Negativity in the rap business and commercial strategies: do’s and don’ts

I have been in touch with many artists through the years, mainly for promotion purposes. I have also been an active contributor to Detroit and Michigan hip hop for three years now.
A friend and fellow fan of the Detroit rap scene recently raised the question of the negativity coming from some emcees in particular. I myself have observed a lot of negativity within the Detroit underground rap scene.
This article is aimed at all the emcees who are interested in choosing the right strategy to increase their CD sales.
Most of the negativity comes from a bad jealousy aimed at each other. Everybody claims to be the best. Everybody claims to have the hottest skills and instrumentals. Everybody claims that their rivals are « whack as hell ». First and foremost, I have an important question to ask all of you: « how much realistic is that bullshit? »
If you are that good, how come that you didn’t even manage to get known on a national scale?
First of all, you all need to put your goddamn egos aside and analyze your weaknesses in a very realistic way. Take not only friend’s opinion, but value strangers’ opinion, even if it isn’t that favorable towards your music. This is the best way to stay honest and to have a realistic approach of your work.
Once you will be aware of your weaknesses, you will be able to work on them. That’s the first thing you should think about before running your mouths.
I also noticed that many of you prompt to diss your rivals in order to get some publicity.
In case you are incredibly skilled and you master flow and instrumentals, this sounds ok to me. It can be described as a good marketing strategy.
However, in case you are not that good, please reconsider dissing people.
If you have the lyrical skills of a four year old boy and you spell like a pupil of elementary school, all you will reach is make yourself look like a clown.
Remember Benzino tried to play this stupid game. He tried to get attention by dissing a talented emcee like Marshall Mathers and ended looking like the pathetic loser he actually is. Oh yea, he draw some attention from people- in a negative way, though.
I think that many underground artists should be able to take some constructive criticism when needed instead of growing big heads that are about to explode.
My advice to many of you are the following:
– ask not only people from your friends’ circle for their opinion about your music
– be ready to accept some constructive (and even negative criticism) from people
– improve your work…even when you think that it is good, you can always improve it
– only diss your rivals when you have the skills unless you want people to know that you are a « fucking loser ».
– use an image that fits yourself and your music…don’t play it gangsta when everybody knows you are not. In short…keep it REAL.
– make some REAL progress…then you will be credible on your musical scene.
Don’t take those advices in a negative way. I have observed a lot of wrong behaviors coming from emcees and I am just trying to help out.
I have been watching your scene for years from an external eye and my deepest wish is for all of you to make some real progress and to make it in the music industry.
Copyright © 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Beanie Sigel shot (More Hip Hop Com article)

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA – May 25, 2006 – Rapper Beanie Sigel has been shot along a South Philadelphia street this morning and is being treated at the hospital.
Reports in to Action News indicate Sigel was shot during a robbery attempt and hit in the upper arm. It happened shortly after 8 a.m.
He apparently drove himself to a nearby hospital and is being treated.
Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, told police that 5 black men in 2 vehicles blocked him in and a black male in his 30s about 5′ 11″ tall with a beard wearing jeans and timberland boots shot him twice in the upper right arm. One of the vehicles is described as a dark colored vehicle with tinted windows.
Action News is tracking this developing story and will have more coming up on Action News at Noon.

If the man who murdered Proof is not considered as a murderer any more…

where is the justice?
I came across the following article yesterday and I am deeply shocked to learn from the press that Mario Ethridge, the man who killed Proof on April the 11th, is not considered as guilty of murder charges any more.
I feel no sympathy for Mario Ethridge nor for any other member of Keith Bender’s family, dear readers. Let me tell you why.
During the two days that followed Deshaun Holton’s death, somebody from Detroit rap found out that a shameful and awful my space account had been created by people from the Bender clan, at a time Keith Bender was still alive, fighting for his life. On this account, a man that went by the nickname « Detroit’s Finest » was poking fun of Proofs death, showing pics of a burst brain and firearms. The same person was making statements implying retaliation against D12, rejoicing about the group’s loss.
I cried the worst tears when I saw this account and I am pretty much sure that I am not the only one who felt like this.
Some Detroiter had to give Tom from My Space a call to get this horrible account deleted.
I cant forgive and wont forget the awful words that have been said there.
Frankly, I dont claim to know the truth about what happened at the CCC club in Detroit. Yes, Proof shot on Keith Bender for whatever reason, but I assume that he must have been in danger to act like this.
What I understand less, is Mario Ethridge putting an end to Proof’s life. Even assuming that his cousin had been shot and wounded, wasnt he supposed to call 911 before shooting blindly on Proof?
Moreover, I find it shocking that Bender’s family is suing Proof’s estates, as if his horrible death wasnt enough.
Considering such facts, it is hard to believe in human justice any more. I do pray that someday we will know the whole truth about the circumstances of Deshaun Holtons death.
Many media have drawn a distorted image Proof. As a matter of fact, those people has no idea about the incredible person and amazing artist Deshaun Holton aka Proof actually was. They fastly prejudged of a situation they had no insight about
May the remaining witnesses who have stayed in the shadow till now have the courage to stand up for the whole truth to be exposed. Then justice will be done.
Copyright © 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved