Monday, August 31, 2009

What Is Your "Why" For Making Beats?

I've been working on this blog post in my mind for several days now. I learned this question from a top producing real estate broker several years ago. I was at a seminar and he was the main speaker. One of the things he said that really stuck out then and it still rings in my head today is: What is your "Why" for doing what you're doing?

What he meant by your "Why" was what is your core motivation for doing what you want to do. What are you primary reasons?

That really struck a lasting note for me and every so often I ask my self that question.

What is my "Why" for being in the music business?
What is my "Why" for making beats?

My "Why's" may be different from your "Why's" but its crucial to identify what your "Why's" are.

Some of my "Why's" for being in the music business include being passionate about my art and being in control of my own destiny. I am big fan of being self-employed or operating a true business where you don't even have to be present for it to operate.

Another "Why" would be because I like to travel and the music business gives me the ability to do just that. Its great to get paid to perform in a place you've never been to but have always wanted to go. I've been from Vermont to California because of my involvement in the music business.

Some of my "Why's" for making beats include being able to record lyrics whenever I want and with the sounds I want. I want the music to sound as close to what's in my head as possible. Another "Why" is the ability to create another stream of income. The music producer gets credit for writing songs as well.

So there you have it. Think about his question and memorize it. Use it as a gauge to constantly measure how you feel about making music. Once you know your "Why", its like you'll always have an internal compass to guide you on your path to success.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Sunday, August 23, 2009

How I earn money with my music web site

If you've been following my blog or have been on my email list for a while, you know I've been building The Rap Beat Creator website since 2007. I've had some ups and downs but I still make money everyday. I'm not saying I earn millions or even thousands of dollars but I know I'm on the way. What I have learned, through lots of trial and error, is that there is a better, simpler way.

I've been online since 1995. I started with a simple America Online dial-up account. All I knew how to do was send email and surf the web. I knew the web would be big and I knew that someone was making money but I didn't know how.

I read about affiliate programs back in 2001-2002 but I wasn't focused at making it work. I even had the free Affiliate Masters course that Internet marketing guru Ken Evoy offered but I wasn't ready for the work commitment it called for.

By the end of 2002, my group Prophetix, had a professionally built website and the webmaster added a blog to our homepage ( This was great because I could connect with our fans and back in 2002, almost no one had a music blog at that time.

But I still wanted my own personal music related website where I could become financially independent.

In early 2007, I bought a course on Internet marketing from one of the leading Internet gurus Derek Gehl and I got lots of valuable information from that course. The thing I didn't like was designing the website myself. I could have paid someone else to do it but I didn't have the money to pay anybody. I took too long for me to built and I'm more of a marketer than a designer. I made a few sales but I really didn't have a good blueprint to make money consistently.

But I still kept on going with the website and I ended up learning more about affiliate marketing. I revamped my whole business model and web site to recommend affiliate products. I bought another course from affiliate marketing guru, Rosalind Gardner, and I learned a little bit more and...

...I made a few more sales.

Then one day while I was reading Rosalind Gardner’s book, I saw a reference to the Affiliate Masters course that I talked about earlier by Ken Evoy. I decided to read it again...this time all the way through. Finally, I realized I had found it. This was the blueprint I needed! And the best part about it...

It was still absolutely FREE!

All these years had passed and I had a great step-by-step roadmap at the palm of my hands that could have made me financially independent long time ago.

No use crying over spilled milk now, right?

I had previously read another on of Ken's free e-books called "Make Your Content PREsell". I knew he had been around the Net for a while and he had some good quality material.

I began to change up my site using his materials and I began noticing my revenue going up! What really got me hooked on using some of his strategies were some of the case studies that he offered on his site.

He calls his customers, his "fans" and here's why:

Honest to God, no kidding, one of his "fans" created a web site about the healthy benefits of juicing. Yep you heard it right. Juicing. Literally squeezing juice out of oranges, apples, and other kinds of fruits to drink. Its healthy and its what she likes to do. And she's making enough money online to quit her full-time job, but she likes her job so she doesn't want to quit.

But that's her choice. She has achieved financial freedom.

Another man built a site with his sister about organizing kids birthday parties and within the first 2 months, he was making over $2,000 a month. By the next year he was financially independent. I'm serious as a heart attack. Check out the case studies for yourself.

Checking out these case studies made me rethink my strategies and revamp my site even more. I had set a goal this month to increase my revenues by 20% and using Ken's strategies I did it!

How cool is that?

If I had to start over again, I would have used Ken's flagship product, Site Build It (or SBI! for short) to build my business. When you are building an online business from the ground up, there are so many things you have to learn, its ridiculous.

You have to learn about web hosting, securing a domain name submitting your web site to search engines, etc. SBI! does all this for you and if you follow the steps and stay focused I believe you can duplicate the results of his best students.

Starting a business is risky and many businesses fail within the first 5 years. SBI! teaches you how to build and operate a business and how to minimize the risk for success.

Even if you don't purchase SBI!, he still teaches you how to build a successful affiliate business and he gives you his flag ship products to sell. This dude is serious. I signed up as an affiliate again this time because I saw how SBI! was changing lives and its growing my business already.

Another young lady I follow named Lisa Irby is a successful SBI student as well. What's crazy is I discovered her on YouTube. She was doing a video on Internet Marketing and I began to check out her site. She admitted to being financially independent since 2006. She even made a video about how much money she had made from Google Adsense in July 2009. She made almost $6 grand ($6,000.00 USD) and called it her best month ever from Google.

I knew the game was REALLY serious after I saw that video.

So for anybody who's ever asked me how I earn money with my web site. This is the way. I just follow the steps of the people who did it before me. But if I could do it all over again, I would have stuck with the free Affiliate Masters course Ken Evoy offers and followed it step-by-step.

If you want to learn how to build an online business and become financially independent doing something you love, I highly recommend learning from Ken Evoy and SBI!. Start with his free stuff and learn all you can from him. Its like having a license to print money.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Site Build It!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marketing Your Act With Your Own Music Videos

When it comes to marketing your music, television is the granddaddy of all marketing mediums. Some people, including your target market, watch countless hours of TV every week. Music videos are a great way to market your band. Look at the impact music videos had on Micheal Jackson's (R.I.P.) career. One video, Thriller, literally changed his life and the way music videos were made forever.

But making a music video for television isn't cheap. You may get lucky like my group did and get a TV quality music video for a few hundred bucks but generally that's not the case. How do you record and market a music video to help you get the buzz that you're looking for?

Advancements in technology have made it feasible for an artist to make and market a music video with a digital camera, a computer, some inexpensive software, and the Internet. A few years ago my DJ, Jon Doe produced a video with my partner-in-rhyme Eddie Meeks. He used a digital camera from his job and recorded a music video right in our studio which happened to be in his basement.

Here's the video below. Click the play button to check it out!

With the power of the Internet you can upload your music video on to sites like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. for the world to see. Even though I've had a music video on BET, this was more economical, simpler, and quicker to produce.

Will this make you a millionaire overnight? Probably not but it will get you some exposure on the Internet and it will definitely get you some more fans. You never know whose watching your music video. It may just be the break you're looking for.

Another great way to market you video is to record a live performance. This is also a great way to connect with your fan base as well as showcase your work to music executives.

If you use this music video marketing method correctly, you can set it up as an big event where your have you fan base tune in for the live performance right at the comfort of their computer.

Like I stated in the beginning, television is the granddaddy of marketing. If that's the case, then the Internet must the direct offspring. Putting your music video on the Internet is the next best thing the getting exposure on TV because you get all the same benefits with more reach and less hassle.

If you don't have a music video yet, then you should start planning on making one as soon as possible if you're serious about your music career.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Music Downloads: Can Your Fans Find Your Music?

The music business is constantly changing because of the Internet. Let's face it: the World Wide Web isn't going anywhere and more and more people are using it everyday. Music downloads are revolutionizing the music business. An artist who is not taking advantage of the Internet and posting their music on the web for downloading is not going to be ahead of the game.

There are plenty of sites where you can post your music downloads. is one of the biggest social networking sites that specialize in music downloads. Its catered to artists of all genres so if you don't have a MySpace artist page then you're missing out on some really good exposure.

In fact, record labels are looking to MySpace and other social networking sites to sign new artist. For example, 2 big music success stories include Tila Tequilla & Soldier Boy Tell 'Em. Tila Tequilla even had her own reality show. Soldier Boy Tell 'Em was picked up by Atlanta music producer Mr. Colli Park who had previous signed platinum selling acts the Yin Yang Twins. He's had several Billboard #1 hits since he got signed a few years ago. You could be next but if you don't have web exposure, its a good chance you might not get a label nod.

In addition to getting a label to sign your act, you may also build your own fan base online. MySpace keeps track of your music downloads, how many times your music has been played, and how many times your individual page has been viewed.

MySpace isn't the only site that offers music downloads. There are other sites like IMEEM and Soundclick.

Even though you post your music downloads on other sites, you should strive to get your own web domain name and web site. Having your own site willl offer you more flexibility as your market your music online.

Music downloads are the present and future of the music business. It's still good to make demo tapes and press kits because you can put something physical in your prospect's hands. Making your music available online gives you another option for marketing your act.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Billboard Bangers - Week #33

If you're really serious about making it in the music business and music publishing, then you should definitely check out your competition on Billboard.

This week in the Billboard Hot Rap 100 chart I'm going to review the Billboard Bangers which are the Top 10 songs on that chart. I'll review the rappers as well as the producers who made the beats.

This week's Top 10 Billboard Bangers are:

  1. Best I Ever Had - Drake (Produced by Boi-1da)
  2. Every Girl - Young Money (Produced by Tha Bizness)
  3. Wetter (Calling You Daddy) - Twista Featuring Erika Shevon (Produced The Legendary Traxster)
  4. Successful - Drake Featuring Trey Songz (Produced Noah “40″ Shebib)
  5. Throw It In The Bag - Fabolous Featuring The-Dream (Produced by Tricky Stewart)
  6. You're A Jerk - New Boyz (Produced by Dominic "Legacy" Thomas)
  7. Ice Cream Paint Job - Dorrough (Produced by 2 Much)
  8. Run This Town - Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West (Produced by Kanye West)
  9. Hotel Room Service - Pitbull (Produced by Jim Jonsin)
  10. Always Strapped - Birdman Featuring Lil Wayne (Produced by Mr. Beatz)

Let's start with #1. Hands down, Drake is the man right now. His flow is tight and his hook is catchy. The production by Boi-1da is nice and mid-tempo and Drake rides the track perfectly and his verses are visual. I'm lovin' that this joint came off a mix tape and now its the #1 Rap song in the country. How dope is that?

#2 is a song that features Drake again. As a matter of fact he's on the Top 10 list 3 times which is almost unheard of for an artist who wasn't even signed to a label. This time the song is Every Girl by the Young Money crew which is Lil Wayne and some of his artists. I'm more partial to the radio edited version only because that's what I've heard the most. All the emcees kill their verses but I'm still partial to the radio edits. The track is nutz as Tha Bizness kills the beat and the song has a nice melody and its "singable".

I'm not feelin' the #3 song that much even though I am a Twista fan and have been since he stepped on the scene in the 90's. I like the beat and Twista rocks the verses. Its just the hook I don't like. It's corny and it sounds cheesy as hell but people obviously like it because it's the #3 song on the chart.

The #4 song is Drake featuring Trey Songs with "Successful". Although the theme is not new (see Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy") they turn it into a heart-felt song about being successful and enjoying the finer things in life. The track is okay. I think the artists really sell this track.

#5 is definitely for the ladies. Its the Fabolous & The Dream. This song follows the "simple is best" formula. The rhymes are simple, the hook is simple, & the track is simple. Not a whole lot to say about this song other than I won't be playing it alone in the car. Once again, its definitely for the ladies.

On to #6... The New Boyz have a hit with "You're a Jerk". I can't say I'll be playing this one either but hey they made it to the Top 10. I don't really know what's fueling this song. The lyrics are okay and the beat is Fruity Loops as hell but what ever works...

In the Lucky #7 spot is held by Dorrough with "Ice Cream Paint Job". This is another ode to the art of having fly whips. Its pretty self-explanatory. The beat sound like a like Lil Jon track from the "Get Low" era. Its sure to have your trunk rattling. Being a person who used to have a loud custom stereo system in my first car, I can appreciate the track from that stand point.

#8 is almost like a posse cut. I'm a fan of Jay Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna so these names alone should make a pretty good song. "Run This Town" is kinda the truth. Jay Z pretty much runs NYC and he's still on top of his game. "DOA" is currently my personal theme song and I've been a Jigga fan since '96. Can't wait until Blueprint 3 drops in September. Kanye & NO I.D. both kill the track. It sounds like a song from a movie soundtrack. Its bright & full.

Miami rapper Pitbull holds the #9 spot down with "Hotel Room Service". I actually like this song because I was a big 2 Live Crew fan and he make some references from one of their songs "One & One". This is definitely a club banger and I see radio and clubs playing this for years to come. The track is all uptempo club music. Definitely a winner.

Pulling up in the rear at #10 is "Always Strapped" by Birdman and Lil Wayne. I love this track! Mr. Beatz is that dude right now. The track is bangin' with the guitar rifts just under the beat. Lil Wayne does a different style and it works and Birdman's rhymes ain't to bad either but this track...whew!!!! It's hot.

Well there you have it. My first Billboard Bangers review. If you make beats online then I hope you take some time to listen to these songs and figure out why they are hits. Some are obvious Bangers and others well, not so obvious. I catch up with you next week with a new Billboard Banger review. Holla....

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Power of Planning In Your Music Career

There is an old saying that goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

There is also another saying, "There's nothing new under the sun."

Let's put these two sayings together and apply them to the music business. In reference to planning, you REALLY need a plan if you want to succeed in the music business. In reference to the second saying, planning is not something that was just created within the last 10, 20, 50, 0r 100 years. Planning has been around since the beginning of time.

Ancient warriors would plan their attacks on their enemies, way before there were guns & cannons. Planning not only gives you the advantage over your competition but it gives you a compass to help you reach your goals.

If you plan to make beats online or make your own beats, then you will need to do some planning if you haven't started yet.

How do you make a plan? What are the first steps?

The first thing you must do is write down your goals. Make sure you make your music goals S.M.A.R.T. goals. This means your music goals must be Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely.

Let's say your goal is to make beats online and post those beats up on for the world to hear. The first thing you would do is WRITE IT DOWN! Once you write your goals down, something magical happens. You take your goal from being a thought to something physical, something tangible.

From there you will set a deadline for reaching your goal. A goal without a deadline is dream.

Once you have a deadline then you need to figure out what steps its going to take to reach your goals within the deadline you've set for yourself. Make sure to give yourself some realistic but challenging expectations. Set a deadline for each step in the process.

This next step is where most people fail because it takes action. Do something everyday toward the completion of your steps to reaching your goals. You must do something. Nothing is going to happen by accident. It could happen but would you really want to bet your life on that?

Putting this in practice would look something like this:

"In 30 days I will make beats online and post my music on

In order to do this, I need buy an online beat maker like Sonic Producer. Once I make some beats I really think are hot, then I'm going to export them as mp3 files so I can upload them to

On, I will upload my mp3 songs and post them on my profile page on MySpace. "

This is a very simple plan and anyone can do it. Once you really understand the benefits of planning and setting goals in your music career, you'll wonder why you hadn't planned a long time ago.

Don't hesitate start working on you plan today.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Monday, August 3, 2009

Rest In Peace Baatin of Slum Village

I found out about this yesterday. Titus (Baatin) Glover of the group Slum Village passed away this weekend. He was only 35 years old. He will truly be missed.

On a personal level, I had a chance to host a show that Slum Village headlined and that is the memory I will always have of him. It was at the Apache Cafe and the place was packed. When Slum ran down their catalog, EVERYBODY in the crowd seemed to be rockin' with them, word for word.

I also remember promoting "Fantastic Vol.2" here in Atlanta for months. Putting posters & flyers out all over town for Goodvibe Records back around 2000 for Slum Village. Those were some of the best of times for me in my life and I feel good to know that I had some good influence on this man and his group's career.

That's how I want to be remembered, on stage, crowed packed, and everybody singing my songs. Baatin Rest In Peace Brother. You will be missed.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist