There was a time when Atlanta was the crossroads for some serious underground Hip-Hop music. The thing about that city is that it is a hub for so many major southern cities from the surrounding states. Plus you could always find some northern and midwestern cats coming through and assuming Atlanta as their home because they couldn't create a buzz where they come from. Atlanta was highly influential and nothing was more influential than the Jack The Rapper Black music conventions.

Everybody who was anyone in rap or R&B in the 1990's attended those conventions. Even people that were nobodies, like myself. The thing I took home from the seminars and the scene was that in order to find yourself a modicum of success in any field of work you don't just need to hustle harder, you also need to hustle smarter. Artists were encouraged to understand accounting and marketing, along with the technical aspects of producing music. The line I take away from these conventions is that the word "business" is twice as long as the word "show". So you best be twice as nice when you are handling your biz.I was reminded of the old Jack The Rapper convention days when I received an e-mail touting the 2008 Atlantis Music Conference and Festival happening in September. Peep their mission statement...

"Atlantis is the only event in the country that focuses mainly on independents with nearly 90% of their performances coming from unsigned artists! All artists who submit are automatically granted a free conference registration, even if not selected to perform. There is no other event in the country that provides unsigned artists better access to music industry professionals! Through its series of day panels, evening networking parties, and special programs like the 'Music Industry Face Off' and the 'Beatin' Up da Block' producer battle, Atlantis gives aspiring artists the best opportunity to meet the people who can help take their career to the next level."

The truth of the story is that in 2008 the music industry should prah'lee get folded into a division of television production. Thanks to outlets like MTV and BET there wouldn't be albums selling multi-platinum figures without the videos that promote the album.

Music videos > music

Just by virtue of the phrase containing more letters.

I would advise any aspiring producer or rapper that attends this festival to network not so much with "industry" persons, but with other artists trying to move forward as well. The internets allows you to become your very own distribution outlet. This requires time and effort, but it is very doable. Why not see what others are doing that works and doesn't work. In today's music industry climate where record companies are run by execs and not creative types you have to present yourself to the industry as a complete artist with a marketing direction already figured out.I would also advise you to come up off that thug life shit as well, that shit is washed the fuck up, especially if you aren't as hardbody as my nigga Latarian 'Real Talk' Milton.