New York Isn’t Enough
Life as an A-N-R-S-T-A-R can sometimes get a little frustrating. I’m always on myspace (eh eh eh) listening to songs, reading bios and no homoing at camera phone flicks of aspiring artists. I leave every showcase with a Pharrell-sized duffle bag full of demos. I go thru hundreds of beat tapes a week filled with fake chopped and screwed hooks or wanna-be Just Bleezy drum patterns. I even buy CDs from the panhandler rappers who sell their CDs in front of Virgin Megastore, Fat Beats and every record label in New York City. You know who I’m talking about, the guys who run up on you armed with a CD player and a burning desire to get your $3 to $5. I listen to everybody and anybody in the five boroughs who either had their own album or was track 24 on the latest Cutmaster C mixtape. No dice. So I decided I need a change of scenery. New York wasn’t enough, so I embarked on a nation wide talent tour. Well, sort of.
First I had to mentally prepare and physically pack for my artist signing jihad. If I heard one more mixtape rapper talk about “bringing New York back” I would’ve personally hijacked an airplane and crashed it right into Canal Street. Suitcase packed filled with business cards, BMF-like stacks of ones, Amex, sidekick, CD player, a few pairs of stunner shade hater blockers and the mixtape version of Illmatic. I also compiled a list of quiet towns I planned to go lock down from Englewood to Inglewood. Sign Something Or Die Trying.
First stop was a weekend in Orlandoooooo; Walt Disney. The real Walt Disney, home of Goofey, Donald, Minnie and Mickey. What I ended up finding was the hottest (and wackest) new talent in the mighty O, Fort Lauradale, Tallahassee and Jacksonville. One thing I noticed about the talent down here is they really take their art more seriously, business wise at least. All the artists have their own t-shirts, vinyl, flyers, mixtapes, fan bases and choreographed dances. They also aren’t afraid to take their “cool” off and experiment with different sounds. Everyone in the home of hip-hop’s way too much of a player/gangster/hustler/boss to even break a sweat. But at the end of the day, I didn’t find anything good enough to sign, so my search continued to Nellyville.
While the city of Albert Pujols, transvestite loving rappers and the Bill O’Reily of hip-hop blogging, I linked up with a group I’m A&Ring for called Da Banggaz. The main thing I learned over the 2 nights, 7 clubs and 11 Remy-N-Red Bull’s is that no one in the mid-west cares about New York City hip-hop. They have more than enough crunk, hyphy, chopped, screwed, leaned and rocked with it songs to be concerned with the newest Styles P record. A matter of fact, out of the hundreds of songs I did hear, there’s was only ONE NY VERSE the whole time: Jay-Z’s verse on the Hustlin Remix. That was my cue to fly to the home of the reigning King Of New York.
“Chevy riding so tall
Looking down New York
It’s all I gotta tell these niggas
I DO THIS SHIT!”
That and Yola Da Great’s “I Aint Goin Let Up” is all I heard out every car and club while I was down in the A. I rolled with Don Cannon and one of Magic City’s finest to every swap meat, pub, club and scripper joint from Bankhead to Adamsville. Unless being used as in the tip drill video, my Amex is pretty useless on the scene down there. I hit the Bank of America ATMs and hit my limit every night. I ended up making it rain at Platinum 21, Fever, Visions, Club Miami and the other after hours over the Independence Day break. Just as I suspected, they play the Georgia Frank White for an hour at the club along with the southern Jay-Z and the best rapper alive since the best rapper retired. The DJ’s also find the time to try and break their local talent. Though I didn’t find anything to sign, I did hear a hilarious John Travolta dedication record I heard from some new group called “B-Team”:
B-Team “John Travolta”
Now I’m back in the angry rap fan capital of the world (what up Ghost). After all that traveling I have come to one conclusion: New York Isn’t Enough. Not only do we not support each other, they don’t take initiative to grind, work records for months at a time and just blame program directors for everything. What I do notice though is when certain New York groups decide to go out of town and promote their songs/movements (Diplomats, G-Unit), they have monumental success, staying power and love when out of town. Gotham City like The Bulls after Jordan retired, Pippen went to the Rockets and Rodman wore a wedding dress. Before we get another number 23, we’re going to have to rebuild and work with a few Ben Gordons’ until the swag is back. Sorry Ghost, but the title stays below the Dixie and New York only has itself to blame.