The year 2000 has come and is just about gone. I have sat and looked at everyone living their dreams and accomplishing their goal. Suga Shane Moseley, Marion Jones, Maurice Green, David Justice, Lenny Krazleburg, DMX, Rock Wilder, etc. I look at these people, happy for them that they have achieved what they wanted to achieve. I wonder as I look at them, how did they achieve it? Well, there seemed to be some type of forum for most of these people. Take Marion Jones for example. She decided she was going to run track instead of play basketball. She trained hard every day in practice. When national championship or Olympic trials came around, due to her training, she won the necessary races, and boom, she’s a star. In the Olympics, she won gold in the 100 meter sprint. Now endorsements will come her way offering her millions to advertise a product. She’s set for life. David Justice, who knows when he decided to start playing baseball, but he decided some time in his life. He eventually probably played for a minor league team, and then got picked up to the majors. Now he is going to the World Series for like the third or fourth time in his career. He has hit two major home runs in his career to either win his team the World Series or get them into the World Series.
The point I’m trying to make is that for people like Marion Jones and Suga Shane Moseley, there is or was a forum for them to contend in. After so many contentions, if you win most of them, you will be the star. For me, there is really no forum that I can hop into. I want to be a Hip Hop producer. There are many Hip Hop producers out there now like DJ Premier and Pete Rock and Rock Wilder who are stars in the game. As I look at them, I wonder to myself, how did they get there? There is not a place where producer can go and play their beats against other producer’s beats, and whoever is judged to be the best gets to produce a song on an album that is sure to go platinum, and net you, at the least, depending on your deal, $80,000.
I’ve heard that in this forum of Hip Hop artist and producers that you have to know somebody in order to get in. If you know nobody, how do you get to know somebody? Everybody you meet, like I met Dazon of Murder Inc. one night at Club Cheetah; if I’d told him I was a producer, he would have paid no attention to that. How, how, how is my question. I can make the hottest song of this century, but if I know no one to get it into the ears of someone connected in the music industry, my song is useless. It’s not the same as for a basketball player who starts in Jr. High School, then plays in High School, then to college. If he has built his skills to perfection, he has a chance at getting picked to play in the NBA. All while he is in college he is watched by NBA scouts who will either get him picked in the NBA, or if he is no good, he won’t be picked.
Some may think I want this Hip Hop thing to happen overnight for me. I’ve told the story of my Hip Hop yearning which started 13 years ago. I’ve got Demo tapes. I’ve been producing beats in my head for years with no outlet to get them into real sound form. Now I have equipment to make the beats in my head real. Now I’m in New York where everything happens, but where do I go from here? There used to be a lyricist lounge spot in the early 90s where MCs could showcase their talent. A few MCs like Mos Def, Rah Digga, Talib Kweli have come to be where they are today because of this forum. Now there seems to be no forum especially for underground Hip Hop. The industry is killing underground Hip Hop, which is what I have loved from the beginning of my interest in this shit. Now, if you don’t sell a million or 500,000 with your first album, the label drops you. Back in the 80s, MCs like Kool G Rap and the Gangstarr group had 3 albums, none of which sold gold, but they were still in the game with a recording contract.
So the market for my production is getting slimmer and slimmer by the day and year. No one wants to give a new comer a chance. That seems to be the way it is but yet in still, it is not that way. How did MCs like Roc Marciano get into the Flipmode Squad? How did the producer Jay Dee get to be doing songs for and a part of a production team with A Tribe Called Quest? How did the MC Consequence get to be featured on A Tribe Called Quest Beats Rhymes and Life album? That was also the album that featured Jay Dee as a producer, so maybe Tribe just said “we are gonna let others shine on this album.”
To me it seems to be luck of the draw. I don’t know where to go to meet MCs or producers or artist for that matter to showcase my skills. Everybody says go to the Fat Beats store in the village. This place is a record store, not a lounge or a club. I went there one Saturday and I met two producers. I got their numbers and called one of them, but he never returned my call.
I’m thinking of starting a Bonny and Clyde group, or a group of girls because the industry has nothing like that. But even if I start this group, how will we get in with the industry or showcase our skills? How do I find a manager? I guess I could start asking people these questions. And maybe that is the key, a manager. Pay someone 20% of what I make because I know no one and they know everyone or someone who I’ll maybe never have a chance of knowing that could get one of my songs out to be heard by the people. There could be a chance that I could do it by myself, but I think that chance is very slim. You hand people a Demo tape of you, and they never listen to it, or they never get back to you.
Maybe my stuff is no good enough. I don’t know. All I do know is that this situation is depressing me. But I’m stuck because I believe in myself and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I believe it can happen because it has happened for so many people: Teddy Riley, Pete Rock, Premier, GURU, DJ Mark The 45 King, Marley Marl, DJ Clue. Wait a god damn minute; all the people accept for two are life-long New York residence. I’m from Ohio. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe there is no problem at all. I’m searchin’ for answers. I’m searching for direction in this journey; peace of mind with it.
Try god, is what you say huh? I tried him when I was younger. I prayed so long, I became an atheist. I prayed and prayed for a record contract, but still to this day, I have seen no record contract nowhere in sight. Jay Z confessed that he was a criminal before he became a star. But yet in still, he became a star. I’ve been a fairly good boy all my life, and I have not received one big dream. Well, maybe one, which was to get a Honda scooter when I was 13 years old. I got it and that was probably one of the happiest moments of my life before my daughter was born. Janelle being born was a happy moment which has turned grim because I have to go to court to see her like I want.
I guess I have been blessed as people say. I’ve been blessed with a college education, a job, a new car, my dream of living in New York. Well, let’s back up a moment. My dream was never really to live here, my dream was to be here to get into Hip Hop. Hip Hop is my dream, not New York. I wanted to come to New York but if there was no Hip Hop, I don’t think I’d be here, or would have wanted to come here. Hip Hop is what made me take my first trip here, not New York just in itself. I’m searching for Hip Hop but is seems hard to find. The Hip Hop I’m searching for seems to have died, and now a new species is being born, well, is born.
All I want is to have a song on an album and get paid a royalty for it. I don’t want to be the top hit maker, or the highest paid for that matter. I just want to be a part of albums coming out on labels, and get paid a fair amount in the form or a royalty check every quarter. That seems not too much to ask, or that it shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. But this industry is selfish, and doesn’t seem to want to let anyone in unless it’s a crime partner or brother or close friend. I’ma make my mark somewhere in this shit. SOMEWHERE!