Performing: The Do’s and Don’ts (Video)

Performing Do's and Don'ts

The Do’s and Don’ts of Performing

So you want to be an MC? Not just a rapper, but you want to master the ceremony? Some of the worlds best performers are Hip Hop artists, but it’s not as easy as they may make it look. Alot goes into a succesful and moving performance, from preparation to interacting with your fans after the curtain’s closed.

We have put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts of performing, based on years of experience in booking, promoting and simply being frequent concert goers. We collaborated with our friend DJ Chuck from Honor Flow Productions in LA, to add the perspective of the one person who will make sure your music is on point while you perform.

This is the second part to our last video “The Do’s and Don’ts of Booking Shows”, which you can find here.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Submitting Music to Blogs –

Do’s and Dont’s of Promoting your Music on Social Media –

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About Ghostwriting.. SVNTY6 writes WORDSLIFEHIPHOP



…For the right price, I can even make yo’ shit tighter…’ – An article by SVNTY6


The first time ghostwriting came to my consciousness, the first time it really dawned on me that the lyrics I heard were not from the mind of the performer but from another artist, was in 1993. ‘Mecca and The Soul Brother’, by Pete Rock and CL Smooth had been banging around in my Walkman for a year (My super thin Sony Walkman, with C90 tape, holding a massive 22 songs – More on this in a future article). Pete’s beats and CL’s conscious stream of words mesmerised me. Moved me. What amazed me though, was the revelation that Pete’s rhymes were written by Grand Puba (Do your homework, yo). My first thoughts? – ‘How fucking clever to write somebody else’s rhymes!!

Fast forward to last month – My Twitter feed, my Facebook timeline – all brimming with outrage and sneering that Drake/Meek Mill may not have written their own songs… And Meek had Tweeted about Drake, and Drake had performed live dissing Meek, and Meek had made the ‘worst diss track in history’ (Nothing will beat Tim Dog’s ‘Fuck GhostwritingCompton’)… All this in a world where 90% of the songs you hear on the radio are not written by the artist who you hear singing them (Where my Rihanna’s at!?). There were many perspectives, from fans of different ages and tastes – ‘Younger’ fans who relished the bombshell of Drake not writing his songs, and ‘older’ fans, who maintained their weathered indifference to this ‘shocking’ news. Personally, I don’t care who wrote the song. I care if it makes my head nod and makes me think – We do listen to the most creative and diverse music genre after all…

The songs we do love, the ones that are ingrained in our very being, you can bet they were ‘ghostwritten’… Prince wrote for the Bangles, Stevie Wonder wrote for Michael Jackson, Jesse J wrote for Miley Cyrus (Ahem)… And this includes Hip Hop. From way back. Rapper’s Delight was written by Grand Master Caz, Run DMC wrote for the Beastie Boys, Jay Z wrote for Dr. Dre (And Bugs Bunny) and Nas wrote for Will Smith. Twice.

Chuck D (of Public Enemy) quotes “We hold rappers to a different standard than pop singers, With hip-hop we want to have that personal connection. We want them to tell us how they feel.”  This I both do and don’t agree with. I’m from an era where ‘keeping it real’ was sacred. When all emcees would deliver stories and tales of their upbringing, the streets, relationships, violence, drug-running, parties. And I would believe every word. These tracks were like Hollywood movies for me – Some crazy dreamery that was happening 3000 miles away – And I could lose myself in the gritty realism and vivid imagery. Everybody from Ice Cube, to Cypress Hill, to BIG, to Redman, lived the life they spat on wax. And if they didn’t – They’d get called the fuck out.
But, like I said before, here is the disagree part – As Hip Hop is the most creative, diverse and lyrical genre, the talented wordsmiths out there can make a great living and a great impact by penning hits for others – We love Pharoahe Monch, right? But he will never be as big as Puff. But if he can ghostwrite for Puff, and make that difference, good! Nas… He can write for Will Smith. Good! (In fact, Puff didn’t even write his own eulogy hit ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ – Sauce Money did. Because Sauce could detail the emotion better – It’s fine – I’ve helped with Best Man wedding speeches before, and I’m not even marrying the Bride). It’s a clear talent to write your own lyrics. It’s a different value of talent to write for another emcee.

I don’t recall anybody mentioning that Drake had ghostwritten for many other artists – including number one singles – and I don’t recall anybody appreciating the skill of writing for another person’s style, Ghostwritingpersona or fanbase (I repeat, Nas wrote ‘Getting Jiggy With It’).
An extreme, cross-gender example, if you will, is the leaked version of Lil’ Kim’s ‘Queen Bitch’ reference track, which is written, and rapped by Biggie. (And I guarantee you can’t imagine BIG talking about getting his ‘pussy ate’? Well, he does).

As can be appreciated, the list of ghostwritten Hip Hop tracks is long. And like the art of sampling and keeping the sample secret, the ghostwriter prefers to remain anonymous. They respect the integrity of the main artist, the craft of writing and the value of good music (Until they don’t get paid and Skillz calls the rapper out on wax! – Do your homework again…).
Our favourite independent artist, they have the time and the scope to craft their words and express themselves creatively. Our favourite mainstream artist, they have deadlines, guidance, expectations and huge record label funded budgets to adhere to… Who would blame them for using a team of producers and songwriters to help support them, hit after hit, after hit, on the radio. I’m sure that if Drake, and Meek and A.N.Other Big Rapper were to practice the independent route, they would not be as big as they are.

We all like mixtapes, right? Good. The mixtape is the one thing that allows our favourite mainstream rapper to flex their own creativeness and provide music for ‘the streets’. They can use the beats they want, write the lyrics they want, create the beef and controversy they want, because they can’t on their big label releases. Well, they can on their Twitter accounts, but even then I’m sceptical – these social accounts are monitored and organised too…

GhostwritingListen (read), back to the topic – Ghostwriting is fine. It is. Aesop Rock and B. Dolan are not going to be helping the boys and girls get wavy in the clubs. That’s fine. They don’t want to. The Hip Hop genre is broad and expansive enough for those lyrical guys to flex for their own audience. Drake, Dre, Nicki, Wiz, Fetty, Flo… they do their thing and people love it. It’s harmless. It’s fun. It’s something to dance to. (Except Iggy… She can fuck straight off).

Do TV comedians write their own jokes? Do film actors write their own lines? Who cares if it’s funny or heartbreaking and we’re entertained?

Enjoy what you enjoy. Hip Hop is here to stay and it’s universally, fantastically, eclectically available to all. I’m confident that there is more ghostwriting than you imagine, and it’s here to stay. In fact, I probably didn’t even write this.



Mos Def & Ski Beatz – Sensei On The Block (Listen)



Mos Def returns to his original name for “Sensei On The Block”

Yasiin Bey, or Mos Def, as we all know and love the MC, has been getting busy these past few weeks. Looks there there might be a full project in the works?

Mos Def is without a doubt back at it in full form, collaborating with Ski Beatz for the dopeness. Get the song on iTunes.


JoeIsJova – Don’t Fall For The Bait (Video)


Brooklyn MC JoeIsJova releases visuals for “Don’t Fall For The Bait”

JoeIsJova, rapper and producer from Middletown, OH and relocated to Brooklyn, NY  is hot off of the release of his two part album, Bait. The self produced project is a sonic tale of chasing the “Big Fish” without falling for the bait. The for “Don’t Fall For The Bait” video shot in Times Square shows Jova rapping in front of an enormous lit version of the American Flag between shots of a pixelated fantasy land.

Follow JoeIsJova here: Twitter

Ron Beatty – King In A Crown (Part 3 of 3) (Video)

Ron Beatty


Ron Beatty releases final video of his “Love Triangle” trilogy

Ron Beatty embarks on a visual journey in Love Triangle, a trilogy of music videos that flow together to create a suspense filled story about the possibilities of love, friendship, and hatred.

This is the third and final part of the trilogy entitled “King In A Crown”.
After a fatal shooting of Ron Beatty and his newly found friend, it’s clear that he’s become victim of a malicious attack in the midst of a lover’s quarrel. He awakens in the afterlife, which appears to be a vivid dream involving his younger brother and friend. They ride in his Crown Victoria through a creative space within his mind; depicted to be heaven or dreamland. The choice is up to the viewer.

Follow Ron Beatty here: @ronbeattync

Sinitus Tempo – Funimation (Free Beat Tape)

Sinitus Tempo - Funimation

HiPNOTT Records producer Sinitus Tempo releases free Beat Tape

Sinitus Tempo presents his latest free beat tape today, entitled Funimation.  With this new project, the Maryland producer pays homage to the company Funimation who has localized anime and dubbed it in English for years. Download the project for free now and zone out to the vibes.

“Once a man is taught to fish, he can eat for a lifetime.” This quote, with its insight on learning how to prosper, was principle in the roots of Sinitus Tempo; who at an early age saw the intellectual fruit of underground hip-hop in his older brother. Now with 10 years of crafted production in his strongbox, the self-professed “King of Inflected Pitch” is taking antique sounds and sculpting them into jewels for future hits.

Announced as Nathan Peters on March 1st, 1989, the youth of this producer was cultivated by the sounds of Madlib, Oh No, MF Doom, DJ Premier, Just Blaze and Pete Rock. The adoration of his older brother’s skill of writing music pushed the much-younger Sinitus Tempo to match the words with a touch of sound. Under the technique of “looping and adding” which allowed him to sample a record and use it repetitiously with added drum effects, was the manner in which Tempo enhanced his style—until he heard production by 9th Wonder and Khrysis of the Justus League squad. Another gem was added to his toolbox of knowledge and from there, he set forth on a journey of mastering the art of reinventing classics. Through this understanding of manipulating the pitch of old tunes, an intrigued Sinitus Tempo developed a style of his own, building a more pronounced sound that have many awaiting his signet of ability to stamp their music.

Loyal, but tight-nit is the persona of Sinitus Tempo. Working alongside childhood friend and producer Doc Battle, Tempo also manages a green, yet dynamic artist named Obii Say, making him both dually active in the business and artistic side of his production. His confidence is encouraged by a strong history of collaborations with artists such as Azizi Gibson (BrainFeeder), UptownXo (Diamond District), Add-2 (seen on MTV, Jamla Records) and MED (Stones Throw) as well as a long list of production work for hip-hop acts from all over the world, ranging from names like Substantial to legendary composer Jun Chikuma (who resides in Japan).

The seeker of vintage vinyl keeps his future motives in front of him, making plans to collaborate with the likes of Flying Lotus, Alice Russell, Common, Kendrick Lamar, and many other artists. In just a year, Sinitus has made a serious name in the anime community with the release of four highly-praised tributes to Claymore, Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop, and Soul Eater. He has since put out more anime tribute most notably Kill la Kill EP. Just from looking at the determination of Sinitus Tempo’s aim at being one of the top producers of the hip-hop/nujazz/electronic realm makes the status of his upcoming projects look like an imminent win from the start.

Follow Sinitus Tempo here:  Twitter

DeuceZ – The County Crown (Free Mp3)


Maryland Rapper DeuceZ releases free single “The County Crown”

DeuceZ releases “The County Crown” produced by The Jake Music. The rapper from Anne Arundel County, Maryland expresses his commitment to loving life and relying on that love to bring forth satisfaction and travel to a predetermined destination. This is the very first leak off of Heavenly Earth which is slated to drop Winter/2015.

Follow DeuceZ here: @DeuceZ

DJ Racha – Frank Sir Racha featuring The Kings Of New York (Remix Album)

DJ Racha

Bay Area turntablist Dj Racha mixes Frank Sinatra with NY Hip Hop legends

Frank Sir Racha featuring The Kings Of New York is a remix album created by DJ Racha. Over a year in the making, DJ Racha sampled the legendary Frank Sinatra’s catalog and built a remix album that includes some of New York’s finest MC’s, including Jay-Z, Nas, Wu Tang, and many more!

Racha, born and raised in the Bay Area, shows off his talent as a dynamic Hip Hop Producer and DJ. Influenced by artists as DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Etc. DJ Racha emphasizes music that gives the artist a story to tell with an old school Hip Hop vibe.

Check out the mixes below and follow Racha here: @DJRacha

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