Monday, October 17, 2005

Only if I could manage their careers...

For anyone with aspirations of becoming a successful musical artist, having a great manager is essential. Someone who truly believes in your art, to the point that they will argue, manipulate, and deceive in order to get you gigs that they think are important in furthering your career. The husband and wife team that manage my band are great, they believe in our music and would go to any lengths to get us that "key gig" as they put it.(i.e Fight prompters, offer them loose women who also "believe" in our band, free weed, shit like that) Sure their tactics are a bit "extreme", but I turn the other way because out of all the haters in the world, knowing that someone holds your art in high regard is somewhat soothing.

That isn't to say they haven't made some mistakes, like booking us at a Country and Western festival where we were the only black folks for miles, and our anti-Bush agenda almost landed us on the back of a milk carton. Or the "religious rock" lineup that we found our self in, so you can only imagine the reaction we got when we let a few loose profanities fly out or, possibly, the fact that I briefly grabbed my genitalia and told a beautiful woman in the front row that she was giving me a "serious chubby." But I must admit, that the good times outweigh the bad because of the shows that we had no business being at and the experiences I have had. Like talking to Anthony Keidis of the "Red Hot Chilli Peppers" about the importance of Public Enemy's album "It takes a nation of millions.." album, having Dave Grohl tell me that I was a "good guitarist", or me expressing my lifelong love for Sheila E and that I would be her personal "man-bitch" if she wanted. So all in all I have no complaints, I went into that lengthy diatribe to introduce the topic of the following post.

Are their entertainers out there, regardless of the genre of art that they are in, that you think are rather talented but should be a bigger star in your opinion? A person that you wish you had a chance of managing, to steer their career in a direction that you feel it should be on? Here are a few people who I feel that way about.

Faith Evans: This might seem like a weird pick to some, primarily because most people would consider her quite successful, but let me explain. When I first heard Faith Evans sing I was in some random record store in New York City where she did a in store performance, and she blew me away. Since her first album came out she has made some noise, and I'm pretty sure her fan base is intense, I just think that she should be considerably bigger that's all. Now, I know that fans of Mary J. Blige are as vicious as canines with rabies, but I personally think that Faith Evans can sing circles around the self proclaimed "Queen of Hip Hop". The only reason that Faith isn't doing as well as Mary is because of the material that she has been given, sub-par lyrics and production is quite limiting. I know that she also had a say in what she sings, so she is also at fault, but that's what I am here for! Also, I know talking about a woman's weight is as dangerous as hiding Kate Moss' cocaine stash, but I personally think that Ms. Evans looked better when she had more weight on her.(Hope she isn't doing that "Trim-spa", because I bet you that stuff is just crack in a bottle) Her career is far from over, I just hope she can step out of Mary's shadow and be the artist that I know she can be.

Larenz Tate: I know that this dude is still working, and being a working black actor in Hollywood is an accomplishment, but he should have been bigger by now. His performances in "Menace to Society", "Love Jones", and "Dead Presidents" were absolutely amazing and should have landed him in a position where he wouldn't have to audition anything ever. But as the years passed, I barely saw him in anything and when I did see him in something it was in some monstrosity like "Biker Boys". I can't really be too mad at Lorenz though, because the acting game is so much of a gamble that elite actors sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But still, when I see actors who couldn't give a great performance if you put a loaded gun to their heads get premiere acting roles, I just think about his performance as "O dog" and wonder what could have been. Like Faith, he is still young so there is plenty of time for him to get the notoriety that he is supposed to get. If he needs inspiration, just look at a picture of Jimmy "JJ" Walker, that should get his ass fired up and motivated.

Saigon: Even though it seems that I am the only fan of this guy that I know, that won't deter me from shouting him out.(Shit, I'm the same guy that has expresses his prowess for 2 minute love making and a inability to fill a Magnum condom, so I am used to spouting unpopular stances) His career, compared to the previous two individuals, has just started so this might be a bit premature. I guess this is more of a cautionary rant, hoping that this MC doesn't get lost in the same shuffle and be put in the "should have been more famous" category. This is going to sound quite hypocritical, especially since I talk badly about misogyny and violence in Hip Hop, but I don't mind it so much if it is done with skill and creativity.(Fucked up logic, I know) Saigon brings a sort of intelligence and wit with his hardcore sensibilities and tales of street life. That's another thing, in an age where people lie about their background to seem "hardcore", or feel that simply getting shot a bunch of times makes you the new "Scarface", Saigon actually has a history of criminality but most of the time he warns his listeners to not make the same mistakes he did. On his website it says that, "Saigon is an unadulterated dose of reality.", I agree and I hope that he makes his mark in Hip Hop.

Thicke: Sometimes you discover an artist in the oddest situations. A couple of years ago I was getting a root canal, and for anyone who hates dentists like myself will tell you, I would have rather bought a Mike Jones record or paid to hear a black republican speak than to go through that horrifying ordeal again.(Then again, I'll stick to painful oral surgeries) While I was getting my mouth worked on, squealing like the guy in "Deliverance", I hear some pretty good music playing in the background. I immediately ask my dentist, "Do you know who this is?", and he quickly said no in a "Let me operate on you, you dreadlocked bastard" kind of way. When he was finished, still high as a kite, I used the receptionists phone and called the radio station to see who that was. That artists name was "Thicke", real name Robin Thicke, who is a very soulful R&B singer.(I wish I had that name, so when ladies ask "Do you have what it tales to satisfy me?", I could simply respond, "My name IS Thicke isn't it?") Anyway, I bought his album "A Beautiful World" and was amazed at the musical range of it and how dope it was. So I waited for this artist, who happens to be the son of Alan "Dad on the the show "Growing Pains" Thicke, to explode on the public like a nuclear missile. So I waited, and waited, then waited some more, and nothing. Some know about him, but he should have been bigger because a couple of years ago people would have been refreshed to hear a white singer not impersonate Michael Jackson.(ahem..Justin Timberlake..ahem) But, whoever was managing him, I think Andre Harrell, royally fucked up because they didn't know what kind of image they wanted to give him. Again, this dude is still young and has plenty of time to make his mark.

Da Brat: OK, I know that she seems attached to Mariah Carey's left tit nowadays, she did bite Snoop's style for a few years, and she is still being produced by Jermaine Dupree and his production in terms of Hip Hop has been as relevant as a man's penis to a lesbian.(OK, I'm jealous that a troll like that gets to have sex with Janet Jackson at will.) But, I think there is lyrical talent there if she would be comfortable in her own skin and have the creative freedom to do what she wants. I have heard her on a few mix tapes, when she could just be lyrical, and she is pretty nice on the mic. But I hardly doubt that she will turn into the MC that she could, because unlike the previous artists I have mentioned, Da Brat seems to be comfortable living a life of artistic mediocrity. Shit, it doesn't help her case that she has the personality of a bowel movement, based on the few times I saw her on that show "The Surreal Life". But there's always a chance, as long as she doesn't decide to get all "sexy" on us and go with her more "feminine" image again. I mean, she has a great body, but she looked as uncomfortable as Tom Cruise in a strip club when she did her last image overhaul. That's just my opinion.

Royce da 5'9: I have friends who argue this with me, feeling that he has already gained national exposure, but I feel that based on his lyrical talent he should be more famous than he already is. He was once on the fast track to being a household name, being Eminem's partner in crime, blazing mixtapes and creating a street buzz with his 16 bar wizardry. But after a falling out with the Detroit MC, I think based on Eminem's hesitant nature concerning putting out his record, Royce struck out on his own. He has done his thing, but when you think about 50 Cent(a dude who Royce could rap circles around) and his success via Eminem, it is sad to think that he isn't as widely known as he should be. When you think about how Royce is better than anyone associated with Eminem, D12 or any clown in G-Unit, I just hope that this lyrical MC gets the fame that he deserves.

46 comments:

Nia said...

"his production in terms of Hip Hop have been as relevant as a man's penis to a lesbian" Very appropriate decription of Jermaine and Da Brat's relationship. LOL

I'd add Raheem Devaughn to this list. I absolutely love his music and he seems to only bit a local star. (If you can describe one song played on the radio for a few weeks as local stardom.)

DM said...

I agree with you on Faith...her voice is awsome, but most of her lyrics suck. She is one of a few people I will listen to based on her voice and not the song (I'm usually a lyrics person).

But some people choose not be all the way famous, and like having the freedom to do their thing. Like Larenz Tate, if he happens to fall off now, he could come back rather unscathed. But if he was Will Smith and fucked up...it could end his career.

Somebody like Thicke is probably fighting for creative control and shit...as long as low key artists stay true to their core audience, they will have their day, their way (like the Roots being signed to Def Jam Left).

Dan said...

Saigon's little three episode guest spot on Entourage should certainly help him to blow up larger.

blkminded said...

I agree about da brat, and i agree with nia about Raheem Devaughn he really needs more exposure .

Tif said...

I'd say Amel Larrieux, and agree with nia on Raheem DeVaughn (not cuz he's a personal friend and I sell his CD's on my website www.poetology.com) Fertile Ground is waaay underated www.blackoutstudios.com I'd say Omar Gooding, he's brilliant in the TV version of Babershop, and Flashy www.flashyfreddie.com I haven't heard a sicker emcee. That dude Chris Angel, he makes David Blane look like my drunk uncle doing a "pick a card any card" trick with a Pinochle deck at the family bbq.

As far as management I've booked acts to follow big buff gay pierced nipple models, hmm them white folks didn't know what they were in for when they asked me to book for them September 11th vigil gigs. Yeah the potty mouth i sent to a church gig. The absolute worst was booking acts to open for Michelle D'angleochello(sp) can you imagine several huge dirty dusty dikes ice grillin the opening acts yelling "MEE-CHELL! MEE-CHELL!" at the top of their lungs. I haven't seen so many scary women since I went to a WNBA game.

VAN007 said...

Yeah.... I love Faith.... I would buy anything she does although I hate to agree with you about the production and lyrics.... definately a fan of the larger Faith. Much like the Biggie vs.Tupac battle, I find myself in the Faith vs. Mary J. battle.

Thicke... I thought I was the only one that owned that CD... I was kinda hoping that sprite commercial he did would pique interests.... guess not

VAN007 said...

Oh yeah I agree with Nia and would add Raheem Devaughn although his album was somewhat of a disappointment to me. The man is still, without a doubt, talented. Amel Larrieux is definately slept on. Her voice is one of those that needs to be heard by more people, but I know her fan base is strong. I would also add Van Hunt to the list... I know a few people that have his cd and I hear a lot of his songs on satellite radio but outside of that he is relatively unheard of by most.

oh yeah HC... what is the name of your band?

Donny B said...

Hey I just found your blog and love it. And Thicke! I don't know anyone else who knows about him. I'm a fan, but I don't think they know how to market him. He had a video for "When I Get You Alone" and he just looked all greasy and dirty and the whole thing wasn't very impressive, but his music is great.

I also have a pop culture blog (and I also just wrote about A History of Violence). You can check it out at:

donbaiocchi.blogspot.com

Keep up the good work.

Dominique said...

I just have to tell you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your blog! Dang, are such a talented writer! You will most definitely become one of my daily reads.

glory said...

i so agree on faith and thicke and larenz. might i also suggest chante moore and tamia?

CaffeineDiva said...

OH MY GOD THANK YOU!!! I was totally feeling Thicke (stop thinking dirty) and was upset that it didn't seem like he was well represented at all.
I do agree with you on Faith.
Like Donna, I'm a lyrics fan, but I love her voice.
And what ever happened to Caron Wheeler? And is Chante Moore only singing with her husband, Kenny Lattimore, now?

Jdid said...

I like what I've heard of Saigon so far but its taking him way to long to really hit us with something. Royce is really nice but again he's just proof that talent aint everything in the game. like you said you need that management.

lorenz tate is a disappintment. dude is doing ashanti videos and bit roles in crash. I mean for the number of years he's been in the game he should be getting some bigger roles. its like he's still paying dues 13 years later

Maverick said...

Good damn looking on the Saigon mention...have you heard "the Letter P" with Kool G. Rap??? This dude is one of the best mainstream guys out right now (and by mainstream, I mean he is signed to a label whose parent label is one of the Big 4)...

I actually think M.O.P. should be on here too. There is no reason that they shouldn't be bigger than they are...

I am Jack said...

I agree HC, Saigon definitely needs to be more in the public consciousness because now he isn't. The guy is dope and needs more exposure, period.

chele said...

You're right -- Larenz Tate's face should be splattered all over the place, Faith should have blown up long ago. I'm not feeling Da Brat at all (mainly because of the whole Mariah Carey thing -- what is that?).

msjaim said...

yeah, im sorry , but I have to agree that the brat is just a hot mess. The only thing she did That I "liked" was that cut she did w/ Tyrese and as far as Im concerned, it could have just been him on that song.. :) Her fan base consists of 10-15 year olds and butchy chicks. I saw her @ a party about 2 yrs ago.. She looked like lil bow wow..lmbao.. u couldnt even tell she was born a damn female.

Joyjoy said...

From Va Beach, my hometown, will be back next weekend! Anything happening for the Halloween weekend?? Larenz Tate was good on Crash. Was surprised to see him.

Nova said...

I'm gonna have to agree with you on all counts here man. It's sad that these cats aren't getting more recognition.

Inside Man said...

I agree with you about Larenz Tate and black actors. It's difficult for them to find lead roles because leading roles for african-american is so type cast. Look how long it's taken Terrence Howard to gain recognition? Derek Luke (Antwon Fisher) is another great young actor stricken to play a typical black male roles when he played Boobie Miles (athlete) in "Friday Night Lights" and is playing a basketball player (athlete) in "Glory Road." When are we every going to see black leads in a films like "Sideways" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?"

Kathryn said...

You were so on point about most of that. But who the heck is Saigon? I have to do some investigating. I miss Thicke, I thought I was the only black fan he had.

Thinkerbelle said...

I agree with Tif 110%! Amel Larrieux is in definite need of better representation. You've made the same comment HC.

Sara said...

Naw, this is about management, great new commentary and material HC!.(I should know, I read his archives)

Great post HC, I agree 100%.

I am Jack said...

Aww Stop already with the Amel Larrieux props, she sounds alright but she is a one trick pony. After a few songs of hers you would be ready to gauge your eyes out. She's OK, but not anyone that I am outraged for because they aren't a bigger star.

Thinkerbelle said...

Naw, this is about management, great new commentary and material HC!.(I should know, I read his archives)

Sorry Sara, guess I should have clarified. The Amel Larrieux reference to HC was based on a conversation, not a blog post.

Nikki said...

For all of the good films that Larenz has been in, he's been in twice as many crappy films. That dude is right behind Bokeem Woodbine in terms of crappy film actors.

David said...

I agree that good management could make a big difference in a talented artist's career, but the artist him/herself has to have a strong drive to succeed also. I think 50 cent is a good example of this. Maybe he is not the best rapper, but he is really busy. Last I heard he had his own clothing line and his own brand of vitamin water (freaky!).

**RPM** said...

Nice list HC. I would add to this list a few folks myself. You shocked me with Thicke. I thought my sister and I were the only ones who liked him.

Tif said...

As far as shows, The Wire and Arrested Development are damn good shows that are gonna be good soon if no one appreciates their genius. Especially the Wire, how could a show be voted best drama, writing by everyone yet be at risk for cancellation every season.

Justin said...

A friend of mine got a call to go work on The Wire. Lucky bastard. But hey, he did his time.

Anyway, what about MC Frontalot?

http://www.frontalot.com/

But then, a guy who did a song called "Indier Than Thou," you know only cool people are gonna gonna know about him.

By the way the word verification is wack. Turn that shit off PLEASE.

DM said...

FYI....for you Thicke fans...I'm listening to VH! Radio and they are palying a sing called Wanna Love You Girl by Thicke featuring Pharrell...am I late?

damion said...

JD as relevant as a man's penis to a lesbian. LOL! I've been sayin' that for years. He really needs to sit back now, quit producing with his tired ass, and STOP PERFORMING! eek.

I agree that Faith could explode with the right material. Her voice is delicious, but her material is mediocre to say the least. Can't hate on Mary J. Blige though... she had me at "Love No Limit."

Brother OMi said...

its about time you posted it. DOPE DOPE DOPE post anyway even though you been planning on it for like two years.

Amadeo said...

Adriana Evans and Res are first on my list. Larenz Tate for real, especially when he is a secondary charater to Vin Diesel! WTF!!! Vin couldn't act up in class!

piranha said...

you should work together with my sis. she is the same. and i guess, if she COULD manage their careers they would get somewhere........
great post, it s a good inspiration for me, i have no clue about america's artists who didn't make it to europe. except for some hip hop artists, but thats a different story.

Angel said...

Thicke, yeah I know that guy...or at least I'm familiar with his work. It was my fiance who introduced me to his song "When I Get You Alone" on one of our first dates. I was instantly hooked. Oddly enough, I know no one else who'd ever heard of the guy - until now. Sorry your first intro to Thicke was during a root canal...but better late than never, eh?

- Rev_Sapphire

Girlfriend A said...

Nawl maan H. C what about Nikka Costa maan! You remember her?? She blew down the Chris Rock Show...
she was like Janis Joplin /Aretha with the sex appeal of Shakira when her hair was black!This chick should have been on your list H.C. Just like Thicke "WTF"

Mariposa said...

Thicke was great! I miss him. he definetly had potential and a hell of a lot of talent. But these days, talent is not as important as a lust-inspiring body with perky titties. If you want proof, take a look at Diddy's Making the Band 3. Coincidentally, Andre Harrel is one of the judges this season!

Brotha Buck said...

You stole the words right out of my mouth about Lorenz. I've always thought he was the most talented actor out there even in the gangas roles. Thing is he played the hell out of those roles as well as Love Jones. Definitely Oscar material. Then he was gone. Sad.

Reese The Law Girl said...

I totally agree with you on Faith and Thicke. I would also add my Res (pronounced just like my name "Reese"). She's awesome. I wish she would get the props she deserves.

SPB said...

I'd agree about Larenz Tate as well. I interviewed him for VIBE years ago, somewhere between The Inkwell and that war flick, and he seemed like a cool, smart, well-adjusted dude. I always thought he might have been a bigger star. I remember him telling me that he was going up for "non-black" parts and dealing with that experience in Hollywood. Must be hard for a brotha to do his thing.

In terms of actors, I'd add Jeffrey Wright to the list. Or is he too big for this list already?

As far as music artists go, I think this sista JOI should be the biggest star in the world, easing her soul-rock fusion into every ear possible. Woe is the music industry...

josie said...

larenz tate in Inkwell when he was younger. it was good enough.

thir13teenandtheysayitain'tlucky said...

Humanity... You are the man. I love your Blog. I agree with Thicke.. people thought I was crazy as hell, especially when I told them who his father was. There was also a cat, Remy Shand, that I thought was pretty host as well. Larenz, was type caste earlier in his career, having played late '60s characters so well, and hasn't quite bounced back since Love Jones (my .02) and to hear that he's now starring ina video game? Who is in charge of his career, Captain Crunch?

mai said...

Thicke is really is a good artist. I don't know why he never 'blew up', but dammit, someone hasn't been paying attention. He's got style, that one. And of course Faith can sing better than Mary! My mom can sing better than Mary (ribbit). But Mary has those songs that we just love to cry to...

Aw, man, leave Brat alone! Putting up with that emo chick on Surreal Life was punishment enough. Sorry, Jane Weidlin fans, but she whines too much.

And Royce'll catch up, just watch.

DEREK said...

royce is a lyrical assassin, the respect he deserves is long overdue... but clowns like 50 have the power now... hip hop trends hurt the real stuff

BohemianChic said...

Maybe Faith's career might skyrocket if she laid off the coke. I think she has a beautiful voice..was VERY disappointed about learning of her drug problem cuz' all this time I thought homegirl got skinny by hittin' the gym! (lol)

Resume said...

I like what I've heard of Saigon so far but its taking him way to long to really hit us with something. Royce is really nice but again he's just proof that talent aint everything in the game. like you said you need that management.


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