Sunday, August 31, 2008

Super Producer Dr. Dre Son Passes Away

As some of you may know, Dr. Dre who's real name is Andre Young, Sr. lost his 20-year old son Andre Young Jr. last week.

It is reported that he passed away at home. My prayers go out to Dr. Dre and his family.

Dr. Dre is one of the greatest producers in the world and his discography is to be admired. I've been a Dre fan since the World Class Wreckin' Crew and I've even tried to make beats like him. Death is never easy. Once again Dr. Dre you and your family are in our thoughts.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How NOT To Make Money In The Music Business!

I get all kinds of email regularly asking me about free beats. Okay, I know that my original site was called, and I guess I should've saw it coming but damn!

Here's a little business lesson: the reason anybody or any business gives away anything free is to get something in return. At my site I offer free beats as an incentive to my visitors to give me their names and email addresses. Now, if I gave away more than the 7 free beats that are posted on my site, then I wouldn't be in business long would I? In fact, I don't know to many business that offer their product free forever. Many business use the 'free sample' technique. I has been used for years...way before there was ever such a thing called the Internet.

How does this apply to you and the music business?

For starters, sending out demos is giving the recipient a free sample. Most demos have 3 to 5 songs on them. More established artists use their whole album as their demo.

Let's relate this to social networking sites like If you sign up as an artist on MySpace you get to upload several songs. You can choose to let the visitors of your page download your songs if you want to for free or you can place a link on your site where they can buy your song or album for money. Personally, I like to get paid for my hard work.

Its funny because many artists wonder why they never make a dime and it's because they don't understand the music business is a business. The sole purpose of a business is to make money. Its not so that the owners can have more time and freedom or be more flexible or give people jobs. Its to make MONEY!!!

The sole job of a business owner is to generate revenue and raise capital. Without these, the business will not exist long. I don't care if your selling wigets, CD's, beats, make your own beats services, dance lessons, cooking lessons, toilet tissue, candy bars, ham sandwiches, shoes, computers, etc. The bottom line is how much you've made at the end of the day.

I know this might sound harsh for some of you but its the truth. Anyone who is in business to do anything else is setting himself or herself up for failure.

Listen, I AM Hiphop and a true understanding of the kulture of Hiphop helps you realize what has been called "street entrepeneurship". Its a long term for hustlin'. If Russell Simmons didn't get paid for all his work with Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, we wouldn't have heard of LL Cool J or even Kanye West. Same goes for Diddy. No Diddy, no Biggie Smalls, no Mary J. Blige, etc. The list goes on.

If you want to be a failure in the music business here is the recipe: Do everything for free. Spend time (and money) getting your songs recorded, put together a press kit, spend all kinds of time (and money) getting exposure for your group, give away your songs and albums for free, do free shows, and give away all the rights to your music. Did I leave anything out?

Now if you want to get money you must do the opposite. Spend some time learning about the music business and figure out ways you can make money in the business. And don't fall under the stupidity of the "Keepin' It Real" idiots. Keepin' it real is keeping your bills paid. Keepin' It real is feeding your kids. Keepin' it real is being able to buy the things you want to buy by earning money from your God-given skills and abilities. Keepin' it real is building enough wealth to last for several generations. If you want to make money, follow this formula. If not, follow the first one.

And as with all things you want to be good at, you must practice. Success is usually not an accident. If you want to be a better Hiphoppa then focus on your chosen craft, whether it be emceeing or street entrepeneurship. You may have to spend some time and money on it but if you don't focus on the end result then you won't get ahead in the game...and believe me it's all a game.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Source Magazine Picks 20 Greatest Producers

In 20 years, there have been some great Hiphop producers. For their 20th Anniversary, The Source magazine has named their top 20. I've put the list below. What do you think about this list? And why the hell isn't my name on it?! Or yours?! LOL!

Anyway, I can pretty much agree with the majority of the producers on this list. Who would you put on the list and who would you kick off? Here it is in alphabetical order:

  1. Bomb Squad
  2. DJ Paul and Juicy J
  3. DJ Premier
  4. DJ Quik
  5. Dr. Dre
  6. Erick Sermon
  7. Jermaine Dupri
  8. J Dilla
  9. Kanye West
  10. Lil Jon
  11. Marley Marl
  12. Mannie Fresh
  13. Pete Rock
  14. Puff Daddy & The Hitmen
  15. RZA
  16. Scott Storch
  17. Swizz Beatz
  18. The Neptunes
  19. Timbaland
  20. Wyclef Jean & Jerry Wonder

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. Our names should be on this list for the next twenty years. If you haven't check out Music Producer Pro then you might not get on the list. Click here to start making beats for only $39.00!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The MF Doom Body Double Controversy - Is It True?

Wow! I don't know how many of you are familiar with my man MF Doom but it looks like he's catching some heat. It's been rumored that Doom has been using a body double or not even showing up at all for booked shows.

Now, Doom is my man hands down. I don't know what's going on as far as this body double business but he is a down to earth dude. The fans all see the "metal face" mask but all that aside I don't see Doom hiding anything.

Doom not only produced "Somethin's Gotta Give" on my High Risk album but he also helped me do some lawn work once and didn't ask for a penny. No joke. I put that on my daughter life. This is someone whose crashed at my crib before folks so I don't know about these allegations.

Like I said, I don't know what's going on. Dude wears a mask so it could be some clowns out there just gettin' money by using his name. I've seen Doom perform at clubs where there were only 20 people so why would he dodge a packed house? It doesn't make sense.

Check out the video below. ANYBODY could've done this.

Click the link below for the full story.

CunninLynguists Producer Calls Out MF Doom : NODFACTOR.COM

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: To Beat Or To Blog? That Is The Question

Okay, so it's almost 3AM and I'm just sitting around. I'm kinda exhausted and I'm contemplating should I make a beat or post on my blog. Well, you're reading the results. Do you remember the post I put up a couple of months ago about the 3 essential things you need to make beats? It was The Will, The Way, and The Movement.

Well, I can tell you right now I'm having trouble with The Will and The Movement. I think I took the easy way out and just decided to blog. LOL. I'm such a lazy muthafucker sometimes. And I know my X-Board and Reasons both miss me but I'm just absent today.

Does this mean when you make your own beats you will get these slumps too? Probably so. Why? Because your HUMAN!!! Everyone is entitled to a break. Especially if you make beats using the computer or do any type of computer work for a long extended period of time. You need a break.

I just don't feel like making my own beats right now... Hey, at least I'm honest, right?

Tomorrow will be a different story. I'll holla...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Friday, August 15, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: Acres of Diamonds Right Under Your Nose

Man, I put together a heater a couple of days ago and I started thinking about my life. One of my co-workers at my day job who encourages me on different ideas that pop in my mind got me to thinkin' bout getting back into music the way I used to be back in the day.

I've tried to do so many other things and I have been marginally successful. I've had enough jobs to last a lifetime. I've even held a real estate license at one time. But the thing that I am most consistent at is the music business. I've been involved with this business in one way or another since 1988 but I always comeback to music.

One story that always guides me the "Acres of Diamonds" story. It's about an African farmer who owned a lot of property. He was facinated about stories of people finding diamonds in far off lands so he sold his property for little of nothing and went searching for untold riches. He searched and searched and finally he died without every finding 1 diamond.

Meanwhile the farmer who bought the property was walking along the farm one day and while he was on the riverbank of his land noticed a shiny stone. Being unfamiliar with the stone he took it his friend who was a rock expert. His friend told him it was a diamond asked him where he found this stone and he replied "my whole farm is full of them".

The moral of the story is don't be so quick to run off looking for wealth some other place. It is usually right up under your nose. Use what you have to get what you want. And like I said before, in my situation, I always keep coming back to music, no matter what!

Here is the beat that I made and it is for sale. It's been tagged so no one can steal it but I'll gladly take the tag line off for the right buyer. I'm open to all offers.

Click on the link below and it will open up your media player and begin to play:

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. If you haven't already done so and you think that making your own beats is your "Acres of Diamond" click here to check out Music Producer Pro.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: The Death Of A Legend - Isaac Hayes

Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008)

Aw man :-( In 2 days, back to back, we have lost 2 great entertainers. Isaac Hayes who is best know for his work on the movie Shaft passed away one day after one of the Kings of Comedy, Bernie Mac. He scored the movie and wrote the theme song as well. That work alone was so phenomenal, he won a 2 Grammys and an Oscar. Ironically, Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac worked together on an upcoming movie called "Soul Man". I strive to have a career as long and prosperous as Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac.

Isaac's career started back in the 1960's with STAX Records. He did much of the songwriting, arranging, and production for the labels artist.

The younger generation may remember him as the voice of Chef from the cartoon South Park. He was probably one of the more popular characters. Chef was always singing love songs and whenever he was asked for advice from the kids at the school, he would break out and sing a love ballad. Too classic!

From writing, singing, playing, producing, composing, and acting, Isaac Hayes was one of the greatest. He will surely be missed. The angels in Heaven have a new conductor. Rest In Peace Isaac Hayes.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: I'm Back In Business Baby!!!

Whew!!! For a minute, I thought I would have to get a new computer. You know I'm a BIG advocate of making your own beats so when my EMU X-Board 25 keyboard wouldn't power up I was wiggin' out. I wanted to put a special audio message on the front of my website I knew it would help me get more subscribers so when it happened I was trippin'.

I thought it was just something I was doing wrong so I tried it again the next day. Luckily, I knew how to record my message without using the keyboard so I got it done. I checked the drivers and ran a virus scan but still no luck.

I suspected the USB port was the problem because my webcam wasn't working either. So I did a little research and I found out that I needed to get a USB PCI card to install in my computer. I shopped around online and got a couple of prices. Most were $30.00 and up. I even saw some for $100.00!!! So I checked eBay and baammm!!! I found one for $5.98 with free shipping so I ordered it on Thursday. It was in my mailbox on Saturday afternoon and in my computer on Saturday night.

When I hit the switch to the X-Board and the display lights came on, I knew I was back in business. So yeah, there will be more beats in the near future and I'm about to unleash the beast on these cats out here. Make your own beats or die!!! That's whassup!!!

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bernie Mac, Rest In Peace

Bernie Mac (1957-2008)
(AP Photo / Tammie Arroyo)

We lost a great soldier today. One of the Kings of Comedy, Bernie Mac passed away this morning due to complications from pneumonia. I know alot of people were touched by his passing and I for one am definitely shook up. Even though I didn't know Bernie, felt like I did through his work.

From his many stand-up performances to his movies to his TV show, he proved he was a King of Comedy. I had the opportunity not only to see the Kings of Comedy concert live but I actually promoted it as well so I can alway say I got to work for Mr. Bernie Mac. I'm really gonna miss that dude. He was pure genuine comedy and I thank God that he walked the earth. I had many a laugh due to him. All Hail The King Bernie Mac!!! You will be missed Brother. May you rest in peace...

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Friday, August 8, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: Selling Beats vs. Leasing Beats

I've been thinking about the different business models in which you can sell beats online. There are several different ways that I've seen since I've been actively selling beats online.

There are membership sites where you can pay a one-time fee or monthly fee and have access to a catalog of beats. There are sites where you can buy royalty-free beats for different prices but. If you buy these beats from these sites you also don't have control over who else buys the beat because you're not the exclusive buyer. There are also sites where you can buy beats with full rights that you own straight out and don't have to share with anybody.

I think the best sites that I've seen combine several of these features in one. They are like hybrid sites. They combine being able to buy royalty-free beats and getting a beat custom made. I know one guy that makes over $15,000 a month using this model!

I told your about Base Jase a while ago who makes beats for MTV as well as sells beats online. His beats sell for different prices but once someone buys them, he takes the beat off his site and the buyer is the sole owner.

Both ways have advantages but I think ultimately to keep headaches down a person who is looking for beats should buy them straight out. The downside to leasing or buying beats royalty-free is that somebody else can buy the beat as well and the beat loses it originality.

Anyway these are just some thoughts I had. I hope you think about your business model when you are making your own beats. If you have any questions, hit me up! Peace...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Make Your Own Beats: Old Skool vs. New Skool

There is a big difference between the music today versus the music 20 years ago. The Hiphop Kulture was in its "Golden Era" back then and the music was alot more fun. It wasn't making as much money as it is today but it seemed a bit more pure.

Everyone was working to be different from the competition, not trying to emulate them. I mean Heavy D was different from N.W.A. Public Enemy was different from The 2 Live Crew. Big Daddy Kane was different from Run-DMC. And being in the true spirit of Hiphop, the artists strived to be different from each other. What was cool is that you could hear all these artist on the same radio playlist. There was balance.

Today I can't say that at all. Most mainstream rappers are consistent when it comes to talking about Ballin'. How much they are ballin? How much money they have? How many girls they have? Let's talk about my Phantom and my Bentley and how I got to be this way selling drugs, etc., etc. Yeah right!!! The only ones that sound different now are the underground emcees. There are some who still flex skills like Common and Lupe Fiasco but they are rare and they ain't selling records like the drug dealer/pimp types.

The music is different as well. Some of the music still bangs but since everybody found out that Soulja Boy made his break off of Fruity Loops &, people have been trying to copy that formula.


There are still some producers that sample and there are still some who try to make their music have a signature sound. I applaud these producers for wanting to be different. Make your own beats. Make your own sound. That my friend is Hiphop. Peace...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Make Your Own Beats? Back Up Your Computer To Be Safe

Here is something that is very frustrating if you are making your own beats using a computer. I made some sick beats and for some reason I didn't get this lesson when it was first put in my face. I'm talking about backing up your hard drive and saving your work on a CD-R.

The first time this happened to me was back in 2006. My motherboard went out in my computer and I had every opportunity to back up my work. There was even a point in time just before it died when I could've saved everything but oh no. I FORGOT that my computer was wiggin' out so I shut it down. It never came back on and I lost everything. The real reason I also lost everything was that my computer guy lost my hard drive which is another reason to back up all of your files.

Fast forward to 2008.

My computer guy built me another computer and it works good enough to for me to make beats and do some basic computing and web surfing. We'll here's a tip: if you have people in your household who use your main computer, then you should back it up regularly. Why? Because people download things sometimes that they aren't sure about and these things can be viruses or programs that don't work well with your computer.

Case in point.

I just moved at the beginning of May and when I moved my computer was working fine. For some strange reason a month later it started locking up. I'd have to reboot my computer every time and I just knew something had been downloaded by my wife that shouldn't have been. Well, I decided I would back up my files because I couldn't afford to lose all of my work. Good thing I did too.

Late in July, my computer started locking up as soon as the Windows logo would come on the monitor. I can't even explain to you how pissed I was. I had been running virus scans and Norton Systemworks scans as well and I kept getting some errors in my temp files that wouldn't go away no matter how many times I tried. Finally, I just decided to track down the location of the temp files and manually delete them. I was a bit nervous but they were temp files so that means it was taking up extra space anyway. This took a little while but guess what? My computer hasn't locked up in a week.

Bottom line: If you're making your own beats and using you computer to run your business, then you absolutely MUST backup your files. You might loose that beat the would've been the million dollar seller. Peace...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rapper/Producer Daz Dillinger's New Album and What He Thinks About Making Beats

Dogg Pound member Daz Dillinger is set to release his latest album, "Only On The Left Side" next Tuesday, August 12th. I've been a Daz fan before he was called Dillinger in The Chronic and he's been pretty consistent even though he doesn't get a whole lot of publicity.

I liked what he said about making beats though.

“I’m doing a lot of producing, I just don’t be giving my beats out,” he says. ” I can make more money with my beats than the person I give it to. Because I put the records out, I’m seeing the money come in, I’m getting the ringtone money, everything. I can make a song tonight and have it up on iTunes in 2 days.”

I keep telling you cats that making your own beats is the way to go. No, you don't have to be a Daz Dillinger but you do have to be proactive and make things happen for yourself. If you're the writer and producer, you get to keep 100% of your publishing royalties if you know what you're doing.

The traditional music business is dead. I like what he said about iTunes. People are looking for new joints to put on their iPods that not everybody has. People are tired of the same songs being played on the radio 20 times a day. There is a golden opportunity at hand and people like Daz Dillinger are ahead of the game. Peace...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Monday, August 4, 2008

Make Your Own Beats...Or Else!!!

Hey this is just a thought that I had. If CL Smooth would have been making beats, would his career have flourished as much or greater than Pete Rock's? We all know Pete Rock is sick on the beats and he can flow too. Not as good as CL but he held his own in the group and on his solo joints.

I don't know why Pete Rock and CL Smooth actually broke up. I've heard it was over, you guessed it...BEATS! There was a point in the 90's when Pete Rock was making beats for everybody. Pete was blowin' up and CL was getting blown off. That's just one example of someone who was the beat maker that thrived while others in the group fell by the wayside.

How about Teddy Riley and Guy. Boy, Aaron Hall sure could sing! I mean the ladies were on that dude back in the day even though some said he had a stuttering problem. Teddy was the man though. He coined the New Jack Swing era and made lots of money making beats for other artists besides Guy. I mean from Keith Sweat to Micheal Jackson he made a lot of beats. He produced from countless rap artists too.

Aaron Hall put out some solo albums but so what? I mean the albums were dope but Teddy was collecting checks...FAT CHECKS!!! All from making beats.

Am I advocating that if you are an artists you should take some time to learn how to make your own beats? Hell yeah that's what I'm saying. See you may not always be hot as an artist. And rappers are a dime a dozen. Producers though, producers stand the test of time. Look at Russell Simmons. He even produced a few of Run-DMC's early joints before he became the mogul that we all know. I'll bet he's still gettin' royalty checks too from the 80's.

With that said, I'm out. Tomorrow I'm going to discuss some preventive maintenance stuff to help you in your business as you make your own beats. Until then...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Saturday, August 2, 2008

There's No Magic Pill To Make Your Own Beats

The Blastmaster KRS-ONE & The Hot Instrumentalist, Mello Melanin

In this Hiphop "Matrix" there is no shortcut to being successful. In other words, Neo, there is no blue pill! There is nothing magical about making your own beats. There is nothing magical about being successful.

However there is a formula for luck and here it is:

Luck = Opportunity + Preparation

Let's break that down really quick. You've heard of people being in the right place at the right time. We'll they were lucky. An opportunity presented itself and they were prepared when it happened. No magic necessary.

So the question is how can you be prepared when an opportunity presents itself?

I like to relate my lessons by using my own experiences so here is a perfect example of how I was lucky. At my church, our youth ministry was working on events for planning their youth week. The director of the youth ministry was a friend of mine by the name of Server. Server had seen my group Prophetix perform several times before and he and several other people asked me if we would perform during youth week. I was a bit hesitant at first but I eventually said yes.

About a week later, I was told that KRS-ONE would be performing for our youth week as well. I thought that would be cool because I knew we would be opening up for him. Well, the show went better than I expected and KRS was very impressed with our show. I knew he was giving a lecture to the kids the following day so I went to it because I had heard him speak many times before. He did a History of Hiphop speech that was great!

Later that day, the church had a fish fry and all the kids took pictures with KRS. As we were leaving, I got a "gut feeling" that I should ask him for a contact number. I followed my instinct and asked. He gave me his number but stated it would best if I called him when he got back in 2 weeks from touring in California.

This is were the "luck" comes in...

I asked him if I could come on the tour with him and he looked at me real serious and replied "Word! Are you serious?" My response of course was "YES". He said the he could work it out but he'd have to check on the logistics. I was to call the number he had given me on Sunday evening and you bet I did.

I called the other members of Prophetix and let them know what was going on and they couldn't believe it but I could. Lo and behold, I get a phone call back from KRS and he told me that he wouldn't pay for our trip out to California but he would pay for our trip back, pay for our hotel, pay us $500.00 a piece, and pay us a per diem which is money for every day we were out there in Cali. Sounded fair to me. The total time from me asking him could I go to actually being on a plane to Los Angeles was less than a week!

My "luck" got even better though...

When we got settled in Los Angeles, we had a meeting with KRS where we were debrief on how the shows would go. He explained that he didn't want us to open up for him but he wanted us to actually be on stage with him during his set. No joke. Talk about a trill. Imagine being on stage with KRS-ONE while you perform his classic joints with him in front of packed audiences. It was great! And we got to perform in so many other cities in Cali from San Fransisco to San Diego in the process so that made the 2 weeks even better.

So yes, I do consider myself lucky but I was prepared when the opportunity presented itself. That is the point I'm making.

Are you prepared if someone comes to you right now and asks you for a CD full of beats or a full demo package? What have you done up to this point in your career to say that you are ready for a life changing opportunity? You should alway be prepared for an opportunity. You'll never know if it will be the lucky one that changes your life.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. Get started building your catalog of beats today. Check out Music Producer Pro if you haven't done so already by clicking here!