Saturday, March 26, 2016



  I have decided to preface this blog article with this opening statement: I am not a professional writer, and I did not go to school for journalism. Also, in full disclosure I have been featured in a publication by one of the companies mentioned in this blog, Coast 2 Coast Magazine. That article can be found here: C2C Feature

  So if you decide to read on, understand that this blog is not supposed to be in competition with anyone who actually went to school and spent money to learn how to be a “professional” writer. However, when I do decide to write a blog, especially this one in particular, I probably have more real world first hand experience than most “professional” writers at Complex, Fader, XXL, Digital Music News or any other music publication you can find out there.

  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

  I’ve been aggravated by a series of articles and situations that have been popping up lately in music industry articles, blogs, social media rants and beyond. When it comes to being an independent musician and dealing with platforms that market to them, I have over 15 years of experience in the field. I have seen many artists and platforms that provide services to those artists come and go. I have seen schemes, backs stabbings, ruined relationships and thousands of dollars stolen or lost. In every situation, whether I was directly involved or not, I tried to learn something from the negative outcomes.

  You want to know one of the biggest lessons that I learned? A little bit of simple research and patience could have prevented most of the drama I witnessed. Something as simple as actually going to an event that you are thinking about participating in before you decide to invest your time and money in it really helps. A simple Google search or a few inquiries about a particular person or platform to others in your network (assuming you actually have a real network in the field) can prevent a lot of grief. But before any of that, having a clear understanding of exactly what you are looking to achieve, and what a particular person or platform is claiming they can provide you is the starting point. This is where dreams, expectations and reality collide. The results are often accusations someone of “scamming” or someone being called a “broke ass artist”.

  I’m fucking sick of it all. Remember, this is the “No Chaser” blog, I’m not here to be “professional”, I’m here to give clarity, say what needs to be said in plain, easy to understand language and keep shit 100. From here if you read on, I will probably offend and/or piss you off no matter what you claim to be or do in the music industry. You have been warned. 

  First of all, yes there are plenty of scams in the music industry. I have personally been scammed so I know they exist. I have been unwittingly involved in a scam and I didn’t even know it until it was too late. That is because I broke my cardinal rule: I did not do my research. Had I done my research on the people involved, the very thing I mentioned earlier, I could have saved myself some grief. But like many people, my focus was on what I thought I was going to get out of it. So I ended up not only being scammed, I actually had a hand in scamming others and helped promote a scam, and it was the most embarrassing shit I ever had to deal with. I had to issue a formal apology to everyone in my network on social media and in an Email. (Note to self and you: NEVER believe a muthafucka can actually have a TV show on VH-1 and that same muthafucka can’t afford to pay the cast and crew up front…damn I was stupid)

  Since I can personally attest that REAL industry scams exist, and even a fairly smart person like myself can be duped into one, my scolding in this article is not aimed at the people who have been legitimately scammed. That shit sucks, and I understand your pain. This scolding I’m about to give is aimed at two groups of people: the ones who call a legitimate service a scam because they had the wrong expectations about what the service provided or don’t agree with their methods, and the people who run those same services and end up being called scammers because they walk too fine a line between what they can actually provide, and the what they know people want to hear.

  To be specific, I will point out two of the latest scam accusations that pushed me over the limit and triggered this blog article:

  Before you read any further, if you are not familiar with those current situations/allegations being hurled around, you may want to go ahead and read them first it will help for context. From this point on I will assume you read the aforementioned articles above and know a little bit about the blogs and companies involved in the melee. It's basically two popular promotions companies being called scammers by two pretty reputable music blogs because they feel like that those companies are "preying on the dreams of aspiring artists".

 Let’s be clear on the definition of the word scam which is: “a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle; a dishonest scheme; a fraud”

  By definition, the words “making a quick profit” is maybe why the people over at DJ Booth and Digital Music News must be feeling some type of way about Real Rap Promo and Coast 2 Coast respectively. It’s those words that, to me at least, are the only parts of the definition of  the word “scam” that you can pin down and associate Real Rap Promo and Coast 2 Coast with. Because when you check into what each one of them are listed as, which is more like promotional services, what they tell you they can provide you for the money you spend, it’s hard to pin them down on “swindle”, “dishonest scheme” or even “fraud”.

  Right now some of you are going berserk and you may be ready to say I am defending known scams in the industry. That’s because most of you people don’t fucking read or do any research about shit before you spend your money on it. If you feel like these kinds of companies who offer their promotional services are scams because you read their pitches and somehow came up with “we can help you get a record deal and become a star” that totally is a you problem. Because companies like Real Rap Promo and Coast 2 Coast don't boast that they are record labels or that they can get you signed to a record deal or any of that shit. What they sell is a form of attention to you or your brand aka PROMOTION. Oh, they both definitely walk a murky and fudged line, and neither is completely free of blame in all of this. But coming up with slick wordplay and ways to make money by doing the sort of promotion they offer doesn’t automatically make them scam artist.

  I didn't want to harp on those specific companies or blogs too much because then it will seem personal. But this blog is about having an understanding of the music business as it is in 2016. Thing’s have changed so much and so quick in the digital age that people still cling to old ways of thinking and making money. Just like someone could call me, or any other blogger a “hack” writer because we did not go to college to be journalist (hell that would include MOST bloggers, people who run blog sites and many popular "media" entities)

 In turn, I take issue with calling someone who charges for what’s essentially a promotional service a “scammer” just because the way they make money may not sit well with you. In the age of Google, the Internet, and social media, I don’t see how someone can be “scammed” easily in the actual definition of the word. I keep hearing people ask: “who has Coast 2 Coast ever put on or who has gotten a deal from hitting their stage?” The answer is probably no one, and if that’s the answer that should be no surprise because that is not what the hell a promotions company is set up to do anyway.

  If you have a problem with “paying to play”, that doesn’t make the platforms like open mics, or showcases that charge for access to the audiences they've built up and provide a "scam". Which reminds me, I have NEVER heard of anyone who performed at A3C or SXSW getting a “record deal” or being “put on” from a performance on a main “official” stage by either of them. Somehow though, they never come up in angry blogs or rants about “preying on artists dreams” or “scams”. Is that because they have large crowds or well known “headline acts” at those events? Oh wait, the artists didn’t pay to hit the stage you say? I beg to differ, because I hear SonicBirds has a fee associated with applying for those. Someone told me SXSW pays $250 to artist (which doesnt even come close to covering travel) so you don't make any REAL money performing at those festivals. Not to mention, MANY of the promoters who have “official satellite” stages A3C & SXSW indeed charge artists to touch those “officially sanctioned” stages at those festivals. Plus, either way the artists still paid to travel to those events, and more than likely the event/stage got a ton of FREE promo to everyone in the artists’ networks because they are so proud to be hitting that stage.

  To me, this whole “scam” word is being thrown around when it doesn’t fit a little too much for me to sit back and say nothing. One Google search on me, not the K-100 Radio brand, but ME personally, BLIZM, will tell you all you need to know about whose side I am on in the music industry. That is and will always be the ARTIST. But to be more specific, it will be the side of the hard working, truly talented, humble, grinding artists that understands the music business and investing in themselves and their dreams. Not the ones who think a write up in a magazine, a stage at a festival, a spin in the club or a mixtape hosted by a certain DJ, not any ONE thing can make them skip the real grind and shoot to fame and fortune. All of those are good and can help when done right, but they must be used in conjuction with each other, and that takes a budget and planning. 

  And right now, I see too many publications, artists, managers, PR people and more that are quick to cosign the bashing of anything they feel should be free or cheap for them to access. I see a lot of people that call promotional services scams because they charge for shit. It’s like these “PRs” that tell me “you should never pay for media coverage” and turn their nose up at our interview services. They really expect me to plan, promote, allow access to our broadcast services and use of our studio time/equipment we paid for to interview and focus on their artist, for FREE. We don’t promote our services as a way to get a record deal. We don’t even guarantee how many people will hear it because we simply can’t make such a guarantee. But we do exactly what we advertise we will do every time without fail. I will be dammed if we provide all of that for FREE to someone with no real return in the form of new listeners or growth of our brand. If you or anyone else has an issue with that logic and stance I simply don’t give a fuck.

  And that's what this is all about: knowing and then getting what the hell you are paying for. If a company like Coast 2 Coast charges you $300 bucks to hit their stage, and they say they will have certain judges there, it’s up to you to decide if that is worth the $300 bucks. But it is NOT a scam if you pay, and when you show up the stage is set, the judges are there at the venue they advertise, and you get to perform. YOU GOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR! No one should expect to “get on” from a damn Coast 2 Coast stage or ANY stage because ONE performance will NOT put you on! ONE little article in a popular publication like XXL will NOT put you on. But if Real Rap Promo says “for $875 we can put you on our page that we have in XXL” then its up to you to decide if $875 bucks is worth having your face in XXL. But if you pay them, and your picture and article is in that issue, YOU DID NOT GET SCAMMED.

  What you DID do to me, and many others it seems, is invest your money unwisely. That is ON YOU. You did NOT do your research on what it is these companies provide. Then again, if you REALLY want to perform in downtown ATL, or at SXSW and you have NO PLUGS to ANY venue in Atlanta or in Austin and have a small budget, then guess what? Maybe the ONLY way you can make that happen IS buy paying people like Coast 2 Coast, who already has all that shit in place, the $300 bucks or whatever the SXSW ticket is they charge to perform on their stage. Is that a waste or unwise? That depends on exactly what the hell you expect from it.

  This damn blog is already MAD long and I still could go on and on about all of this. But I’m going to cut it short because unless you really think everything should be free just because as an artist you are “talented” or because you feel like as a manager your artist is “hot” or as a PR your client is “buzzing” then you get the gist of what I am saying. To all of you bloggers or writers who are quick to attack something YOU don’t FEEL makes sense to pay for, yet YOU DON’T FILL THAT SAME NEED OR OFFER THE SAME SERVICE/PLATFORM IN ANY WAY, OR POST A FREE ALTERNATIVE, you can shut the hell up too frankly. If the people over at DJ Booth had been as equally harsh on XXL, that actual damn publication that Real Rap Promo ran their chopped up AD page in, as they did Real Rap Promo themselves, it might not have bothered me as much. If Digital Music News didn't plug in promo for an artist they are friends with (Produkt) within the same damn article about Coast 2 Coast I might have left them out of this shit.

 Unless you can PROVE a company is literally taking money for a service and NOT providing the service (not what you think they are IMPLYING they can provide, but what they actually OFFER) then stop with all the LOOKING HARD at what someone is charging artists for.  If you are a platform, quit SCHEMING up slick ways to colorfully advertise what the fuck you really do! Don’t masquerade as a platform that can “help get you signed” or “make you an artist to watch” if all you do is provide a stage to rock or a promotional service, either in print or digital publications. The shit goes both ways and as you can see will hit the fan if you keep that up.

  All of you just STOP SCHEMING & LOOKING HARD.  Advertise what you really do and we won’t have this bullshit going on. Artists and their representatives need to again, understand and research what people do and provide. If it isn’t for you, KEEP IT MOVING. If you are a writer, offer your opinion AND INCLUDE ANOTHER WAY for artist to get the same thing you called a scam for FREE or again, shut the hell up. We know already know that paying $800 bucks to WorldStar for a video placement that rarely if ever generates real fans and only attracts troll comments is a waste. As much as I hate that kind of shit, at the end of the day if you pay it, it gets posted. Lets look at all of this the same way. 

  Because we all know that NO ONE is opening up for major acts, or getting in XXL, or performing in other cities or at large music festivals for FUCKING FREE unless they have WORKED HARD, HAVE REAL TALENT, SPENT THOUSANDS IN PROMOTING THEMSELVES AND THEIR BRAND, BUILD UP A REAL LOCAL BUZZ, TRAVELED TO OTHER CITIES AND BUILD BUZZ, AND REALLY HAD A MEAN GRIND.

But, who wants to do all that though, right?

Program Director
K-100 Radio


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SXSW 2016 Media Matters Event Coverage

Check out the live interviews we did at SXSW 2016 at the Media Matters event held by our partners Makin' It Magazine. We did interviews live on the scene at VooDoo lounge on 6th St. in the heart of all the action at SXSW. We chopped it up with Colonel Loud, Young Booke, Mike Sick, Teddy T and MANY more. You should definitely SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube page so you don't miss any exclusive content we post there. But we decided to share it here just it case.