When I sat at my laptop two years ago today. and clicked the ‘publish’ button on my review of Joe Budden’s “A Loose Quarter” mixtape, I had no idea that it would prove a catalyst to a career. Finding a talent I never knew I had, and still not all that confident I have it, has been an amazing journey and it’s been as humbling as it has been confidence boosting. I’ve made it little secret of my reasoning behind the blog, stringing from overcoming depression and wanting to show appreciation to the aforementioned Mood God and his recent acknowledgment of my “Some Love Lost” review elicited a feeling that will be difficult to replicate. Not solely because my hero and joint favourite rapper (alongside Eminem), but also as consequence of the fact it cemented my belief that maybe I do have a chance of escaping from a minimum wage living and provide a life for myself, and my family that we can only dream of right now.
I wrote a thank you piece last year (Click Here To Read), and in some respects nothing has changed, whilst from another perspective everything has. The people I gave a shout out at the end of the article last year have slowly but surely grew distant, and contact has mostly reduced the odd snapchat here and there, but the appreciation for their support remains all the same. Some text when something big (i.e. Budden’s tweet) happens, but there’s been an influx of social changes in 2014 and it’s nothing I can be bitter about.
As for journalism, my profile has grew exponentially. In addition to Rap-Royalty, MileHiMusic, SooDetroit and Spark, I also joined a team for Northern Lights, which is based within my University and my hard work has been noted. It’s an absolute pleasure to work for all of these publications, and whilst a plethora of companies have knocked me back, or ignored me completely (BBC, SB.TV, OnlyHipHopFacts, The Chronicle), I’ll always remember those who showed faith before I go onto the internationally recongised blogs and magazines – maybe not this year, or even next but some day, my name will be attached to HipHopDX.
I even managed to start conducting face-to-face interviews, with the first being Kirk Knight of Pro Era. Hopefully it will be the first of many.
Outside of journalism, but still within the music industry, I’ve become a manager. Detroit emcee, Acapella, is an artist I’ve admired for a while and it’s an honour that he’d allow me to be apart of his movement, and I’m hoping to have a positive impact on his career as we gear up to the release of his debut “O.S.K.” album. There’s sure to be plenty to come from the TNFAC head-honcho, so stay tuned!
I set myself a few goals last year, and to an extent I managed to reach every target set. For 2015, I fully expect to…
- Be more consistent and frequent in my blog posts. In the past few months, I’ve successively improved, views-wise, on therootmusic and I am submitting articles elsewhere more than ever too. That said, in the spring, my post-count falls substantially and that’s something in 2015, I do not want to let happen.
- Be financially secure within journalism. Anybody who follows me on social media or knows me in real life, know that I detest my current job. If it were easy enough to up and quit, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, money is a pretty big thing in the world and therefore if somebody wants to pay me £100 per week for some journalism work, it’d be a dream come true.
- Start creating visual content. Throughout my trajectory as a blogger, I’ve been told to start recording video reviews. As of right now, it’s a top priority in something I want to do. Knowing a number of amateur film makers, it’s simply a case of timing and either finding someone able to read out a script that I’ve written convincingly, or finding the confidence within myself to be on camera. We’ll see.
- Cement a respect for my region’s rap scene. North East Hip Hop is something of a barren wasteland with a selection of hidden gems hidden behind a wall made up of cultural myths that rap is just fast-talking, something of a result of the ‘New Monkey’ era. It’d be an honour to be a figurehead to help push certain emcee’s to the forefront of UK Hip Hop and create a new-found respect for the Newcastle-Sunderland-Middlesborough scene.
I really cannot thank you enough if you’re reading this. I appreciate all of the support (and even hate) that I receive. It helps me to improve and motivates me to keep going. Today (12/12/14), I will be posting all day long, with new music, lists and reviews to round off an unbelievable two years of TheRootMusic.