Category Archives: Personal

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!

The Original "Mogul In The Making"

Making The Mogul / MTV & 50 Cent

A little while ago, I mentioned that I wrote a post on another site a while back, explaining my motivation for starting this blog and naming it makingthemogul.com.

Well, I found the post and am posting it here to share with you guys.

Dustin from Think2wice (Check it out. It’s one of my favourite spots to visit online.) asked “How Did You Come Up With The Name Of Your Blog?” to members of a Ning site called, The Urban Blogger.

This was my response:

I came up with the name of mine a few years back actually. When I started my first internship at a major label, Donald Trump and NBC had just launched the show, The Apprentice, and everybody used to joke around that I was “the real apprentice” due to my strong work ethic and never-lose attitude.

I always thought there should be a show that mixed The Apprentice with Making The Band. A show where people compete to make it in the business side of the music business.

We ended up getting one TV series that was almost amongst those lines, BET’s “Ultimate Hustler”. I say “almost” because the show didn’t seem to have a defined goal; if you win The Apprentice, you work for Donald Trump, if you win Making The Band, you get signed to Bad Boy, but if you won Ultimate Hustler, you won a car, a new wardrobe and I think some cash.

Didn’t make much sense to me.

We also had AOL’s web series, “Tha Biz”, which was more along the lines of what I wanted to see, but it was only aired online and didn’t receive much of an audience.

I figured if nobody else is giving me the content I want to see, then why not create it myself. I decided that a blog was the best format for me to deliver my story. I might incorporate video and other elements into the blog later on, but for now, the blog is my main platform.

So my blog is my version of the show/story that I always wanted to see – the journey of a young professional in the music business…..makingthemogul.com.

That’s what I posted on April 6, 2008.

Now, MTV & 50 Cent are launching the same concept with their new show, Mogul In The Making.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not hating. I’m actually looking forward to seeing the show. I’m sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of us who have thought of the exact same concept.

It seemed really ironic that we’d have so many reality show concepts and yet it took this long to launch this one. I’m happy they’re finally doing it though, although I just hope it’s executed up to the standards I always envisioned a show like this being.

Personally, I think it would’ve made more sense to have someone else rather than 50 do the show. Again, don’t get me wrong; 50’s definitely been doing his thing and has been making millions upon millions doing it; but we all know him firstly as a rapper, and as someone who’s name only became relevant within the past few years. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ came out in 2003. That’s only 5 years ago.

Like a true mogul, 50 is certainly proving to be successful in multiple avenues, however I would have like to see MTV partner up with someone whose history and success spans a longer timeframe. Somebody like Russell Simmons, Chris Lighty, Steve Rifkind, Jimmy Iovine, Steve Stoute, Lyor Cohen, L.A Reid, Jermaine Dupri, Jay Z or even expand the Making The Band franchise and have Diddy do it.

These are all people who’ve been breaking all kinds of records and making historic movements since before the new millennium.

As a fan and viewer, those are the people I’d like to see the show air with, but as a decision-maker, I agree that 50 Cent will achieve higher ratings than most of the people on my list; especially since most of them are not entertainers themselves and don’t have the massive fanbase as does an entertainer like 50.

Anyhow, like I said, I just hope the show ends up living up the expectations. (I also hope they end up helping my web traffic rankings rather than killing it!)

MTV & 50 Cent Are Stalking Me And Other Updates

I just wanted to drop you guys a quick line to update you on a few things and fill you in on this MTV & 50 Cent situation:

MTV & 50 Cent Are Stalking Me!

Finally all those random emails and messages I’ve been getting about casting calls makes sense.

Turns out, MTV and 50 Cent are doing a new show called “Mogul In The Making”. But a lot of people seem to be confused, so let me officially say, I am in no way involved with MTV and 50 Cent’s “Mogul In The Making” show.

The concept of their show is pretty much the same as the original concept for MakingTheMogul.com. When launching this site, I decided to launch as a blog since it’s a more feasible approach than video for me to share my journey.

I actually wrote a quick explanation about what motivated me to launch this blog on another site a little while back. I’ll find the exact post and paste it here soon.

It just vexes me that I almost registered that domain also (just for safekeeping), but decided against it. I even have a category on here titled, “Mogul In The Making”.

Ah well… gotta keep it moving!

Pssst… 50… Judy. Scrap the auditions. Holler at me and we’ll do it up EdTV style.

Free Kush on Friday the 13th

I’m hyped up for next Friday, June 13th, 2008. That day marks a very important day in the history of hip-hop. It marks the release of…

Asher Roth‘s new mixtape, The Greenhouse Effect, with DJ Drama & Don Cannon.

This mixtape is going to be bananas! And it’s true what they say, the best things in life are free.

To get the free download of Asher Roth‘s “The Greenhouse Effect” on June 13th, make sure to check out http://thedailykush.com.

On The Hunt For A Rebound

I’ve finally had it with my computer. If it freezes, automatically reboots or overheats once more (which it does for no reason and comes with a LOUD siren noise), I will send this useless thing flying out the window to be ran over by a city bus.

This computer acts like my ex-girlfriend; it’s always heated, very unpredictable in its actions, never stops yelling, and rarely acts right when I need it to most.

After 3 years of trying to make it work, I’m done.

A lot of people have been suggesting a MacBook but I’ve also been getting a ton of suggestions about a few PC laptops like the IBM Thinkpad series and the Toshiba Satellite series.

What do you suggest?

I need a solution fast, before I break my foot kicking my current tower… again.

I Will Reply Soon!

Thank you to everyone who emailed me in response to the “Mogul’s Network” post. Things have been really crazy recently (I’ll fill you in soon enough), but I promise to reply to everyone who’s contacted me.

That’s it for now.

Bless.

The Importance of Personal Relationships

Okay, this post might crossover into rant mode, but I have to get this off my chest.

A little while ago, I noticed someone had sent me a friend request on 2 different social networking sites; Facebook and LinkedIn. I know who the person is, but I’m not very familiar with her because we’ve only briefly dealt through someone else in the past. On the few instances that we have spoken, she seemed nice and professional, so I decided to accept her friend requests.

She contacted me with an update of what she’s doing now and we exchanged a few emails over a 2 week period.

As you already know, I have my own business; so I have a few people on the team, but I also keep a short list of freelancers who I’ll outsource work to for certain services. I’ve seen her work and thought her quality of work and price would be a good match for one of my clients.

I called her up and gave her a brief rundown about this potential client and what was needed, but never went into details about who the client is and where they’re from. We spoke a bit and agreed on a rate for her retainer services.

Later that night, I logged into my Facebook account and noticed that she added 3 people from my Friends List. 2 of those guys were the clients who I was discussing the contract for, but I never mentioned their names or any real details about them.

We don’t live in the same area and she works in a very specific niche, so it’s unlikely for us to have many contacts in common.

I thought it was kind of strange but thought maybe she’s just one of those people who treats Facebook like MySpace and adds as many people as she can without making real connections with them.

Then, the next day, I get a call from my client telling me that he just got a message from her saying she can offer him a cheaper price if he goes directly through her.

WHAT?!

How bold can you be?

But wait, it doesn’t stop there.

The same evening, I noticed she joined about 5 groups that I belong to and ended up adding the admins of those groups as well (also people on my Friends List). These were all relatively small, local production companies and labels that don’t really operate within her niche; so again, it’s highly unlikely that she knows them.

The next day, I got some phone calls and emails from a few people telling me that she contacted them also and offered them the same thing. They noticed I was the only “mutual friend” so they wanted to give me a heads up on this back door shyster.

I can’t lie – I was vexed! I was about to pick up the phone and put her on blast. Did she think I wouldn’t find out? Did she think I’d just ignore it?

My blood was boiling at first, but then I realized – these people all called and told me about it. They got this random person who just added them on a social networking site and started pitching them straight from the gate. They don’t know her nor have they ever heard of her. All they know is that the only person they can link her to is me and that they hired my company to handle the services she’s pitching them.

They all sensed a rat and even deleted her from their Friends List as well.

But the fact that I’m the only person they can link her to plays into their perception of me and my judgment. We really have to be careful about who we keep around us. It’s hard sometimes because most of us work in industries that are built on greed and backstabbing. Especially the music business!

How do we know who to trust and when we find those people, how do we know how far our trust should stretch?

Obviously, she can’t be trusted and I’m curious as to how many bridges she’s burned so far, but even though she went directly to some of the artists, managers and indie labels I work with; I’m not really worried. She oversaw my secret weapon – Personal Relationships!

I don’t just walk up to people, hand them my business card and walk away. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I see it all the time at industry events; people walk around and give out their cards like they’re passing out club flyers – they don’t even speak to anyone. A lot of artists and beatmakers are guilty of doing the same thing with their CDs: just put it someone’s hands and walk away. I call that “spam networking”. There’s no point to it; nobody’s going to remember you when you spam network.

For me, I don’t just meet people; I develop relationships. When I look through my address book, I don’t see “contacts”; I see PEOPLE. I see experiences and memories. That’s not something that just takes 5 minutes to build. This is something that takes while to build and that you maintain on a constant basis.

Whether it’s wishing someone happy birthday, taking them out when they’re in town or even just grabbing a drink together because you haven’t seen each other in a while; these things are important. But don’t just do it because you feel obligated or for networking reasons only. People can tell when you’re being fake. Do it because you genuinely want to. Lucky for me, I’ve come across many people who I easily get along with and whose company I enjoy.

So, back to the situation at hand; to her and to anyone like her – you can steal all the contact info you want and try to pitch them, but I can pick up the phone and share a laugh or even ask for a favour if ever needed.

No matter what you do, what industry you’re in or where you are in your career, never underestimate the power of a personal relationship.

How I Discovered Kanye West

Kanye West with gold models

Note: I get a little side-tracked in this post, but it all comes together, I promise.

Have you ever felt connected to and genuinely proud of an artist’s success because you were a fan of theirs before they became major celebrities? You somehow believe you were a part of the movement, even if you were no more than a mere observer.

I have.

I’ve been a fan of many artists before they became stars. As they moved ahead in their careers, I became proud of each of their accomplishments as if I played a role in it. One person in particular is Kanye West.

*Okay, so I didn’t really “discover” Kanye, but you get the point.

The first time I heard the name Kanye West was back in 1999. At this point in my life, I had formed this little group of local artists; 2 rappers and 1 singer. I wasn’t rapping or singing though; I was the “producer/manager”.

We were working on a couple tracks and I started searching online for other artists and producers to collaborate with. I heard this one R&B joint that I thought was bananas. I checked out the rest of the webpage (this was before everybody had their own websites and the people who actually were online had webpages hosted on GeoCities – remember that?), and found out it was from a small R&B group in Chicago. Their contact info at the bottom of the page led me to their producer.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with that song really; I just knew that it was hot and that I wanted it. So, I contacted the producer and told him I wanted to do a remix of it featuring my group. We spoke for a while and he ended up sending me about 5 CDs full of beats. From all those beats, only a small selection were good and I decided to take 3 of them. (I still have those CDs actually. I just checked).

This was during the time when the bedroom producer was really beginning to take reign and the indie game was over-saturated with corny sounding Fruity Loops beats (I’m guilty of that too). This producer’s main pitch was that he wasn’t using Fruity Loops, but actually playing it out on his Triton. Every beatmaker and their mama was about the Triton back then. If you weren’t using it, then you weren’t really serious.

Anyways, after that we ended up speaking on a regular. One day he started telling me how he first got into producing:

“My mentor is Kanye West. You ever heard of him? He works with some big names now. That’s my dude. He taught me to play the keys in our church group. Check him out, that’s my mentor.”

He would mention “Kanye West” every chance he had. I remember asking him about these vocal samples he had in a beat I wanted to buy:

“Don’t worry about those samples. Kanye West doesn’t clear them unless it’s for a big artist with big budget. He told me it’s cool if it’s just for a smaller artist who doesn’t get much airplay. They’ll only catch you if your song gets real big, but by then you should have the money to clear the sample anyways right?”

Whether this guy was for real or not, I kept seeing Kanye’s name pop up after that – magazines, cd & mixtape credits, online forums, etc.

“Isn’t this the guy homie kept telling me about? Hmm.. dude’s moving up.”

When Jay-Z dropped the Kanye-produced, “Izzo (H.O.V.A)”, I felt this weird sense of pride as if it was someone within my crew. I told everybody I knew about it and spoke about it like it was something we should all be proud of.

It continued like that for a while.

A few years later, I was watching RapCity with Big Tigger and they aired Kanye’s first video, “Through The Wire”.

“Dude’s a rapper now?? This joint is siccck. Playa is on point!”

I was all about it. I kept telling people about it like I was making commission.

I guess the label thought it wasn’t getting the type of buzz they needed because the record and video disappeared like it was never even serviced. No mention of it, no traces of it.. nothing.

It re-appeared a few months later and this time, it got major push. Now, the label was fully behind it and talking about an upcoming album. Now everybody knew his name and was all about it.

The Kanye-frenzy began and it wasn’t my little secret anymore.

Coincidentally, I had just began working at the label when “College Dropout” was released and although it was a different division that was responsible for marketing the record, I kept a close eye on the project as if I was protecting my own investment.

The record dropped and the frenzy began. The first tour was damn near sold-out, if not sold-out, in every city. (Side note: John Legend performed a private after-party that night at a tiny africana-jazz bar near my apartment with a maximum capacity of 100 people . One of my favourite music memories, by far.)

The rest is pretty much history.

Now, Kanye’s the biggest name in the game and has everybody waiting on his next word. But even so, as an early supporter, I still kinda have that sense of familiarity with him and feel like I played a role in his success in some weird way… do you know what I mean?

I guess my point is; everybody has experiences like this – so keep this in mind with your own career. Connecting with your fans early on, will not only make them feel more connected to you – but can also help propel your career to new levels.

My PC's Tantrum

Here I was last night, just doing some work and listening to some new tracks from an artist I might start working with. I noticed my Outlook was closed, so I drag my mouse over the little icon to open it up and as it begins to load up, it tells me there’s an error and can’t open.

I even get the little Windows Alert: “Send Error Report”?

Sure, why not.

I persist to open Outlook, so I click on it again and this time as it begins to load, it freezes.

My computer is a little retarded so it freezes from time to time but usually doesn’t last too long so I didn’t sweat it – just waited for it to pass.

10 seconds pass. Nothing.

30 seconds pass. Nothing.

1 minute passes. Still nothing!

I decide to move the mouse in a circle because somehow we all believe that will fix nearly any computer problem.

Now, not only is my computer frozen but I see a trail of frozen images of my cursor on the screen and not even my mouse is working.

I leave it alone and decide I’m going to just say screw it and restart my computer. Before I can even press the button, the tower starts beeping like a police siren. I honestly thought the tower was going to blow up in my face. The ringing is piercing my ears. I just turned the tower off.

The computer begins to restart and I’m hoping it’s going to behave now.

Blank screen.

It didn’t even load windows.

I left it alone for a while and came back an hour later, around 4am. Turned it on…

Blank screen.

It hasn’t turned on since then.

I’m taking it for repair now but anybody who’s ever experienced anything like this knows just how frustrating it is and how much time you’re losing to do work.

I have a great interview I was supposed to post today for everybody who’s into music production and engineering. I’m hoping to get my hard drive back with all my files intact so I can post it for you guys tonight.

Lesson learned: No matter how good a deal, never buy a computer from eBay.


Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network