I’ve contributed to many media outlets over the years, including some of the leading outlets that cover hip-hop culture and rap music. For many writers, interviewing and being associating with name-brand artist matters. I never looked it that way. Even interviewing Nas – my favorite musician of all genres, for very personal reasons – was a rather straight-forward deal (Write questions, ask them, get answers, publish, move on to the next story).
My specific mission and purpose has and always will be to champion undiscovered and deserving talent. Pac Div in 2006. Skeme a few years later (Pistols and Palm Trees, funded by Baron Davis, is comparable to Illmatic). The premise to build a genuine fanbase around a consistent stream of dope music over a period of time is rather simple. To get commercialized? That’s another story. The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am broke that down to me when we chopped it up at the Record Plant in 2007 for what became a Critical Beatdown in The Source. Diddy turned down a chance to be a secondary quote for that piece, but I passed him in the hallway.
For what it’s worth, the latest artist I’m really championing is South Central LA-based Biz and his band, simply called Dirty Harvard Biz. I’ve heard some of the music from their forthcoming Heart Break Hotel LP and feel its a matter of time before their art ascends to new heights.
For what it’s worth, my contribution to the band’s success is at the grassroots level. After kicking it with Biz in person a few times after mostly interacting on the phone or social media, I drafted up a new band bio and helped DHB submit an application to American Voices. I really hope they get a shot because Biz and his bandmates feel like the authentic hip-hop and urban culture ambassadors in the vein of the prototype, my Brooklyn-via-Bay Area pal Toni Blackman, and her protege, Detroit-based Mahogany Jonz, whom I’ve had a chance to see live in concert in Lusaka, Zambia.
While we wait and see what happens with American Voices, Dirty Harvard Biz is doing what bands do: play shows. If you’re near Hollywood on Wednesday, do yourself a favor and dip by UNPLUGDLA for the next one. You will enjoy yourself. Trust.