Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day Eighteen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Columbia, SC

We slept til 10 AM today and boy did it feel good to get a full 7 hours of sleep. This is the most amount of sleep any of us have gotten in a month. For me, I went right from setting up the panels at the SEAs to planning this tour, the TMI Boyz promo tour, and JAG’s promo tour. I haven’t gotten much sleep since New Year’s.

I lost my boy toy in Tallahasse (Day Four) when I really needed to talk to him and he was too busy at the strip club to speak with me-- in a snow storm, watching only one broad dance. The message that he sent was loud and clear….I don’t have any value to him at all. So I cut him off once and for all. Didn’t even save his numbers. Gone!

I am thankful for my friends who’ve been listening, supportive, and offering help and ideas all along this tour. They’ve either been calling or emailing everyday. Between Calvin Klein, Pimp Fresh, and the real Ricky Ross, I have been straight.

We drove the hour to Columbia, SC and met up with Jihad and KB from Street Bangazz. They took us downtown to the ‘hood surrounding Benedict College and then we went on campus and promoted. Benedict is a historically Black university. Something interesting happened on campus though. As we stood outside the cafeteria promoting (it was 5 PM, prime time for dinner), we encountered so many haters. One idiot came up to us and asked who the hell was BloodRaw. When I told him he was part of USDA, he looked at me blankly. Then one of the guys said he was signed to Young Jeezy and CTE. The kid then said the only person he knew was Jeezy and he didn’t even like him. As a student who is in an institution of higher learning, why would one show such ignorance? Even if he hated Jeezy, why announce it to 7 people who are on their grind? He looked like such an insecure, self-involved, ignorant asshole. And to be doing so on a university campus made it doubly stupid.

Fortunately, we found guys who weren’t haters in the back parking lot, in an area called “The Slab.” Many of them were from FL and had love for Raw. I don’t expect everyone to love Raw, but I do expect people to respect his grind and his hustle. He works harder than anyone I have ever met in my life.
Day Seventeen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Greenville, SC

Greenville is a bit of a challenge because we don’t really have a point person to show us around. Raw’s publicist, Kim Ellis, was kind enough to hook us up with a guy named Ty from Grind DVD magazine series.

We found a local retail store by asking in a Kinko’s FedEx where the ‘hood is. One of the guys who works there sent us to EarShot on Laurens. The owner of the store was so cool and so knowledgeable (Randy Bunn), not only of Greenville but of Atlanta, Charleston, and Savannah. He was also well versed in music and turned me onto some new stuff that I might like. He was a gem!

TY joined us at EarShot and took us to a hip hop gear shop called Concrete Jungle. The owner was an OG who embraces the younger generation, which is rare!
We then went on to the ‘hood. We passed out DJ Smallz mixed CDs and flyers at a gas station at Shaw and Buncombe in West Greenville. People were both surprised and elated to see Raw in the heart of the ghetto promoting.

I went back to the hotel to work, as did Nokey. Nokey uploaded much of the footage he’s been filming to Raw’s new YouTube TV station (www.BloodRaw.tv).Nokey is the one who shot the Corporate Thuggin’ video, BloodRaw’s DVD, and the person who created USDA TV. He’s done an outstanding job and has even sacrificed to build what he is creating with his own video company. He’s a rapper from the south side of Chicago, who moved to Atlanta to work with CTE, and found his niche as a videographer to capture Jeezy’s life on film. He has shot over 40 videos for folks within the CTE camp. You can catch them all on You Tube. The rest of the guys went to the strip club and hung out with some of the guys we met in the ‘hood at the gas station. They showed Raw incredible love buying him 3 bottles of Goose, a bunch of Budweiser, and some Patron. They showed the guys CRAZY love!!!

Mike Fresh (Raw’s DJ) came back to the room super excited by the hospitality that Greenville showed at The Gentleman’s Club. For someone to buy out so much liquor for the guys was unbelievable. All they could do was just tip the girls!

I sent out copies of the receipts to Def Jam and CTE so we could get the 25% remaining backend of the budget for this tour. I’ve been coming out of my own pocket for this for the past day or two without telling anyone, so it’s time to recoup the expenditure. I had to fax (and then FedEx) 43 pages of receipts to Corporate Thugz.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

DaySixteen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Raleigh/Durham, NC

I sit here typing this from the Village Lanes in Durham, NC where we are bowling with some local DJs. Jeezy’s entire crew seems to be on a bowling kick, so today after we hit the Malls, the hip hop gear shops, the record stores that are open on Sunday and blitzed the hood with flyers and DJ Smallz mixed CDs, we went bowling.

Raleigh is an interesting market. It’s more New York-ish than dirty south. I find most of the guys rocking Timberlands and calling each other “son.” The style of music is more Fat Joe and Joe Buddens than UGK and Lil Wayne. But the radio seems to follow whatever is hot, so they have Rocko and Flo Rida and Rick Ross spinning. But the mixed CDs reflect a different picture.
DJ Lux guided us around town with his partner Austin. Austin has his own energy drink, called Wiz. He was kind enough to give us a case of it, so they’ll be no sleeping for us anytime soon. Raleigh and Durham are a tough market on a Sunday, but we did great anyway. Lux kept wishing we came through on a different day of the week, but everyday on a promo tour can’t be Friday and Saturday.

They mentioned that Bohagan came through yesterday on promo tour. Up til now, we seemed to be following Rocko’s tour. It just seemed that every city we went into, someone would tell us, “oh, you just missed Rocko, he was here last night.”

At lunch today, Raw and I discussed putting Gator on the April 8th BloodRaw release. It makes sense to me that he be featured with Raw and then travel with him on promo and whatever other tour opportunities are available. Then, they can drop Gator’s CD independently…

As I’m sitting here typing on my laptop at the bowling alley, quite a few local artists have come up to me. They recognize me from seeing me on some DVD. It’s always funny to me when folks recognize me because I forget that I do the DVD interviews, and yet they live on forever.

I’m about to answer my email, as I wanna see what Ricky Ross is talking about today. I’m also emailing back and forth with my friend, Pimp Fresh. He’s a pimp I know in Tampa who is a wonderful human being. He’s shopping a reality show right now to expose the insides of his industry. Hell, sex sells.

Tonight, Raw will hang out at Black Tie in Raleigh and a college spot in Durham called Luna (promoted by Faculty Entertainment). It’s the only thing happening on a Sunday. I’ll go back to the hotel and upload photos from the trip so y’all can see actual pictures on this blog from our trip.
Day Fifteen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Charlotte, NC

We stayed in a bit of luxury last night at the Hyatt Place at the airport. Everyone had a bed and the rooms had 42” plasma screen TVs. Woo hoo! We changed hotels in the morning (back to cheap hotels since our CTE budget only allows for $200 a day in hotel rooms for the 8 of us).

JKnow Truth met up with us and brought us to the radio station to tape an interview that will run on Monday. The station has never done that before, so DJ Magic assumed we were super VIPs. Truth is, JKnow just doesn’t take “no” for an answer. We missed seeing our friend Deon Cole (music director) but Raw did an outstanding interview with DJ Magic.

From there we went to a hip hop gear store and bumped into a slew of industry people. I saw Crazy Eddie, whom I haven’t seen in years and a local label owner named Lo. What a nice guy!! From there we were starving and headed to the Eastland Mall (the ghetto mall). We met with the owner of the mixed CD shop, had a delicious soul food lunch, got air-brushed t-shirts and did a little sneaker shopping. WE ran into a bunch of ATL DJs who had come up for the day with Malachi to perform at Club Incognito. Why a label hasn’t picked him up is beyond me. This guys wins most of the open mic contests, has won Greg Street Showcase competitions, and yet, no deal. Go figure. Anyway, I adore Malachi…so it was great to see him.

From the Mall we went to Office Depot to buy sleeves for the mixed CDs that mysteriously showed up again at our hotel. If it weren’t for Raw’s hustle, we’d be out here with nothing to pass out. The guys stuffed CDs like machines…

At midnight, Raw went to Crush to do a show for the radio station. The promoter was so marketing savvy—he let in all women for free who carried Louis Vuitton bags (the name of the single is Louie). Clever….

Raw rocked it. Rocko was in the house performing last night, and Raw had a larger turn out and really did his thing.

I have to mention something that happened on our drive into Charlotte. We were down where I-26 meets I-85 (Greenville area) and we were listening to the radio. There was this RIDICULOUSLY talented DJ who was killing it on the mix show. This muthaphukka mixed Lil Jon with the TV theme to Star Trek. When we stopped at a rest stop, this DJ had me dancing outside the van to Poison Posse and DooDoo Brown. This DJ is king! I was so impressed with DJ Swann that I whipped out my phone and was ready to dial his number….but I couldn’t find it. Tony Neal didn’t have it. Chuck T didn’t have it. So I pulled out my laptop, connected through my Sprint card and logged onto the website of that station. I sent him an email through the Cox Radio website. THAT is how much he impressed me. I am on his dick!! DJ Swann. Remember that name…

While the guys went to the concert, I stayed behind in the room to assemble the receipts that I need to turn into Def jam to get the remainder of the tour money. And Ricky Ross just sent me an email to read to the guys when they come in from the show. I’m loving how he thinks…
Day Fourteen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Still Memphis, TN

In the morning, we got up and decided to drive straight through to Charlotte. Today is our only down day on the 25 day tour. But before getting on the road, I dragged the guys downtown to the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated. Now, I am far more Malcolm than Martin, but I do realize the importance of MLK and his “change through non-violence” campaign. After just popping up on the Civil Rights Museum (what the building surrounding the Lorraine Motel has become), they were ill-equipped to handle a famous rapper just showing up without calling first. When I lived in Memphis, I used to drag rappers through all of the time, and they welcomed the opportunity to show off their outstanding museum, and even allowed access to the balcony where MLK was shot—for photo ops. I’ve shlepped David Banner and Slick Rick through that museum, both of whom turned around and made healthy anonymous donations. For some reason, today they weren’t having it, or us. What a sad day for a music city when a rapper is turned away from such an important historical site. We skipped the museum tour, took photos out front, and went on our way to Charlotte. It was an eight hour drive… ugh!
Day Thirteen: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Memphis, TN

I met back up with the tour in Memphis. It was a cold and rainy day, and flying AirTran once again proved to be more trouble than savings. What a fucked up airline—and they do NOT care about their customers one iota!! Anyway, back to the tour: I met up with the guys and we hung out with DJs all day. By 5 pm, DJ was kind enough to take us around the city. We hit Sammy’s Fashions on Perkins and City Gear on American Way. The roof blew off the Hickory Hill Mall a couple weeks back when a tornado hit, so we were unable to hit that Mall to promote. Raw decided to get his hair cut by Ren at Antonio’s on Winchester. That’s who always cuts his hair in Memphis…

After that, we went to WHPK to hang out woth Lil Larry on the Trap House (you maggots!). I haven’t been in the radio booth with Larry since he was at Hot 107, when I lived in Memphis (June of 2003 through July of 2005).

Yo Gotti was in Atlanta recording with Gucci Mane, so we weren’t able to spend anytime with him, and MJG has changed his number so many times that I had given up on trying to find him. Project Pat was out because I’d have to call the ex to get his number, and that’s a bad idea (the ex was Pat’s cell mate when he was locked down).

Speaking of cellies, the real Ricky Ross (NOT the rapper) has been my buddy via Blackberry and email during this trip. He reached out to me on the second night of promo tour telling me he respects what I do with Rap Coalition. After corresponding with him and realizing that it really is him, we’ve been chatting everyday. It’s as if he is along on this tour with us. He gives me great advice, moral support, and hooks me into his network of folks who run the internet. He’s been a tremendous support system for me and I really look forward to his daily emails. It’s nice to have someone my age with my sense of what’s right and wrong to talk to. What an amazing man…. I’m loving him…

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day Twelve: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Nashville, TN

Between Janiro (who owns the Southern Entertainment Awards) and Young Buck, the guys were well cared for in Nashville. They hit all of the key retail stores, the ‘hoods, and even found time to chill at Buck’s house. Buck decided to get on another song (“26 Inches” is NOT on Raw’s album, he gave it to Greg Street for his Interscope release) with Raw so there should be a Young Buck presence on the album (April 8th, in-stores).

Raw’s album will be called “My Life: The True Testimony” and he’s assembling photos and artwork for the album cover now. Raw has decided that the photographer in Orlando who did his photo shoot will be doing the cover shots. Wazzup Wuz Up!!
Day Ten: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Montgomery, AL

I jumped off the BloodRaw Tour in New Orleans, and hooked up with the JAG promo tour (JAG is the group from Memphis with that hot single, Trap Walk, featuring DJ Unk). While in Montgomery, Michael London (DJ Shadow) took great care of Team BloodRaw. He took them through all of the hot spots, retail stores, radio stations, and clubs. Raw performed at Fusions to a crowd of only about 50 people (no one knew he was coming because we had no promotional budget) but Michael London made sure all the key DJs and taste makers were in the house.

When I arrived in Montgomery the next day with JAG, all anybody could talk about was the incredible show BloodRaw had put on the night before. He must have done 10+ songs because everyone talked about how intimate the setting was and how awesome the show was. Raw is a pro. He’s gonna give an outstanding show whether it’s 3500 people or 35 people. You can see some of the footage from this promo tour at www.BloodRaw.tv.

Day Seven, Eight, and Nine: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
New Orleans, LA
All-Star Weekend

Although All-Star Weekend in New Orleans wasn’t as hype as All-Stars in the past, it was great to see New Orleans making some money. The city still needs help after Hurricane Katrina. A lot of help. The rents are sky high, and most regular income folks can’t afford housing. I met a real estate broker who drove a taxi at night 7 days a week in order to pay her $1600 a month rent for her 2 bed-room apartment. The cost of living is high, but the income level isn’t.
After promoting on Bourbon Street and in the Uptown area, we hit the clubs. The hardest part was choosing which event to attend. All of us have friends who were throwing different parties, so choosing where and when to go was a challenge.

Mike Fresh, our DJ, made the best use of his time while in New Orleans. He never slept. Fresh is originally from Bainbridge, GA—a small city. He relocated to Tallahassee after going to a teen club called The Garden. He loved it so much that he stayed. He has a great network of people because he’s so out going and friendly. He’s friends with James Butler (corner back) from the NY Giants, so he went to his party at ESPN Zone. He went to House of Blues (which was cracking!), 360, and really made great use of his time there.

We stayed in Metairie because the hotels were waaaaay cheaper. We bumped into TMI Boyz downtown at the Doubletree, and on Saturday, we all jumped into our vans and headed to Jackson, MS on Saturday morning to attend Kamikaze’s music seminar.

While in Jackson, we ate at Gloria’s which is a local soul food spot. Food was banging! We also visited Stax at Block Wear. He’s such a cool dude. We bought shirts, DVDs and magazines and then headed back to New Orleans for the night’s festivities. Blitzing the ‘hoods was extremely effective in Jackson. I guess a lot of folks don’t do that. It was also great rolling with TMI Boyz again, even if it was for such a short time.

Headed to and from Jackson, I never felt safer—rolling in a van of goons, with a TMI van of goons in front of us, and a van of TMI goons behind us.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day Six: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Mobile, AL

At 6 AM we pulled out for Mobile, AL. Every slept in the van except me and Nokey, who drove. I can’t really sleep sitting up, so catching up on my sleep on a three hour drive isn’t easy. Especially when there are 8 of us in a van that holds 8 people (plus luggage, plus CDs, t-shirts, flyers, posters, etc).

Dirty Dan met up with us and took us to Prichard and Maysville to promote. Gregory at Maysville Shack was kind enough to hook us up with some of the best wings I have ever tasted. Huge shout out to Dirty Dan and all the folks along the way who’ve jumped in for free to help us get around town and set up radio and club dates for us.

In Prichard, we posted up at the gas station and gave out CD singles, mixed CDs and t-shirts. We then went down to the Roger Williams houses and did the same. The streets love BloodRaw. He gets so much love in the ‘hood, it’s unbelievable. We also rolled through the Colonial Bel-Aire Mall before heading to WBLX to hang out with Nick at Night. What an amazing DJ he is. We spent over 2 hours with Nick (I love him!). He actually DJs in the booth for two hours of his show…mixing and scratching and doing all sorts of DJ tricks…He is an outstanding DJ. The coolest thing about him though is that if he likes a record he plays it. You can’t hand him some loot in exchange for radio play. I love that integrity!

We ended our stint in Mobile at the clubs—but I went back to the hotel to work. My Ozone article is overdue and I have to get it to Julia ASAP. We’re headed to ALL-Star Weekend tomorrow. Jeezy was supposed to perform on Saturday night, but he had to go to MAGIC with 8732 to promote his clothing line…
Day Five: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Still Tallahassee, FL

Today is TJsDJs! It’s one of the most important and influential events in the South. It occurs four times a year, and this also happens to be TJ’s birthday. BloodRaw had a plaque made for TJ thanking him for all that he’s done for Raw’s career and wishing him a happy birthday…

We woke up and hit the ‘hoods to promote. DJ Mike Fresh is from here, so he brought his street team to follow us. Jade, the radio promotion person from CTE met up with us for the remainder of the tour. She and I will share a room, so aside from the extra luggage, we almost don’t notice the addition to the team. She blends in seamlessly.

Raw did a radio interview with J Blaze that Storm and Brian from Future Stars were kind enough to set up for him at 102.3 FM. It takes team work!! I left my Blackberry sitting at the station, so I was without phone numbers, emails, addresses, or navigation until DJ Speedracer was kind enough to overnight it to me at our next stop—New Orleans. The worst part was that I thought I lost it. I didn’t find out it was at the station until I could call them at 9 AM the next morning (on our way to Mobile, AL).

TJsDJs was outstanding. Aside from watching some great up and coming artists perform like Drop, JAG, E-Dubb, Lil Ru, Chop Chop, Beadz, Jap, and many others, we got to see a super star line up of B.O.B, DJ Unk, Gorilla Zoe (I love his voice—he could rap the fucking alphabet to a dope beat and I’d love it), BloodRaw, and Shawty Lo. The place was packed!! If it holds 2500 people there were over 3,000 there. The Moon is a great club and Vaughn is a wonderful owner!!

Since we have Raw’s camera man along (Nokey), we got GREAT footage of the show. In fact, Nokey uploads footage from our promo tour everyday for fans to keep up with our travels. You can see it at YouTube.com/USDAtv.

Afterwards, we went to Guitherie’s for fried chicken! It was slamming!!! I headed back to the room to sleep. I’m still fucked up about my Blackberry!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day Four: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Tallahassee, FL

Raw knows Tallahassee like it’s home. This takes a lot of pressure off me to navigate. I’ve lost the clip for my Blackberry (which is also our navigation device), and losing my Blackberry is but a minute away!!

We start our trip to Tallahassee with King getting a speeding ticket. Due to a child support error, he’s informed that his license is suspended. The cop takes it right then and there and issues him a court date. I’ve never been so happy in my life to meet a nice cop. He could have carted him off to jail, but instead, I became the driver while everyone else slept. Poor King! I’m feeling a kinship to him now, so it pisses me off that he’s got this drama in his life simply from doing 87 mph in a 75 mph zone.

We pull into Tallahassee just in time to have lunch with DJ Speedracer, Sean D, and Dreesey Baby (together the 3 of them make up The SchoolBoys—and they run the local club scene). DJ Dap also joins us at Applebee’s. Sadly, J Kwik can’t make it as he’s still in Orlando after DJing the night before for Gucci Mane.

Raw hit the studio to do drops for folks that he was unable to record before we left home. We headed to BW3s for wings, and then the guys went out to the club (The Edge and H20). Raw’s DJ, Mike Fresh is the DJ for H20, so he was happy to be home for 2 days. I went back to the room to work while the guys hit the clubs. This is the first night that I get a full 6 hours of sleep in weeks.

Day Four: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Tallahassee, FL

Raw knows Tallahassee like it’s home. This takes a lot of pressure off me to navigate. I’ve lost the clip for my Blackberry (which is also our navigation device), and losing my Blackberry is but a minute away!!

We start our trip to Tallahassee with King getting a speeding ticket. Due to a child support error, he’s informed that his license is suspended. The cop takes it right then and there and issues him a court date. I’ve never been so happy in my life to meet a nice cop. He could have carted him off to jail, but instead, I became the driver while everyone else slept. Poor King! I’m feeling a kinship to him now, so it pisses me off that he’s got this drama in his life simply from doing 87 mph in a 75 mph zone.

On the way to Orlando (I’m driving), I spend about an hour on the phone with Chaz Williams from BlackHand Entertainment to pick his brain about setting up a prison tour for Raw. I do this with most of my street artists because they want to give back to folks less fortunate and make a difference. We just set up Raw’s Foundation, and are making moves to help those who need help! Chas was featured in November on BET’s American Gangster, showing the world what most of us knew all along—he’s an amazing human being making a difference in the world. I’m pulling out all of the stops for my friend BloodRaw!

We pull into Tallahassee just in time to have lunch with DJ Speedracer, Sean D, and Dreesey Baby (together the 3 of them make up The SchoolBoys—and they run the local club scene). DJ Dap also joins us at Applebee’s. Sadly, J Kwik can’t make it as he’s still in Orlando after DJing the night before for Gucci Mane.

Raw hit the studio to do drops for folks that he was unable to record before we left home. We headed to BW3s for wings, and then the guys went out to the club (The Edge and H20). Raw’s DJ, Mike Fresh is the DJ for H20, so he was happy to be home for 2 days. I went back to the room to work while the guys hit the clubs. This is the first night that I get a full 6 hours of sleep in weeks.

Day Three: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Orlando, FL

After driving all night, we arrived at 10 AM at our hotel. I grabbed a quick 2 hour nap. Nasty ended up canceling lunch because he was too tired, so we went to the bank, ordered more postcards, and had lunch at Brian McKnight’s restaurant: Mama Nem’s.

We wanted to hit the Magic Mall Flea Market, but it’s closed on Mondays.

Instead, we went to order 5,000 Bigga Rankin mixed CDs and 5,000 DJ Smallz mixed CDs. A third of the budget has been spent already and we’re only at our third day… Street team queen, Mercedes, was kind enough to set up a meet and greet for us at Cleo’s, which is a strip club in Orlando. We did a photo shoot that came out spectacular (wassup Wuz Up!). This kid is a fucking genius. Raw did a shoot at 4 and we were looking at photos via our blackberries by 8:30. The shots are awesome. Raw decided this kid will shoot his album cover…

In hind sight, holding a meet and greet at a strip club wasn’t such a great idea for me and 6 guys on a budget. LOL. We met a lot of local press and some of the club DJs were kind enough to come see us. We also met some of the key mixed CD DJs. DJ Young City was so sweet. He kept shouting me out. I guess he thought I was like a fish out of water, but after 16 years of working with rappers, I’ve seen a strip bar or two…or 1,000. If I can survive Chocolate City in Detroit and Rolex in Miami, I can handle anything.

Raw did a radio interview with DJ Prostyle at Power 95. Work (Mike) was also helpful to us along with Mercedes who set all of this up with less than a week’s notice. We were scheduled to leave on promo tour for 25 days starting Saturday, and the money arrived from Def Jam on late Friday afternoon. It didn’t turn into cash at my bank until after midnight, and we were unable to withdraw money til Monday—yet we left Saturday afternoon for Florida.

The guys went to the club while I returned to the hotel to get some work done. They ended up going to the studio and recording all night. By 8 AM we were all piling into the van with our luggage to head to Tallahassee. I’m beginning to bond with the guys, especially Scrap and King. I’ve discovered King likes Blow Pops, and Scrap is funny as hell. They are two people I always hope to have on my team. They are worth their weight in gold!

Day Two: Team BLOODRAW Promo Tour
Jacksonville, FL

We woke up in Jacksonville. We headed to the ‘hood to pass out flyers and then made our way over to the Regency Square Mall where we were able to grab some lunch. We met up with Wayne and Tony from Street Hustle DVD. They decided to roll with us for the day, filming a “day in the life of BloodRaw” type DVD. They knew their way around town which made our lives much easier.

We arrived early to the Meet & Greet that Bigga Rankin had arranged for us. This gave me a chance to spend some quality time with his assistant Stephanie. Bigga Rankin came out of his own pocket to have this event with all of the local JAX DJs. Damn, I love Bigga Rankin. Raw says, “That’s my nigga right there, boy! He always looks out.”

After asking the 30+ DJs in attendance for their support, we headed over to a club called Reefer that has a bumpin’ Sunday night. WE got to have some appetizers and drinks before heading to the skating rink.

It was great seeing DJ Dr Doom again, plus Sunday night at Skate Station is off the hook. It’s in Orange Park, but everyone was there: local artists like Grand Prix, Uncle, Young Cash (who was nursing a cold), as well as street teams and promoters.

We didn’t get to stay very long because Raw was doing a show in Crescent, GA which was over an hour away and we needed to be there by midnight. Bigga Rankin was paid to DJ at that club, but instead of keeping his DJ fee, he passed it along to Raw so he’d be doing a paid show. We needed the money for our promo tour so we could press mixed CDs, CD singles, flyers, etc. We were sent out on the road with only 72 t-shirts, so we had to make the best of the situation. The club promoter, BG, was one of the coolest guys I’ve met in a long time, and even though the club was kinda far from Jacksonville, we hope we get to go back sometime. The club was the size of a 4 car garage set in a very rural area. We didn’t go on until about 4 AM, but Raw rocked it.

I give BloodRaw a lot of credit—he never complains, he just makes the best of a situation, does what he has to do, and over compensates for any short comings by working extra hard. I’m loving him and our road dogs (our team is awesome!) and am happy to be helping him for free. He’s making it easy to help him.

After the show ended, we got in the car for the long 4 hour drive to Orlando. King drove us all night while everyone but he and I slept. Eventhough we were dead tired, we had to be in Orlando by 11 AM for an interview and for a Noon lunch with DJ Nasty. We couldn’t blow off Nasty, I have known him over ten years now, and he’s kinda special to me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Of The BloodRaw Promo Tour

We all arrived in Jacksonville, FL tonight around 11 PM. Raw and his crew drove the five hours from Atlanta. I flew because of my schedule. As much as I would have liked the bonding time with the guys in the van, I was so busy setting up Raw's tour all week that I needed the extra time to get my shit together to come out on the road for a month.

I'm at the hotel working, and Raw's at the club with Bigga Rankin (Plush Club). Tomorrow we'll go through the 'hood and attend a meet and greet for DJs that Bigga Rankin was kind enough to set up.

We're doing this tour on a super shoe string budget. Unless we can build a strong buzz around the first single: Louie, featuring Jeezy, Def Jam will not kick in and pick up the project. So we're hitting the streets hard with a ridiculously low budget.

I gotta give a HUGE thank you to Kinky B and Erica at CTE for tolerating me and helping supply what we need to make this tour happen. Erica went above and beyond, and we haven't even had the time to thank her properly or keep her updated properly, and she hasn't given us a hard time about it--and she could!!

I spent all last week setting up this tour, for free, because I love Raw and this shit comes so easy for me. But me and my superstar team (Lola and Ace) piched in and did 3 weeks worth of work in 7 days. Crazy...

I gotta thank my clients JAG and TMI Boyz, because they put up with me shifting my focus for a couple weeks to BloodRaw. It will come back to them a million times over....

I am going into this 25 day tour tired, because I did not even take a day off since setting up the SEAs. No rest for the weary.

Can't wait to see my industry husband, Bigga Rankin, tomorrow. He jumped in head first to help us with this tour, setting up a couple of days for us (thank you Stephanie, for making it a reality--I know he was the mastermind, but you brought it into fruition). He even set up shows for Raw. What an amazing human being Bigga Rankin is. Why haven't I married him yet??

Monday, February 04, 2008

Straight from Playahata.com:

We told ya’ll: In a recent interview up and coming rapper Shawty Lo admitted he paid various radio stations for airplay. The Bankhead sadly confirmed what struggling artists and labels have complained about for years - payola. According to Lo, he paid a variety of radio stations to play his record, which eventually got attention at other outlets once the BDS from smash hit “Dey Know” caught on.