Politics and Bullshit.......

"You rap niggas made me laugh/Ya'll crazy ass, and I dont give a fuck what you sold, that shit was trash......"

This is gonna be a controversial post...but fuck it, I want the hits....

I'll be discussing cosignage (ya'll like that?) and such. Ya'll ever see an artist get signed and you're like "How the fuck did he get on? Whose cock got sucked for this shit to get out to the public!!!!"?

When asked, I keep my personal feelings about the music to myself and give people my POV from a professional standpoint. I dont talk on things I dont know about because people can smell bullshit from a mile away. People know that I'll be objective and honest. I'm glad my opinion means so much to a lotta people, but hey if asked, I owe it to someone to be real with them. It's the Golden Rule; if I were an artist, I'd want the same. My opinion is just one of billions, and despite the rush it gives me on the inside (muahahahaha/pause), I hate to see people living and dying by MY word. You were doing what you were doing before you asked for my input and you'll be doing what you're gonna do after I give my input so it is what it is...

The thing is....a lotta artists are so used to having yes men around them. Their entourage is usually 

  • artist
  • weed mule
  • the one jumpoff who the artist and maybe the whole crew can run through at any given moment; she usually says things like "The artist is a good friend of mine", "I'm not a groupie, we're just friends", etc. Usually gets defensive when other groupies get around said artist and the denial of the groupiedom they portray is so hilarious ("We only did it once and he gave me a bag/cash, so no I'm not a groupie").
  • the livewire who provides "security" services....
  • artist's "boys" who he doesnt want to leave behind "in the hood".....although that "hood" may actually be a suburb in Long Island....
  • insert affiliate (producer, dude who gets groupies for artists in clubs, DJ, etc)

My very first conflict with having to work a campaign for an artist I didnt like was during one of my first gigs ever in the biz. We were doing a marketing campaign for an artist from the Left Coast and I had to do some online marketing. I heard the tracks and was immediately turned off...In my head, I'm like "Who the fuck cosigned this shit? I gotta work this shit?" I did what I was assigned (and more) but I told one of my bosses that I wasnt feeling the artist AT ALL and that duke was trash. My boss looked at me and said "That's the business bro....I dont like all the artists we market, but you gotta do what you gotta do"....

Off top, I can definitely say that a lot of artists get on for a lot of the reasons like

  • favors owed
  • their manager and some label exec fucked around and that caused the signing of said artist
  • network. I dont knock anyone's hustle.....but this game sometimes can definitely be about who you know...

A lotta people throw the term "A&R" around quite loosely. Off top and to keep it simple, the job of an A&R is basically to find talent for a label to market and push. They handle dealing with an artists sound and the day to day process of making an album including legal, finding production, choosing singles, etc. I personally think that without a strong A&R team, a label is fucked because 

  • if you have no talent to market, you have no incoming revenue stream; in this day and age of 360 deals and such, no artist=no possible endorsements, sponsorships, merchandising, licensing, etc
  • many (read: scores and possibly hundreds) of labels have folded because the quality of artists signed and marketed were simply not appealing to the public.
  • when people see that the acts a label signs are subpar, this will kill the label's chances of survival.

Music is a funny thing. Brand loyalty is such an unguaranteed thing in music (especially urban music) that you can be here and gone tomorrow. IMO, a key thing to remember is that you as an artist are a business and brand first. All of the top artists in their respective genres (U2, Jay-z, etc) know their branding and how to place themselves in the public forefront. I sometimes listen to Volume I: In My Lifetime like "Goddamn this is a prophetic album"....its like the Jay we know now knew he was headed for that path if you really listen to that album....

But at what point does an artist learn how to balance sacrificing their art and wanting to blow? Can't answer that but I can tell you for sure that a label is concerned with the bottom line and money first just like any other business. 

It's a helluva gamble. I personally dont know man....A&R, it's a bit crazy...the industry itself is a revolving door, but with A&R you have a shitload of more pressure on you. I personally work better in marketing an artist when I really believe in the artist. Like "NO one can fuck with him/her right now. Their potential is off the meter". My thing is, are artists ready enough mentally? 

  • Your whole life has the potential to be in the public eye.
  • The label, especially now, aint gonna invest $ into an artist that wont bring back revenue. A lot of ya'll think that it's just "I'm signed, this is it right here, lets put out an album now I can eat"....Money. That's all it comes to. A label has to recoup the budget it gave you then you can "eat". 
  • Money hungry "family and friends"
  • Groupies, whores, skanks, etc of all sorts. If you cant turn pussy down, good luck. 
  • Thick skin. Artists need to know that not everyone will like their music. It doesnt make me a hater. It gives me $10-$12 that I can save by buying music that I really will feel and you goddamn right I reserve the right to be discriminate. It's like if you dont like someone's music and say why, you're branded as a "hater". Artists aint perfect...but it's like if everytime you see them perform on TV or live/hear their music and they continually suck, why the fuck should I, the consumer, support their music? They obviously dont take their craft seriously, so why should I?

Its funny because there was an act signed during one stint and we had to market them. I totaly tuned them out thinking to myself "Are they serious signing these people? This HAS to be politics..." Apparently I wasnt the only one who felt so....said artists had footage of their entire audition at a label on Youtube. They put the footage on Youtube and got roasted online (dozens of negative comments), and from what I heard, their Soundscan numbers were ABYSMAL. Not gonna go too much into it but I ended up at another company and their campaign was up to be worked on. I stayed away like the plague. 

All personal bias aside, if niggas cannot perform, it kills my respect for them. Live performance can be the key way an artist can make $, especially on the college scene. If an artist doesnt have stage presence they might as well choose another career path. If they dont recognize the $ that cant be made on the road by giving an ill show, thats on them and their management. I've been won by artists as well as lost by me going to a show and then seeing how they translate live. If I'm interested in working with an artist, I will see how they perform. Look at it from a customer's POV: I spend $20 to get into this show+drinks+weed $ (if you smoke at shows); I want my fuckin' money's worth. I'll give it to Wale that he knows how to have some semblance of mastery over a crowd, even without UCB behind him. (The live band aspect is sort of overused by a lot of urban musicians IMO).I've seen Kid Cudi perform live numerous times (if i remember correct, the Highline Ballroom show a while back with Wale headlining was his first time in NY performing) and it's like each time, he got worse; I was actually lost from the first time I saw duke; it's like I'm seeing him for the first time after hearing so much and then I got disappointed. Not only his lack of presence (it's bigger than just physical appearance and clothing to me, so he can wear skinny jeans all he wants) and nervousness (I do admit that NYC can be a BEAST, but if you aint built for Cuban Linx, it aint for you), but I actually wanted to hear something other than "Day N' Nite" and all of its 1000 variations, like "Can they get him in the studio and make some MORE music? This is some one hit wonder type shit." (I do like how the guy artistically expresses himself sometimes; his visual asthetics aint that bad artwork wise, etc. If ya'll are fans of his, you should support his album and cop. Im not so I wont be coppin'). I've also been to shows where I felt like the artist's performance was so good that I shoulda paid more than I did (Raekwon, J.Cole, Wale, etc)...and some of those shows I've gotten into for free.

I learned to not go by who/what mainstream publications say is hot. They do the same list every year and out of 12 or so, only 2 or three keep their relevance up to par. 

Its all relative. I might not like an artist. You may.We can agree to disagree (or not). It's your $. Thanks for reading.

Random Laughs

I'm a huge clown. Moreso sarcastic, but I like laughing. Until someone says something dumb...

Lately, I've sorta been going through a lot but I had a good convo with a loved one that put a lot in perspective. Back to the clownery. A lotta these are random but they make me laugh and it's MY blog so POW!

^ Me in environmental class earlier this summer messing around.

This made me laugh for some odd reason. Mad random. Musta been from the Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla ad campaign Nike ran a while back.

^Clayton Bigsby's yearbook pic. 

^I used to post this in message boards whenever people would say dumb shit. Ultimate blank stare

^ the irony is staggering. This is why we can't have nice things.


Off that.

^ that's from Religulous, Bill Maher's take on world religions. There's a part where he's just going off about how how the Christmas story was actually taken from an Egyptian myth with bullet points and then abruptly they cut into this scene, where dude with the staff says "STOP, BLASPHEMER!!"....guess you'd have to see it to appreciate it..

^Im not even gonna bother to rationally explain this.

Helluva combo.

Irony at its finest

"Striving For Perfection"

*Cue violins*

There's a saying that till 25 you're judged by potential. After 25, you're judged by what you do with that potential. 

As a young black man, I'm petrified of failure. Like I piss my pants thinking about it. I'm 23, a college graduate (Baruch FTW), lifestyle marketer and stand up guy (when I'm not being grouchy). I've always had in my mind the way I wanted to do things in my life (money, house, down ass chick, family taken care of). I wasnt even supposed to be born. I apparently had a heart problem when I was in the womb, so people always told me I'd be someone special for me to have survived through that. My name is Karsten, which means "blessed one" in Greek. I shrug all of that off but deep down, I know I'm here for something other than money, cash and hoes. 

Stasia (business partner/"sister") told me that I need to be mentally and spiritually prepared for success and the path to such. My problem is that I'm so used to doing everything myself. I've lived with just my moms and brother/sister since the age of 13, so it's like I always had an "old man" mentality during my formative years to adulthood. Even before that, I was a quick learner and I worked best when operating by myself. I worked my way through college and even now, I have my hand in multiple pots. I dont really have regrets but I do wonder what it woulda been like to have had an outlet for those bad times....I used to write poetry a lot, but I'm thinking stuff like art or even athletics. I was always more inclined to books and such though......Recently, I've been wanting to go to shooting ranges to let off a couple of shots....

Admittedly, I haven't prayed in quite a while or read my Bible. I dont wanna go though some dramatic life changing event for me to start praying to God or something. I have my vices.....so it's like I dont wanna keep doing the same stuff over then praying to God/going to church on Sunday then end up doing the same thing every week.....I think if you're gonna go with God, you should go all the way and do whatever you can in your power to go all the way. You're human and will slip up but if it's a conscious choice, you shouldnt slip up. I just dont see how people can claim to be religious and still drink, smoke and fornicate like the rest of us they try to preach to. I cant reconcile that at all

I also tend to see the worst in people instead of the good in them. I definitely have to change that.  I trained my mind not to be shocked whenever something out of pocket goes down because people (including myself) have a great potential for good as well as bad. Its like when its work related, I like finding solutions, but when it's personal, I tend just have a nonchalant reaction to a lotta things. If you dont care about something, it has no way of affecting you should it be taken away. 

What can I do?

I just want it all to work out. It will. It always does. I'm good at figuring things out. If not, I'll make the most of what I can get.

The Blueprint III Outtakes

I hate rehashing stuff other blogs post....but this caught my eye. 

Apparently a producer named Alex Goose submitted beats to a A&R for the BP III album. None of the beats made the album, but damn near all em are straight fire. "Hova's Back" in particular is a problem.

Here's the link to the site: http://theblueprint3outtakes.com/

You can DL it from there. I highly recommend it. Straight fire.

Tired of Partying?

This is a topic I'm continually dealing with. I just got back from a night of events (Lee Charm's Listening Session @ Negril Village and the Ill Banger Party @ White Rabbit). Special shoutouts to Warren, Charles, Antoinette and Tiffanie and everyone else who came out. Big shoutouts to my OG homie Mizz Parker.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm getting tired of the continual parties. Maybe it was a summer thing. I can recall that the record for most parties/spots attended in one night was 5; I think I got home at 6 AM or some shit that night.. Its getting colder now, so I dont wanna be all over the place like that.

Its amazing how people network.  We're walking up Houston St. to White Rabbit and I see these fellows projecting an ad for a liquor company. Naturally, I approach them, introduce myself and get their contact. Later on, I hear a young lady singing and then network with her...outside of the club. Her body language read that she was defensive till I introduced myself to her on a professional level. Some people network better at parties/lounges; I dont knock it. i just like a more controlled environment away from noise where I can see ppl and read their body language, etc.

My point is that, I'm getting tired of partying. It's like that summer jumpoff who you have a bunch of fun with and jump off with.....but come winter you wanna just get that one quality chick and just stick to her and not go out unless you have to.

I wanna do new fly shit. Art. Seeing how some of the artists I know make their music in the studio. all types of new fly shit. Tired of fuckin partying all the time. Only party I regularly attended in the summer was Moomia as that shit was POPPIN'. White Rabbit is cool and has a pretty diverse crowd, but maybe it's just me. I naturally get tired of doing the same thing or being in the same situation (Side note: Ladies, I admit that I have commitment issues and I constantly need to be challenged for my interest to be constant.), I sorta miss SoundCTRL panels. They were informative and I met a ton of people.

I can have fun at a party too....but I guess I'm @ the point in my life where I wanna just be more selective. It's about going to the right ones.

We'll see how this goes. Back to work.

"Grammy Family Freestyle"-Jay-z

Old footage of the "Grammy Family Freestyle @ Hot 97"....IMO this is Hov's best freestyle. That the man writes all of this in his head is brilliant....listen to the lyrics. I posted it because it's something I can sort of relate to...people reach that point where it's either their souls or success and the trappings of the game...not to mention other things...




"Same sword the knight you they gon’ good night you with
Sh.., Thats only half if they like you
That aint even the half what they might do
Dont believe me ask Michael
See Martin, see Malcolm
You See Biggie, see Pac, see success and its outcome
See Jesus, see Judas, see Caesar, see Brutus
See success is like suicide
Suicide is a suicide
If you succeed, prepare to be crucified
Media meddles, niggas sue you, you settle
Every step you take, they remind you, you ghetto
So its tough being Bobby Brown
To be Bobby then, you gotta be Bobby now
Now the question is, 'Is to have had and lost
Better than not having at all?'"

You Know My Steez

Prolly shoulda done this before but hey...better late than never.

I'm Karsten V. I'm a lotta things, good and bad. I'm a 23 year old Jamerican (Jamaican/American) from Brooklyn, NY, the best borough on earth (even better is that I'm from Flatbush). Welcome to my personal blog and you can also follow me on Twitter @The100kShow

I'm redesigned my blog (well not really, but thanks for the template) as I was getting tired of the bland ass background that my old format had. I also have been going through a lot personally and I just wanted to start new and afresh. 

I blog on impluse as I can be very sporadic so there'll be days when I make multiple posts and days where I'm so busy/lazy to even enter one. I'm not exactly the most PC fellow out there and if you get offended easily, I'd advise you to go elsewhere.  I use profanity when I want and post up provacative videos so...take it for what it's worth. I'm not a perfect person, and as much as I decide to reveal on here, you all will come to accept it for what it is. 

Thanks for reading!

"So.....How Many Dudes Have You Slept With?"

Interesting trending topic on Twitter today....#dontwifeher....especially with cuffin' season right in effect. 

I went in (as usual, if you follow my Twitter, you'll know that I'm prone to go off on a tangent, so follow @ your own risk)....but one of my followers @TangyIsABoss brought up the point that most dudes cant accept the fact that some females have more than 5 partners.

True. We figure you have your first, your rebound after the first, the dude after the rebound, the dude in college and maybe the dude after college. Or something to that effect :-p

Me personally, I dont even bother to ask anymore. In my younger days and even now, I'd ask and look at the girl differently or not believe her anyway. If she could admit to me that she had a one night stand (or 5) or something of that nature, I tend to show them more respect especially since i'm no angel myself. It's not fair to point fingers and throw stones if you live in a glass house. I'd rather know a female is clean sexually especially since I cant control her past....and she definitely can't control mine. I trained my mind not to be shocked at anything a female says, especially with my entertaining and colorful dating history. You live and you learn, ya know? Not to mention Twitter is exposing a lotta undercover hookers...but that's neither here nor there.

Granted, there are some real ladies out there (I roll with a few)....who have sexual experience...but the way most dudes are nowadays, you could imagine why they aint gonna want to tell them their #s for a few reasons:

  • The average male cant comprehend the fact that a woman will by default have more options than he has. From puberty, women get slobbered over by most males in their social circles. Many dudes dont have as many option or have to work hard for female attention. This is why I tell all my homegirls post breakups that they have more options than they really think they do. They're usually called "male friends".
  • Women are typically raised from young to be the "purest" and to exhibit wife traits.  Social constructs (Judeo-Christian/religious ideals, etc) seem to dictate that a high number of sexual partners for a woman makes her "less attractive" as a wife.
  • I'm from the school of thought that says most women (no matter how cold they are) are more emotionally based in their reasonings and logic. If she's liking what dude is talking about and then she tells him her #s, he might look at her as just another piece of ass.
  • A dude doesnt want to be a cuckold and a lotta women know this.. Dont know what it means? Look it up

Solution: Take the shit day by day. Case by case as well. Just like you got #s, a lotta chicks got bodies on them as well. I by no means advocate wifing the local jumpoff (but someone WILL do it) so w/e...but be adult about your shit. Dont lie and just keep it funky.

Also fellas, if a female does not want to go to to a clinic with you or is acting flaky/jivey about it, leave her where you found her....especially if she's talking about a future with you.

Fall Outerwear Purchases

Hate window shopping....but these jackets will definitely be copped for the fall. I was a big fan of 10 Deep's summer line and they didnt disappoint with their Fall/Winter lookbook. Crooks also got some shit I'ma pick up pretty soon. My spot where I copped a lotta sample Crooks stuff shut down and it felt like I lost part of my soul...but that's neither here nor there...

"La Bomba"-Cam'Ron feat. Vado

Killa Bitch!!!!!!

New video for "La Bomba" off the "Boss of All Bosses" mixtape that dropped a while (courtesy of WSHH).Featuring Vado...who spits really simple..but with enough conviction.Son is kinda interesting to listen to. Comes off as what Juelz shoulda been....

DL "Boss of All Bosses" here

Blueprint III

I also copped that Blueprint III earlier on this week. Honestly, and this is the first time that it's happened, but I was more excited for another artists' release than Hov with Raekwon releasing in the same week. Admittedly, I'm a Hov stan and was amped for damn near every release the man has put out, but with the leaks of certain tracks, I was sorta disappointed from what I heard. I thought they leaked it on purpose but obviously not.....

The album really isnt that bad upon my third listen. Even Cudi, who I have a remarkable dislike for as an artist,showed up on "Already Home". The standout track on the album is "Empire State of Mind" featuring Alicia Keys which details NY home pride; the song holds more weight to me especially after 9/11. This is more of a statement album, with songs like "DOA" and "Off That" showing Hova flexing his trendsetting muscle and declaring what's wack. I dont like "Run This Town" as Rihanna's voice just irritates the shit outta me.

"So Ambitious" is a MUTHAFUCKING problem. J. Cole gets a chance to shine on the "Star Is Born"(Having met him a couple of times and seeing him pass out "The Warm Up" mixtapes at Le Poisson Rouge, he's earned my respect of his artistry). For the direction the album took, I could see why there's no Bleek, Beans, etc features but Hova coulda at least threw Chris on there (especially if Cudi got on there...like c'mon). Jeezy totally kills "As Real As It Gets". "Venus Vs. Mars" is pretty dope as well.

"It all good/the streets is A&Ring this....I went from pauper to the president/Cuz every deal I ever made set precedents..."-"So Ambitious"

The album is prolly a 3.8/5 album to me right now. I was pleasantly shocked. I expected it to be as bad as Kingdom Come but it really was not.

"Stapleton Sex" Video...NSFW 8-0

First heard this track from my man A. King. I was like WOW....so it made sense that the video would take the direction it did. This is off the upcoming "Wizard of Poetry In Emerald City" album due out the 29th of this month. i also heard a track called "Guesthouse" with Fabolous that was pretty dope as well.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II

About muthafuckin' time...

So OB4CL II came out last week. Tried to get into the release party @ Santos as it had Rae, Ghost, Cappadonna, Beans, Lyfe and Diddy. It was an absolute mad house...Went up there with some people but we didnt get in...it was w/e

So I end up getting a connect to go to the SOBs show...it was pretty dope...

I was VERY impressed by the album when I heard it. I'm big on lyricism and was a huge fan of the first one. This took me back to '95...my cousins were big Wu/Raekwon fans and used to bump this album religiously..

Very solid album....damn near flawless....the only track I'm not a big fan of is "Catalina" with Lyfe Jennings....other than that it's a solid purchase. I said on Twitter that after this album, I dont wanna hear another coke rap album for the rest of the year...and yes that includes Clipse and Jeezy...it's about time we had a rap album that sticks to its strengths and doesnt have a million and one R&B tracks on it.....

Go out and support real hip-hop.