Tag Archives: jay z

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!)

Talking With Konvict Muzik’s Bu Thiam

Konvict Muzik's Bu Thiam

I first met Bu Thiam a few months back in Atlanta. After speaking to him for a bit and seeing the types of moves he was making, I immediately thought of featuring him when I first lauched the site.

As co-CEO of Konvict Muzik, Bu is definitely a mogul in the making.

During my discussion with Bu, we spoke about his entry into the game, career aspirations and the rumours of Akon‘s country album.

Oh yeah, if you’re thinking he looks familiar, that’s because he’s also Akon’s brother. But don’t think he got his position just because of that. Bu makes his own moves and is steadily rising as one of the music game’s biggest executives.

Continue reading

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.

Black Chiney Vol 8.9 – Free Download

Black Chiney Vol 8.9

Finally! For all the dancehall fiends, Black Chiney finally blessed us with another mixtape after nearly 4 years.

But don’t think they’ve been sleeping. I was talking with my man Supa Dups (Black Chiney’s founding member/producer) last night and the list of production credits he’s building is incredible: Nina Sky, Kardinal Offishall, Collie Buddz, Akon, Pussycat Dolls, John Legend… the list goes on.

If you’re not familiar with Black Chiney mixtapes, they are an incredible blend of dancehall and hip-hop featuring members Supa Dups, Bobby Chin, Willy Chin and Walshy Killa.

Black Chiney Vol 8.9 features Buju Banton, Kardinal Offishall, Shawty Lo, Elephant Man, Kanye West, Swizz Beats, Mavado, Jay-Z , Munga, Busy Signal, Leftside and Snoop Dogg.

Pay attention to the names Supa Dups and Black Chiney; as you’ll continue to see more and more from this crew.

Click here to download the new Black Chiney vol 8.9

Jay Z On The Big Idea

Anybody who knows me knows that I don’t watch much tv really; just a few shows and then just some re-runs of a few classic sitcoms to give me background noise while I work. One of my favourite shows out there though is The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC. If you don’t know who Donny Deutsch is – get familiar.

Donny occasionally invites music moguls on the show (Clive Davis, Jermaine Dupri, Diddy, etc) to discuss their rise in business, their current and upcoming ventures and etc. He recently had Hov on the show and since I’ve got this blog up now, I thought I’d share this clip with you.

Check it out.