Friday, February 27, 2009

Raise The Bar.

So I'm having a convo with my man and he says to me, 'Yo D, what's going with the music man? It's crazy! Ain't nothing moving me!' Personally, I take issue with that statement (keep in mind my man is a musician himself). My answer to him was simple. Maybe over-simplified. "Provide better music."

It's amazing how many musicians complain about the quality of material out in the music universe. As little as five years ago, I would/could accept this as a valid argument. But not now. Not today. The playing field continues to level out between major label ops and indie grassroot movements. By no means am I saying that the distribution process is fair or balanced, but I am saying that the quality of material standards can be challenged.

To my fellow musicians, show 'em how we do this son! The public will settle if that's all they are served. It's like the only fruit stand in the neighborhood and they knowingly continue to serve bad produce. The public can either eat bad fruit, eat no fruit... or find some new suppliers. The consumer can't find your better product if you don't set up shop correctly.

Stop making excuses. Set the standard. Raise the bar.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Power of The Network.

Font sizeI think of athletes and entertainers as superheroes. Not of the "role-model" variety, but as individuals that possess some kind of base power - super strength, super speed, etc. But after the base power, we each have that "something unique" about us that makes us an individual in a certain class. But even with the power, no man is an island. The more like-minded heroes you get working with you, the better the possibility of urban renewal.

If you get the chance to work with folks, do so. If you can seize an opportunity to work with someone, do so. Know who you are and what you do first. Then realize what it is that you bring to the fight and associate with forward-thinking, upwardly mobile individuals. See how your power can benefit their cause and offer it. Trust me, you'll get it back ten-fold. But let me be clear... move with movers. Innovate with innovators. Go get it with go-getters.

Surround yourself with success, and you'll have no choice but to breed success. Surround yourself with smart folks who challenge your thought process, and your brainstorms will become tsunamis of brilliance... maybe even referred to as genius!

There is no room for insecurity. Know who you are... first. The network become much more powerful that way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Your Passion.

So I got to see Smif n' Wessun perform at Public Assembly in NYC. I also got to see SleepWalkas, Cavalier, and Homeboy Sandman rock (Big up my youts!). I saw the hunger of up-and-coming MCs as well as the mastery of veteran MCs as they performed fan favorites. They all shared a common bond, the passion for what they do. That always keeps the fire in the pit of my stomach burning. How can you not be inspired to move mountains?

My point? Have you lost/found your passion? You know, the love for that something that makes your eyes light up when talk about it? That something you'd do... income or no income?

Some of us may still be on the path to discovery, while others just may have given up on it. A couple of days ago, a friend of mine asked 'do you still have that hunger?' My answer was an emphatic "YES!" My train of thought was "why wouldn't I?"

Success is based on your personal goal(s). I have always been taught to set a goal and execute. What I wasn't told was the execution and eventual completion of that goal was driven by passion. It is this passion that keeps you moving when everybody's telling you "you can't....". It is this passion that gives you strength to endure the steep uphills you've conquered and the even steeper uphills ahead of you.

This Valentine's Day, as we all revel in chocolate and floral arrangements, I challenge you find or rediscover your passion, not just with the person you're with, but within you. 

There's no strength greater than a passionate person.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So I just attended my sons' African dance recital. What was cool was not the fact that they did a great job, but that they had the courage to do it. At 6 or 7 years old I didn't even want to speak in front of a class of 20 much less perform for an auditorium filled with folks. They performed with confidence. They performed with pride. As the crowd applauded, they smiled with a sense of accomplishment. And so did I.

The lesson I hope that they walked away with is that anything is possible. Set the goal, create a plan and execute. Whether it's performing for an audience or simply following through and completing something, set, plan and execute. Make that phone call, write that email, finish that chapter.