sound like Dr. Seuss inspired it/Hirin’ strippers, prostitutes, retirin’” Royce da 5’9 spits, but Eminem makes sure that he’s really heard (and leaves a fair warning) to rappers like Machine Gun Kelly who has made comments about Em’s daughter, Tyler the Creator, and even the Migos!
slicing the heads of Charlamagne, DJ Academik and even the Grammys!
Nice Guy Good Guy - Resurfacing the compli-
cations of relationships in “Good Guy”
and “Nice Guy”, Jessie Reyez teams up with Eminem in this two concept song, speaking from a women’s perspective about being sick of his ways. She raps “I’m bipolar with the switch up just as quick like you cummin’”, but Jessie isn’t the only one with something to say. In response, Eminem just wishes she’d Kamikaze - Eminem wants to “crash stop with knockdowns towards his character and accusations about cheating. into everyone” in the next track, “KaBut is he really the one who’s doing dirty mikaze” using a little humor about the work? “Been texting you since three, I negative comments towards his album Revival whole comparing it to his worst still get no f*ckin reply/ You say you sleep alone, but yet your mattress is king size” song in 2005 called “FACK” but honestly, he just wishes everyone would just Em raps. let him be. Venom- The album ends with Venom Fall - Smoothly transitioning to “Fall”, a looped track that will also be heard in the Marvel movie “Venom” and it’s no Eminem continues with the same spiel about the current rap game but the dif- surprise that Eminem compares himself to the alien symbolite as he chants in the ference in this track is that he decides chorus “Venom (I got that) adrenaline to take shots at the critics that harshly momentum/ Venom, not knowin’ when criticized Revival. He starts with “You I’m in”. know, everybody’s been tellin’ me what they think about me for the last few All in all, Kamikaze sparks a blood months”, then cuts to the chase, verbally
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bath towards the new generation of rappers and haters and cuts the vocal chords of anyone who dares to speak down on Em’s legacy through the razor of his rhymes. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
would like to work with everyone in the city that’s doing they own thing. I really support them all and would work with all of them. We gotta support each other in the city and stop beefing and stop the violence. Tell us about any upcoming projectsyou got going on and where can the fans check out some of your music? I got 2 projects that should be dropping in the near future, so look out for those. You can connect with me on all social media @PlusTheRapper and SoundCloud is the same. Any shout-outs or last words to the readers/ viewers?
I would just like to shoutout Smoke Dawg. I hope his music lives on forever - RIP. Also, Halal Gang. I can’t even imagine the pain they been experienc“Add It Up” (continued from page 67) ing... also shout out to Regent Park and East York. Shoutout to Toronto. EveryWell, I wanted to work with Smoke one stay safe out there; please stop the Dawg before his tragic passing, but un- violence in our city - it’s crazy. As for fortunately that won’t happen now. RIP the viewers, make yourself aware of Smokey. Besides the obvious of Drake, Toronto hip hop cause it’s crazy right I’d say a lot of Toronto artists. I love now and it’s bubbling and the views are working with people from my city and poppin!
MGK - BINGE
according to hiphopdx.com. This pales in comparison to his hip-hop counterpart in whom he indsinuated was getting too
old for the game. Eminem, the Shady Aftermath icon who recently dropped the ‘Kamikaze’ album that resparked this whole feud between the two, opened up to history-breaking numbers of over 434K first-week sales, 251K being physical sales. MGK’s ‘Binge’ EP finished the month of September with a 2.5 star rating on iTunes. With numbers like this in comparison to the one artist in which he chose to get involved, it’s not looking good for this project here; although he does surprise with some tracks such as GTS, Rap Devil, and Lately.
1.) Long Time Coming -
He opens up with the traditional autotune harmonizing over a minLEAVING AN IMPRESSION ute-long intro where he continues repeat that it’s been a long time by Xavier “CompleX” Prue to coming. A long time coming and he chooses to open up his album iding the fuse of a heated battle with a series of seven-word lines of between him and rival artist Eminem, rapper how he’s not running from it.
MGK dropped his ‘Binge’ EP to opening
numbers of 22K sales in the first week of its release, 9K of them being physical purchases,
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2.) Loco - He shows you exactly
how he feels as he opens up on Loco, saying, “Hated the most,/ so I keep my haters close,/ let ‘em know I want the smoke./ So much bread, I gotta boast;/ this burner turn ya into toast.”/ From there, it falls into the currently trending choppy-like style flow reminiscent of the Migos.
3.) GTS - GTS is a hard track that
sounds like new wave meets 90’s-era NY. He explains that he’s been going through alot recently and it’s got him so stressed that he’s not even accepting phone calls and the drugs that he’s taking to deal with his situations aren’t enough to ease the pain. This is made clear right out the gate when he opens up the first verse, saying, “Hey, here’s a story/ about a time when I smoked everything in my inventory.../” It’s got a bounce, it’s got a bop, but it’s got real pain attached to it that leaves you no choice but to respect him and leave him alone because you understand that he’s been... well... goin thru sh*t!
4.) Rap Devil - If you’re not fa-
miliar with Rap Devil as of yet, you must’ve either been living under a rock or just not an avid hip-hop listener; because this is the battle that has sparked and generated the most
P.I.F.F. REVIEW buzz. Rap Devil is one of the hardest hip-hop disses [against Em] in a long while set over a gritty, street-type beat and respect must be given where respect is due. He leaves no shortage of disrespectful and discrediting bars, from lines such as “yea, there’s a difference between us - I got all of my sh*t without Dre producin’ me...” and “tough talk from a guy who pays millions for security a year” to “both of us single dads from the Midwest, let’s talk about it/ or we can get gully, I’ll size up your body and leave some white chalk around it.”/ He accuses Eminem of trying to have him blacklisted in the industry and attacks on the 4th verse with a range of rhymes that attempts to dismantle Eminem’s entire career and Eminem’s alterego characters (i.e. Stan and the kid who threw up his mom’s spaghetti on ‘Lose Yourself ’). The battle stems from a comment that MGK made on social media years ago making sexual comments about Eminem’s daughter Hailey back in 2012. What’s got MGK so pissed about it as he feels, is that Eminem is “mad about somethin’ I said in 2012, took you six years and a surprise album to come
P.I.F.F. REVIEW with a diss”; and goes further on the third verse (the strongest verse) to state, “I like the diss, but you won’t say them lyrics in front of me.” All in all, it was a strong shot taken from MGK and although many fans and critics believe he should’ve stayed clear of attacking Eminem, it is a bold step and MGK takes it with no fear, so he should at least be the most respected to have the courage to stand up to such a rap juggernaut.
spot on the project; a nice shift right in the middle of the EP. It is a very deep song that address some of the issues MGK has been facing in his life and this is made evident in the hook: “Lately, I been having crazy thoughts./ The way I’m living, sh*t get very dark./ Tell me lately why we barely talk./ You know I’m tryna change, but it’s very hard./” It’s a very personal song and it plays smoothly over an original instrumental that shows 5.) Nylon - Nylon finds MGK doing some boombap more autotune style rapping over a slow and that if MGK really wanted to break away from the pop-rapper style melodic piano and guitar tremble that puts that has made him such a success, you in the mindframe of Post Mallone. He he could do so. lays down two verses of braggadocio that represent that, at least in his mind, he is “the 7.) Signs - It is the only song realest of them all” and the “Top Gun”. It’s a on the EP that finds him doing an song that’s all over the place, ranging from industry feature with music artist him feeling like Gotti and smashing women 24hrs. It is catered towards the to him putting rappers in the dirt as we younger crowd with more autotune watch him “murder with a verse.” One of the sounds and harmonizing about the most creative lines on this song is when he life of a rock star and gettin’ faded says, “I’m from Cleveland we the coldest,/ so and partying; although it is set it’s no coincidence that when you try to take a over a very nice and bouncy instrupic, it’s too much ice for you to focus./” mental that makes you want to bob
6.) Lately - Lately drops at the perfect
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your head and hit the club.
8.) Get The Broom - Get The
P.I.F.F. REVIEW Broom is a creative track, if nothing else. Outside of it sounding like a very poorly-produced track that was created by a local artist, he does strike with the genius of a writer as he bounces his flow back and forth between a calm, quiet, and relaxed flow to an energetic, loud, and enthusiastic flow.
say about Binge is that it offers a little bit of something for everyone; but if youâ€™re looking for an EP that you can play straight through from beginning to end on repeat, this is probably not it.
- The final song on the Binge EP must be a special dedication to the young generation because all the song is about getting lit and how heâ€™s never gonna stop getting high because he just wants to LiveFastDieYoung; even admitting to pulling upto the red carpet with both pockets full of drugs. Overall, I feel that MGK could have taken more time to put together something a little more solid, but in the midst of the Eminem & MGK battle, he may have rushed the project a little bit in order to couteract to Eminem which I do respect because it is one of the first times in hip-hop that anyone has attacked back at Eminem, especially amongst the younger generation of rappers. What I can
LOST IN A PLACE ALL BY MYSELF, STUCK IN A DAZE WITH NO KIND OF HELP; RUNNING CIRCLES IN A MAZE ‘TIL I TIRE MYSELF, YET, WHEN I’M BY MYSELF IS WHEN I FIND MYSELF... CONFLICTING MINDSETS, I’M DIVIDING MYSELF, QUESTIONS LITTER THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, BUT THE ANSWERS STUCK HIGH ON A SHELF. EVEN STILL... BY MYSELF IS WHERE I FIND MYSELF. IS IT SOLUTIONS OR EXCUSES I’M PROVIDING MYSELF? IT’S TIME TO BE REAL AND NOT LIE TO MYSELF. I’M LOST, BUT I’M FREE, I KEEP REMINDING MYSELF BECAUSE WHEN I’M BY MYSELF IS WHERE I BEGIN TO FIND MYSELF XAVIER “CompleX” PRUE
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THE MASKS WE WEAR
You smile, you grin and no one sees your sins You laugh, you play with no one there at the end of the day The masks we wear are uniquely prepared To keep the world guessing and hide our despair Black, white and all alike experience lifeâ€™s crushing blows Young and old, we are all the same because we all fear the untold At the end of the day, no one can say that we are not all meant to live bold
AUTHOR MARY PROSE
ing love. Stop trying to steal each other’s fans. I’m from Brooklyn. They’re person the opportunity to be the dif- building each other up; except for 69. ference. You may not be the differI’ve produced for so many artists out ence, but if you’ve got good music, here so far and I support y’all to the you just gained a follower either way. 100 percent. That’s because I’m an artOut here, I don’t feel like people even ist. I expect the same thing from y’all. want to give you the opportunity to We should be coming up together. put that out there at all. I try to go on towards the end so I can get a vibe of PIFF: Some people feel like those who the crowd. I actually network with a hosts the events allow bad artists to lot of the people at the shows that I perform solely because the host just perform at. wants the money. How do you feel about that? What’s your experience? Tru Barz: A couple years ago when I started, it was mostly about love, sup- Rico the Truth: You’ve got certain porting each other, building the scene branches and brands that’ll put on a up, making it a better place for us hip show, but only reach out to certain inhop artists. Now, this year, for some dividuals only. I’m known for calling reason, all I’m seeing is everybody people out. A lot of people don’t like beefing, dropping diss tracks on each it. A lot of people find it entertaining, other, and starting shit on Facebook. but I’m infamous for stating how I We need to stop that man. If it’s a pas- feel. I’m one of the believers like this, sion for you, you shouldn’t be spread- if the city would come together and ing hate. If you’re spreading hate, this us as artists fall behind some of these is not the business for you. The scene artists that are already getting a look, right now is getting washed up. That’s the city would get a bigger push. it. That’s all it is. We’re locals. So everybody should be supporting every- Mr. Network: It’s true to a certain exbody. If you perform and you leave, tent. Some promoters do that, because that’s disrespect to the other artists. in here, like I said, it’s do-it-yourself. You’ll see me in the front watching ev- These promoters don’t stand. They’re ery other artist perform. That’s show- not bringing these artists in for them “What’s Beef?” (continued from page 59)
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to get a new platform, or meet an end, or anything like that. Those are the promoters you’re talking about. They’re in it for the money. You do have other promoters out here that’s doing it for the fun or to help people like me. I do it to help; same with distribution or anything I can for these guys. I am an artist too. Steve Williams: There are certain hosts that are in it for the money. It’s the easy way to make money but, at the same time, I feel like there’s actually people that go through the music. Personally, as the position that I hold for my label, I’m not just going to vouch for you just because you say you can rap. I’m going to listen to your music and I’m going to let you know personally that this isn’t what I’m looking for for this particular venue, but if I’ll keep you in my mind. At the same time, there is shitty artists. Everybody’s afraid to say it. I’m not afraid to say it. I’m a firm believer in every song is made for somebody. There’s a group of something, somewhere, that’s going to like it if you don’t. Everybody’s trying to make it for the main focus but forgetting about everybody else.
Tru Barz: There’s a lot of talk about that. Different companies are taking artists that they don’t even know. They’re just waiting for the money to come in. GBoi: If you’re putting on a show, you’re going to go pay your money for a venue, and you’re searching for artists I’m going to say no. You don’t just put them on like that. You’re trying to build something. You got to be able to know. It’s like you’re picking products. Here’s what the promoter needs to start doing. They’ve got to start doing their research on these artists.
eptember was a long month for us at the P.I.F.F. house. From interviews upon interviews to even losing a golden one (depressing), from travelling all over the map to lock down the hottest upcoming talent to album reviews and adding new members to the team, it’s been everything but a joke. This issue was originally set to be the ‘90’s throwback issue, but with everythig going on in hip-hop beef, we felt it only right to push the ‘90’s issue back a bit. So, stay tuned and continue reading P.I.F.F. because we’ll be releasing our ‘90’s issue in our November issue and our cover will star the amazing Dawn
Gun. She is a phenomenal person and
I am blessed to have had the pleasure to work with her. Outside of that, we have many things brewing up in the pot. You’re going to need to follow us on social media and/ or check for updates on the website to stay in tune with everything we’re getting ready to bring to the table.
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Still trying to set up our Networking and Magazine Release Party, so we’ll keep you informed as details unfold. We would love to do it for November, but if things don’t come together the way they need to in time, it may be some time after the New Year’s. Also, we’re going to be relaunching our V.E.N.T. Mixtape series in the next couple of months, so that’s another major thing for all of you music artists looking for a project to hop on and get some more exposure to the right eyes. Remember, we are the “voice of the underground”, the song of the unshared dream, the bridge between the streets and the entertainment industry, the positive influence you crave and need in your life. We are P.I.F.F. Magazine. Subscribe today at www.piffmag.com and let us build with you, as we build together and strive for turning dreams into reality. ‘Til next time... One Luv! -- X
THANKS FOR READING
YOUR AD HERE contact us for rates OCTOBER 85
In this Beef Issue of P.I.F.F. Magazine, we cover some of the latest beefs in the hip-hop industry and chop it up with Toronto-bred Plus the...
Published on Oct 5, 2018
In this Beef Issue of P.I.F.F. Magazine, we cover some of the latest beefs in the hip-hop industry and chop it up with Toronto-bred Plus the...