Twitter was a buzz over Drake after watching him take home a record 13 billboard awards last night. I even have to admit, the scene of seeing Drake with his whole entourage on stage in a room full of people who rather listen to Miley Cyrus than Jay z was extremely fulfilling.  I think I almost cried when I saw Lil Wayne throw corn chips on Drake’s all white outfit as the presenters announced that Drake broke Adele’s record for most win’s in a single night. It certainly was a great night for the Toronto born star but even better one for Hip Hop.


Lets be real. The billboard awards is a predominately white pop centric show. Hip Hop stars are rarely successful at these show because they aren’t pop stars that fit in the mold the billboards would want you to. They even announced Drake as a Superstar. This is true, but he is a Superstar rappper. There is a difference between the two. I’ll leave it to you to tell me the difference.

Anyway, back to the point of the post. Drake may be seen as a pop star to some now. Me included, but he is now and forever will be a rapper that comes from Hip Hop. That means that is win is a win for Hip Hop. That scene of him on the stage with his crew and bottles of Virginia Black was so Hip Hop I almost thought I was watching the BET awards. It was amazing and a good look for Hip Hop. Congrats Drake, even though he will probably never read this. But let me know what you guys think. Is this a win for Hip Hop? or do you think I just full of it? either is fine just let me know why. Comment below and let the kid know!


People Don’t Buy Music, They Buy The Brand

Instead I kept my eye on him and watched in the coming months to see if that performance was reflective of the artist I perceived him to be. In the coming months J Cole proved to me he was just that. I officially became a fan and purchased my first concert ticket to his Forrest Hills drive tour and never looked back.

Everything seems to be in reach in our internet driven world. One of those things is definitely music. Music streaming like Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud have made it easier for fans to get the music they want. Often times for a discounted or free expense.  The point here is that people don’t buy music anymore because they don’t have to. So how does an artist thrive in this environment? The way to do it is to sell yourself, not just your music.Spotify-Hero-1

Now of course there are people still buying music the traditional way. Also, artist do get paid from streaming but it is a substantially low amount. I think 10,000 streams is equal to one sale. In any case selling your music on its own won’t pay your bills as an artist. Instead you have to sell yourself as a brand and get people to invest in you.

Think about why people really love music. It isn’t because it just sounds good, its deeper than that. The music speaks to them or their experiences. It is important to the customer because they live their lives to this but they still don’t have to buy your music. However, if the customer believes in you, they will buy tickets to your show or merchandise that you own. That is the art od branding and that is what people buy into today. J.Cole-Fan-Cierra-Bosarge.png

I always like to give the example of J Cole when talking about branding. Before 2014, I was a some what fan of his. I knew he could rap and he made good songs but I didn’t feel like I knew him. It made me hesitate to really buy into him and I kind of dismissed him as another rapper I didn’t care about. Then I saw him perform a song called “Be Free” on the Dave Letterman show. The song talked about police brutality and need for black people to be heard. I felt the emotion and pain in his voice as he sang and then rapped. I was blown away. But not enough to be a complete fan. Link to performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VzpCmRtCL0resizedimage

Instead I kept my eye on him and watched in the coming months to see if that performance was reflective of the artist I perceived him to be. In the coming months J Cole proved to me he was just that. I officially became a fan and purchased my first concert ticket to his Forrest Hills drive tour and never looked back.

I never purchased a J Cole song in my life but his brand earned my loyalty. That is something money can’t buy.

Rapper’s Are The Rock Stars Of Today

Rock and Roll was considered the rebel music of its day. Young people  naturally gravitated towards it, and older people rejected it. It was flashy, in your face, and counter-culture. It simply was the new wave of its time. Fast forward to today and that all has changed. Hip hop and Rap is now that wave.rock and roll

I grew up listening to a lot of different music, but hip hop and rap was always the coolest. It was the music that your parents didn’t quite approve of but somehow resonated with you the most. It was more than just music too, it was a culture that you lived and breathed. I spoke the dialect, I dressed the part, and I lived through the music. And I wasn’t the only one. I had a whole generations of kids beside me doing the same. hip

Look at some of the biggest artist in Hip Hop right now.  Artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole have created such an impact that kids are growing up wanting to be just like them. When either of these artist drop an album it feels as if social media stops for a minute to bask in their greatness. And their shows are simply ridiculous. We are talking arenas, stadiums, even a sighting on the street garners such great attention. The fans live through their music and that is the power of hip hop’s rock star power.fo

On the flip side though, these are mega stars. So it makes sense they would get this kind of attention. What about rappers who aren’t as popular? Well I can tell you from first hand experience it still is just as ridiculous.

I have gone to many small clubs and venues to see rappers who were famous but not at the superstar level yet. Rappers like G Eazy, Mac Miller, Bas, and Logic. The reaction and love these artist got were crazy. People would stand 5 hours in line just to get into these places, then stand 3 more hours for a show. It’s crazy, but that’s rock and roll or should I say Hip Hop. asap-ferg-21

Kanye West once told Zane Lowe in an interview that “We are the new rock stars.” Kanye was of course referring to rappers. Usually Kanye is a little off in his judgements but he got this one right. Rappers are the new rock stars and we are just living in their world.

50 Cent is Hip Hop’s Pettiest Man

50 Cent never misses an opportunity to be petty. Recently, 50 flexed his petty habit on instagram against long time foe Ja Rule. 50-Cent-Ja-Rule-Instagram-Shots-640x448.png

50 posted a meme of President Trump appointing Ja Rule as secretary of festivals. This was an obvious shot at Rule’s Fyre Festival that was cancelled and failed to meet the hype of the next great festival.  50’s meme:https://www.instagram.com/p/BThKru1FEpF/

On the surface this is a light shot for 50, who has done must worse in the past. 50 has literally feuded with almost every rapper to come out of New York in the ealry 2000’s.  However, a deeper look will tell you that 50 can’t and will not let old grudges die. 50 has feuded with Ja rule since anywhere from 2001- 2003. I was maybe 5 or 6 at the time this became public. It is 2017 and I am now 21. Maybe, just maybe, 50 should let this one go. He won’t though, because he is the pettiest man in hip hop and isn’t that part of what makes him great though?

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It is and in reality we wouldn’t want 50 any other way.