I seriously think that we, as a people, need to learn how to communicate on a more consistent basis, myself included. Maybe then, I wouldnt get so much flack from my so-called fans and supporters. Now, if I'm wrong for what I'm about to say, then maybe this is directed towards you. However, I said that I am NOT biting my tongue for anyone in 2012, and I meant that. So check it out. When I send out a message using the tools provided by these websites (Reverb Nation, Fan Reach, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), I am sharing my thoughts with everyone who has added me as a friend or become a fan. What I have yet to figure out is why I am getting deleted when I send out messages to everyone. Why did you add me if you didnt want to be bothered? I dont add anyone for the sake of 'number padding', meaning, I'm not adding anyone to make my numbers look better than everyone else. We do TRUE FANS 'round here. I question whether or not any of you have even tried to build with everyone you save in your friend lists, let alone your top 10. Some of us dont even talk to our own families but will be online all day long talking to random people on random websites. Which is another thing. Why are so many people being selective as to what they respond to? You will comment on what happened on the last episode of 'TI And Tiny', but let some of us aspiring artists ask you to download a FREE SONG and you find every excuse as to what went wrong. Also, in saying that, THANK YOU to everyone who supported me by voting/downloading my song for the Hard Rock Rising contest, and thanks to those who at least made the attempt, even if you couldnt get through. And thanks to those who re-posted the link to download on their own pages, cause yall didnt have to do that for me. I really appreciate it. To those who chose to ignore it...think about what you're doing. You complain about the state of music but dont try to help those who want to make a difference. It's just like those who work harder at trying to be off on the MLK holiday but dont make any effort in capturing Dr.King's dream, then wanna complain about how life is so unfair. Which brings me back to the 'deleting' issue. WHY???!?!?! If you dont wanna be a part of change, then so be it. But, dont add yourself in the first place if your heart wasnt truly in it. I am making the effort to build with everyone who even clicked on my name. Can you say the same?
Yeah, so, the way I see it, there are some people out there that talk a good game, but are as phony as a counterfeit Ben Franklin. Supporters. You know, those people that tell you one thing to make you feel good, but aint never there when you need them. Those same people that tell you that you are this and that, but cant go in depth...but they SUPPORT YOU. Yeah, them. The same people that say, "Man your music is soooo good, you sound better than most people already famous and on the radio", but they dont know the name of one of your songs, albums, or even a quote of the song they supposedly like. Those SAME PEOPLE who will watch you post on social networks saying you need help, but dont chime in until you post something else that is totally irrelevant. And then when it's all said and done, they tell you that your approach is all wrong, or that you sound bitter or defeated...yet, let someone else have the exact same argument, and that person is right on point in their eyes. And, do you know where these people come from? Right out of your own backyard. For those who DONT KNOW what support is, let me explain it to you so you have a crystal clear understanding. SUPPORT means that when someone is trying to do something positive, you help them out. If it's something you cant help with, then make it known to that person instead of lying to them and leading them to believe it's all good when it's not. Time is money! People are always complaining about how the stuff on the radio is garbage and that someone needs to make a change. Well, the people pushing for change cant get the help they need, because the people that SAY they support them ARE NOT doing so. Learn a song. Call the radio stations and make them find it. Go to a show, and if you cant make a show, tell someone else that might wanna go. Start spreading the word. Tell 3 friends so they can tell 3 friends. Do more for that person instead of saying 'I like your stuff'. What exactly do you like? Be specific. Dont get caught in the lie. A lot of times the artist doesnt know how to improve on any unknown problems because they arent aware of a problem, due to sugar-coating. Stop it!! Supporters at least know the name of a song you got that they think is hot. Some know quotes. Some know the album titles. Some BUY all the music...which is another thing. It doesnt take much to click on a FREE music link. Moreover, true supporters wont be bothered by paying for your stuff, and that's if they TRULY support you like they say they do. Most supporters LIE, and that's part of the reason the music industry is like it is today. Same songs played every 30 minutes instead of every 3 hours like back in the day, when you really couldnt wait to hear your favorite song, and you had no choice but to go out and buy the records. Bottom line...everybody is not out to get you, if that's the real reason why you dont support or lie about it. However, be for real. Dont lie to the person with their hands extended out to you. If you cant--or DONT--want to help, then say nothing instead of making a falsehood.
I'm gonna make this blog short and sweet. How many times have you seen your favorite celebrities or artists on social networking sites and tried to speak with them? How many times have you felt like it's not worth it to speak or befriend them because you feel like you wont get a response? As artists, we gain our status because of the fans who listen to our music, buy our music, go to our shows, and keep us in rotation. The artist has a job of keeping the fans happy by putting out great music. However, in an image-based world of entertainment, the artist/celebrity owes it to the fans to build with some, if not all of their fans, especially if they are going to be on a social networking site. Cause it would seem like if they have time to be on Facebook or Twitter, they could befriend/message/poke/chat/gossip/whatever, dont ya think? Maybe I'm wrong, but to not get a response back from someone that I paid good money for their CD, is almost like being snubbed for an autograph when they are standing right in front of you. True, the life of a recording artist is hectic, but not impossible. I'm saying this to say that, if you get the time, build with your fans. Don't miss out on your support system. Fans can turn on you quickly. If a fan clicks on your music, thank them. Find out why they liked it or not liked it. This can help you better understand what your fans are looking for. Humble yourself. Remember when you didnt have fans. Dont be stuck up when you get them.
It's been a career. When I was in high school, I never really thought I would gain notoriety, or popularity. I never thought I'd be well-respected by my peers. Back then, this really felt like another thing to do to pass the time. But, when I first hit that stage at the school talent show, it turned into something I really wanted to do. Not just entertain, but to reach someone with words. It hasn't been easy. In fact, there hasn't been one day that felt like a cakewalk. In 19 years, I've seen quite a few things. I've seen friends come and go. I've seen artists come and go. I've seen artists die unexpectedly. I've felt joy. I've felt unbearable pain, like the pain of losing my mom, who was one of my biggest fans. A lot of people that I did music with then, I no longer associate with now, including lifelong family members. I've had a lot of growing up to do. And after dropping 11 albums, nearly 300 songs, producing nearly 1,000 tracks, and working with at least 50 artists, I still have room for improvement. My future may or may not hold another album. I may not do another live performance. But, I look back at the things I've accomplished in 19 years as an emcee, a producer, a poet, a singer, and an engineer. The one thing that still holds true is my desire to get a message heard, and put a hand out there for those that need it. How do I improve on what I've built without something to work on and someone to work with? As I begin to move into the next phases of my music career, I think of when I started, when I wanted help and there weren't very many hands out there. Now I have a wealth of knowledge. I lose my focus at times and I have to stop and think, or look at a wall full of history in my sound lab, or listen at each album I've recorded. I take a look at the new generation that is getting their feet wet with what was known to the ancestors as 'our voice', and wonder if they have any idea how hard it was to create the paths that were laid to even speak on microphones in rhyme. But, the thing about this craft is this. If you touch one person with anything you have to say, then you have succeeded in your goal. Keep building on it and eventually things with come together the way you want them to.
So, Ive been on Reverb Nation long enough to know how things operate. You can now only add 25 fans per day. You develop your fanbase, you listen to music, you build, you greet folk, you build your equity points, blah blah blah. I get it. But, here's one thing I've had to learn to do--BE HUMBLE. If I add you as a fan, it's because something on your page drew my interest, be it your bio, your music, or both. Many artist's pages I've clicked on, I've gotten a chance to listen to a track or two, or more, and I've offered feedback, and I've built with a few people on here. And if I get fanned back, I've greeted every single artist right back, out of respect. Im working on getting a chance to listen to everyone's music that I have not listened to. Now, let me say this because it needs to be said, and shoot me if you dont like it. There is NO NEED to be a smartass when you respond back after I have greeted you, thinking Im just trying to make myself look good. I never thought I'd have to say this on here. But, some of you artists think you are Hollywood already, and that means, you think you're better than you really are. If you go back and read my last blog entry, some of you STILL need to go back and work on your songs, and even your bios. None of you are being pressured to listen to my music, and all I can ask is that you stop by the page and take a look around, and gain something from the visit. Not gonna be mad if you dont listen to anything. Do what you do. But, dont be disrespectful towards others trying to make it. Im not sitting in front of my computer 24-7. And believe, if I didnt say a word to you at all, you'd probably call foul then too, so what's it gonna be, John Q. Artist?? (They arent a real artist here, just using that name as an example that you could be any of a number of these artists that fall into this category. Yeah, people need clarification these days.) Im grateful to every fan that has clicked on my page and got something from my page. I am returning the favors. Im not here to boost my rank out of a need to be seen. I still have every message I have sent to folk on here, so before you think I dont support you, I can go find the message I sent to you. So, as I've said for years now....IF ALL ELSE FAILS, YOU MUST STAY HUMBLE.
OK, this needs to be said in the worst way. Now, in no way am I proclaiming myself to be perfect, biased, or some kind of preacher or anything like that, but in nineteen years of doing music, I do have an ear for what sounds right, be it lyrics, production, or sound quality, because Im critical of my own work and how it is presented to the public. Over the past few months Ive been taking the time to listen to some of the artists that I have befriended on Reverb Nation. Some of you have decent sound and have been working on your skills and that is to be commended. However, there are some that leave a lot to be desired. Ive heard distortion in tracks. Ive heard lyrics way out of pocket. Ive heard runs that dont belong in songs. Ive heard lack of feeling/passion in delivery of songs. Im saying this to say, that you really wanna start stepping your game up and putting forth your best efforts, because everybody seems to be trying to get on nowadays, and your standout quality needs to surpass mainstream radio, to really fit in. Making comments to artists that ask to hear their music is great, but also be real with them. If they need to tighten up their sound, tell them, because if they dont know, they will continue thinking they dont have any problems to deal with. And again, Im not saying I have all the answers cause I dont...but Ive been there. I have 11 albums to prove it. So, build with the producers and engineers on here. Get some original tracks to compliment your remakes. Take time with your words and your writing. Sound like money. Im willing to help whomever would like it. Peace.
Yes, there are new songs on here. Well, they are at least new to Reverb Nation, and to some of you. Im getting you prepared for my next venture in music, so come and get it. The food is ready. No dessert until you're done.
So, what better way to build my Reverb Nation page than to use a snow day. I aint seen this much bad weather in Dallas EVER. Not in one week like this. I missed two days of work in the same week and Im not sick. I have no cold water in my kitchen as my pipes are frozen. Both cars covered in snow and ice. However, Im back in the lab working on the final cut for the new album, coming this April. And hopefully, it wont be snowing then like it did the first day of Spring in 2010. Yall stay tuned, my return is imminent...(did I spell that right?)
OK, so Im gonna go ahead and get the 11th album off the ground. The mixdown is decent, may add a few other things to the overall playlist, then its off to press and prepare for the photo shoot. It's looking like April will be pretty good. Stay tuned...