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EDITORIALS

All That And A Bag Of Chips Part 2

It’s two in the morning. The Lil’ Baby ‘bag of chips’ is empty and I’m going through the footage I took at the mixer before I doze off.

The next event for the week’s festivities was the One Love One Mic unsigned artist showcase in  Believe City Music Hall. This was an appropriate name and place for a room full of aspiring talent of all kinds. On the other side of  Ralph David Abernathy from the music hall was the fare in town which made the outside atmosphere eventful – more rambunctious than your typical Tuesday night. I  parked across the street from the venue and made my way inside. 

It is good to have a media pass, I thought as I slid past the normal ticket line and into the media line and entered. I have been to the venue before, and I was really impressed with how the venue was put together. There was a large stage large screen promoting the event and the artists and media at the previous evening’s event were in attendance. 

Coincidentally, as I was arriving, Rap Snacks PR and marketing team was setting up the photo ops area in the VIP area of the section of the venue.  I chose to stay downstairs initially although I had been granted VIP access. I wanted to get a feel for the event and the venue from the ground up. I also wanted the opportunity to maybe meet and see some of the artists; most of the artists were sitting in the booths in the downstairs area in the back close to the bar. That is where I intentionally positioned myself so I could catch the show from a good angle and maybe mingle with some of the artists.

 A younger gentleman actually started talking to me and we actually started sharing some thoughts about the performers that we were seeing. It is always insightful and kind of funny to listen to other artists critique other artists about things that they see. The young man 

mentioned, you know, somebody’s stage set not being all the way tight, and we traded IG info but no sooner than we were in the middle of our dialogue, talking about music and other performers that he had to stop our conversation short because it was time for him to perform. It turns out he is in a group – Digital Young Kingz – and their show performance was tight as he said it would be (it turned out to be one of the night’s best performances) They were all dressed. They all had their sit down and the gentleman who I talked to, Stackz actually made them start to set over when he first got on stage because he was not happy with how they had started the set. He felt like the DJ  did not give them not enough come-in or lead-in properly. It was fascinating to see artists in their element not only critiquing other artists but also engaging in their craft as well. I think everybody saw the opportunity and realized how big the moment was.

I invited an artist whom I have known for some years to be part of this event and to see the artists perform and to see the artists interact with PR marketing with media so he could take it all in and walked him upstairs through the VIP. On the A2HH Live podcast I co-host, Mike D and I often mention that we do not know that A&R’s even truly exist anymore. Well, they are alive and well because I firsthand witnessed The A&R for ONErpm, Renisha, break bread with my artist Luze Skrew and it was the healthy kind of interaction that lets you know there are still boots on the ground trying to break the next big thing.

While this was going on, I was actually watching the show. I had recorded some footage of some of the show and some of the performances downstairs and ended up right next to one of the artists who had actually taken footage of although I didn’t tell him that. The artist was Mazi who already has a major independent following. We both were feeling the same group that was performing.  I don’t know if it was with their show record or if it was the actual soundstage and lighting at the event, but I don’t think people were getting the full grasp of the song but Mazi and I both got the full grasp, and looked at each other like oh, they’re fire.  I didn’t tell Mazi I already knew he was and already recorded some of his performance – he tentatively agreed to do an interview for A2HH. I will be sliding this article into his DM’s tomorrow as a reminder… 

I would find out later that Mazi was named the winner for the entire One Love One Mic event.

So I am really gonna need that interview now.

You start to realize these events don’t just work for the artists on the level of getting on stage – it is what happens after the stage. You take your photo ops in front of the Rap Snacks bag and brand after you perform but the rest is on your kind of like Nick Love emanated the night before; you have to be in the business of knowing your full brand. The full scope of who you are as an artist as it relates beyond the music is larger at this stage because all the artists in the building that night have major followings its how they got in the building. But now what are you gonna do with it?  Mazi did not know that I was a media person until after I told him it’s what it is that I did. Those types of interactions are what these events are about as well.

I left the show with roughly three or four acts left to perform (fatigue had set in from covering these events). The artist I invited and I walked out and spoke about how necessary and fun these types of events are to and for our respective agendas. One Love One Mic was a major victory for all involved.

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