SXSW – Friday, 3/17/17

Today I woke up feeling like $150 because that is what I have left in my checking account. Before I really get started, SXSW has been incredible and super awesome but also super expensive. All I have to do is make it through today and tomorrow and I am in the clear and don’t have to spend any more money on tacos or brisket. Besides my money worries, I went to a panel today and the main focus of it was festivals. How festivals came to be and which one helped elevate the bar of how a festival should take place.

The panel today was called, From Monterey Pop to Coachella: Conversation with Lou Adler and Paul Tollett. For those who don’t know, Lou Adler is one of the primary guys who put together the Monterey Pop festival together in 1967. The same festival where Janis Joplin and The Who were introduced and the arrival of Jimi Hendrix and the burning of his guitar. The cool thing about this is that were I grew up all my life, that same venue where that festival took place is just right down the road from where my parents live right now and it’s the same place and same stage that Hendrix blessed where a couple of my friends from the group The Closeouts got to perform at the California Roots Festival a few years back. After hearing Lou Adler talk about the festival, it’s crazy to think that they came up with probably one of the most amazing lineups of all time in just 6 weeks before the festival was to kick off. The crazier thing was is that the artist all performed for free and the highest ticket price for that festival was $6.50… I could only imagine those festival goers complaining about paying $6.50 ticket just to get in; Lou said that it had happened ha. Any money that was generate though at that festival was all donated to charities choose by the artists and bands that got to perform there. The Monetary Pop festival basically help validate Rock ‘n’ Roll as a genre and ultimately was the inspiration for the world famous 1969 Woodstock festival. The festival consisted of 32 different acts all on one stage because in 1967 at the Monterey Fairgrounds, there was only one stage there. Ultimately this festival helped inspire and revolutionize how festivals would take place. The Other speaker at the panel, Paul Tollett is the founder of Coachella. If the Monetary Pop festival didn’t happen, who knows if Woodstock would have ever taken place or Coachella even being a thing. It’s kind of cool to think that I’m from a place where this all happened.

This panel turned out to be a good one. It was cool to hear stories of essentially a town that I call home. Tonight, I’m not really sure what the plan is but I definitely would like to go out and catch a few shows. Talib Kweli and Open Mike Eagle are both performing tonight and I’m stoked about potentially checking them both out. As of now, I am officially finish blogging about SXSW down here in beautiful Austin, Texas. It has been super awesome to share my experiences but all good things must come to an end. Who knows, I kind of like this whole blogging thing and I may want to continue do this in the future. It’s a nice little way of speaking my mind and letting everyone know what’s up.

Hope you all enjoyed reading these blogs. I know I’m not the best writer or have the best grammar but i wanted it to sound as if I was actually talking to you all in person. Shoutout to SXSW 2017 for putting on a killer festival and now I’m going to enjoy my last two days and celebrate the quarter for being over.

Catch you later everyone.

Peace & love.

SXSW – Thursday, 3/16/17

Today is the first day that I am actually waking up and my legs and feet don’t hurt. Which is pretty chill and I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now. It looks ugly as hell outside and it feels like it is going to rain but I’m cool with it. At least it isn’t 20 or 30 degrees outside right now. So originally I was suppose to go to the Creating a Great Live Show panel from 12:30-2 pm but that was until I found out that Darryl McDaniels, or as the world knows him as D.M.C. from Def Jam’s legendary Hip Hop group Run-DMC. As soon as I heard that was going on, I think you all ready know where I ended up at ha.

At 12:30 pm, I attended Darryl McDaniels’ panel which was probably the best panel I have gone to so far. Darryl talked about his first memory of being exposed to Hip Hop in 78 after hearing a one, one in half minute verse being spit. After that, that verse that Darryl had heard inspired him to start exploring Hip Hop as a genre and he figured out real quick how popular this newfound genre really was especially in his neighborhood of Queens, New York. Fast forwarding about about 2 years or so, Darryl was finally introduced to one of Hip Hop’s most legendary DJs, Grandmaster Flash. While both Darryl and his older brother were looking to get their hands on some gear. They had an idea about selling all the comic books they have been collecting as kids so they could afford to buy two turntables and a mixer, which turned out to be successful even though Darryl didn’t want to sell his comic books. Once Darryl and his brother got their DJ equipment, they began practicing to get better while still listening to Grandmaster Flash to figure out the science of DJing while still not trying to copy Flash’s style. While being exposed to Flash, Darryl was listening to Flash and his group called, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five which includes the pioneer of the first ever 16 bar verse writer Melle Mel.Once he heard Melle Mel spit, it inspired him to start writing as well but while keeping all of his lyrics in the dark. He was kind of shy about it. While he would write, he would try to incorporate things that he learned from reading comic books. Darryl talked about how all the superheroes he would read about they were defined by adjectives. For example, “Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.” He wanted to create that persona as a rap so he could draw people into his music, like how he was drawn to his comic books. Later on, Darryl became friends with Joseph Simmons or as we know him as Rev Run in middle school. They became really close friends and found out that they were both very passionate about music, especially Hip Hop. By the time that both Darryl and Joseph were in high school, they would meet up every day after school was over to work on music. Writing rhymes and making beats to Darryl was homework or play time essentially. It was something that he just loved to do. Before going to college, Darryl would go to the studio with Joseph while he was recording an album thanks to Joseph older brother Russell Simmons, one of the co-founders of Def Jam Recordings. While Joseph was working on this album, Russell wanted him to work with this random DJ from Europe who he had no interest in working with. Joseph would always tell Darryl to spit for Russell and he always told Russell to listen to Darryl rap but.. Darryl was either to nervous to do it or Russell just straight didn’t think that Darryl was capable of laying down a clean flow. Finally, Russell heard one of Darryl raps and it’s all history from there. Run-D.M.C. became a powerhouse in the world of Hip Hop and working with or performing alongside or opening for acts such as LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and one of Rock ‘n’Roll’s most famous bands, Aerosmith.


This learning the history of how Darryl became who he was turned out amazing but my favorite part of this panel was when they strayed away from talking about Hip Hop and didn’t really continue with the rest of Run-D.M.C. history. Instead, Darryl dove into a time period in his life where he found himself needing help and not Hip Hop.

In 1993, Darryl was suffering with Depression and a heavy alcohol addiction. This basically lead to him falling off the map and disappearing. For anyone who use to watch the MTV show, Run’s House. The majority of the audience was wondering where Darryl was or why he never showed up on the show. It was because of what he was dealing with internally, he never ever had any beef with Rev or Russ. Darryl then decided to write a book and tell the story of Darryl McDaniels and not D.M.C. Darrell called his parents to find out info on his birth but was eventually told that he was originally adopted. This lead to him seeking out therapy. Through find happiness in himself, he has be giving the opportunity to help other  and talk to those who are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. What Darryl is doing now is amazing and if you truly want to get to know Darryl McDaniels and not one of the greatest Emcees D.M.C. please please check out his book, “Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir” and learn about the true person inside from Queens, New York.


Hearing this part of the panel helped me reflect on my struggles in life and what’s going on in my head. I feel that I personally put on a great disguise and hide how i am truly feeling. After hearing this panel, I’m definitely going to save what little money I have and buy his book.

Besides that awesome panel. Scotty and I were able to go out last night and have an awesome time. We got to see Denzel Curry, Rhapsody & 9th Wonder perform last night at Stubbs while also catching Noname at the Mohawk right down the street. It was absolutely awesome to see those acts especially 9th Wonder due to the fact that he is one of my favorite Djs/Producers in Hip Hop today.

***Video courtesy of Snapchat***

 


Thursday might be just as cool as Tuesday but because of two separate reasons. I am so stoked to have been able to experience this festival especially this panel from Darryl McDaniels more than half way through. Just two more days and I’m out! Can’t wait to see what Friday can bring to the table after such an awesome Thursday.

 

***Video courtesy of Snapchat***

 

 

 

 

 

SXSW – Wednesday, 3/15/17

Today, I woke up with the same feeling. My legs and feet are stupid sore and I think I have a dislocated toe… But! I am excited to get the day going again. The weather has been beautiful so far and being from California but going to school out in Minnesota and experiencing winter; I think everyone knows I’m loving the heat right now. For Today, there are two panels that I am trying to catch. The first one being Artist as CEOs and the second panel is The Influence of Jazz and Improvisation on Hip Hop, Modern Culture & Business.

So at the Artist as CEOs, the speakers were Chandler Coyle of Berklee, Rachael Yamagata who is an artist, Ed Romanoff who is an artist but also the founder and CEO of Pinerock Productions and finally Lee Dannay who is and artist & repertoire for Thirty Tigers. This panel was pretty interesting to me because my dreams are to hopefully be an artist as well but also run an independent label in the future. Ed Romanoff was hitting great points that I couldn’t help but take in. Ed talked about how artist are the ultimate entrepreneurs. Taking risk to build a great team who ultimately produce great products for their consumers. Essentially, you would be creating your own culture with your team and if everyone works well together, you can be an unstoppable force. Ed also stated, “Profit is oxygen.” Basically, this keeps the team together and working well with each other. Everything that Ed mentioned definitely stuck and hopefully when I get my dreams rolling, I’m going to apply those same methods to achieving success. This panel turned out to be a great!

The next I went to was the Jazz and Improv panel and the speakers were Talib Kweli, Christian Scott and Om’mas Keith. This panel honestly blew my mind and between the host and all the speakers, it was extremely interactive which was awesome. What really stuck to me was when Talib was talking about making music. When I was listening to him, I couldn’t help but take the concept he was talking about and relate to football. As an artist or in this case, a Hip Hop artist; It’s like you are a running back in football. The quarterback is the beat and when the ball is handed off to you, that’s your creative idea for the track. Once the running back has the ball, the goal is to score but there most likely will be a linebacker (The obstacle/Challenge) waiting for you in the middle of the field, try to keep you from scoring. As a running back, sometimes you have to run straight up and drop a shoulder at that linebacker to get through him rather than around. Basically, Talib was saying that you have to truck all obstacles to be successful. While in the process of running at those obstacles, you have to be original and making sure that you are delivering. This is only a small portion of what was talked about in this panel but this stuck to me the most.

Honestly, by 7 pm on Wednesday, I was dead. I just had no energy to walk or stay awake. I was pretty burnt out and just wanted to kick back and work on some of my own music. I wanted to see 9th Wonder at the 512 Rooftop but it turned out to be a 21+ show and the two guys I was with from class that night weren’t quite that age so we ended up doing our own thing and eventually went and explored the city again for a little bit.

Wednesday turned out to be a cool yet relaxing night which I needed. Super stoked for Thursday because there are so many musical acts that I want and have to see. Well see what happens.

The Influence of Jazz & Improvisation on Hip Hop, Modern Culture & Business


Artist as CEOs

SXSW – Tuesday, 3/14/17

As I woke up on Tuesday  with sore legs and feet from endlessly walking all day Monday, I couldn’t help but be excited not only for the festival and what was musically taking that specific day but one of my best and greatest friends from back home in California, who now lives in Houston was making his way westbound to Austin to come kick it and experience the city and festival with me.

The last time I saw PJ before was in the summer of 2016, right before I was heading back to school from break. During that fall quarter, I was able to head back for Thanksgiving but was unable to link up with him and when I went back for Christmas break, he left for Houston the day after I got back from Minneapolis. Since then, we made sure to keep in touch since I told him that I might be heading out to Texas for SXSW. Obviously everything worked out and we got to kick it for the whole day.

Around 2 that afternoon, Pj and I had to split up for about a hour and I had to join my class for the first SXSW panel that we were attending as a class. The panel was titled, “Soundcloud & The New Music Industry” and turned out to be really cool. Megan West who  was there representing Soundcloud held it down. She was describing all the tools that artists and managers have and are capable of using to help build their product. For artist in particular, through their premium accounts, they are able receive very reliable but yet helpful data and information. For example, where are their listener located; sounds creepy right? But It’s not, it’s actually very help and here is why. If you are an artist and have those resources, you can see where that hit single or full length project is being played which can lead to you or your manager to book a show there and help push your music in that specific city or town. I personally think this is a great tool to have and it helps you expand your brand in places where you wouldn’t expect that to happen. There is nothing wrong with creating a new fan base and potentially booking show. Also, that premium account allows artist to specifically see who their top listener is or has been that past month. Through that, artist themselves have been messaging those loyal fans showing absolute love for being behind the artist and allowing them to pursue their dreams as well. Without those true fans, where would the artist be? Something else I found really cool that Megan talked about was the comment section. Now for those who have lefts comments on an artist’s track, we all know that you can choose the placement of your comments. This actually allows the artist to see what his, her or what their fans really think of the track. Now, the majority of those comments are pretty straight forward saying, great song, you killed it and etc but every once in a while, there will be a comment in a specific spot where that fan really liked the drop or break of that beat or lyrics that were said and they let you know. That can be extremely helpful for that artist when it comes to making their next track. Overall the panel was great, the host, Josh Constine was kind of whack though. I felt that there were certain point where he was getting a little confrontational and essentially calling Megan out for not knowing or being able to answer something that wasn’t in her field. Just because she works at Soundcloud doesn’t mean she knows or needs to know anything and everything that is going on there. I just personally felt that it was a little unnecessary but Megan handled herself professionally and gave a flawless panel.

After the panel, I was able to meet back up with PJ and we pretty much venture out and killed till till the Wu-Tang Clan/Erykah Badu but sadly, the venue or the festival messed up on some stuff and PJ was unable to get in because he had a general admissions ticket and not a music badge like myself. But!! That wasn’t going to stop us from having a great time. Instead of the show, PJ and I made our way to 6th Street to where the real parties were happening. We went to a ton of different spots and met a lot of cool people. Even though PJ was only here for one night, we turned out to be a good one and potentially my have night.

PJ, thank you for driving 3 hours out of your way to come and hang out with me for the day.  It’s always a good time when we get together and kick it. Words can’t describe of how much I appreciate you as a person and the friendship that we share. I’m not sure when I’ll get to see you again but no matter what you can guaranteed that I am looking forward to that day. I wish you the best with everything! Till next time, peace & love.

Tuesday turned out to be awesome! I hope Wednesday can live up to last night.

***Video courtesy of Snapchat***

Soundcloud panel 

The homie PJ

SXSW – Monday, 3/13/17

On March 13th, it was the first official, full length day of being in Austin, Texas for the 2017 South By Southwest festival and the city was already packed. People were flooding 6th Street making it a sea of endless people and different directions of current. Though Monday was a free day for myself and the IPR SXSW class, we all took to the streets to venture around and take in the vibes.

For me, Monday was the day to find my sense of direction of downtown, come up on some good Mexican food which I miss dearly in my home state of California and what is hard to find in the state which I am receiving my current education in, Minnesota but the main goal for me that day was to find Austin’s own famous record store, Waterloo.

After walking cutting through and weaving between 12 different blocks on the street, I found Waterloo. As soon as I walked into the store, I was immediately blown away and as I made my way to their vinyl section; I felt like I died. To some people, it just a record store but to me, it was heaven and my wallet wanted no part of it. Even though my goal was to go in, cop a couple of LPs to take back with me to Minneapolis to sample, I only ended getting one which happened to be one of Hip Hop’s greatest albums of all time and one of the best lyricist to ever walk this earth; It was Illmatic by Nas. Now for anyone who truly knows me, you know I wasn’t going to walk out of that store with that album in my hand. I still hope to go back to Waterloo before I leave and find some vinyls to take back to continue the process and growth as a producer in the world of Hip Hop.

Shortly after, myself and the rest of the group decided to go to Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill and munch. Even though, standard Mexican food and Tex Mex are slightly different from each other. I didn’t care cause an enchilada is an enchilada and our waiter Scotty was the chillest waiter we could have had. I highly recommend to anyone who is in Austin at any point to go to Z’Tejas and ask to be waited on by Scotty. He works every day except for Wednesdays ha.

Later that night, myself, Scott, Ben and Jordan went to the Mohawk to catch Chicago’s own Noname who has been climbing up the ladder in the music world and for those who don’t know who she is, check out her music or listen to “Lost” by Chance the Rapper from Acid Rap; You will find her spitting a verse on there. Sadly, we underestimated how long the walk was going be to get to the Mohawk, so we actually missed her set. Once getting in though, I found myself catching two different groups of whom I have never heard of. It is safe to say though, I am officially a fan of the group Sohn and the other group Sylvan Esso.

Monday turned out to be a great way to kick off not only the week but the festival in general. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

***Videos courtesy of Snapchat***

SXSW Crew in Austin


Sylvan Esso

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Sohn

Internet Trolling

What is internet trolling? Stated by Jennifer Golbeck Ph.D, “An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response” (Golbeck, 2014). Internet trolling is seen on social media site such as Facebook and Twitter. Trolling has also be used on Youtube but it has really taken off on Xbox Live and Playstation’s internet servers. Sometimes the people who are trolling are individuals who have something going on in their lives or most often they are just some dude being jerk and causing drama. Sometimes the things that are said or done to get taken to extreme levels. Such as Quentin Hardy stated in his article, How Gaming Helped Launch the Attack of the Internet Trolls. Hardy mentioned,”In 2015, a feminist critic of stereotypes in video games received online threats of rape and death” (Hardy, 2016). It just shows you how far some are willing to go.

Personally, I’m not cool with trolling especially over the internet. I think it stupid and pathetic. I do understand that anyone who s trolling has the freedom of speech and what not but I guess those individuals feel the need to put someone down while hiding behind a keyboard. I do feel that trolling and online gamers has exploded in the past 5 to 7 years. Whether it be sending hate mail after a match, spawn killing or simply targeting the same player or even hacking someone’s account. I just feel that it is wrong, not chill and wasting  someone’s time by being a jerk.

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

Online Gaming Addiction

Online gaming is one of the most popular activities to do that has exploded because you the internet. Adults and kids are able to go on their computers and/or game consoles, login to their personal accounts via wifi or through a wired connection. Through connecting to the internet, players are given the ability to join online servers to compete against  or team up with other online gamers to accomplish goals and win the game and/or match. Such games with popular online capabilities are Call of Duty, Battlefield, NBA 2K16, Halo and many more. What we don’t see is that online gaming can affect a person mentally and physically causing an addiction to online gaming.

The addiction can be started based on the game itself. The companies that are making these games and adding the online feature know that they have to make something that will bring gamers back, wanting more each time after playing the respected game. Within the these games, user will find a mode or certain activity within the game that they are drawn to based on the challenge and/or getting the highest score. While being subjected to online gaming from a mental stand point, user will tend to lose interest in hanging out with family or fiends and isolate themselves so they can game more or when they are logged off, gamers sometime start to thing and anticipate the next time they login and think about what game they might or want to play and begin strategizing on how they can win. The affects that are felt from a physical stand point are fatigue (known as “burnt out”). Some users end up cramping or getting carpal tunnel in their hands, headaches or they simply have bad hygiene because they don’t want to leave their screens to shower.

As someone who likes to play video games especially online. I 100% believe that video game addiction is a real thing but it affects me more when it has to do with being online. I know that there are times when I’m itching to get back on Battlefield so I can dominate on conquest or run courts on NBA 2K. I find myself anticipating the next time getting on and will consistently think about it all throughout the day. Whenever I get burnt out from gaming online, I get really bad migraines and my day is usually over. I don’t think that online gaming is a bad thing but it can become bad when you are doing it too much keeping you from experiencing the world that is outside your room.

Escaping video game addiction: Cam Adair at TEDxBoulder

Video Game Addiction Symptoms, Causes and Effects