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Behind the Scenes with “KILLZ” OPEN MIC Do’s & Dont’s

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Killz

There is a certain mystique that surrounds the concept of an open mic when it comes to HipHop, especially in the city of Detroit. Some of the feelings towards open mics are amazing and some are purely negative, and today I will tell you the reasons why each opinion exist.
A good open mic/showcase provides a few key things for an artist with one of the most important ones being consistency. The open mic should provide a dope stage, great sound, and a consistent event that is hand picked for talent each week from a list of acts who have taken the responsibility of of signing up. The promotion for the open mic should be heavy as the artist who wanna take the stage and the promoters should post the flyer for the event like they are all apart of it. A lot of people tell me this is crazy for the artist to have to promote along with the promoter when the only person who is getting paid is the promoter. This is an easy explanation. The promoter pays for the rental of the club, the dj, the flyer, and the security usually in the case of an open mic. This is where the $10 per head (usually the entry cost) fee comes into place. The artist receives promotion on the flyer, as well as the stage to promote themselves and hone in on their emcee skills. An artist should take these shows as opportunities to sell Merch and gain fans for the future and the bigger venues that are set to come.
A good open mic gives everyone one chance to shine, because you never know who is out there undiscovered and ready to set the word afire. Money cannot be the objection of the open mic. The focus has to be the music. That is where the one chance comes into play. No matter how lucrative it may be to place any and every rapper on the stage, you must choose the music as the ultimate reason why you say an acts name when calling them to your stage.
The open mic should take place in a bar that pays residuals for music being played in there. Artist who are registered (either with ASCAP or BMI) can report their show and receive income from the performance. That $10 investment can do a lot for an artist if they choose to take the business side serious. The artist should be in the building making new relationships with DJs, videographers, producers and AnRS, the expected atmosphere of a good open mic. If these things are not included in your idea of an open mic, then don’t support it. Rappers please stop performing at the strip club. People don’t like your song or they would pay you for your performance there. The only reason you are up on the stage is because you agreed to throw a certain amount of money for the rent time of that stage, just like a dancer. Trust me as I share this information as I managed a strip club for 7 years. Whenever there was an act that was hot, we paid them for their performance and every week we allowed tons of rappers who were trash to hit the stage because of the amount of money they were prepared to spend in the bar on bottles and girls. Believe this information or don’t, just know that I’m telling you all FACTS my baby NO CAP 🧢.
A good open mic should have a reputation that makes the top notch emcees and A list acts stop through to see what’s going on. This show should provide the vibe of the city. I ran a successful open mic from 2006-2015. Out those 10 years we had all of the hottest acts from the city and more show up. We provided Redman, Devin the Dude, DBCO, Icewear Vezzo, Kashdoll, and Many many more names.
The reach of a good open mic should be nationwide and able to gain an artist respect when they mention they perform there. My brother Supa Emcee represented my open mic night as he rocked in New York along with Talib Kwali and the legendary KRS-1. Several emcees like Nov-Ra and Dman the Champ also took the stage to rep our set with the good people at the easy speak weekly in NY.
Artist please respect the building when hitting an open mic and know that sometimes you may not hit the stage. When a legend comes thru, new comers need to understand that there are people who have 20 years in this game and are amazing at controlling the stage and performing. Don’t take it that you were cut and didn’t get to rock. Take it as you were able to see one of the best people rock that night and enjoy the music and make connections that night. Continue to patronize the event as in the years to come you will love when you receive that legendary treatment for you as well💯👌🏾💪🏾.
This is the guide to an open mic but it is a cheat book. If you follow these steps and remember to provide consistency, you will become a legend yourself amongst your peers and the respect that is provided from that open mic will last for years. Shouts to Lush Lounge (hosted by Kontact and Ike love), Monday nights at the bullfrog (Reddbone), 313wedz (Kkp) , 3dolla Thursday at Alvin’s (Iron fist records), No Bs at the Bullfrog (Kkp), Sunday nights at Status (Don P) and all the dope open mics over the years in Detroit. Know that the open mic is always needed , it just has to be done right. Thanks for the time and if you have something to comment hit me on Twitter and Instagram @iamkillz

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Payroll Giovanni – Turn Into 20 (Official Video) (feat. Tee Grizzley & Peezy)

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As the society around him became encaged in a pandemic-birthed nightmare, Detroit icon and street-rap hero Payroll Giovanni flipped the gloomy circumstances of confinement into an opportunity: he made his most mature and developed project yet, turning an ultimate negative into an opportunity for growth and outreach.

“I was just realizing what was important and what was not and that’s basically what the album focused on — growth and maturing,” the Doughboyz Cashout legend explains, looking back at the recording processes that birthed Spirit of A Boss. “I analyzed my life and the things that mattered and didn’t matter. I was recording a lot during quarantine.”

Produced by a tightly-knit, well-seasoned circle of Motor City sound-sculptors like Helluva, AK and K.I.D.D., Spirit of A Boss fully encapsulates the style that allowed its creator an upper-echelon spot in his region’s circle of hip-hop heavy-hitters and represents his commitment to preserving Detroit’s influential sonic signatures.

“I’m always open to try new beats and different producers, but I’m just at home and more comfortable on Detroit beats,” Payroll explains. As a member of a group and as a solo act, he’s been at the forefront of his hometown’s street-rap microcosm for over a decade, and has become one of its most respected and talented torchbearers. “A lot of the producers I work with today, they produced a lot of the Detroit albums I grew up listening to — Street Lordz, Chedda Boyz and all that. When I was growing up, it was just Street Lordz, Eastside Chedda Boyz, Rock Bottom and a few more groups. That’s what we grew up listening to.”

“They [Blade Icewood and Street Lordz] laid down the blueprint for all of us,” Payroll explains. As one of his city’s foremost sages, he is one of the few relevant artists today who carries a connection to several sides of Detroit’s recent musical heritage and boasts his own growing catalog of classics. “They set the tone for what a Detroit dude is all about, and we followed that blueprint and just ran with it … It’s all embedded in the Detroit sound.”

His newest contribution to the aforementioned lineage, Spirit of A Boss unfolds like an audio-book full of real-life stories of survival and contains the same sort of gritty lessons you might learn watching a movie about mobsters. The full-length is complete with insights on Payroll’s childhood and shines a light on the teenage years he spent trying to carve out his own path in the drug game, revealing the gritty, cinematic crime-drama scenarios that followed and the positive evolution those preceding moments created. You can use it to trace the Payroll Giovanni narrative from start to today.

“A lot of them are personal records,” Payroll shares when breaking down the themes and content of his new release. “I get something new out of it when I see how the fans react to it; I got to see what was the effect on people, that’s when I’m like, ‘this one touched people in a different way.’ I listen to my old stuff and I was probably drunk, in the booth with 20 dudes and stacks of money in my hand while rapping — just rapping about stuff I would never participate in today. I come from this, that and the third, but now it’s about doing this and that.”

“You don’t want to be in your 30s still thugging and living some wild life,” Payroll reflects. “I don’t want to preach that, because I’m trying to get away from that … My music has always kind of been my therapy. I’d rather say how I feel in a record or two.”

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Joei Redd – Loyal to the Bag Remix ft Tiera Santoya & Queenie & P Dot – (Official Music Video)

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Joei Redd - Loyal to the Bag Remix ft Tiera Santoya & Queenie & P Dot - (Official Music Video)

 

Joie Redd drops the remix for her single  “Loyal to the bag” with a video featuring some of Detroit’s hottest lady spitters on the microphone! Recorded at ASAR Studios Produced by Number Street K check out P Dot, Queenie and Tiera Santoya as they joined Joie Redd on this classic “SET IT OFF” inspired visual.

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Hatch – Nincompoop (Prod. Blizzard) [Official Music Video]

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Hatch - Nincompoop (Prod. Blizzard) [Official Music Video]

Hatch has been one of the Detroit area’s top lyricist for some years now, from New York to California the self proclaimed wise guy himself has done shows, radio, television, and satellite around the country with a celebrity list of who’s who nationwide. Check out his newest video produced by Blizzard the Mad Scientist.

 

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