Tour Journal: 7/22/13 Refining your art

Amazing-graffiti-Street-Art-painting-by-David-Walker-in-London-England-2On Saturday July 20 we played Birmingham, Al at the BottleTree Cafe. First off the venue was AMAZING!!! The Sound was some of the best sound that I have heard in a venue of that size in a long time (200 Capacity). The food was also Great. I ate a Spicy Thai Black Bean Burger It was HUGE…I barely finished it. Then there was the back stage….Man the back stage was crazy. Unfortunately we didn’t really understand the Scope of what was at our disposal until the end of the night. There was a huge Patio with two old school trailers. The trailers were air conditioned. They had beds, a stove, a fridge, A television with cable and a DVD player with an amazing movie selection, A library of books and…..Wait for it………………An ATARI Yes an authentic Atari with an amazing game selection. They also had a medicine cabinet full of any OTC med you would ever need. They treated us very well.


I have been rocking pretty much the same set since I dropped Capture the Sun so coming out on tour I saw that I need to refine my set some. So we had a six hour Drive to Birmingham from Louisville, Ky the night before and I went to the lap top and the programs cutting a song here and there; adding a song here and there; tightening up transitions, etc…. I even added a song or two to the set that I have never performed live and that was a little scary, but I under stand that I have to challenge my self to be as great as I can be. So I worked on my set for like 3 hours. When I hit the stage I was a little shook because i was trying something new and I did it on the spot. So the time came for me to hit the stage and I KILLED. The new transitions worked. The new songs worked well. The energy of the show was Right. I still may tweak a few things here and there but I have come up with something that works and affects the audience in a real deep and personal way. One girl came up to me afterwords and said that my set had her in tears….So Yeah….I say all that to say this….You are never finished growing. Sometimes things that you are comfortable doing may not always be what will affect those around you the deepest. As an artist I should never get complacent and relaxed. I should always want to push my self to the next level of what ever I do in my art. And its not just with my art I see this translating into anything that I do in life. Never get too comfortable. Always look to be better than you were before. Always look to refine your art.

Tour Journal: 7/19/13 Leave a web of legacy


The first night of the Greenhouse “Bend but don’t break” tour is officially behind us. Last night we played at the V-Club in Huntington,  West Virginia. For me it was my second time playing there and I believe it was Blueprints second time as well. We had two opening acts Couch Life (probably one of the best crew names ever. Only in West Virginia) and the WV staple crew Dinosaur Burps.  I know what your thinking “where do they come up with these names?” But don’t let the Dinosaur Burps name fool you. Emcee B-Rude and Dj Squeazle are one of the best kept secrets in hip hop in my opinion. Funny, witty and just plain dope. You can catch me featured on a song called “Spice Melange” for their next album which for now is untitled I believe with no official release date. Check out the Video below and their bandcamp to support.


Anyways the show was a good time. The small but energetic crowd heavily supported the merch table which means we did our job.

For me the illest part of the night for me was when I went outside to snap a few pics and I saw a spider weaving its web. I watched it almost from beginning to end.  I had only seen that on animal planet or some random nature shows but but never in real life. Live. It was an amazing thing to see. Though I hate spiders I had never seen anything like it and I was instantly captivated. It made me think about how as a father, husband, man and artist I and working to leave a web legacy.  A legacy that I hope is worth something to my family and others who support me to get caught up in so-to-say like the spider web. It takes some time for the spider to find a place where it wants to put that anchor down and leave their mark but once they make up in their minds to do it they go all in. This is what I believe that I have been doing in my life in all aspects as of late,  weaving a web of legacy that is worth being embraced and getting caught up in. Too many times we as human beings focus to much on today and we don’t think about what we will be remembered for tomorrow.  We don’t think about what we will leave those that will follow us in this world and it shows in how we entertain our children.  It shows in the popular music and violent movies that we feed them and ourselves. It shows and its sad. Lets wake up and think about tomorrow.  Lets think about what we are going to leave the next generation and if they will be proud of what we leave them.

I left my family yesterday for this tour, which is the hardest thing for us as artists to do when your family is filled with love as mine is,  in order to strengthen the legacy that am going to leave behind. I’m out here weaving a web for my children to see tomorrow. For them to get caught in by choice. I know that I am called to be great as my grandmother mother would tell me as are my seed. I just have to make sure that I leave them something great to build on. Something that they can be proud of. What will you leave those that will follow you?

Well that’s it for this first entry. I hope you guys get something from it. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or to further the discussion.

Tonight Louisville, Ky. See you soon….

Fri. July 19th – Louisville, KY @ The Phoenix Hill Tavern |

Sat. July 20th – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree |

Sun. July 21st – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 |

Weds July 24th – Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn |

Thur. July 25th – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theater |

Fri. July 26th – Asheville, NC @ Timos’ House |

Sat. July 27th – Johnson City,TN @ Mecca Lounge |

Weds. July 31st – Dallas, TX @ Crown and Garp

Thurs Aug 1st – Austin, TX @ ND Austin |

Friday Aug 2nd – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live / Greenroom

Sat. Aug 3rd – San Antonio, TX @ The Limelight |

Sun. Aug 4th – El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls w/ Souls of Mischief |

Mon. Aug 5th – Santa Fe, NM @ The Lodge at Santa Fe Cabaret |

Tue. AugFri. 6th – Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS |

Thur. Aug 8th – Flagstaff, AZ @ Green Room |

Fri. Aug 9th- Los Angeles, CA @ The Airliner |

Sat. Aug 10th – Oakland,CA @ The Legionnaire Saloon |

Mon. Aug 12th – Boise, ID @ The Shredder |

Tue. Aug 13th – Spokane,WA @ Carr’s Corner |

Wed. Aug 14th – Missoula, MT @ Stage 112 |

Thur. Aug 15th – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Project |

Fri. Aug 16th Ketchum,ID @ Whiskey Jacques |

Sat. Aug 17th – Bozeman,MT @ Zebra Cocktail Lounge |

Sun. Aug 18th – Great Falls, MT @ Machinery Row |

Tues. Aug 20th – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium |

Wed. Aug 21st – Sioux Falls, SD @ Billy Frogs |

Thur. Aug 22nd – Duluth,MN @ Red Star |

Fri. Aug 23rd – Green Bay,WI @ JD’s Bar |

Sat. Aug 24th – Minneapolis,MN @ Pour House |

Mon Aug 26th – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme |

Weds. Aug 28th – Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs

Friday Aug 30th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Cafe

Sat. Aug 31st – Buffalo,NY @ Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar |

Sun Sept 1st – Erie, PA @ Crooked I

Capture the Sun: Song Break Down w/Lyrics (Pt 1)

Buy “Capture the Sun” – $14.00

Many people seem interested in my thoughts on the songs for “Capture the Sun” and what they mean to me and what my favorite lines are. You guys also asked for the lyrics so here I thought I would post about it and give you more insight to the album content. I’m going to break this up into three parts because one post would be way too long. So here we go….

“Neva heard”
The concept behind “Neva Heard” stems from the thought of what if no one has ever heard of me before.? How would I want to present my skill with words and the depth of my writing?  I am not under the impression that everyone has heard my music so I just wanted to spit some bars that display a touch of me with word play and skill.


Verse 1:

Conscious with a purpose the undeniable viable franchise for the verses

These pre-Madonna rhymers lost their lip gloss in they purses

Now their stories make up don’t glisten as much even though they touch up the blush babbling

I’m on the road travlin

Thinkin of ways to make my days more extravagant

Heard that crime pays but it only the law of averages

Rather grow old chillin with my children eatin sandwiches

On the porch with my feet up then beat the street with savages lookin for scraps to eat up.

Though patience is a virtue I’m runnin out of it got to get back to the basics

Cause walkin in place is startin to wear the tread on my Asics

Ageless pages keep me eternal It’s a  challenge within it self

A rich man is one with knowledge happiness and his health

That’s obvious common sense way too intense for subtleties

You ridin the fence while lightin incense but I made my pick

Side chosen while sparkin the wicks of dynamite sticks I’m holdin

T minus ten then blowin

Verse 2:

Watch for the shrapnel that spreads

Tried to adapt to lampin in laps of luxury it seems then when I woke from my dreams no body’s touching me

I had the gull to turn my dreams to reality

Suddenly gluttony is everybody’s favorite sin mouths full with empty belly’s

Open your eyes the rich get their checks from the wealthy

I’m tired of clockin in watchin em break your spirits

but you left with no options when you acknowledge a glass ceiling

Shattered shards sliced me up something crazy but baby I’m healing fast

Every laugh is a band aid

I never embrace fear cause I’m beyond all the things that man made

A day in the life of the nicest writer you never heard

Favorite line
I never embrace fear cause I’m beyond all the things that man made

Pillow of dreams
This song is an insight to the conversations that I have with myself in my own head about my life and the life around me. It is kind of a scattered account of a dream chaser stuck between responsibility and the disregarding of responsibility to spreads his wings but in the end understanding that the embracing of responsibility it whats drives him to become his dream. Also if you notice the rhyme pattern is a little unorthodox. It may sound like I am not rhyming hardly but if you listen close I rhyme every 8 bars instead of the typical 2 or 4 bars. It allows space for my thoughts to flow with more layers also giving leeway to more internal rhyme and extended word play.



Face paints and pantomime

Daily operations in the cycle of the orthodox

Repetitious wastes of time

I’ll believe in you again as long as you don’t leave this box

All in together now

Give me your all and I’ll give you my opinion

And you seem so scared to smile

You have to learn to dance to get a chance at redemption

Just as the leaves change

Make sure your name embraces brilliance to be reborn

But tell me if you find insane

Heard he was last seen lost in a laugh traveling the path you’re on

Failure never fails to shoulder tap

Just knowing that is enough to keep the pistons pumping

I live for greatness

As an example to my sons I’ll capture the sun


I talk to the stars and walk on the clouds

Hold hands with lightning to strike fear

From where I stand there’s no living allowed

Only surviving the next sundial cycle


Telegraph punch is my poison of choice

Raise your hand when it tackles the blood stream

Recently removed the crutch from my voice

To take part in silence recital


Flat on my face for bridge burning pleasure

But the clouds are my footsteps with no fear

Went out on a limb after climbing the tree of life for good measure

There’s never been a sun rise as tomorrows


The morning of tonight is what we crave

I didn’t see you standing there eyes closed

Now you walk by sight and not by faith

I prey you have some new prey to follow


There was Too much time on my hands not a watch in sight

I hold an abacus in each pocket to countdown

The moments that change dark to light

All that we touch is so fragile


There’s rhythm in the wave crash

There’s music in the breeze

I was always the first to be the last

But having lasting life alone is a battle


The Casualties of war tastes so sweet

Even though your house of cards topple

You only asked to get some sleep

knowing the alarm clock was broken


Only if you could wake up

You could hear the cries of tomorrow’s memories

knowing that Your existence rides on the wings of a dove

Lets just hope when you arrive the door is open


Where do we go from here silence is golden

But I heard that noise shines platinum

If ever shed a single tear for the yesterdays stolen

Don’t wake me I smile in nightmares


Consequence holds me close to the bosom

I often thought life would reflect simple

I fell in love with no regard for the cushion

Even though my pillow of dreams was right there

Favorite line
There’s rhythm in the wave crash. There’s music in the breeze. I was always the first to be last but having a lasting life alone is a battle.

Capture the sun
This is of course the title track to the record. The concept of capture the sun is to go after your dream no matter how difficult and impossible success may seem. This stems From My grandmother telling me that “things delayed are not things denied” meaning no matter how long it takes to reach your dreams if you keep fighting and working then you can hold it in your hands when it is time to.


Verse 1:

He was drenched in broken smiles open arms and Shattered hearts

Lost a step with every mile with consequence as works of art framed perfect

Was always scared to finish what he starts

The Same worthless image stared back from the mirrors surface then he felt a spark

Wingtips script seamless flight plan

Raising the bar reaching for stars till ones captive in each hand

Blinded brilliance ill’s resilient feel the passion

I Brave the Flames floating on streams of tears staying dragon fly

Fears a luxury i can afford to buy

My sons are watching me I got to be a hero in their eyes

I got the shoulders of a front line soldier

So my peers can have faith that I’ll show up to hold up the fallen Sky


Time is always there

But the moments never perfect

His visions not so clear

But the way he’s feeling seems so worth it

No need to cry

Don’t shed a tear

The locks will soon break

Freedom is near

Be who you are

Envy no one

Reach for the stars

To capture the sun

Verse 2:

Honesty lies when the sun falls asleep

so we find truth in the moonlight for the Cycle of it and we love it

Never been fond of beyond my reach

Remain calm to the Common leach trying to latch on to my uncommon speech

I speak with action cause talk is cheap admission is pay attention

Every purchase is a priceless masterpiece to pass to your children

I lasso ambiguity and rest it on the horizon

Hog tied pain so you could see a pure heart to confide in

Lost today in a pack of smokes found tomorrow in Jiryn’s hopes

My pants were fixed until my pockets broke

See the Wingtips script seamless flight plan

Raising the bar reaching for stars till holding the Sun in both hands understand

Favorite line
I speak with action cause talk is cheap admission is pay attention, every purchase is a priceless masterpiece to pass to your children

Beautiful Sunday
“Beautiful Sunday” is a commentary in how fragile and shot life is. When you look at life you have to see the beauty in it no matter how ugly things may get. Sunday is the first day of the week and a day of rest and reflection. So this song is a reflection of that reflection.



It was 8:45 on beautiful Sunday in the spring

I woke early that day to see the sun rise and hear the birds sing

I sat on my couch watching the ceiling fan spin

Listening to Miles blend batches of bitches brew

Thanking God for allowing me to see another morning

Blessed to breathe Oxygen again

I see the breeze dance through the leaves of trees

Reminiscing of lost family and friends

Knowing that tomorrows only a dream

I choose to live today to the fullest.


Blessed with the life that I live cause I know it can all be gone in the blink of an iris

So I dive in and swim every lap of my life I invite all the scars and Surprises

Speak Stars in alignment Wing span spans destinies

I elude the divisive livin out dreams through Faith and Legacy

The truth in my footsteps lighting the way on this uncharted path

I’ll Prove I can Smile in place in case I’m ever lost in a laugh.

Take nothing for granted wishes upon shooting commits of cosmos

Variable variance lesson littered heritage Morse code ethics escaped the side show

Breathe life into darkness the life of an artist ends and begins every master piece

Just being alive we arise from the ashes to say the least

Favorite Line
I’ll prove I can Smile in Place just in case I’m ever lost in a laugh

Have you ever been in a situation where you know its not food for you but you just don’t know how to let it go? This song stems from past relationships with people in my life that I had to let go and forgive. Letting something go doesn’t always mean that it is irradiated from your life but the betrayal can burn the bridge to your heart or to your trust. Sometimes the bridge can be repaired and some time the bridge needs to be burned. Its up to you to decide which.


Talk is cheap but a Whisper is priceless

I choose to take a leap of faith no matter what the price is

arm or leg heart or head voice or tears

I’ll be content to be the change if I have to slave for years

I’ve been marked for death since in the womb

Umbilical cord around my neck I barely made it out

Plus, they found cancer in my retina when I was 2

Became a Cyclops but saw clearer than everybody else

Didn’t understand this blessing thought it was a curse

Felt that God had forsaken me cause I didn’t know my worth

Saw hate in a puddle till I saw love in the crowd

Then my wife told me that she was pregnant with my first child

Started to smile more named him Jahi Rais

Which means “Dignified Leader” there’s prophecy in a name

I had a family now that looked to me to be a man

Didn’t understand what that was just knew I wouldn’t be the same

As my father before me an absentee landlord

Hoping I wouldn’t notice all the foundation cracks

I’ll be there and give my children something to build on

Didn’t want end up salty so I stopped looking back

At Sodom and Gomorrah I let it burn but didn’t forget

The lessons learned memory as vivid as an elephants

Prepared me for the city where just living is a privilege

And how to break chains by embracing forgiveness

Speaking of which what up Fess it’s been a while

Since we found out you were Judas tried to hang us for thirty pieces

I hope that it was worth it cause we have resurrected

Stronger than ever knowing now you need the ashes for the phoenix

Now I can read a snake from a mile away and you’re to thank

Downsized my circle to escape the holding tank

People you love don’t always love you like you wanted

So when it’s time to burn a bridge throw some lighter fluid on it

Favorite Line
I choose to take a leap of faith no matter what the price is; arm or leg heart or head voice or tears ill be content to be the change if I have to slave for years

Pt 2 Coming Soon….

Capturing the Sun: Dealing with Grief

Me and My Grandma
Me and My Grandma

Thoughts jumbled. Time passing. No more tears. The echoes of you saying “Grandson walk with purpose. They will listen because you are a Great man of God.” Failure not an option. You keep driving me and I am grateful. I never thought that I would be here but I am and you are here with me. Time passing. I miss you. There will never be a day that passes that I don’t think of you. You are a great woman. Full of anointing and smiles that dim the brightest of stars. You are with me always.

How do we grieve? Some do it by locking themselves in a room, drowning themselves in tears and sorrow never coming up for air, suffocated by the turmoil of loss. Some find themselves trying to ignore the fact that a loss has occurred, moving on with their lives as if nothing has happened. Some bury themselves in their work to offset the pain that they feel inside in an attempt not to acknowledge the strong emotions that are ever so present in their hearts. So how do you grieve? How do I grieve?

Webster’s Dictionary defines grief as deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement or deep sadness especially for the loss of someone or something loved. My question is why does grief have to be a negative emotion? As many of you know I lost my grandmother not too long ago and I have been asking myself why am I not grieving in the traditional sense of the word? Why am I not sorrowful? Did I not love my grandmother as much as I thought? Then it hit me talking to my wife one night that I am grieving in my own way. I am embracing the idea that I am grieving with moving forward. I grieve by celebrating her life with living mine with every fiber of my being attempting to be up right in the eyes of God as she and my mother have taught me. I grieve by not grieving. By fulfilling all that she spoke over my life. I grieve with a smile on my face because I know that she smiles on me. There will never be a time that I don’t miss her but, I choose to celebrate her by living and breathing life into others as she did. I do this with my music. This is why it is only fitting that the concept of “Capture the Sun” was inspired and dedicated to her. She is breathing for me when I am out of breath. She is interceding for me when I have no where to turn. She is Still here.

I have come to realize that how we deal with grief is a choice. We can choose to be sad and stagnate due to the loss of a loved one or we can be energized by the fact that they are not gone. They are here with us always because they implanted life inside of us. As I breathe she continues to do so. So if anyone out there can hear me that have lost someone close to them, understand that they are not gone. If they ever gave you advice that you live by or prayed over you life for your well being and prosperity then they are still there with you and always will be. And they will continue to live beyond your years if you impart something they gave you to some one else and so on and so on…

No matter your spiritual beliefs there is life after death for those who imparted parts of their lives into others. Their ideas and purpose still live on in our minds hearts and actions. So remember to make the choice to live in their memories. Live in their words. Live in the lessons that they taught you and they will never die. So how do you grieve? It’s up to you.

Dealing with Depression

Shrouded in a sea of darkness. Clothed in absolute incompletion. Your reflection reveals disgust. Swimming in an abyss of “I am nothing” or “no one cares”. Failure seems the only option. Tomorrow is the worst thought one can muster. Fully immersed in doubt. Happiness is a mirage in a desert of pain, unattainable for unknown reasons. You smile in an attempt to hide the gloom you wake to every morning. This is depression.

Here is an excerpt from an email I received a few weeks ago: “I relate to your ideas and outlooks too well from time to time and I suppose my question for you is how do I handle this depression? I’ve felt miserable for as long as i could compose the thought of genuine unhappiness. I don’t talk to anyone….I guess this isn’t really a question I’m just seeking advice…”

So how do we deal with these feelings that have been embedded in us for as long as we can remember? I speak from experience when I say that the escape from depressions grasp is a choice and it is a choice that only you can make. Once the choice is made it has to be reaffirmed daily.  Many of us can fall on our past as a cushioned excuse to remain in that state of ever evolving reasons to fail and to not be good enough but, at some point you have to say “ENOUGH!!!”. Personally I have the prime background for a life of depression. I was raised with no relationship with my natural father and when there was an attempt at a relationship I was continuously rejected, teased by classmates growing up to no end, inappropriately touched by a family friend when I was about ten, etc. The List can go on and on…I have felt that there was no place for me on this earth and that no on would miss me if I was gone. I felt that God has just forgotten about me. I was drowning until one night I was in College walking home from a friend’s house in the rain ready to take my own life. Something told me to stop and look at my reflection in a large rain puddle at my feet. I must have stared at my self for about an hour balling.  It was like the rain drops were equivalent to my tears. And then I believe God spoke to me and asked my why I felt like I was nothing when he made me so Special and this was my response…. [youtube]

After writing this I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. Not that my depression was completely cured but, I could see it clearly now. I believe that God revealed to me my feelings and gave me the choice to change them.  This revelation was given to me in song so that others will know that they are not alone. Many times when drowning in depression you feel that no one understands what you are going though. You feel like you are the only one with these feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing but, I was given a gift to express to many that they are not the only ones.  It has and still is a process but, I choose to be happy. You have to wake up every morning and tell your self that you choose to be happy and not depressed. You choose to live a life of peace and not one of chaos. You have to choose your surroundings to be ones of edification and not turmoil. If you are surrounded with positive energy then you will be more likely to internalize that energy and then emit that energy. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.  You must modify your internal dialog to match the desire that is in your heart to be happy and at peace. In doing so those desires are what your life will reflect. 
If you make up in your heart that you want to change and you put in the work and have the faith that you will then you will but, the first step is to make that choice to do so. I hope this helps…

P.s. Here are a few other songs I wrote dealing with the Subject of depression and choices…. 
[youtube] [youtube] [youtube]

Ask Illogic Vol #1

OK, Weekly maybe bi-weekly I am going to be answering questions sent to me by you the fans. Anything you want to know about me and my life mo opinions, etc not just music just ask. I have been wanting to do this for some time now but, time did not lend itself favorable to me. Now I have nothing but time on my hands so I can dedicate my self to writing on the site and fielding some of your most poignant question of me so with out further or due, Here we go….

So, was Lesson in Love inspired by a similar real life event? [youtube] [youtube]  

For some background Lesson in Love was a song on my Celestial Clockwork album. You can listen to it above….Yes it was real life. Every word of that story is true.  I was dating a Somali girl at the time and that day I caught her cheating. She did everything to try to get me to forgive her and you know I mean everything if you heard the song. After that encounter we still spoke briefly but the relationship was over. The song First Trimester also above is about the same girl.

How do I go about creating some promotional artwork for you?

You can always send work to my email… and I will check it out. I usually use artwork that coincides with the style of what erver I am doing or the campain I am working on at the time but, I am always on the lookout for great tee shirt designs and ways to use art in other ways so send it in and if can use it I will let you know. I will get back to you on what I think of the art either way though.

When is your next album coming out? Yo’ your track Lucky ft blueprint,I can’t find it and its my favorite!

Not sure where you have been but Capture the Sun is my next album. it is produced entirely by blockhead and will be released on Man Bites Dog Records 4/16/13. Below are a few videos from it and the first Episode of a Bio-series we have done for the album…Enjoy
[youtube] [youtube] [youtube]

And here is Lucky. It was produced by Blueprint and Featured on his Weight Room album.

Yo ill I’m curious to know what you think of the Canibus/Dizaster battle..what’s your take on the whole thing? 


Well first off, I am a fan of these rap leagues. I enjoy a great battle and Dizaster is one of the best to ever do it. I knew Canibus was in trouble as soon as I heard that it was going down. I expected it to be good but, I did not expect for him to be destroyed the way he was. When he went to the Note pad I couldn’t stop laughing. Canibus has been done for a while but, that killed any attempt for him to be taken seriously ever again. The guys that do this stuff are amazing. it’s a lot of work to write 3-4 rhymes that are 3-4 min long about one person. That is like at least 40-60 bars per verse. That’s a lot of writing and memorizing. I enjoy most the ones like Dizaster that mix it with actual on the spot freestyles. It’s very entertaining.

Well that does it for the first edition of ” Ask Illogic”. If I didn’t get to your question I will. A few of the questions I sent I may do a whole write up on so stay tuned. Again Send your questions to

2 Finger…

WE DO IT FOR THE LOVE (and to pay our rent)

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of requests for features on tracks from different artist around the world and I am beginning to think that people have the wrong idea about what we do as artist. It is clear that many of you do not understand that for many of us this is our job. This is how we feed our families and pay our rent or mortgage. Of course we love the art and love what we do but, that does not negate the fact that we as artist offer a service and it is not wrong for us to expect to be compensated for that service.

When a little or unknown artist asks an artist with some popularity and a larger name to feature on a track that feature request usually has a two pronged purpose. First, working with one of your favorite artist could be a dream come true and the request for the feature is out of sheer respect and admiration. The other purpose is to boost the popularity, interest and awareness of that particular song. Of course there are exceptions but, this is the basic rule. For example, if Mc Fly Guy gets a feature from Nas on his album he will most likely use that song for a single knowing that people are more likely to listen to a song that has Nas on it then a song with just him not knowing who he is no matter how good of a rapper. Mc Fly Guy has little to no popularity and is a huge fan of Nas. Now if Nas asked to get paid for this feature is Nas wrong? Mc Fly Guy will be using Nas name and reputation to promote this song and hopefully bring attention and money to himself in the process. Now some of you reading this may say “Illogic you are not Nas” and of course I am not but, does that make the use of my name less important? Should I not value my name and reputation just as much? I have worked on my career and built my name for over a decade and for me that is worth something. This the same for all artists underground or not.

I had one particular person get truly offended when I requested payment for a feature. In short he told me that I am a sell out because I expected to get paid  to write a verse and for him to use my name on his album. He told me that I should do it for the love of the work and put the work in to promote and possible make money on the back end. So he basically wanted me to allow him to use my voice, name and on top of that work for him to promote his music. He told me that it was for the greater good of Hip Hop or something like that. He told me that I was all about money and I didn’t care about the art all because I wanted to get paid for my work. He said that my value should not be in my name it should be in my work. I tried to explain that me doing a song with him benefits him more than it would benefit me and I have no problem with that. I know how the game works but, I expected to be compensated for it. He did not listen to anything I was tiring to say. I’m being nice with what he said. Frankly he was an asshole about it and was extremely disrespectful in his approach to the point that I was really angry.

The point that I was trying to make to him is that this is my job. This music helps to keep my lights on in my home and gas in my car. It helps me pay my rent and put food on the table for my wife and children. It is just fortunate for me that I love what I do. Any of you that go to work everyday expect to be compensated for your service and we artist only ask for the same. Don’t take it as we don’t love the art or are all about money. Understand that this is our livelihood. We put work in for years to build enough of a name so we could feed our families from something that we love and you who try to degrade us because we want to get paid for work are cheapening our profession. Many of you already don’t buy our music anyway; you find it and download it for free. Where is the real support? Of course this is not directed at everyone but, you who it is directed at know how you are. I have heard countless stories like this from other friends of mine that are artist for a living and it is mind boggling how little some who call themselves fans of ours think of us.

2 fingers…