Monthly Archives: August 2008

Make A Beat Online, Win $30,000

I came across this website a few weeks ago and wanted to share this with the producers and beatmakers out there.

This website, Hobnox.com is offering $30,000 to contestants who submit their music productions into their Evolution 2 contest. They have 3 different categories for their contest; Music, Film & Culture – each with its own $30,00 prize.

Usually, I wouldn’t post something like this, but like I mentioned yesterday; conferences, showcases and contests can be incredibly helpful to your success, so I wanted to share this with you guys to give the producers and beatmakers a chance to take advantage of one of these opportunities, regardless of what city you’re in.

Check out the video below to take a quick tour and then click here to find out more information about the Evolution 2 contest.

Hilarious Video: Shad – The Old Prince Still Lives At Home

I saw this and had to post it.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know my daily obsession with watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air re-runs.

Well, Canadian rapper, Shad, decided to drop this hilarious parody music video for his song, “The Old Prince Still Lives At Home”.

You have to watch this video; it’s too great not to.

Shout out to Shad and his crew for a great concept and execution.

Rasha Entertainment Presents The Demo Clinic In ATL

If you’re an aspiring artist, producer, DJ or professional, you should already know how important conferences, showcases and contests can be. If you don’t already know; then I’m telling you now; they’re important.

I make it a point to attend several of these events, even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to my profession, mainly because of the networking opportunities they present. If you know how to carry yourself and you have the necessary self-promo tools (business cards, CD, DVD, etc), events like these should not be missed.

If you’re in Atlanta, or will be on September 11, 2008, make sure you attend The Demo Clinic being held at Django.

For more information on this event, please check out the official page at http://rahiemshabazz.blogspot.com/2008/08/demo-clinic.html.

Blackberry Bold… Finally!

Blackberry Bold - Rockstar Branded edition

Finally got my Blackberry Bold today.

For those that follow me on Twitter, I did my first live videocast yesterday, after UPS dropped off the package.

It didn’t end up recording, so I was planning on doing another short video clip, but as the people who logged onto the live videocast know, I don’t have much of a voice right now (lost it a few days ago), so I decided against it.

I’m definitely going to be incorporating more videocasts into the blog though, so there’ll be more to come. If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Also, if you have any questions about the Bold, just ask and I’ll do my best to fill you in.

Keeping Backups In Case Disaster Strikes

I just wanted to drop a quick post to let you guys know that I finally got my MacBook Pro back!

I got it back last week actually; 11 days after it decided to die. I wanted to post sooner, but since it was my hard drive that crashed, I’ve spent the past week just catching up on projects and re-creating files from scratch.

Not fun.

Needless to say, I definitely made it a point to pick up an external hard drive to keep a full system backup of everything in my laptop.

I wasn’t sure what brand or model to go with, so I posed the question on Twitter and everybody led me toward the trio of Western Digital, Maxtor and LaCie.

After some consideration at the store, I decided to go with a 750GB LaCie hard disk. The box says it was designed by industrial designer, Neil Poulton.

His design?

A shiny black box.

750GB LaCie External Hard Drive

Anyhow, it serves me right to experience this situation. If you take your business seriously, invest in it appropriately and make sure you’re well covered in case of ANY emergency or disaster.

Whenever you implement any new tool or piece of equipment into your business, make sure to have a way of still functioning in case it malfunctions or gets stolen.

Luckily, I have my business email hosted through Google Apps, so all email that goes through my email or the email of anybody else on my team, is backed up online – free.

We can even share documents and edit them collectively, in real time, as opposed to emailing a document to each team member and having 5 different edits.

If you’re running a small business, or consider yourself a business (even if it’s just you), I highly suggest checking out Google Apps. It’s free and it’s a lifesaver.

Day 6 Without My Mac

Today is Day 6 without my MacBook Pro.

And it hurts!

For the past 6 days, I’ve MacGuyver’ed my way around this major inconvenience by juggling between my Blackberry, internet caf├ęs and others’ computers.

I also got my old temperamental PC working a little again. It feels like going back to an ex with shame and admitting that your new situation didn’t work out as well as you hoped.

But at least there’s some good news. The Apple Store just called saying they’ve received the parts needed to repair the centerpiece of my connected life.

Hopefully, I can get it back by the weekend – although I highly doubt it.

I’m off to drop it off at the Apple Store now. I think it’s time I finally go ahead and buy an external hard drive to keep my system backed up at all times and prevent losing ALL my files again.

Yeah.. it’s that bad.

MacBook Pro Going In For Repairs

Not Saving Anything For The Way Back

I was running around doing some errands yesterday, and while walking towards the cash of an electronics store, I noticed a bin of DVDs for sale.

At the very top, as if just placed there perfectly for me, was Gattaca.

DVD of Gattaca with Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman & Jude Law

This movie right here, is one of my favourite movies period.

It’s a little old now (came out in 1997) and it’s a bit slow-paced, but the concept and message in this movie are incredible.

Without giving away any spoilers, Gattaca is about a society that lives in a “perfect” world. Parents choose how they want their babies; everything from what gender the child will be, to the colour of their eyes.

Basically, they order their kids as if they were ordering furniture.

Anyways, in this perfect world, there are a few “imperfect” humans or “defects” who end up trapped in a life without any opportunities or any possibilities of success.

The main character is a “defect” who ends up finding a way of sneaking into the superior class of society and completely defies his life plan.

He’s one of the best at what he does and nobody has a clue that he’s actually a defect.

It’s an incredible movie that really points out the fact that no matter who you are or who others think you are, you can do ANYTHING.

NOTHING is impossible and regardless of your past or present; the ONLY THING getting in the way of having EVERYTHING you have EVER wanted and everything that you have ever dreamed of, is YOUR OWN BELIEF.

Ignore everybody that says otherwise.

EVERYBODY.

Sometimes that has to include loved ones. Your family and friends will always say they support you and believe in you, but truth is, there are usually limits to their belief.

Plus, if they don’t fully believe in themselves, how can they fully believe in you?

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true.

People will always remind you of “who you are”, but the reality is that’s only the perception of who you are. You can be anybody and anything you want to be. Not to sound corny, but it’s true.

It really hit me when I first moved to a different city. I had never been there before in my life and didn’t really know anybody there. I decided to use this to my advantage and become a new me. Shed all my bad habits and develop new ones. I was a stranger to everybody so nobody would be able to say “that’s not you”.

I became a completely new person.

I gained a whole new sense of self-confidence. And that self-confidence allowed me to realize that I was FAR more capable than I ever realized before.

Even if you aren’t moving to a new city and you’re always around people who know your habits and your “abilities”; you can still become a “new you”.

What’s the worst that will happen? People will comment? Some might crack jokes and try to ridicule you?

So?

Let them be negative. That’s not your issue; it’s theirs.

They don’t have enough confidence or belief to be the best version of themselves, so they’re going to try and keep you down as well. Misery likes company, right?

If you allow that to affect you, it’s not them holding you back; it’s you. You have to make sure that NOTHING stops you.

This movie is an incredible visualization of that. And it doesn’t just have to be a movie or a story. It can be reality, and it is reality, but it’s just up to you to let it be.

One of my favourite lines (there are many great quotables in the movie) is during a scene where the main character (“the defect”), is swimming in a race against a “perfect specimen” and is winning. The perfect specimen asks the defect how he’s able to continue swimming for so long and with such stamina. The defect replies “I never saved anything for the way back”.

I love that line.

And it’s true. Most of us do that. We create this “exit strategy” in our minds whenever we approach a new task. A “Plan B.”

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a Plan B. That’s okay, but 9 times out of 10, people only have a Plan B because they don’t truly believe in their Plan A. They’re preparing themselves for failure.

Why?!

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t prepare myself for failure.

Anybody who knows me knows how intense I can get. For me, it’s all or nothing.

I’m either going to die successful or die still working on it. But no matter what, when I die, nobody will ever be able to say I didn’t give it my all.

The main character in this movie said “I Never Saved Anything For The Way Back”.

Kurt Cobain said “It’s Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away”.

Malcolm X said “By Any Means Necessary”.

Tupac said “Against All Odds”.

Hell, even Nike’s motto is “Just Do It”.

There’s so many of these quotes, but they all have the same message, “GO FOR IT!”

Whatever motivates you, whatever gets you going, whatever pushes you to go that extra mile; just find it and use it every single chance you get, because there is NOTHING that is holding you back from defying all odds and acheiving all your dreams.

Believe in yourself and anything is possible.

ANYTHING.

Alltop.com Makes My Life Easier

Living in the Information Age is no easy task.

There is so much information out there, and with how resourceful sites like Google and Wikipedia are, it’s not about what you know; it’s about how fast you can get to know it.

You simply can’t afford to not know what’s going on. Being informed is having power; having access.

Forget about waiting for opportunity to knock on your door. When you have the right information, you have the master key to open any door you want.

That’s why it’s vital to stay informed of what’s going on and having easy access to that information.

My father is the type who wakes up early, grabs the morning paper, and reads the entire thing front to back; regardless of whether it’s of interest to him or not.

That’s a great trait, but that’s not me.

I’ll still read the world news and current events, but overall, I’m the type who wants to know about certain topics of interest and wants to see a whole lot of it laid out in front of me.

Subscribing to RSS feeds are usually pretty good for that, but the main problem I have with that is finding enough sites whose feeds I can subscribe to, so that I can get my fix.

And what if I don’t have enough time to filter through the entire net for new ones? I don’t want to miss out on anything.

Luckily, I keep my ear tuned into the tech world and heard about a site called Alltop.com that answers that problem.

Alltop is a site that collects all the top stories from all the top sites on the net and groups them together into organized categories. But it’s not just the top sites that are displayed. They also feature other sites that show promise and would be of interest to people who need more than they find on the better known sites.

Think of it like Amazon‘s “If You Like This, You Might Like…” feature.

So, for example; if you’re looking for tips and articles to help you grow your blog, you’d go to blogging.alltop.com;or if you’re into new technology and gadgets, you’d go to gadgets.alltop.com.

Each of the categories or “alltopics” have a full and quick overview of all the recent headlines from the top sites in each category, plus a few promising upcomers.

I’ve been using the site since it first launched and have found it to be a really useful tool.

Like I said, I’m the kind of guy who wants a laid out summary of everything that’s going on and when I see something that catches my interest, I look more into it. That’s why I was pleased to find out about Alltop a few months back; it suits me perfectly.

Now if I can just find an assistant/intern who can offer me the same kind of service with work projects.

I’d highly recommend checking out Alltop.com and browsing through the categories to find what piques your interest. I have a couple of them bookmarked for daily reads.

As a matter of fact, makingthemogul.com was added to music.alltop.com and smallbusiness.alltop.com last night

Thanks Guy & Neenz!

Today Is A Bad Day. A Very Bad Day.

Ladies and gentleman, today is a bad day.

A very bad day.

At approximately, 10:45am, while checking and responding to emails and making some phone calls to coordinate the day’s activities with some staff members, I got the sudden urge to make pancakes.

Yes, pancakes.

I don’t know why I was craving pancakes really. I don’t really eat them much and usually try to stay away from anything that’s too sugary or syrupy. But for some reason, I was craving them, so I figured why not.

I got up and placed my MacBook Pro (which you all know I’ve come to love so much and now consider a member of the family) on the couch.

I closed the lid so that the laptop would go to sleep and conserve some battery power while I get my Aunt Jemima fix on.

After I made a short stack, I walked back to grab my laptop so that I could continue my work, but when I opened up the lid, the screen didn’t turn back on.

I figured maybe it was still asleep so I tried waking it up, but nothing worked.

Getting crazy paranoid, I pressed the power button for a bit to let it shut down, then tried turning it back on again.

I heard a beep and got the white screen that the grey apple usually shows up on… only… this time the gray apple didn’t show up.

This scene repeated itself for about 30 minutes, with my heart beating faster and faster as time passed.

Luckily, I purchased the AppleCare Protection Plan, so I called them up and described the issue I was having.

The tech rep tried helping me troubleshoot it but nothing worked. He booked me an appointment to go to The Genius Bar the closest Apple Store by me.

When I got there, I repeated everything I told the tech guy over the phone, then the “Genius” checked everything out on my 2 month old baby.

10 minutes later, he looked at me and told me my hard drive is completely gone and that I had a faulty logic board.

I don’t know what a logic board is but if you’re telling me it’s faulty, then I definitely don’t want that, and I want my hard drive back.

It might’ve only been 2 months old, but I have a ton of stuff on there and I want access to it.

He looked into it more and said I can pay for a data recovery service, to get my files back, but from the looks of it, it’s highly unlikely to work.

Now I have to wait until they receive the parts that my laptop needs, which he said will probably be around next Wednesday or Thursday, at which point they’ll call me to bring my laptop for repair and the repair will be another 3-5 business days.

2 weeks without my computer?

2 weeks?

That’s a LONG ASS TIME!

Especially, when you’re always working on a computer and spend more time with it than you do with anybody else.

I don’t know what I’m going to do until then.

Apple should have a loaner service like some big chain mechanics. Give me a MacBook Air or something as a loaner while I wait these 2 long weeks to get back my system.

This sucks. My MacBook Pro is only 2 months old. It’s too young to go through such an unfortunate incident.

By the way, I wrote this on a PC.

Yeah. It’s bad!