Freestyle Blogging #1

by moe on April 14, 2008

Freestyle Blogging

I was thinking about different topics to write about for the blog but after coming across this great article comparing bloggers to rappers, I decided to implement number six from their list into makingthemogul.com: I’m going to freestyle my blog.

You can ask me any question you want and I will answer you to my best ability.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I will do my best to answer you with whatever knowledge I do have.

All questions and replies will be in the comments section below. Questions are open from now until April 25th.

You can ask me whatever you want; personal, career, silly… whatever – just ask me (and please remember to keep it clean).

So, ask away…

{ 21 comments }

Autumn April 14, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Great idea! My question for you is which music moguls do you look up to?

Black Girl April 14, 2008 at 10:23 PM

What do you envision the world being like without hip hop and soul?

Angela T April 15, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Anything?If you could go back in time at any point of your life,what year would it be and why?

alex April 15, 2008 at 6:55 PM

what do you use everyday that you can’t live without?

Manny Faces April 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Hey Mr. Mogul. Interesting blog, I just came across it. As a fledgling/up-and-coming/underground/etc. producer/remixer/marketer/etc. who also does a little blogging about my pursuits, I enjoy your perspective and writing. I don’t have questions at the moment, but just wanted to tip my hat to ya, e-introduce myself, and wish you all best in your endeavors.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 16, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Damn, you guys got some serious questions. Okay.. I’ll do my best to answer them.

@Autumn – I respect and admire anybody who makes an active effort to raise the bar. Although I look up to many different leaders, your question specifically asks about music moguls, so I’ll give it to you in list format: Russell Simmons, Jermaine Dupri, Puffy, Master P, Dame Dash, Kevin Liles, Berry Gordy, Clive Davis, L.A Reid, Steve Stoute, Chris Lighty, Jimmy Iovine, Lyor Cohen, RZA, Jay-Z….

Honestly, the list can go on for days. I’m just touching on the “urban” cats in this list, but there’s many, many more. Like I said, I look up to anybody who pushes the boundaries and who motivates me to do more.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 16, 2008 at 2:11 PM

@ Black Girl – You hit me with a crazy one lol.

Honestly, without hip-hop and soul, I picture a very dull world where the majority are conformists and where self-expression is heavily censored.

Rock, metal and other genres have also encouraged self-expression, but I find the umbrella of urban genres, especially hip-hop, have offered a different form of expression, where we weren’t ONLY about rebellion and when we were, it was rebellion for a reason – usually for empowerment.

Hip-Hop made it necessary for us to run our own businesses and become owners. Hip-Hop made it necessary to realize that we need to become vendors instead of always remaining as purchasers.

So even bigger of an issue than just enjoying great music, I think the lack of hip-hop and soul would effect our culture as a whole.

Whether you’re white, black or brown; into rap, country or rock – hip-hop gave us power. Without it, we’d live in a stepford world.

(Was that an okay answer? I just went with it as it came to me, so I hope it didn’t come out too preacher-like.)

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 16, 2008 at 2:16 PM

@ Angela T – Good question.

Well, first off let me say this – I don’t have any regrets in my life because everything I’ve done and experienced has made me who I am today and has taught me the lessons that I need to become who I wish to be tomorrow.

So with that being said, if I could go back to any time of my life – I’d probably go back to somewhere between 94 and 99. The only reason for that is because I felt so much more connected to music back then. Maybe it’s because I work in the industry now, but back then, all I cared about was if I liked a song and how much I liked it.

Back then, I wasn’t analyzing the song structure or the mix. I wasn’t thinking about the video treatment or the inside stories about the artist. I wasn’t breaking down their marketing strategy and imagining how I would approach it. I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I was just listening and enjoying.

In the words of Wu, “can it be that it was all just so simple then?”

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 16, 2008 at 2:27 PM

@ Alex – Finally an easy one lol!

My blackberry. Hands down. It’s not just a device, it’s honestly become an extension of me.

@ Manny Faces – Thanks for your comment man,I really appreciate it. The feedback and the love I’ve been getting since I’ve launched this blog is unbelievable. I checked out your blog as well – dope remixes! I like what you’re working with. I’ll add you to the blogroll.

mzvirgo April 16, 2008 at 9:05 PM

I have one. And I finally made it to your site.

What is your zodiac sign? Yeah, cheesy, I know.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 17, 2008 at 12:58 AM

@ mzvirgo – Lol, not cheesy at all; I like it. I’m Aquarius. Does that say anything about me?

Btw, thanks for checking out the site. I keep seeing you around the blog circles. I like your site too; I’m adding you to the blogroll.

mzvirgo April 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM

I have been around Aquarius men and women and they tend to march to the beat of their own drum. I met one that was quite the scatterbrain LMAO. But I don’t think that applies to all Aquarians.

Bro.ish April 17, 2008 at 2:50 PM

I found a question for you: When you work with an artist, what do you see first: his commercial appeal or the skillz/potential that the artist has?

Manny Faces April 17, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Appreciate the appreciation, will def. blog-add in return.

-Manny Faces
(also an Aquarian)

bmore diva April 18, 2008 at 11:39 AM

how do you balance your personal life with your career?

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 19, 2008 at 2:44 AM

@mzvirgo – Marching to the beat of my own drum and scatterbrained… that sounds like me. I’m not scatterbrained in the sense that I easily lose focus, but I usually have so much going on that my mind jumps from one thing to another. But I still keep it controlled…. when I can.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 19, 2008 at 2:50 AM

@Bro.ish – Honestly, I look at both – I have to. I’m in the business of music, and I treat it accordingly. There are some artists that I absolutely love, but I don’t know how I would be able to work with them if I ever had to. Someone’s music can be great, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good “product”. You know what I mean?

Even though I’m somebody that artists and labels hire to help them, I still have to be selective with the artists that I work with. I’ve recently turned down a client because I really don’t believe her music. She’s a multi-genre artist who is currently pushing herself as a reggae artist. Her music is okay.. sometimes, and the songs are actually pretty well written as are some of the melodies. But I would believe it more if she came out doing Pop, as opposed to reggae. I grew up on reggae and dancehall… and I don’t believe her as a reggae artist. It’s a facade.. it’s not her.

So for me to work with an artist, I need to see both commercial appeal and actual skill. Although.. as a last note, I will say this – my job as a marketer is to help build that commercial appeal. So even though an artist might not seem like they have that appeal, I can usually find something and work with that.

For me, that’s easier to find than real talent.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com April 19, 2008 at 3:26 AM

@ bmore diva – Great question; although I might have to be asking that question too, seeing that I’ve still yet to figure it out.

Not to sound whatever, but honestly, my career is my life. I barely have a personal life. My family is the only thing that’s not attached to my career, but aside from that pretty much everything else in my life is about my career; all my friends, all my interests, all my thoughts, everything.

Two of the hardest and most competitive things in this world are (1) being in the music business and (2) being an entrepreneur. Yet for some reason, I decided to do them both. Why? No idea. But I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else right now.

My friends are people I work with, have worked with or plan on working with. Luckily, I’m fortunate enough to really get along with most people I work with, and they live such busy lives as well, so the bond comes natural. I think it’s pretty common in highly competitive industries.

I have a few friends who are in no way associated to my career, but I have to figure out a way of making more time for them – and for myself. Whether it’s something like hanging out with friends or watching tv or even something as simple and common as sleeping – I end up feeling guilty when doing any of them and usually avoid those things as much as possible.

To me, if I’m not working or thinking about work, I’m slacking. I’ve never been on a vacation in my life and don’t take the weekends off because I don’t want to miss a beat. I have an urge to stay connected.

To get me wrong, I’m not at 100% full-speed all the time – I do get the luxury of just hanging out, chatting with people, or going to wild parties or even just vibin to some great music being recorded live in the studio, and can actually call all of that “work”. But if it’s just for leisure and doesn’t involve my career in any way, then I don’t really pay it any mind.

Is that weird?

tony April 20, 2008 at 1:21 PM

tell me what a hedge fund is

Black Girl May 1, 2008 at 3:47 PM

YES YOU ANSWERED DIVINELY! What’s a question if it doesn’t make you THINK? ;-) Love the site…

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com May 5, 2008 at 2:12 AM

@tony – Damn, I completely missed your comment, sorry about that. I like the randomness of your question though lol.

A hedge fund is a private investment fund that charges a performance fee and is typically open to only a limited range of qualified investors. Hedge fund activity in the public securities markets has grown substantially as it constitutes approximately 30% of all U.S. fixed-income security transactions, 55% of U.S. activity in derivatives with investment-grade ratings, 55% of the trading volume for emerging-market bonds, as well as 30% of equity trades. Hedge Funds dominate certain specialty markets such as trading in derivatives with high-yield ratings, and distressed debt.

I won’t lie… I took that from Wikipedia

@Black Girl – Thank you! You’re right.. and your question definitely made me think. Luckily however, none of us will have to experience a life without hip-hop and soul!

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