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Two Concrete Ways To Gain Influence As A Rapper

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Progression is fickle in the musical environment. It’s both the most important method of measuring improvement, but at the same time, utterly meaningless unless it’s the right type of improvement. Over the past couple of decades, rapid advancements in technology have completely changed the way that we communicate with each other. In 2007, a majority of high school children owned flip phones, ten years later we have fully functioning computers capable of replacing our home desktops. In short, with the rapidly changing world, the path to stardom rapidly changes every single day. What may have worked for artists like Nas, Jay-Z, even Young Thug, may not necessarily work for artists in 2017. It’s important to realize that every artist begins at a different starting point on the road to glory. Take this in stride and create the right type of progress to push yourself in the correct direction.

This type of progress is what I wish to push in this essay that I’m writing today. While I love popular music as much as the next, I spend a majority of my listening time on Soundcloud. In addition to this, I am fortunate to call a number of excellent musicians my friends. Furthermore, I listen to around 75% of music links that I find online. Lastly, I read and listen to a lot of musicians interviews about coming up out of sheer curiosity. The point of explaining these points is that while I’m not directly affiliated with the music making experience, I know quite a bit about what it takes to “make it.” My ear for music constantly changes, allowing me to adapt to what’s hot at the moment as well as what will be hot next. As I sit on the sidelines watching artists’ stories unfold, I’ve come up with two factors that influence the rate of progression. For 2018 and beyond, I’d like to discuss these parameters so that all of the amazing hip hop artists I know are able to sprint to the finish line, regardless of where they started in the race to success. Quick Disclaimer: everything that I’m going to talk about is my own personal view. I’m well aware that these rules may not apply to everyone.

Create a spectacle.
In order to be anyone of importance in the world, you must be a spectacle. Act like an anomaly to attract an audience. Let’s face it; the days of getting noticed for sheer lyricism are long gone. It’s still possible in rare cases, like J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar (two artists who worked extremely hard to get in the positions that they are today) but don’t bank on it. That’s why so many artists go unfulfilled in their quest. Give the listener something to remember you by. What would you want your fans to say about you when they describe you? Bring the spectacle to your music. I’m not saying to have just one sound, but add similar characteristics so that we know can follow the growth in your music. Without remembrance, artists come and go quickly. Future’s trademark shtick of warbling charismatically originated on his Pluto album. It also consisted of songs such as Same Damn Time that featured traditional rapping styles. After seeing that his experimental sound garnered better reception, he would go on to use it heavily. This was the creation of the shtick.

Be confident in your shit. seriously.
One of the biggest killers of could-be great music comes from the artist: portraying their uncertainty on the track. Trust me, if you think you sound nervous you do. Even if it takes more than one hundred takes of making the song, keep going. Once you finish, begin experimenting with different cadences and pitches. Have a circle of friends who will give you an honest opinion. Make sure that you are confident in your work. Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out” oozes with confidence that makes itself evident from the first line. How did it manage to amass tens of millions of views over the course of a few weeks? People gravitated to the song. The confidence Tee Grizzley conveyed captured the listener’s interest. That and the beat is ridiculously beautiful. When your confident in your work, it shows.

Apply these two rules and you’ll be well on your way to success.

 

Editorials

.@uknowflyboi Is Ready

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We spoke to one of Detroit’s hottest rising lyricists about his journey so far and what he has coming up in the pipeline. This is one discussion that you don’t want to miss.

Who is FlyBoi Rich?

FlyBoi Rich is your average “hood” kid telling his stories from what he has seen and been through. I try to keep it 100, I just ain’t got no filter when it comes to what I talk about. I try to bring lyrics and bangers together. From the Eastside of Detroit Glenwood, I came up with a big circle tryna win together. I’m a sports junkie so it’s heavy sports talk in the music. There’s a lot of pain inside that I try to bring that out through the music so when you hear the music you are hearing me.


How did you get into the rap space?

I always played around with it. People around me started telling me I was nice and then I started taking it more serious. I jumped in it looking for whoever was trying to hear me spitting. I remember going around my neighborhood bookbag full of pressed up CDs selling and passing them out. I jumped in head first and aint look back since. I just started learning, getting dedicated, and grinding it out until I see the best results.


What’s your experience like in the Detroit rap scene?
It’s been cool. I’ve been around a few people that showed me some of the local areas early. It changed a lot as far as getting out face to face, it seems like social media platforms raise awareness a lot. Its all for the good, it’s bringing attention to the city I’m with it. Overall though, I’ve had a few good experiences and a few bad experiences from studio to venues but its all apart of the game.

Detroit’s becoming one of the biggest cities in rap, destined to overthrow hubs like Chicago and Atlanta. Why do you think that the city is now getting its shine?
I believe for sure the new talent coming out the city, plus they are going to gravitate to the surrounding areas to see what they can find. I think they always had an ear to us because of people like Em, Sean, and Dilla doing what they did and others. It was just a matter of time, can’t rush the process it’s perfect timing.


Do you think that this shine is overdue? Why or why not? 
Maybe so, because it started slowly picking up tho so can’t really say. The way artists are coming out now though I would say that it’s just the right time a few people either got deals or excelled higher last year than I seen in a while so I think the timing is right.


What was the recording process like for “New Jack City?”
New Jack City was inspired by the movie. I hopped in the studio one day after watching it. It kind of inspired the whole Black Movie Cinema Ep. Went in the studio got some of my “creative inspirations” together and I got to work. Writing process ain’t long for me, I go off whatever that I’m thinking about at the time. I usually try to get real witty with the words and play off them but I finished the track pretty quick think me N another artist Thatboy Hen dropped Adidas that day to. That goes crazy to me (video soon!)


Why do you think fans identify with your music so much? 
I think because it’s something good to the ears first and then the music aint trash it got a bounce so that catch em. It’s real and its something they can relate to. It gives them a vibe and you can understand it. Saying a quote or something that make a fan sit like damn what he say? I live for those moments. I think they identify because most of em seen me come from nothing and they can hear the passion in the music.

How do you think artists like Sada Baby and Tee Grizzley opened the door for Detroit artists?

I think Grizz started it out crazy with that first day out once Vezzo was gone. He got out and jumped out with that joint it hit the whole year. Getting people like Bron to hop on the gram and spit your shit gotta be making noise for real. Sada, on the other hand, showed how we have fun with it. His grind and dropping track after track showed our dedication and grind they fasho got they eyes open getting on bigger platforms performing at festivals they definitely repping for the city.

Who is your favorite rapper from Detroit? Why? Gotta say either Royce or Em prolly because they style is that Golden Era sound with those lyrics. I lean more so towards Royce tho just rock wit how his style is the lyrical part of the game I just latch on to heavy. Plus i can relate to the stories he tells in his music more.

What’s next for Fly Boi Rich? 
Going all out its non stop new Ep coming very soon new videos in the works as we speak. Getting out to more shows, putting out quality merchandise and music all 2019 trying to bring my circle up top like a halo if we blessed we neva stressed. More dedication more building more elevation all I’m looking forward to is touching as mmanypeople with this music as i can.


What’s your 2019 looking like?
So far its looking pretty good a few shows setup soon my own release party more videos and blessings. Hopefully partner up with a big label and get some of these ideas into works but for now it’s a constant grind constant drops be expecting to hear me a lot this year for sure.

Who are you looking forward to collaborating with? Why?
Royce probably because of the lyrical challenge it will bring and Sada because the energy we a bring to a track together. I rock with both they music heavy they on my playlist and it’s been on my head so when that time presents itself I’m waiting for it.

What’s one thing that you want to do for the city once you make it to the next level in the rap game

Bring back some of these old neighborhoods I use to go to or live at before its too late and somebody from out of town capitalize on it. We let too my people come and take our town profits away so I wanna keep some stuff I remember alive and build a few small businesses and try to help a couple of neighborhoods out with something at least a job or a decent spot to hang or be at comfortably.

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Editorials

Russ Is Right, Exploiting Drug Addiction For Money Is Wack

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Russ has made it clear for over a year now that he’s not for the glamorization of drugs for money. He recently got into a Twitter scuffle with Fat Nick, a known user of lean and narcotics, with the two debating about his fascination with drugs and how the latter makes money off of it. Nick frequently posts his drugs and merchandise that contains drugs online and sees nothing wrong with it. Russ however disagrees. And, after seeing both viewpoints, I daresay I agree with Russ. Glamorizing drugs is wack, point blank.

Rap music was founded in tough times. The best hip-hop to come out of the genre’s Golden Era focused on the hardships that people faced during daily life. Coping with these hardships came natural. Drug use isn’t new. However, the way that drug users are fetishizing these drugs is. Lean, Xanax, and Mollies have become as popular as the music itself. With rappers posting their drugs on social media and dedicating so much of their creative energies to showcasing their fascination with drugs, many kids try them out because the artists they look up to love it.

Nothing good comes out of this besides addiction and death. Xanax pills look fun until you’re trying your best to kick the habit while the withdrawal symptoms kick your ass. Let Mac Miller’s story inform you about the dangers of overdosing. Lil Tracy had a heart attack because of his drug usage. There’s nothing good to come out of using these drugs. Yet, new age rap stars align their aesthetics with drugs because its in and it sells.

This exploitation is no joke and needs to be talked about. Starting a conversation about it will enable the proper action to happen and, hopefully, the way that drugs are exploited for money can be addressed.

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Editorials

Why Ella Mai’s “Trip” Is Better Than “Boo’d Up”

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Everyone thought that “Boo’d Up” was the one. Ella Mai’s viral summer single became the talk of the season, a meme due to its widespread popularity across many age, racial, and gender groups. Many thought that Mai lucked up into the DJ Mustard-produced single, attributing much of the song’s success to the producer. But little did they know, “Trip” would come behind it and show that Mai is much more than a one hit wonder.

“Trip” released on August 3 and has been somewhat of a slow burn for the public. It’s a lot darker and moodier than “Boo’d Up”‘s ceiling-less mood. There’s a lingering piano that acts as the song’s lifeblood. When Mai comes in with her surprisingly deep voice, she offsets the equilibrium and swings things in her favor. As it goes on it become a catchy earworm that far outpaces the ceiling of “Boo’d Up”

With all of this said, her debut album, expected to arrive this fall, will be interesting to take in. Has she exhausted all creative avenues in her brilliant two first singles? Or will she continue pushing the culture? “Boo’d Up,” was one thing. “Trip” is another altogether, showcasing that she has a lot still left up her sleeve.

Listen to “Trip” below.

 

 

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