Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Building Your Own Routine

“I wouldn’t be an artist if I lived by a routine,” my best friend would say to me every time I would give him advice about creating a routine for his music and personal life. A routine he would say, is just so boring. There is no denying that most routines are often boring and lack excitement, however, nothing builds consistent growth like a great routine. 

To build a great routine, you need to focus in on areas of your life that a routine best serves. Not every part of your life needs to be on a routine, but certainly there are areas that a routine can make a huge difference in. Lets say you’re a musician looking to have a successful career, having a routine for consistent growth in your music’s awareness and also production quality just makes sense.
So building a proper routine for growing those two area could go something like this; first figure out how much time each day or week you can dedicate to a routine. So lets say you figured out that you can spend the first 2 hours after work each day for 5 days a week. That could be one hour for music production (songwriting, band practice, music theory - etc) and the other hour you could use to build the awareness up for your music (social media, newsletter work, press, finding opportunities - etc).

With your new plan of action, it’s now time to start the hard work, actually following through and sticking with your new routine. Obviously, this is where most routines fail. However, if you just think about the progress your new routine will cause, that should be enough motivation to keep you going.

Focused time and practice will cause positive growth almost 100% of the time. That’s the power and rewards of having a great routine and sticking with it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Microphone Check! Simple Studio Techniques

When setting up your mic in your home studio I would suggest using a nice condenser mic, you can get one from 100 and up. You also want to get a pop filter, this will cut out the excessive p's and b's from getting to the mic. If you can, you should also invest in a mic pre-amp. This will give a good clean sound. If not you can just use the phantom power on your mix board.

The distance your artist should be from the mic is about a fist away. You should also set a ceiling on your mix board or software. This will prevent clipping from occurring during the recording.

I would advise you not to put any effects on the microphone during recording. You can always add those afterwords, if you put a bad effect on the artist during recording and don't like it, you can't remove it!

Now if you have the budget you should create an isolation booth. This will stop all outside noise from interfering with the recording. If you can't do this, most people use anything from a bathroom to a closet to create a good recording atmosphere. Use foam padding wherever possible to reduce and echoing effect.

So all in all its pretty easy to create a professional sounding microphone with a couple simple steps. Good luck and stay tuned for more posts!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

How to Survive a Freestyle Rap Battle

This will help explain the basics of freestyle, flowing, and battling.


1. Listen to previous freestyle flows and battles by great artists (e.g., rappers like Jin, Jay-Z, Milly P.aka Teja B. kim, Troy Walsh, Big L, Eminem, and any other artists that spits hardcore rap).

2. Understand the techniques those artists use to flow and battle, which will help you enhance those techniques yourself.

3. Start writing rhymes. Write down anything that comes to mind and try to rhyme it. Using your emotions is a good way to describe what you're feeling when you spit or write lyrics. Make sure you eat a hearty meal before attempting a battle.

4. Practice free-styling -- anytime, anywhere, as much as you can. Even if you run out of things to freestyle about, just continue spitting, no matter how wack you think you sound. It helps you develop better rhymes and your mind becomes more focused on what sounds good when you spit. It's like a mental workout. So always practice spitting anywhere.

5. Once you've noticed you can spit on spot (when you want to), try to spit about more specific things. Direct your raps toward things that bother you or upset you. Anything you dislike or want to talk about, try to spit about it. Once again, practice this until you feel you've got it down.

6. Start freestyle battling. The first step to freestyle battling is to practice the first 5 techniques in a battle against a friend or someone who it wouldn't matter to if you messed up. Constantly battle like that with people, especially if you can find a friend who is actually good at battling so they can teach how to improve what you lack. Again, continue to practice this until other friends you know (especially those into hip-hop music) think you're pretty good.

7. Have your first real battle against someone you at least somewhat dislike. If you can find someone who just gets you emotional or who angers you, it makes it easier to flow about them. You want to make sure when you flow about them you include 3 major things.

* Metaphors - Making comparisons with your target (the person you're battling) to something that denigrates them.

* Disses - Saying things that either make fun of them in general (e.g., how they dress, speak, spit, look, walk, talk, act, or their personality) or about them personally (e.g., the way they live, their past, their lifestyle, weaknesses about them, anything that directly goes against them in a way that makes fun of them).

* Punch-Lines - a Punch-Line basically is a bar (2 lines you spit) that incorporates a Metaphor, Dis, and/or anything else to enhance the flow directed at your opponent.

8. Don't worry if you lose your first few real battles, the point is to constantly practice spitting. Continue practicing until you've got it down. And pay attention to how other people spit whom the crowd/judges enjoy. There are many techniques to battling, but these are just the basics. 


* If someone beats you in a battle and it gets to you, practice more until you think you're really ready. Then challenge them again: if you win, you will earn a lot of respect back. It's a great feeling, and chicks or dudes will dig your system and flair.

* When you think you lost it, don't worry - just relax. The worst thing to do is freak out. Just relax and keep going. You might still ace it.

* While your opponent is rapping, think how you can come back to what he says, so you get a better punchline.

* Use humor in your rhymes, especially if your opponent is dead serious, that will make them miss up and possibly crack up. 


* "Spit" as used in the context of this article is a synonym for rapping, not the forcible expulsion of saliva from the mouth. Please do not practice the latter kind of spitting; it does not make you look nearly as cool.

* For your own safety's sake, what goes on the battle, stays there. It's very likely that things get really heated, so be careful.

Monday, January 6, 2003

AbandonLandon collabs with ThRob UGLY on "No Love"

This is the first time that both of us have separate vocal parts instead of me just doing back ups like we did in Love Rage Comedy. Since I had so much written already I dominated the track-  AbandonLandon recorded more but in the final cut I did the two verses since I was more focused on being the rapper. We made this beat together on the Beast (YAMAHA RS7000.) This is the 2nd public track I did vocals on. You'll probably NEVER hear the first one!
Follow them on twitter: @AbandonLandon & @ThRob_UGLY

No Love Ft. AbandonLandon by ThRob UGLY