FREE Download: P.Pull - Boatshoes & Chinos

Here is a project from England based beatmaker P.Pull called Boatshoes & Chinos. P.Pull is definitely inspired by J.Dilla as evidenced by some of the titles ("Forever Dilla" and "I Wanna Be"). I took a chance and listened to this project and I definitely like what I heard. Check it out.

Behind the Beats: JS aka The Best Part II

First and foremost how have you been JS?

I'm doing great man, just been progressing and enjoying life.

The last time I interviewed you, you were prepping for a dual release with Wale called Something for Nothing. How was the project received and are you excited about Wale's upcoming release?

Yeah, the response was great, I've gained a lot of loyal supporters just from that project. I'm definitely excited for the homie Wale's album Ambition, I really feel like this is his time and this go around he has the right team, label and support from his fans so I wish him the best of success! 11-1-11 is gonna be a monumental day here in DC! And for music!

In our last interview, you expressed the goal of securing major placements. Recently I noticed via the social media that you produced a new Lloyd Banks track called "Turn It Up." The interesting thing about this track is that you produced and the beat and you appear on the hook. Describe the feeling associated with working with Lloyd Banks.

Man that track was actually done a month after Something About Nothing dropped in June, and the crazy thing is that track was actually for another major artist that I was in the studio with when I was in New York and we had started writing to it but they never finished it. So when the Banks opportunity came it only felt right to put it out a couple weeks before The Grand Cinema 2 drops because I wanted to see the response from everyone, and the record is doing incredibly well!

On 11/8/11, you will drop a conceptually driven instrumental album called The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing. I like the creative concept of utilizing popular movie themes and re-inventing them. Describe the process of selecting popular movie themes. Was it a time consuming process?

It's a very long and tedious process when making this project because I knew how many people were really inspired from the 1st Grand Cinema and it wasn't just artists, I've had film makers use my music, and all types of people around the world really showing me love and as of right now it's still doing crazy numbers. So it was pressure to maintain a sort of balance between making this album so that the average listener will enjoy it, the artists out there will enjoy it, and to shock this industry with a brand new exciting sound.

The album was originally finished in July, but it went through several phases because I had some like really incredible new sounds and breakdowns throughout the album that people have literally never heard before and I knew it would be just too much...because this album is like an escape from your reality into MY world and my world has no rules and can get a little crazy (Laughs). I had to take out certain things and create that balance as I was saying before but I'm really pushing a lot of boundaries with all the music that made the final cut. And that's what I miss the most about music...being INNOVATIVE!

How does this project differ from the first Grand Cinema instrumental album?

When you hear the very 1st song on this album you will notice a HUGE amount of growth and progression because that's where I'm at in my life. At the same time you can hear the pain, struggle and perseverance in the music. Really LISTEN to the skits that play throughout the album. The album really just reflects the sub-title of the album "All or Nothing." I've come to a point in my life where if I decide to do anything no matter how small or how big, I'm going to either give it my ALL or not do at all.

I'm still young but I'm not in high school anymore, and time doesn't wait for anyone. I didn't grow up having anything handed to me, I came from a family that has always had to struggle whether it was financially or in the environment we lived in. I feel like it's on ME now, I'm a grown man now, I want better for myself and them, and I feel like I have the potential to change that through my music and my vision. I feel like I have the potential to change the WORLD and I WILL! I'm very passionate about this and I know in my heart this is what I'm meant to do. Someone once told me that "its easy to cosign and support someone who is successful and made a difference but where was the support, love, and all the co-signs on his journey and road to success" and that's exactly how it is for me right now...but as time goes on it gets a lot easier for me to tell those who genuinely support me. Plus there is a LOT of live instrumentation on the album which was all done by myself.

People should support The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing because...

It is PASSION! It has a unique sound and this coming from a young producer that is taking on so many roles: Producer, artist, Multi-instrumentalist, marketing, distribution, engineering, my own photography and videography, hosting different events, being a full-time college student, and still balancing a regular life without any management or anything JUST ME...I don't even know what a normal life is anymore tho (Laughs).

Your work ethic is definitely inspirational. What motivates you to continue to put out quality product? Is your work ethic innate or a product of learned behavior?

Thanks I appreciate it, my work ethic is definitely a combination of both. I come from a family that when the time gets rough you gotta really get your grind on, nobody in this world is gonna hand anything to gotta go get it if you want it! I also learned how to hustle at a young age and have an entrepreneurial mindset and this goes back to when I was in elementary school (Laughs). And being humble goes a long way!

How is college life treating you?

It's great man, I'm currently a sophomore at Howard. I don't know how I balance everything that I do but man!...honestly...I have so much fun all the time...I know a lot of people think that I'm always working or whatever but people that really know me, know how goofy I am and how much fun I have on a daily basis. And the funny thing is on a weekly basis someone will walk up to me or yell my name from across the yard "Yo, are you JS? The Best? The producer who did this or that..." and they are always surprised that I'm actually JS because they see a different side of me when I'm just out and I never really talk about being a producer or anything like that I just enjoy life to the fullest. The response that I get from people who show me love is definitely humbling. Sometimes it feels like I'm Clark Kent, and some days I'm Superman (Laughs).

What projects are you currently working on?

I'm on a five project spree right now till May. The 1st project is The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing which is done of course. Right now, I'm finishing up this Mos Def EP, that should drop in January. And then I have 2 album projects dropping in February and March which I can't speak on right now but I will say its sounding incredible. And the last of the five project spree is a R&B/Pop instrumental EP that is going to be released in May right before summer starts because it has that feel good vibe on the project.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

You can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Also my official website should be up by the time The Grand Cinema 2 is up. Visit My Website when the project drops.

Any final thoughts?

Believe, Show Growth, Evolve, Change The World

We Don't Make Moves, We Make Movements!

- JS aka The Best

Video: Nadjim Algerino & Lostsun - Zuidwest Undercover

"Zuidwest Undercover" is the first single from the collaborative album from Nadjim Algerino and Lostsun called Zuidwest Undercover. This track highlights the rhyming skill of Algerino and the thumping production from Lostsun. I decided to comment on the video, via YouTube, although I did not understand the language (hip-hop is universal though haha).

I love the scratching from Dj Rockid and the creative direction of the video (Shout out to Itchy Fingers).

If you like this track make sure you support the single on iTunes.

FREE Download: Keor Meteor - Stealing Music

The homie Keor Meteor delivers his latest project to the masses. It is called Stealing Music and the talented French based beatmaker presents another concept driven instrumental project. Art Vandelay and frequent collaborator Dj Ivan6 join Keor for this solid project. Check it out...

Interview with Josh from Sphere of Hip-Hop

First and foremost, who is Josh?

A regular guy who loves God and hip-hop. I'm honored to serve. I'm married to Janny. She's awesome and supports what I do. I'm a baseball junkie and have taken to a new hobby of BBQ. Right now I own two smokers and have recently figured out how to smoke ribs pretty well. Turkey and pork shoulder are also solid but I still have a way to go before I think either is "perfect". Chicken has been elusive, I suck at that haha. Going to try a brisket later this year.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and later went to live with my father from grade 6 through high school. In 1995, I went off to college in Rochester, Minnesota and that's where my wife and I call home.

How long have you been immersed in hip-hop culture?

My introduction was in grade 2 and I was about 7 years old. That's when I first developed a love and appreciation for the culture. That's about 27 years now... I'm old haha!

You are the brainchild behind Sphere of Hip-Hop and the site has currently been active for 13 years. Talk about the struggles that you encountered when the site was new. What have you learned throughout the years?

Wow, it's been anything but easy... ever. There was no blueprint for it and I had to stumble (and fail) through it as I went. Early on, it was more about figuring out what people were looking for and serving that up. It's changed a lot over the years, for better and for worse, but the core seems to be the same... information.

I've learned many lessons about perseverance and God's faithfulness. The latter being a recurring lesson I seem to re-learn often ;)

Lately I've discovered and settled on doing what we do. No need to worry about occupying a space everyone else is... this is how we do things here... not a persistent reaction to the competition or anything. Finding that resolve has brought a great deal of peace and focus.

About 18 months ago I started over again at ground zero. Everything I was doing music wise needed to be started over. Due to some circumstances that really hurt me professionally and financially, I had allowed myself to get discouraged. That opened the door for me to develop some poor habits and it stole both my focus and my motivation to serve.

At this moment, I'm dangerously close to being a well oiled machine. A lot of processes have been re-thought so that I'm more efficient. I have a better team around me and we all enjoy serving for the same reasons. That's allowed me to unload much of the burden I had been placing on my shoulders.

All in all, things are in a better place with Sphere of Hip-Hop than ever before. It's frustrating to consider what "could have been" had I learned all of this sooner but... I'm thankful for where God has me now and for whatever might be in the future.

It seems that throughout the years the website has continued to adjust to the ever changing music climate. Describe the importance of evolving and the benefits of not being stagnant.

For the most part, we've remained rather progressive. We were able to see the value in MP3 downloads as a high value item for our visitors. That helped build a lot of loyalty for the site and obviously allowed us to accomplish many parts of the vision for Sphere of Hip-Hop.

Change is uncomfortable, especially when it's not on your own terms. Some changes, particularly in how people are supporting music, haven't been easy at all. Music piracy has been a tough matter to figure out. Some valid points are raised (ex. prices too high, desire for previews etc) and others are just flat out wack (ex. it's not a physical product so I'm not really stealing, I wouldn't buy it anyway, I just want to preview it all before I buy etc). I mean, I get all that but it's made things very difficult for artists, record labels and even websites like our own to simply survive. This has forced a great deal of positive and some negative changes.

Not being stagnant is tough to do unless you're well in tune with your audience. It's really easy to simply "do" things without understanding why you're doing it or perhaps the best ways to do it. That has helped us to remain relevant to our audience and adapt to any changes coming.

What did you enjoy most about being a General Manager/Head A & R for Uprok Records?

Being able to do a few things that couldn't have been done at other record labels. Everyone in the market was doing very very "safe" hip-hop music with a few exceptions. Those few short years allowed for much of the receptiveness we have now for the genre. When I started in 2001, it was very closed off and not very open to hip-hop and R&B.

I found a great deal of pride in accomplishing things that everyone said wasn't possible.

What is the most valuable thing that you learned while you were employed there?

A few actually... Being servant minded, not being afraid to ask for things at radio/media/tv, maximizing budgets.

Your marketing expertise provided a platform for a multitude of artists as evidenced by assisting with projects from Mars ILL, Peace 586 and more. When did you come to the conclusion that marketing and promoting artists was your niche?

It's hard to say when exactly but I knew I had a natural feel for it shortly before I got hired on at Uprok. Others saw it before I did. I never felt like any of it was rocket science... I made a plan, learned from my mistakes and worked hard.

What is the hardest part about maintaining an influential website?

Balancing time and finances. There is a constant need to prioritize and be flexible to shift those priorities if the circumstances warrant. Finances can really make or break it. If we saw a consistent flow of extra revenue, we could exponentially do more.

What are your interests outside of hip-hop?

As mentioned earlier... I love baseball and BBQ. For exercise, I play basketball a few times per week. If I had a bit more time, I'd love to travel more. Musically, I enjoy a lot of electronic music especially downbeat stuff. It often helps me through a long work day.

What is your favorite biblical book?


The music climate has shifted from the purchase of physical items to the purchase of downloadable items. How did your store adjust to the change in technology?

Slowly haha! For real, if we had the resources... I'd have done it 3-4 years ago. A custom solution would have consumed an entire years budget to create... and then the time. I sat back a bit too much on it but the current (and new) spot has been good. It's a bit of a change for our customer base but the early feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

I'm still loading in downloadable products and the selection continues to grow. It's a much more flexible format so I'd expect to be able to do some interesting things with it.

Describe the goal for the Sphere of Hip-Hop Podcast.

As with anything, and going back to the starting over bit, it's been consistent. The last few months have been rocky but for good in other areas. It boils down to putting out an excellent episode twice a month that plays music that's fresh. We're willing to play variety that others aren't. We have no image we're trying to uphold in that we only play certain types of artists. I think people are drawn to that. Our listeners are very loyal and we're thankful for that!

What does Josh value the most in this world?

My wife.

Illect Recordings is...

A cool indie hip-hop label I help out with and one that hip-hop fans need to check out on a consistent basis.

Illect Recordings on Bandcamp
Illect Recordings on Facebook

Any final thoughts?

Support people/artists/labels/websites etc that you appreciate. Pray for them, shop at their retail spots, buy their music and tell your friends about them.

Elusive & ST/MiC - Preserves

Preserves is the latest project from LA based beatmaker Elusive and Virginia emcee/beatmaker/engineer ST/MiC. The press release is located below and I am featured on track 7 with with Waterloo and ST/MiC.

It all started with the Beat Placement record Elusive released on Fly Definition Music back in the spring. ST/MiC was asked to do a verse on one of the beats for a promotional track. Problem was, he couldn’t pick just one of the beats. So naturally, the hungry emcee in him ate up several of the beats in a short period of time. It started with the title track, Fly Def, which ended up being the first promotional freestyle for the Beat Placement (later on he added Jazz Addixx on the second verse to complete the track for the final version of Preserves).

FREE Download: MF Love - TFTS Promo

Here is an instrumental project from an upcoming beatmaker named MF Love called the TFTS Promo. The TFTS Promo is a promotional project that represents the November 21st release of The Fly Talent Show. Check out the project and let me know what you think.

Video: ILLUS feat. ILL Bill - Family First

Family First is the brand new album by Illus and will be released in late December/early January. This very special project features some of HipHop's most talented emcees rocking the mic alongside Illus.

ILL Bill is featured on the title cut called "Family First." ILL Bill also produced the track. The song was also co-produced by the legendary DJ Johnny Juice from Public Enemy, who also supplies all of the cuts on the album. I like the creativity of the video and the artistry that Adam exhibits (painting a room for his son). ILLUS recently released the concept masterpiece called For Adam.

Family First features Ill Bill, Apathy, Blueprint, J-Live, Erin Barra, Paul Dateh, Esoteric, Regenerated Headpiece and more to be announced soon.

Family First is being funded by the fans through Kickstarter and it has already achieved its goal with 23 days left to go.

Blame One - The Children

Here is a new track from Blame One called "The Children" that is produced by Lexzyne. I had the opportunity to work with this talented emcee in 2010 and I would love to work with him again. Check out this track and let me know what you think.

Blame One- The Children prod Lexzyne by BlameOne

Two New M-Dot tracks...

I wanted to congratulate Michael aka M-Dot on the birth of a new child. Yesterday the homie hit up my inbox with two new bangers.

The first track is a remix of the heavily circulated "Brain Tumors" track that features M-Dot, Bekay, Reef the Lost Cauze and a new verse from Cincinnati's Main Flow. The remixed track features production from Dj Grazzhoppa. You can listen to the "Brain Tumors" remix HERE.

The second track is from King Syze's Collective Bargaining project that is available on iTunes. The Boston bully, M-Dot, adds a verse to "History In the Making" and the track can be heard HERE.

Memory Mondays: The Arsonists - Venom

It has been awhile since I have done a Memory Mondays feature. Today I decided to highlight a classic rap group called The Arsonists. The Arsonists were definitely lyrical, creative and talented. "Venom" is a song that would garner repeat listens due to the barrage of rhyming skills and the infectious beat. Let me know if you remember this song.

FREE Download: RockTheDub Presents Khemlab

The homie Khal of RockTheDub sent over this super dope project and I had to share it. Check out the project and read the excerpt below.

Here's something I've been waiting to get completed, so we could keep this thing going. Two years ago, producer Kid Hum allowed me to throw some talented MCs over his Fossil Fuel album. The fruits of that labor became Offshore Drilling, which not only netted scores of legal torrent downloads through FrostClick, but also received critical acclaim, and CMJ charting. In short, the results completely exceeded what I figured would happen (i.e., a dope compilation being posted on a number of our favorite blogs). Maybe it was the high off of a successful project, but the crew of MCs who were featured on that project were eager to keep things moving. After some back and forth emails, a name was given to their stable: The KhemLab. Originally, the 'Lab featured MCs like Whygee, junclassic, Cyrano, Sky 7th, Chanes, Joulz Il (who now goes by JI-45) and Pugs Atomz. Additionally, guys like Main Course and Articulate were brought into the fold, and the number of producers blossomed from just Kid Hum to The Jake, J57 of the Brown Bag AllStars, Four Finger Ring, Centric, Sharp, Anno Domini, 2 Deep and Soundwave (as well as some dope instrumentals that we found from Diamond District and DJ Concept & Mickey Knox's BYOB EP). While the project was slow to get a move on, the last two years netted us a strong collection of tracks, featuring all of the above MCs somewhere, as well as features from OD alumnus Hellz Yea! and Lou Sleefe, Philly's own Nico The Beast and Ceez. The tracks on this range from odes to "New Shoes" to tales of woe that go into daydreams of murder. Contemplative tracks about "Struggle" to jawns to just kick your feet up and zone out to. And of course, the assortment of spitters have made sure to craft some tracks where they just dumb out, like "The Beast". I could go on, but really, you just need to peep it.

Pictures with Nikon s9100

Took some pictures with the Nikon s9100 two weeks ago and I wanted to share them to with you. Definitely a novice when it comes to photography haha. Let me know what you think.

Praverb.Net Presents: The Invasion

I am proud to announce that will present a hip-hop event called The Invasion. The Invasion will be a hip-hop showcase that highlights four DMV based artists. Ja-P, Cane, myself and Over 21 will be performing. The resident Dj for the night will be Lou Burna. The entrance for the show will be $5 and you have to be over 21 to enter Old Firestation.

Doors open at 9 pm.

Old Firestation
3988 University Drive
Fairfax, Va 22030

Half Past Never Band feat. Sage, D1 - Soarin Dub

Half Past Never Band - Soarin Dub (Remix) by Halfpastneverband

Half Past Never Band will release a remix album in the spring of 2012. The album will includes remixes of the critically acclaimed Cubicle Coma album that was released in May 2011. The project will also include unreleased songs. The first single for this project is called "Soarin Dub" and it features Sage and D1 on the vocals. The remixed album will be available on the Internet for free.

Cubicle Coma can be purchased on iTunes HERE.

Interview with Steve "Flash" Juon

Who is Steve Juon?

A life-long fan of hip-hop from the Midwest who runs the Internet's oldest continuously running hip-hop website,, which has existed online since 1992.

Are you still an active DJ?

That depends on your definition. I haven't spun on the radio or owned my own turntables since I graduated from college, but I'm producing a weekly 30 minute podcast for spotlighting podsafe (RIAA free) music.

What inspired me to create OHHLA?

The roots of the site go back to Usenet newsgroups in the early 1990's, where there was plenty of exposure for genres like rock and country, and groups dedicated to those genres where fans posted their lyrics. For hip-hop there was only one group, an "alternate" called alt.rap, which wasn't available to all users worldwide, and the lyrics which were posted came and went without being collected for later viewing. To me the most important part of rap had always been the rhymes, so I decided to save the lyrics as they were posted for future reference, and to make them easily available for others to read with a Gopher/FTP archive. That quickly turned into a website, which eventually was given the name OHHLA (The Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive) to separate it from other imitators which came along later. This experience also led me to successfully campaign for the creation of a mainstream newsgroup.

What are the challenges of running OHHLA?

The monthly cost of bandwidth is the biggest challenge. Other than that the site is a labor of love which I and the other people who contribute hip-hop lyrics to it enjoy being a part of.

What are my pet peeves with submissions?

I don't have too many. Self-censorship is one. For accuracy and for the benefit of readers worldwide (it is after all a global site) I don't think any line in a song, no matter how offensive it might seem to the listener or the typist, should be edited out. I also expect songs to be commercially available when submitted - if you recorded a song in your bedroom and send me lyrics, that doesn't count.

What inspired you to create RapReviews?

Several factors. First I conceived of a site like OHHLA which would be a compendium of reviews for the entire span of hip-hop history. Second I foresaw the possibility that OHHLA might someday no longer exist, and I didn't want to have all my "eggs in one basket" as a webmaster. Third I had been writing reviews going back to the early 1990's, when I also launched the Internet's first electronic hip-hop newsletter (called HardC.O.R.E.). After graduating with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from ISU, I wanted to put those skills to use with a hip-hop site for news, reviews and interviews that people would check out every week.

What are the benefits of a detailed insightful review?

I don't want to know reviews of 150 words or less, because some can get a clear point across, but you could spend 150 words explaining the production techniques of a song and why the artist's lyrics on that song are so powerful and provocative - on just ONE SONG. I think longer reviews let you really explain the purpose, philosophy, and power of a hip-hop album instead of glossing over it.

How do you deal with backlash to a review?

Most of the time an artist doesn't go totally buck wild if they disagree with a review, which means most situations can be resolved with a peaceful exchange of e-mails. If the response is more vitriolic, I try to diffuse it by offering to have a different writer cover their next project, to get a different perspective on their music. If all else fails I remind people that I sent them a disclaimer before they sent us promo material for review where by agreeing to the disclaimer they agreed to any coverage of the album whether positive or negative - and if they're that unhappy we'll just agree to not deal with each other in the future and all move on.

What are my interests outside of hip-hop?

I recently took up fantasy football, but I'm still getting the hang of it. I've always been a fan of video games, particularly the Mega Man series, so with what little free time I have I enjoy getting the chance to blast on some (virtual) enemies. Mixed martial arts is a passion of mine - I have another website called where we cover MMA and pro wrestling, and I try to interview as many current and upcoming stars on podcasts as I possibly can. And I've always been a sports nut - I follow the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Cubs and of course my Alma mater.

Who is the best lyricist of all time?

Given how large OHHLA is, how many songs I've listened to in the last 30+ years, and how many lyrics I've personally typed up it's hard to pick +ONE+ lyricist. I'd rather name some of the ones I feel are the most influential to hip-hop, and on a short list of influential lyricists, I'd name KRS-One, Chuck D, Rakim, Ice Cube, Kurtis Blow, Jay-Z, Nas, Gift of Gab, Del, LL Cool J, GZA, Ice-T, Eazy-E and Busy Bee - just for a start.

Any final thoughts?

Hip-Hop without rhymes would be like a peanut butter sandwich without peanut butter - there's still some bread but nothing to fill it in.

Interview with Nick Polifroni

Who is Nick Polifroni and what are you passionate about?

I'm a graphic designer/illustrator from metro Detroit, MI who recently moved back to the west coast (Portland, ME) to further develop my craft in another city that I love.

How long have you been involved with the graphic design field?

I started out building websites for music projects I was involved in back in 1997, but didn't really get into doing commercial work until 2005.

What inspired you to pursue graphic design and who is your main inspiration?

It's always been a hobby of mine, and my mom was always pushing me in that direction while I was in college. It took me a couple years and changes of major before I wised up and actually went for it. Looking back, I wish I would have started out on this track… it would've saved me a lot of time and money, but you live and learn.

I noticed that a lot of your design work (found on your website) involves the use of Illustrator or Photoshop. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each tool?

There are a lot of advantages as far as correctly preparing files for printers, and each program has its own advantages for specific jobs. For example, whenever I do logo work, or anything exceptionally large (i.e. - billboards, vehicle wraps…) I use Illustrator so I can go to a larger print size without losing any of the integrity of the original image. Photoshop also has a number of advantages, my favorite of which is the undo button. I wish I had one of those in my traditional art.

A good graphic designer should be able to...

Communicate well, and understand good typography. A lot of designers are really amazing at putting a layout together...but if they don't kern the letters properly, or make sure their lines aren't breaking at odd intervals it can really break a good design. As far as communication, it's important to know how to get a clients message across to their target audience well as have a dialog with your client so they aren't taking the project over. Remember, you're the designer that's what they're paying you for. Not just to have the program knowledge and work as their hands… sometimes it's unavoidable though.

Who have you worked with in the past and who would you like to work with in the future?

I do a lot of work for individuals and small businesses and musicians. I really like doing that kind of work because you're usually a lot more free with what you can do, you have a closer knit relationship with a potential for future work, and if a client comes to you it's usually because they like the style and quality of what you create. In the future I'd like to do more flyers and gigposters. I grew up being really influenced by a lot of poster artists in 90's, plus a few years ago I was making a lot of them and I really loved doing that.

How can potential clients get in contact with you?

The best way to get a hold of me is through my email, I check it everyday, and I'm pretty good about responding within a couple days.

Do you have any set rates for graphic design work?

Not really, I've actually been asked that a lot lately. I'm planning on getting something together soon, but for now I just base quotes by the project.

I recently presented a post that talks about the importance of cover art for an album. Do you think it is essential for musicians to have good cover art?

I've actually bought quite a few albums based on the artwork, so I would say yes..I think it's very important. Having artwork that looks more professional can also help validate the quality of music, essentially it's the packaging you're using to sell your product. People say don't judge a book by it's cover, but they do that all day with other products...different things appeal to different people, but your first impression is usually your visual presentation. People are going to see a poster, or album cover, or website graphic before they ever hear your music unless you've got some sort radio (even Internet radio) play...or getting shows where you can attract and impress potential fans.

Thank you very much for your time, any last words?

Do what makes you happy, that's what life is all about. Sometimes you have to work really hard to get to where you want to be, but if you're happy with what you're is a lot more enjoyable. If you're not happy… you're doing it wrong.

Starting 5: Underrated Hip-Hop Projects of 2011 (Part 2)

This is the second installment for the Starting 5 series and it features underrated projects from The Regiment, Laws, Descry, ST/MiC, Half Past Never Band and Cane. This post is intended to showcase albums that are under the radar.

The Regiment - The Panic Button

Laws - Yesterday's Future

Descry - As Serentiy Approaches

ST/MiC - In The Pocket

Half Past Never Band - Cubicle Coma

The sixth man is loosely defined as someone who brings life and energy on the court. Cane plays the form of Jamal Crawford and provides that energy with My Universe.

Cane - My Universe

FREE Download: Shizo vs. Dirty Hairy - The Remixes

Hip-Hop is worldwide and this post focuses on the promotion of Croatian hip-hop. Shizo is a Croatian hip-hop group that consists of Nod Funk, Valar and Scriptor. The talented Zagreb beatmaker Dirty Hairy remixes the 2008 album Čokoladica EP. Take some time to get accustomed to the sounds Shizo and Mr. Dirty Hairy.

Interview with Dj Mr. Doc

First and foremost, who is Dj Mr. Doc?

Humble artist that loves music and anything artistic. Born in Boston, musically raised in Detroit.

In your teenage years you moved to Detroit. How much of an impact did the move have on your production style?

Had the most impact. I actually learned how to produce in Detroit. After learning "beat making" in general, I then had the opportunity to learn some techniques from J Dilla. I then was able to put these to practice and had an outlet. There were a lot of bars and lounges that were accepting underground hip hop and I was able to make beats and then play them for a crowd which helped me understand what people in general want out of a beat. I also did a radio show at Michigan State University with Dj Houseshoes that we just played beats. That also helped in creating a sound for myself.

Describe your production style to the masses?

I'm a jazz head to the core, my dad had a huge collection of records and I love record digging. So I would say my style is very jazzy. I also studied music from grade 5, so I would say I'm a bit more technical musically then a lot of Hip Hop producers. I played the saxophone from an early age, studied piano at the New England Conservatory and toured the country in high school with a woodwind quartet. All of these things have blended themselves to my style. First and foremost I feel that the drums are the most important element of a track, so that's usually what I spend the most time on.

How long have you been immersed in production?

I've been doing production since 1993.

Describe the significance of Djs being able to move the crowd.

This is very significant because that's why people go out to hear music, to move. If they don't move, the DJ isn't doing his job properly. Dj's shouldn't just play what they want to hear, they have to cater to the crowd or they will be quite boring.

Detail your discography for the masses.

Currently I have an album that can be purchased through most online distributors called "Exhale Euphoria".
Roy Ayers Project Volume 1
Tribute to Minnie Riperton named "Minnie Rips"
Beat album named "Beat Salad"

I have released several house tracks over the years.

Working on a mixtape with several artists, Shells, Poppa Slim, TonePaay, Seanstarr, just to name a few.

Who have you worked with in the past and who would you like to work with in the future?

I've worked with several people, not as much as I have wanted to but that's how it goes:

Keith Murray, De La Soul, Pharaohe Monch, Pharcyde, Taarach, Lords Of Brooklyn and Artifacts.

I want to work with all of them again and Elzhi, Guilty Simpson, anybody with flow.
I'm focusing strictly on hip hop now and am looking to build my camp of MC's.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

I can be reached on my website HERE or

You also manage a popular podcast that incorporates hip-hop, house, techno and reggae. Explain the benefits of being a versatile Dj.

Well for me its been about the money, I can do any type of party or event. I've built up my collection of music to facilitate this. I also think that you can grab inspiration from any genre of music.

Any final thoughts?

I really appreciate your interest in interviewing me, hopefully I haven't disappointed. The blastoff shall be great so this timing is perfect.

P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. - Chai Tea Flow

The homie P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. hit up my inbox with a dope track called "Chai Tea Flow" that is produced by Illistrated. The track is a promotional track that is intended to satisfy the listener until the release of The Living Daylights.

Video: Tek Man feat. Puzzle, TRA - I Dare You

The homie Alkota sent me this banger that he produced called "I Dare You". "I Dare You" showcases the S.A.R.S. Network. Alkota provides a grimy instrumental that Tek Man, Puzzle, and TRA destroy. Get familiar with this lethal Canadian hip hop collective (The S.A.R.S. Network). You can download the Dj pack below by clicking the Download Now button.

Starting 5: Underrated Hip-Hop Projects of 2011

I decided to start a new series called Starting 5 that focuses on the promotion of under appreciated projects. The goal for this post is to provide the masses with music that maybe under the radar. I will not present a lot of words just know that the material is dope (Praverb approved).

Rasheed Chappell - Future Before Nostaglia

Devine Carama - Blood Of A Slave

Essence - Right Now

Rapsody - Thank H.E.R. Now

Promise - Awakening

Just when you thought it was done. I have to promote a sixth man. Someone who channels the same energy as Jason Terry.

Awthentik - Foreclosure LP

Interview with Clutch

First and foremost, who is Clutch and how long have you been immersed in music?

Clutch is the producer/emcee/spoken word poet that is finding his place in the present with a good grasp on the past. I've been listening to music since I was a kid. My dad would throw on tapes and CDs. My brother found a free version of FL Studio when I was in grade 6 and I've been making beats since then, they sounded awful, I had no clue what I was doing but it was fun! Only really started doing stuff with it 06/07 though, hitting up emcees to rap on the beats. So many of them turned me down! Haha, but I didn't get too discouraged.

Where do you reside?

I moved to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in September 2011. Before that I lived in the legendary small town of Altona, Manitoba, Canada (pop. 3500).

Describe the hip-hop scene in Hamilton, Canada?

I'm still getting to know it. Just freestyled with some youth last week, met a local dj, met a couple emcees, some B-Boys and B-Girls. Seen a lot of Graff (some dope pieces but mostly tags). So the four elements are alive here for sure! I anticipate meeting more people and becoming more involved in the larger scene. I'll try to bring my inner Afrika Bambaataa to it, Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun!

Who have you worked with in the past and who would you like to work in the future?

I was the vocalist in a 4-piece Hardcore Hip Hop band in Manitoba. We were called Captain Bear. I'm in a few crews, AMU (Altona’s Most Underrated) and The CDN Custodians (with two other Canadian emcees).

For those who wish to see some "name dropping" at its finest: I've rapped with and/or produced for Fresh IE, Sev Statik (Deepspace5/Tunnel Rats), Sivion (Deepspace5), Cas Metah, Wonder Brown, Ruffian (Scribbling Idiots), NomiS & Afaar (Gallery Drive). I had the opportunity to be a part of Cram Sessions in Boston this year and met/worked with many great artists there. I have also recently been a regular producer for the iPoet blog (Sintax The Terrific's news blog). I been blessed to work with a lot of talented people, most names won't be recognized but they are brilliant artists no less. Currently I've been doing a little bit of experimental rock with a local musician, and I'm producing an album for a young emcee out of Cincinnati named MC Forty.

Sivion - Here We Go Remix by deejayclutch

The dream collabs are (in no particular order): KRS-One, Feist, Mos Def, Propaganda, Bruce Cockburn, Shad, Relic, U2 (or at least Bono or the Edge), Die-Rek, Rev. Al Green, Ohmega Watts, Lauryn Hill, DJ Premier, Van Morrison, K-os, Bob Dylan, King Mez, Clyde Stubblefield, Paul Bergman... I could go on and on! Thanks to sampling, I get to feel like I have collaborated with a few of these artists!

Does your faith affect who you collaborate with?

That's an interesting question, and something that I'm still working through. I'd say yes it does affect it. As someone who desires for the radical message of the gospel not to be compromised, I am wary of what I put my name beside and where my affiliations are. Ultimately my own voice will speak for itself, but I did turn down a collaboration once because an emcee’s verse was extremely demeaning to women, and I didn't feel comfortable along side it. It's case-by-case, I go where I'm sent and do what I'm told to do. The most important thing to me is building relationships. I get along with and work with people who I don't see eye to eye with faith-wise, but I still think they are dope and saying things that need to be said.

When did you start making beats?

Around 2002? They were horrible attempts at electronic music. Shameful really. A few years later my close friend The Runaway came along and, I still can't fathom how, he saw some sort of hope for me as a hip hop producer. He’s always lent an ear and gives encouragement and criticism.

What is your favorite beat of all-time?

Does “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band or “Funky Drummer” by James Brown count? “Still Dre” would be up there too. On my iPod, “Electrik Heat-The Seekwill” by K-os is in the top played. I guess that says something! I think my definitive favorite though is “The Red” by Jaylib. There is something I can't explain about that beat that has… Since the first time I heard it, it stuck with me and has been a haunting instrumental that pops up at different times in my life. I hate the raps though; I only listen to the beat.

What are some of your interests outside of hip-hop and beatmaking?

There's life outside of that? I'm kidding. Being with people is something I couldn't live without. I couldn't be a hermit. A good conversation is something I'm always searching for. I enjoy serving, finding places where I can help and learn from the community. There's not a lot I like more than a strong cup of Fair Trade (French pressed), coffee, reading, and some prayer. I enjoy a good movie too.

How can the masses get in contact with you? If you see me somewhere, I speak English so we could talk if you speak it too!

Any final thoughts?

Thank you so much for this opportunity! The interview has been a blessing.

Check out my SoundCloud page. Let’s collaborate and make a better world of Hip Hop music!

I've got a beat tape coming out very soon (The Beat Tape '11), and you can grab my last project (An Audio Collection) HERE.

FREE Download: Logic Marselis - SNΔPCRΔCKLEPOP

The hometown homie Logic Marselis presents his latest beattape called SNΔPCRΔCKLEPOP. SNΔPCRΔCKLEPOP is eight tracks long and highlights the work ethic and progression of Logic Marselis. I am definitely loving the vibe of all the beats ("Survivor Scrolls" is the truth though).

Markus Designs Launch...

The man responsible for the artwork for Behind the Beats 1 and 2 finally launched his site. The site is called Markus Designs and it features his portfolio. Check it out and contact him if you need design work.

FREE Download: Praverb the Wyse - Professional Hobbyist

Professional Hobbyist is a ten track journey that examines a man who is a blue collar man by day and an emcee by night. The project highlights the struggles associated with vocation, educational goals, personal life and a time consuming hobby. I make it perfectly clear that I would rather make a living as an emcee as opposed to completing a Masters in Business Administration. The album features production from This Is Tomorrow, Manu Beats, LX-Beats, Skipless, Muneshine and more. BrainStormers crew mate, Dj Grazzhoppa, adds scratch hooks on three of the ten tracks including the title track. The project also boasts a feature from long time collaborator Don Streat.

Interview with Chris Bracco

First and foremost, who is Chris Bracco?

-I'm a man that loves music, running, snowboarding, guitar, marketing, and web design.

Describe your career as a musician.

It wasn't much of one, to be quite honest. I was a trumpet player from elementary school through high school, and switched over to guitar my junior year to start a band with a few of my lifelong friends. We played tons of shows in the tri-state area, amassed a (very small) following, and landed some decent gigs at places like The Stone Pony, Six Flags, and Starland Ballroom. Once college came around, the high school band slowly dissolved, and I jammed with a couple cover bands while I was up at Penn State. Now, I just play guitar in my free time and jam whenever I can get a bunch of people in the same room together.

You are in charge of a flourishing blog called Tight Mix Blog. Describe the joy that you get from putting together informative posts? The creation of Tight Mix Blog occurred because...

I started Tight Mix back in 2007 while I was still in college. I had become fascinated with all of the confusion and uncertainty in the music industry at the time, and studied blogs like Music Think Tank pretty religiously. The posts were way more insightful and though-provoking back then. And since I was reading up on all of this stuff, I wanted to use my blog to rant and post about topics that I found to be most important or interesting.

In May 2010, I decided to break off from the servers and snag my own .com, and things took off after a few short months! Now I have a pretty steady group of followers reading my blog, and I'm just happy that indie musicians find my posts to be helpful.

Describe working for Intrigue Music...

I started working with Intrigue in June 2010, it was my first job after graduation and I'm still here! They hired me as their digital marketing manager, and that title has been stretched and morphed several times since I was brought on board. I began by developing digital strategies for our artists, and executed these plans as best I could (just out of college, so I still had a very small network in the music industry). I also took it upon myself to re-learn web design and create all of our artists new websites, which is always step one in any digital strategy as far as I'm concerned. This took up a huge chunk of my time, and I ended up just creating artist websites for a long while.

Then, the company moved its offices up to Portland, Maine, and started a niche music & film magazine called Dispatch Magazine. I designed the website, and have become heavily involved in the web stuff surrounding the magazine. Portland is an incredibly musical town (its sometimes referred to as "Baby Brooklyn"), and we all just dived into the scene headfirst. We've made some great connections and friends, and are pumped to release our third issue in January 2012.

My co-workers are all really awesome, hyper-creative people so there's rarely a dull moment in the office. The lime green walls help keep things lively, too. :)

Recently I read an eBook from you called How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs and I must say I was impressed at the wealth of knowledge that is presented. What was the purpose of writing the eBook and what did you want to present?

When I was interning during college with Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR, this became my world. I really just figured it would be a nice way to get my blog some recognition, while sharing my experiences while promoting artists for a professional PR company. I offered the e-book as a free download for the first year, and now anyone can purchase an updated copy directly from my blog, for the stupidly low price of $2.99.

In the book you talk about the power of Email Subject Lines. Should artists/musicians have an agency or professionals handle their PR efforts?

It definitely depends. Every artist is different, and they all have different goals, priorities, and interests. Some like to control everything, and others just care about the music. Some want international stardom, and others are psyched to play in front of 50 people. If the former, then it's probably best to hire professionals who have the network available to make that happen.

All it really takes to get started is great (and I mean fantastic) music, and motivated bunch of people interested in pushing that music forward. An artist could handle it all him/herself, but that would require an extremely hard-working individual. Also, the music can suffer if an artist spends too much time on the business, so the artist has to be careful about how he/she balances creativity and business. But it is totally possible. Look at Jonathan Coulton, for instance.

List 5 common misconceptions regarding Email Marketing.

1) It's easy.
2) Recipients will open my e-mail and read it all the way through.
3) Bloggers aren't busy, and will therefore respond without me having to follow up.
4) Sending a vanilla, generic mass e-mail will do just fine.
5) Using BCC is not important, right?

What are three social media sites that all musicians should have?

In order of importance...

1) YouTube
2) Facebook
3) Twitter

I have noticed that a lot of musicians have websites yet they are not updated on a regular basis. What are the disadvantages of having old content on a website?

If you're an artist with a website and you aren't keeping it fresh and interesting, then you are wasting your hard-earned money. Your website is home base, the end of the funnel that you should be sending your fans through from all the different social media profiles and press coverage you receive. If a fan visits your website and cannot figure out how to listen to music, purchase it, join your e-mail list, or scan news/blog updates in less than 7 seconds, then your website is pretty much useless. They will turn right around and leave.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

I am active on Twitter (@cbracco), so sending me a reply is probably the quickest way to get a response out of me.

Any final thoughts?

If you're in the Nova Scotia area, I'll be doing my first public speaking event at Nova Scotia Music Week on November 4, 2011 about blog promotion. Come down and say hello. If not, that's cool too. Either way, if you're an artist who has an anti-social media, anti-Internet attitude, please know that you are doing your career a great disservice by not getting involved. Embrace new technology, because without it there would be no music in the first place.

Video: Tenacity - I'm Different

"I'm Different" is the title track off the Dj Houseshoes hosted project, I'm Different. Tenacity enlists Dave Bekerman and Jesse Soff for the visual treatment. If you like this video make sure you download I'm Different HERE.

Video: Statik Selektah & Lecrae - Live & Let Live

As a fan it is a blessing to hear a prominent Christian hip-hop artist collaborate with an influential beatmaker/producer. When I first heard about the collaboration with Lecrae and Statik Selektah I almost lost it. Today I have been blessed to hear the song and it is a good song with a lovely message. "Live & Let Live" is the latest single from Statik Selektah's upcoming Population Control album. You can purchase this song for $0.99 below by clicking the Buy Now link.

Praverb the Wyse - Professional Hobbyist (Artwork)

On September 24, 2011 I presented a poll that revolved around the album cover for Professional Hobbyist. Today I am proud to showcase the cover art for the project. Nick Polifroni is responsible for the artwork and I thank him for bringing my ideas to life.

Professional Hobbyist features production from Muneshine, Inphy, LX-Beats and more. The project also features two guest appearances from Don Streat. The project will be available for free download on October 15, 2011.

Interview with 808 Shirts

First and foremost, 808 Shirts is the brainchild of...

The Hip Hop Day Dreamer Jonathan "808" and his lovely wife Lina. My mind never stops thinking Art and Hip Hop. Lina is the treasurer and supporter. By the way, the 808 comes from the ROLAND TR-808. Not Hawaii. Much love to Hawaii, though.

What inspired you to start designing shirts?

Back in 1987, my top Hip Hop artists were Public Enemy, Rhyme Syndicate, and BDP. You couldn't buy shirts for those artists back then. At least not in Tampa, Florida. I got tired of not repping what I loved, so I decided to make my own shirts. My very first shirt was a Public Enemy logo. Cats at my school went crazy. Then I made the Rhyme Syndicate logo, then the ever so famous "BDP WORLDWIDE" logo from the video Jack Of Spades.

You have been blessed with the opportunity to design shirts for a variety of people. Who have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?

The first artist to reach out to me was the legendary producer Ayatollah. He Tweeted me one day out of the blue and asked if we could work together. I have made 4 designs for him since then. I do not work with artists I don't support. I like to put my heart into my work. If I'm not feeling you, I'll give you some other references to work with. LOL...

I also make shirts for UK artists Mystro, Phoenix Da Icefire, and M9. I started working with the crew UNDERGROUND from Holland. I am currently designing a shirt for Holland's DJABLO.

Of course, we are also printing for the almighty Praverb. I love supporting any positive WORLDWIDE Hip Hop movement. We are printing shirts for Saudi Arabian first Hip Hop station Revolt Radio. That is an honor.

For the rugged and raw crowd, we print for Brutal Music. That music is not for the weak! And for the progressive Hip Hop crowd, we have a collab with Uncommon Records on a special shirt they designed.

I want to continue to work with as many independent and underground artists as I can. Fans love t-shirts. T-shirts will help artists get their name out and also help bring in some extra income.

I'm not out here trying to get rich. I hate money. My passion is my Hip Hop and my people in it. I want to help them succeed. I already have a house and a car that I love. I'm good. I don't need anything else. So I put my heart on my people now.

My dream is to be on stage with an artist and print the shirts on stage and throw them out in the crowd. Just non-stop t-shirt throwing. LOL...

I also want to keep our legends names in everyone faces. Why do we see all these commercial artists on every other shirt on the street? I want to flood the world with shirts of OUR legends. I want to see some KRS-One, Guru, De La Soul, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane shirts all over the place too. They took care of us. We need to take care of them. I will not print an artists shirt for my personal benefit. It's about "US."

I am also under the impression that your wife and your children are involved with the day to day duties of the company. Describe the joy of working with your family.

Whoa, that's a deep one. Sometimes when we are all working together, I stop and look around and I have to stop myself from balling in tears, fam. Nothing feels better then getting your family involved in something you have a passion for. I don't force anything on them. They do it because they feel the love we get out at shows and on the Internet. I am blessed to have my family's support.

Your family also had the opportunity to attend one of the biggest events of the year (A3C). Describe the atmosphere of A3C. Were you able to attend some of the performances?

A3C was Hip Hop heaven. So many artists that I support were there and we were just all mingling together like there were no other worries in the world. We were all brothers and sisters with the same passion. It was great. It was a dream.

I attended as many shows as I could. I made sure to watch Eternia, El Da Sensei, One Be Lo, MED, Fashawn, The reMINDers, and the INNERLOOP RECORDS crew.

Leaving A3C was like leaving High School graduation and everyone takes off in their own direction. Some left with a part of my heart, bro.

What did you want to accomplish by attending A3C?

I wanted to connect with the artists that I support. I wanted my kids to FEEL the LOVE we have in our culture. You can't feel the love over speakers or over the Internet the same as you can in person.

So many parents let their children be surrounded by whatever music is playing on the commercial airwaves. Any human will adapt and relate to whatever their surrounding is. I want my kids to relate to us. To know us. To know why we do what we do. I want them to understand why we rap about the subjects we talk about. I want them to keep supporting these artists when I am long gone.

You also have a great taste in regards to hip-hop music and you run a successful website. How important has music been in your life?

Thanks for the compliment.

Music is my mother and father. I didn't have a father growing up. My mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I grew up in the ghettos of Puerto Rico. Right next to garbage land fills. We never stayed in a house over a year. We were always moving or getting kicked out. We were very very poor. Lots of tears and hunger, yo. I always had love in me to make the best of any situation, though. I wasn't about to let my surroundings make me. I had to find an exit. Hip Hop gave me the strength and knowledge that I needed to escape the rude world.

Hip Hop made me a better person. Funny enough, I hated drugs and money as a kid. I would listen to NWA and Too Short but I would learn not to make the mistake of killing or dealing drugs as it was described in their songs. I still hate money and drugs. I always wanted to live in a bamboo hut with a canoe and that's it.

Everywhere I go, I bring HIP HOP with me.

Hip Hop artists like Krs-One, Ice-T, Posdnous, and Chuck D made me who I am today. I actually listen to lyrics and use them to guide me through life. Imagine that. Too many people don't see Hip Hop for what it is. They think you need JAZZ and R and B to live right, but if you really listen to lyrics, Hip Hop is all you need.

Your first experience with hip-hop occurred when you were...

sitting on my bottom bunk listening to a tape my sister brought home. It was In 1983. RUN-DMC's "Hard Times" came on. THAT MOMENT CHANGED MY LIFE. I finally found an exit out of my misery.

This was my music now! This was my sword and shield. Someone finally sent me guiding light. I was destined to defend my music forever.

Who are some of your favorite hip-hop artists?

Without a doubt my Top 5 are KRS-ONE, Guru, Posdnous, Chuck D, and Rakim. But much love to Craig G! That man is a beast! Still going strong. I have much respect for Craig G.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

My Hip Hop blog is HERE
My t-shirt business is HERE
My email is or send music to
808 Shirts on Facebook and 808 Crate on Facebook

Are you offering any specials or promotions right now for shirt design?

Mention this interview and I'll hook y'all up!

Any final thoughts?

Praverb, thank you for this interview. It is an honor.

To the world, we have to take better care of our legends. They provided the foundation for us, lets give them as much as we can. They need us!

To the parents, don't be a lame Hip Hop head! Show them kids why we do what we do. Show them the LOVE we have. Take them to a show so they can FEEL IT!

Peace and love!!

Jonathan "808"

Video: Suli Breaks - The Power of Black (Black History)

Here is a video from London based spoken word artist Suli Breaks. Suli Breaks tackles Black History and delivers a powerful spoken word piece that encompasses the black experience. Take a listen as the talented poet incorporates the repetition of using the word black.

Effective Email Subject Lines for Musicians

The shift in technology has made online marketing a lot easier. Musicians have the ability to rely on newsletters, Social Media sites and more to deliver information to the fans. Effective email marketing is based on getting the attention of your audience. This is achieved by effective email subject lines. Effective email subject lines describe what the email is about (the body) as opposed to selling things. To put it simply make sure you describe the contents of the email in about 40 to 50 characters.

Relate your email subject line to your first impression; do you want your impression to be memorable or forgetful? You have the power to generate interest by keeping it simple and detailing what your email is about. I receive a variety of music submissions for this website and most of the email submissions either grab my attention or they do not grab my attention. Below I will present subject lines from my inbox and let you know if they are effective or not.

The Verdict: The email subject line is effective because it describes what the email will be about (the video). I know that when I open up the email I will most likely read about the video and a call to action will provide me with the option to watch the video.

2. Your Federal Direct Loan Disclosure Statements
The Verdict: The email subject line is effective because I know that the email contains information about my Federal Direct Loan Disclosure.

3. Recording Studio Grand Opening (Fredericksburg)
The Verdict: The email subject line is effective because I know that the email contains information about a new recording studio in the Fredericksburg area.

I think you get the idea of effective email subject lines. Ineffective email subject lines usually mount in your spam folder. Some characteristics of ineffective email subject lines includes not describing what the email is about, they are too long or they sell instead of tell. Take time to craft your email subject lines and make sure you provide a preview of your actual email message.

Do yourself a favor and check out this awesome eBook by Chris Bracco called How to Really Get Your Music on Blogs for free.

There is something in an album cover...

There is something in an album cover that either interests me or doesn't. I believe that covers are the forgotten elements in regards to releases these days. I think that a classic album should be classic in every way, shape or form. The music has to be good and the artwork must be inviting. The artwork should sum up the direction of the album. I also believe that classic album covers do not have to be too complex. What are some of your favorite album covers of all-time?



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