FREE Download: WonderFlow - Ethereal


It is nice to listen to jazzy hip-hop every now and then. Duo, WonderFlow, serve up their latest jazzy delight called Ethereal.

WonderFlow consists of hip-hop Renaissance man Hazey82 and his partner in rhyme Keen. I love the progression that the duo has made since their 2012 release Cookbook.

Ethereal features production from Hazey82 himself, Glad2Mecha and Elyon. Listen to the stream below.



You can download Ethereal by clicking the Download Now button below or support the duo by Buying the Project.


Premiere: Devize ft. Praverb, Aral & Sauze - The Fray


I haven't released material in 2 years and to be honest I have felt empty. Writing music is a therapeutic process for me and releasing my feelings to the masses serves as stress relief.

I missed the feeling of releasing music. In an effort to prep for new material, I decided to share a track that I have been sitting on for awhile. The song was premiered on Hip-Hop Kings earlier today.

Honestly, I wrestled with releasing this track. "The Fray" is an international track that features Germany singer Devize and Belgian hip-hop duo Aral & Sauze.

Devize and I have been working on material for years. Recently we connected on the 2012 song "Temporary Home". Devize is one of the most talented artists that I have worked with. His voice is gold!

I sat on this song for a few months and I decided to contact Aral & Sauze after listening to singles from their latest album Connection. I noticed that they had tracks with Dj Revolution, Evidence, Royce Da 5'9", Dwele and countless others. This piqued my interest even though I did not understand a word they were saying. I employed that "First local, then Global" mindset.

Check out the track below and Download it for FREE.


Top Hip-Hop Blogs for Artists Without an Online Presence


You spend the day scanning the bigger blogs dreaming about being posted there. You envision record deals waiting in your inbox. You visualize having Kanye West open for you. You have truly made it!

You hear a buzzing sound in the distance that catches your attention. Stumbling over a constructed tower of CDs, you clumsily approach your phone. The irritating sound that you heard is your alarm clock, your inbox is empty. You were having a dream!

Promoting music online is difficult especially if you are unknown. You are competing with a ton of artists online. You are fighting for attention.

A lot of artists focus on bigger blogs without building their name recognition or web presence. Take a seat right quick, I have something to share with you. The bigger blogs that you visit on a daily basis operate on traffic. These blogs have to "pump out content" to bring traffic to their site. As an artist without a "name" you do not have the traffic generating potential or TGP to get posted on these bigger sites.

Your music may be undeniable dope but it might get buried in the inbox of your favorite blogger. This is not your fault. Maybe you do not know the right people. Maybe your email pitch is all over the place. Of course you can hire a PR team or pay insane amounts of dinero for a feature but you do not have any money.

Look I am not saying that dope music will always get overlooked, sheesh look at the mysterious rise of Your Old Droog. I am just saying that a lot of factors play a role in blog coverage.

This post was inspired by The Ultimate Hip-Hop Blog post, in fact most of the blogs are pulled for the directory. I just wanted to give up and comers a starting point.

7th Boro

Act Live
The Anti-Society
Ashes and Drinks

The Brown Kid Blog

CLP Nation
Cocaine Phre$h
Cream.cz
Creative Beach

Da-What.com
Day & A Dream
Death Chamberz Music
Definition of Fresh
Discover Good Music
Dj Booth
The Double Truth

Endless Hip-Hop
The Essence of Rap & Hip-Hop
EveryDejaVu
Eye Know Hip Hop

Fresh Prince ATX

Gettin Up
Get Your Buzz Up
Ginger Slim's

Hip Hop Has Soul
Hip-Hop Life And Times
HipHop LT
HipHop Ruckus
HipHopScope

InboxEight
Intrigued Music Blog

JoeHova's Mindframe

Kevin Nottingham

Le 16 Bar
TheLeftHandSide
Lunch 'N' Leftovers
Lyrically Fit

Magazine Rap Swiss
Mike Trampe TV
Mimesi Society
Music Imperium
Muzic Junkies

Ok-Tho

Plantao Hip Hop
PreciseEarz

Rap Reviews
Rapzilla
Rawroots
Rhythm22

Shook One
Sizzle Nation
SoloBeats
Solo Vibes Music
SpitFireHipHop
Stimulate Your Soul
Street Hop Magazine

U Call That Love (UCTL) (Bi-Lingual)
Upcoming Hip Hop

You Better Believe It

Zona Suburbana

Take the time to build relationships. Being posted on blogs is not as difficult as you think.

Please SHARE this information if you find it helpful. Leave a comment below and let me know what blogs gave your music a chance.

Image provided by Know Life


The New Standard: Marketing your Music Online with Mike Trampe


Are you struggling with your music marketing strategy online? Do you feel like everything that you are doing is wrong?

You are not alone. Marketing your music online is not easy. Luckily we are blessed with people who are knowledgeable about this topic.

The New Standard is a web show by Platinum Producer Dj Pain 1 and touring manager/Blogger ShaH Evans. I believe that this will be a weekly thing and I will make sure that I share this valuable content with you.

The exceptionally skilled duo decided to interview marketing strategist/Blogger Mike Trampe of HipHopDX/MikeTrampeTV fame and he shares some relevant information about marketing music online. At 14:30, Mike Trampe talks about big blogs and what they look for. Later in the web show, Mike Trampe mentions my site, such a humbling experience.

The discussion is needed in the industry. I feel like a lot of artists lack the knowledge needed to become successful music marketers. The trio did a great job breaking down the process in a simplified way. Check out the entire web show below.


MIC:LEE Talks About his Writing Process & Improving As An Artist


I really like the message of "To This Day". What was your thought process behind the song?

"To This Day" is a part of the upcoming Canadian Artists Against Bullying Mixtape Vol. 1. My thought process was really just me analyzing things that I've had to go through in my life and interpreting it all in a metaphorical way while still throwing the positive twist on it all. I used to let peoples' words get under my skin and just eat at me, and I realize that's how a lot of people are going through their daily lives so I figured those people would relate to my own experiences.



I notice that you are a gifted writer that relies on syllable placement. Would you mind sharing your thought process with the masses?

My thought process when I'm writing is honestly different song-by-song. For "To This Day" I sat down, threw the beat on a loop and then wrote the entire song. I've found that the more and more I write, the less I think about things like syllable placement(instead, it just comes naturally while writing).

SoundCloud or Bandcamp?

Currently I find myself using Soundcloud a lot more simply due to the fact I'm not pushing any actual projects yet. However, for releasing actual projects and discovering new music I prefer Bandcamp. It's easy to use, has a lot more customization/options than Soundcloud, and finding new music is simple.

You also make beats as well right? Do you find it difficult to rhyme over your own production?

Yes, I do make beats as well! As for writing over my own production, the difficulty depends on the beat. Some beats I make are that head-nodding boom-bap kind of sound which I find it easy to rap over while other beats are just experimental in every way and I find myself playing with the flow a lot more on them.



What drives you to improve as an artist?

A few different things. When I was just starting out writing rap, I had plenty of people tell me I would make it nowhere. I feel as though I have to prove myself to quite a few people and as a result of that I'm always striving to do better and better.

However, what drives me even more than that are the supporters. When someone tells you how great your song was and how much they related to it, you just get a great feeling inside that isn't really matched by anything else. Beyond that, whenever I just take time to look at the bigger picture of things and even just realize I'm working with some of my idols I find myself extremely motivated.


Skyyhook Details Radio Work, Interviewing Sway & Having a Limited Social Life


Would you mind sharing a brief introduction for those who are not familiar with your work?

Sure! I am an editor at AllHipHop.com and TheUrbanDaily.com as well as an on air contributor for "The World Famous Wake Up Show" with King Tech, Sway and DJ Revolution on Sirius/XM's Shade 45. And after all of that (laughter) I am the General Manager of Skyyhook Radio which is a station that caters to Independent Hip Hop and RNB artists world wide! I'm excited because we will be relaunching the site in a few weeks!

You touched on your radio work. What do you enjoy the most about working in radio?

You know, it's funny because it really depends on the day that you ask me! I love being on Skyyhook Radio because anything goes! (Laughter) I'm able to play what I want and say what I want and I work with a crew of craziness! My team is so amazingly funny that they make each show a blast to work on! Some of them are very thoughtful and their shows are quite helpful to people and I love being a part of that too. I just like the creativity and freedom of it all. And when I get tweets from the other side of the globe from people who are listening...man...that just puts everything into perspective you know? It makes the hard work so worth it.

At the same time, I am also in love with my job on The Wake Up show as well. Breaking artists on a show that has broken most of our favorites...is a thrill! I still shake my head each week in disbelief that the fellas allowed me to be a part of their show!

King Tech has been the big brother/Hip Hop Radio God Father that I never had and it's truly been a blessing learning from the masters. Those three guys are so dope...I'm just honored that they thought my ear and judgement were good enough to be a part of what they do! I've been a fan forever and to have Tech and Sway as mentors and DJ Revolution spinning the music and artists that I recommend...it's like...how do I top that? I'm not sure that I can! (Smiles)

And I'd be super remiss if I didn't touch on the feeling that I get when an unknown or relatively unknown artist gets broken on our show and they first find out that we are playing them! There's nothing quite like that feeling of getting to hear their excitement and sometimes their disbelief! (giggles) It's like you can actually hear their smiles through the phone and you know for maybe the first time they feel like all their hard work is being recognized...they are so happy and I'm happy for them. It's a win win!


Recently you had the opportunity to interview Sway and ask him questions (talk about a role reversal haha). Can you describe the feelings associated with the process?

Ummm...the feelings associated with the process? Ha terror, nervousness and excitement all rolled into one! (laughter) I was scared man I won't lie! He's the master of the interview and he's my boss! So, I knew I had to get it right! I wrote and rewrote those questions about 40 or 50 times no lie! I actually decided on those particular questions in the Sirius/XM lobby! I just wanted to allow everyone to see the personal side of Sway. He works so freaking hard and so much...yet the public never really has the chance to see that side of his personality. So, I tried to ask things that would allow him to share a more personal part of himself. But yeah I was afraid! (laughter) There were a lot of deep breaths taken before, after and during that whole interview!





You also write for numerous sites. How are you able to balance radio, article writing and having a social life?

A social life? What is this you speak of? I know nothing of this! (laughter) Getting to have my dream career comes with a price. Unfortunately for me that price would be my social life. Sad but true. When you write seven days a week few have the patience to put up with you! I can't be too far from wi-fi and little things like that slowly grate on people's nerves. But I totally get it. I signed up for this not my friends etc.

Plus, Chuck Creekmur and Jerry Barrow have to be able to trust that I'm out here representing the right way...so that alone is reason enough for me not to be falling out of shows tipsy etc. Basically, I'm the biggest square that ever lived within Hip Hop...I'm aware of it and make no apologies for it you know? People are counting on me to have my stuff together 24/7 so I'm trying to live up to that the best way I know how. But I admit it would be nice to let go once in a while too! (Smiles)

A lot of artists focus solely on blogs to build their buzz. These same artists seem to disregard the power of radio. What advice would you share with these artists?

Hmm, I guess I would say that in today's world you have to be able to have your fingers in many pies at one time just in case one thing doesn't go the way you planned there is a back up waiting to go or already in progress. Artists spend too much time focusing on just one thing and it hurts them every time. They should really develop a team that has components that are good in various areas. Diversifying your strategies of attacking both the internet as well as the radio is the smartest thing you could do as an artist.

And in the end you are only as good as your team...if your team is full of people who know less than you do about the industry...man good luck! You need professionals who know how to get you out there properly.


5 Strategies for Building & Sustaining A Twitter Chat


I have been following and participating in #blogchat for almost two years, would you mind briefing explaining the premise of #blogchat?

The idea behind #Blogchat is that once a week, bloggers can come together and talk blogging, share tips and ideas with people that love blogging as much as they do. It really helps to bounce ideas and questions off other people that are going through the same things you are, and who have the same point of view.

The thing that I love about #blogchat is the sense of community. People take time to read and respond to tweets. What made you gravitate to a Twitter Chat?

I saw that Twitter was really taking off in popularity around 2009 and the tool was a great way to facilitate real-time interactions and discussions, so it seemed like a better vehicle than another site like Facebook or Google Plus. Some other tools might be better for reviewing a chat after it's over, but I still think Twitter is the best for real-time discussions.

Blogging has evolved over the years. Bloggers are now gravitating towards adding a voice to their message as evidenced by the increase in podcasts and video blogs. Why does the written word continue to hold value?

If nothing else, blog posts are still great for reference. It's just easier to share key ideas when they are in written form, it's easier for me to share a post and point a friend toward a quote in the 3rd paragraph versus telling them to listen to a podcast, especially the point made starting at the 2 minute mark. Plus, we will always love to read good content, that's never going to change.

Do you have any predictions on the future of blogging?

I think you'll continue to see video, pictures and audio more interwoven into blog posts because it's all about using additional forms of media to make your larger point more compelling and interesting.

Would you mind sharing 5 tips for someone looking to start a Twitter Chat?

1 - Figure out what your focus is. What do you want to talk about, who are you trying to reach, and why do you want to connect with them.

2 - What's in it for the participant? You have to know what you want from the chat, but you also need to know what everyone is going to get if they participate. Here's what you get, here's what I get. Answer that and your chances of having a successful Twitter chat go up dramatically.

3 - Pick a day and time and stick with it. Think about who you want to connect with and when they will be available to join you. Now you may have to change days and times a bit at the start, but as quickly as possible you need to get the day and time set. Once people know that your chat is every Wednesday at 5pm, then they can promote it.

4 - Make sure the participants know that it is THEIR chat as well. Give them ownership, empower them to help you pick topics, let them showcase themselves, and especially go above and beyond for the people that show up every week. When people see that you are empowering them to have more of a say in the chat, that encourages them to view it as 'their' chat, and they'll go to bat for you and the chat.

5 - Think about how the chat will be moderated and how big you want it to be. With #Blogchat I purposely lean toward 101-level topics because I want to increase participation. I've learned that most people are smarter than they give themselves credit for, but in order to encourage most people to jump into a chat, the topic needs to be more 101 level so they feel more comfortable sharing their opinions.

As for moderation, most chats are set up so there's several questions posed to the group throughout the chat. I prefer to have fewer questions with #Blogchat, but you need to decide which way will work best for your chat and which way your participants want to go.


 

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