Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Did You See Kanye West & Sway On MTV Last Night?

Photo Credit: Justin Borucki

Did anyone happen to catch the MTV special "Choose or Lose & Kanye West Present: Homecoming"? I thought it was great! Here is someone who's been ridiculed for one reason or another who goes out and actually helps someone he didn't know.

Now, I'm not saying that Kanye never helped anyone before this because I'm sure he has. It was just good to see him do this with war veterans from Iraq. The stories that these three people had were very touching. Yep, I said touching.

See even though they were being filmed giving away items, paying off the soldiers debts, etc., the point was that they were helping somebody who thought there was no end in sight to their misery. I give Mr. West a thumbs up fa sho for doing this.

These soldiers are dying everyday just so people like you and I can enjoy the freedoms that we have such as blogging or making your own beats or whatever. The stories of when they joined the military were even more chilling to me. They had joined pre-9/11. They weren't expecting to go to war and now they were living history. One man said he'd never even held a gun before. They were all young people too.

I know he only helped 3 people during the special but how many other lives were touched just by watching it?

Kanye knows what it's like to lose a loved one and I do too. I lost my uncle (R.I.P.) to a senseless murder by some teenagers the same day as his mom died. But those that are living must go on. Thanks Kanye West and MTV! We needed that...

For the full story click on the link below:

Kanye West And MTV Hear Veterans' Stories In 'Homecoming' - News Story Music, Celebrity, Artist News MTV News

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hot Beatmaker Series: Interview with Base Jase

Here's a great interview on beat maker Base Jase. He's a producer for MTV's The Real World & The Hills. In addition to that he makes money selling beats online and he makes beats for other artists. This is a great read courtesy of Nodfactor.com.

Click the link below for the full interview:

Hydrosonics: Base Jase : NODFACTOR.COM

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. If you don't get started making your own beats today, when, I say, when my friend, will you get started. Click here to get started today for under $40.00!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beat Maker Scott Storch Loses Crib? You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

Umm, what the hell is this about?

Multi-Million Dollar producer Scott Storch loses his house to foreclosure!!!??? How does this keep happening? How can we, as Hiphoppas, see artist like MC Hammer lose their butts because of poor money management skills and still keep ending up in the poor house? I mean, was I the only one to read Donald Passman's book, "All You Need To Know About The Music Business"?

Click on the link below to read the full Scott Storch story:

Will Hollywood end up homeless? Another celebrity foreclosure - WalletPop

Honestly, I can't say what this man is going through. We've all been through rough times. I know I've had my share.

I just wanna know, "What da hell was on his mind?!?!". Damn, this man was at one time worth over $70 million dollars and he bought a home worth $10 million with a mortgage on it. That's just bad math. Even worse is that he didn't buy it straight out or get such a ridiculously low payment he could have maintained off of royalties alone. That's making your music work for you.

For those who don't know who Scott Storch is, here is a link to his discography of production credits:

Scott Storch discography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What producer wouldn't want to have a catalog like this? As I read some of these songs and artist names, I just feel like something must've really went wrong is this dude's life. I hope he bounces back because he's a dope producer and he knows how to make hits.

Bottom line: Manage your money and cover your ass(ets). I hope this isn't another story of how people around him mismanaged his money because if it is, even Gary Coleman could've told him to watch out for that a long time ago.


Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Monday, July 21, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: What Are You Waiting For?

Have you ever dreamed of programming drums like Timbaland or Swizz Beats?

Then click here to make your own beats!

Are you a rapper or emcee that really wants to put out a demo or album but just can get your hands on the right music?

Then click here to make your own beats!

Are you in a group where one person handles most of the production of beats and you have to wait on him or her to give you beats or get into the studio to record?

Then click here to make your own beats!

Are you a Hiphoppa in need of some extra cash?

The click here to make your own beats!

Do you want to leave a lasting mark on the music industry and have a long career?

That's right - you need to click here to make your own beats!

Am I serious about you making your own beats? Yes, yes, and yes! I'm sure many people can relate to my story. I've been in the music business since 1988. I've been in several groups where someone else handled the beat making duties and most of the time I never had a problem with it.

I always felt like I could make my own beats but I never really pursued it because I was so focused on becoming the best emcee (for those that are Hiphop dialect challenged, an emcee is also called a rapper - but not all rappers are emcees. That a topic for another article). I'm a perfectionist so in my mind, I became one of the best emcees. I mean I've even performed at the Apollo in Harlem with one group I was in called The Insane Cirkle so I thought I was "the man".

Everything was fine for a while but we always had to go back to a certain producer with our ideas and he would charge us by the hour for studio time to put the ideas together and record songs & demos. I kept encouraging the members of the group to get our own equipment and no one moved a muscle.

One day, one of co-workers at my slightly above minimum wage job who had some connections with Dallas Austin and some other people offered to let me use a Boss 660 drum machine that he had laying around the house. I accepted and I began to make killer beats. The only drawback was that I couldn't make any melodies with it so I still end up going back to the same producer to help me finish the rest of the track and I was still paying him for studio time...and giving him production credits. But I did make some money with the 660.

I knew I couldn't keep the Boss 660 forever so I bought my first piece of equipment: A Roland PMA - Personal Music Assistant. At the time it was cutting edge technology because I could produce on the go. I was a public transportation user back then and I could make my own beats while I was on the train. It was MIDI capable so I could sync it up with other MIDI instruments in the studio and the sounds that it produced weren't bad. I made some money with it too.

Later after The Insane Cirkle broke up, I found myself in another group called Prophetix with my homeboy Eddie Meeks. Prophetix accomplished many great things and once again I shrugged off the production duties to work on my lyrics because our deejay, Jon Doe, was our producer who made really hot beats. With me being from down south, I wanted more bass kicks in the music I rhymed over but no one was feeling me on that concept. Most of the hit rap songs that you listen to have 808 kick drum sounds in them and so do the classics. As with the last group I got tired of waiting for beats and waiting to record in the studio so one day I went out and bought Reasons 3.0 and an EMU X-Board 25 and the rest is history.

The members of Prophetix disbanded for one reason or another and I'm REALLY glad I got my own equipment. There is an old saying that goes, "God blesses the child that's got his own". Well, I no longer have to wait on others to make music for me or wait to go to the studio just to record scratch vocals. Sure, I'll rhyme over another producers beats but I don't have to wait on anybody and my studio time is not limited by anybody else. If I have a good idea, I don't have to wait a week or two to get it recorded. I can do it all from the comfort of my home studio when ever I want to do it.

The point I'm trying to say is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? There are endless optionS for making your own beats. I not a fool though. I know everyone can't afford an MPC 3000 or software like Reasons. As much as I love what the MPC does, it was just simply out of my budget. One great option for new producers to get is to get Music Producer Pro. It comes with software you can download off the Internet and it is full of tutorials that can help you get started today. It is currently selling at $34.95 at the time of this writing but it's easily worth $250 to $300.

If you don't get started making your own beats now when will you get started?

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. To make your own beats, get started now by clicking here to go to the Music Producer Pro website. You won't be sorry! Peace...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cain't Get Right: The Rap Beat Creator Has A Brain Fart

For the last few days, I have done NOTHING productive...well at least it seems that way in my mind. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels. I have an old Dell laptop that I've been working with for a while and I've just been having all kinds of challenges dealing with this thing.

One day last week, I decided to pull out the Dell because my wife was using our desktop computer and I really wanted to do some "stuff" on it. We just moved back in late April and we are still getting situated in our new home. With something as important as a computer, I try to keep all my things together. Well, for the life of me, I couldn't find my power cord for the Dell which I haven't used in months.

I looked every place in our garage that I thought it could be. I looked in the den. I looked in the office. I looked in our bedroom. I even looked in the "junk" drawer in the kitchen.

All the while, I'm trippin' ' cause I know it's here in the house and it should be somewhere near the computer. Eventually, I postponed my search, frustrated as hell.

The story continues...

This past Sunday, my brother-in-law called me about setting up his computer for wireless networking. After I spoke with him for a while about it, I began my search again for the missing cord.

Maybe it's being anal but when I'm ready to work on the computer, I have to have at it with no delays. I decided to look in the hall closet and to my surprise it was there along with some other cords that my wife had collected when she was setting up our Playstation.

YES!!!! I was estatic. So I began setting up my wireless network and the Dell was working fine.

Then I had problems setting up the wireless network. Here I am trying to set up a network by taking shortcuts and I wasted several minutes all because thought I could just simply hook up some wires. WRONG!!!

When I moved, I switched to Comcast from AT&T to have the fasted connection possible. But I forgot that the software that comes with the router searches for the type of Internet connection you use. Duhhhhhh!!!

Well, by the time I figured that out, the Dell started to lockup so I started doing hard boots on it. In my "inpatientness", I bypassed the screen that said, "Windows was shutdown improperly an it is checking your files to make sure they are not damaged."


I could have thrown the Dell across the room but it wasn't the computer's fault. It was my fault. And guess what. Now the computer won't boot up Windows and I spent Monday evening trying to figure it out.

This story has 2 morals.
  • Lesson #1: You should definitely have a dedicated computer to operate your business if you have a family or more than one person in the household that uses the computer. Anything can happen such as computer crashes, viruses, or simply someone wanting to use the computer when you need it.
  • Lesson #2: Don't force your computer to do silly things because you're impatient with it. I'm going to try to work on the Dell a bit more but since its so old, I may just by a new one.
The result of these few days of banging my head against the wall is that I didn't create any beats at all. I just beat my head up against the wall only producing a big knot on my head filled with frustration.


Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beat Makers: Copyright Your Music or Get Caught Up in Some Bull****

You know, this music business is a funny business. Its a different business because we don't sell widgets. We sell songs which are also known as intellectual property. As with any kind of property you own you have to protect it. If you have a house, you get an alarm, a dog, or a gun. With songs you have to do the same.

There is an old saying: it's a thin line between famous and broke.

Alot of artists are so caught up in the glamour and glitz, fame and glory that they don't learn about copyrights and music publishing until their money is gone. By then its too late and that hit song that you made and thought you owned was really owned by someone else WHO KNEW about copyrighting the music.

I can site numerous examples of artists getting screwed out of their money because they didn't know about copyrights and publishing. They go hand in hand.

The other day I posted a link to an article about the late J. Dilla (R.I.P.) and how his estate was getting ripped off because people wanted to use his name and music for profit and didn't want to pay his estate.

That's garbage!!!

Our songs are our assets. They are what makes us money for years. They can make us money for generations if we protect them. I mean wouldn't you love to have control of James Brown's mega hit "I Feel Good"?

Imagine if he hadn't copyrighted it and exploited it...and somebody ELSE did!!!

Here's another old school, real life example from the Hiphop world. Back in the late 80's and early 90's, The D.O.C. was the man. He had several guess spots on N.W.A. records and his solo album was off the chain. Due to his youth, he didn't understand publishing and the infamous Eazy-E, traded him a gold chain for his publishing rights. Yep, you read that right. A GOLD CHAIN!!!

Now imagine how much money James Brown's song had made and what his life would've been like if he traded his rights for a freakin' gold chain back when he made "I Feel Good". We probably wouldnt've even heard of James at all.

I can't stress enough that the music business is a business and it requires constant education. With any business you want to start, you have to get education. Even if you wanted to own a McDonald's restaurant, you would have to go to Hamburger University...sounds funny but its true.

Fortunately, getting a good education about the music business is not as expensive as owning a Mickey D's but being uneducated will cost you more in the long run.

Here is another recent copyright issue I found on the Internet with Soulja Boy.

News: Possible proof that Soulja Boy has not infringed on copyrights


If you are serious, I hope you will take what I'm saying to you to the heart and head. I'd hate to see you lookin' broke as hell like MC Hammer.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. If you would like to get more info on copyrights and other legal documents such as producer agreements (my real beat makers will need these!!!) click here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

88 KEYS:It’s A Man’s World : NODFACTOR.COM

Here's a great article on 88 Keys that I found while surfing the net. It took me a while to read it because of all the distractions but it was well worth it. I love a great success story. Here it goes:

Article starts here >>>>

It’s about time 88 Keys started yelling. The totally off the radar producer has been quietly amassing an enviable discography. From Black Star’s “Thieves in The Night” (thanks Eskay!) to Beanie Sigel’s “Watch Your Bitches” and Musiq Soulchild’s “Her” he’s kept heads ringing for years. Now he is preparing to release his first solo album, The Death of Adam, executive produced by Kanye West. Yeah, that Kanye West. On the eve of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival 88 Keys took a moment to speak with Nodfactor about the little death, producing for Jay-Z and why he’ll never give up his MPC-3000.

NODFACTOR: Tell me what your CD, The Death of Adam, is all about. What is that title supposed to be about?

88 Keys: The title is actually a reference to the female genitalia. The vagina. The entire album is based around the woman’s vagina, and the character Adam who represents the man. Just trying to get some. Just trying to get his off.

For the rest of the interview click on the link below:

88 KEYS:It’s A Man’s World : NODFACTOR.COM

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. You should definitely check out Music Producer Pro if you are serious about creating rap beats. Click here now for more info!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III Album Review

Wow! Easily one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne is okay if that's what you like. I'll admit, there are some bangers on the album and it even comes with a bonus disc. But man, come on, all the topics are pretty much the same.
Okay dude, you can freestyle. No one can deny that. That's great. But I challenge Wayne to actually grab a pen and pad and sit down and be creative. I could only image how much BETTER this album would have been.
On the flip side of that: Kudos for Wayne for selling over 1 million records during the first week. And right now "A Milli" is killin' em on the underground and commercial levels. "Comfortable" is hot with Babyface and beat creator Kanye West on the track. "Mr. Carter" is a go as well as "Dr. Carter".
I guess some of the other joints will grow on me but right now that's what I'm feelin'. And on the bonus CD, there are only 2 out of the 5 that I could get into. The other 3 sound like half of the 1st disc...the same.
I won't say it's a classic yet but it could be...
Let's Make It Happen!!!
Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LA Weekly - Music - Who's Biting J Dilla's Beats? - Jeff Weiss - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles

OMG! Don't let this happen to you. Jay Dilla aka James Yancey was one of the greatest beat makers to walk this earth. He made lots of money but his death has brought much sorrow into the world with people using his name to make money (and NOT sharing it with his family) and illegal downloads on the internet.

His mom is having a hard time dealing with his estate because so many people are out for themselves. Its very sad. Check out the link below for the full story.

LA Weekly - Music - Who's Biting J Dilla's Beats? - Jeff Weiss - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles

Rest In Peace Jay Dee!

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


P.S. Copyright your music today! Click here now for more info...