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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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Lazarus – “You Already Know” ft. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane

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Lazarus - “You Already Know” ft. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane

After last years “Decapitation Chamber” feat. Ghostface Killah & “Leatherface” with Bizarre, Hopsin, & King Gordy comes an unexpected collaboration of mass proportions from Detroit’s own Lazarus. Tackling a trap beat Lazarus hits us with a welcomed curveball in “You Already Know” feat. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane. The star studded collaboration offers us a twist in the forever growing story of Lazarus as he brilliantly demonstrates his versatile abilities atop  production by Tez that #LazArmy fans aren’t accustomed to hearing the Doctor/Rapper attack. “Don’t gotta lie, my rhymes tell you what you already know..” is a fitting close and simple explanation of this mega record. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane respectively come with strong verses that perfectly reflect their styles and blend well. Best of all Lazarus’s ability to remain his top notch lyrical self well aiding the hook in a catchy and ear-invasive way packs a punch ready for your car’s sound system to consume.

DETROIT! Catch Lazarus performing at El Club alongside the legendary GZA on 01.28.2020 in Detroit, MI. More info here.

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ALBUM

REVIEW: COMMiSSiON- GROWiNG UP

The editor finally tells his own story.

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Modern independent musicians wear many hats, from guiding the production of the music they love, directing merch and marketing, and working the mechanics necessary to get their music heard. Likewise, content creators have to stay on their toes to contribute consistently; staying in touch with the game and building relationships with everyone in and out of the machine is essential.

Joe Commisso, aka COMMiSSiON, also serves as the editor and webmaster of DetroitRap.com, creating content that supports and reviews Detroit music. He also supports Detroit acts directly at shows and events, and has been actively performing and preparing his own contribution to the discussion about Detroit hip-hop.

As the new decade opened, Commission released “GROWiNG UP” across platforms and chose to weave a narrative about his past as his first full project.With appearances from VStylez, Kid Vishis, Jonnie Morris, Sin Crawford, and Redman, there is an edge to GROWiNG UP that reflects the struggles that COMMiSSiON encountered growing up on Carlisle Street in Detroit. JRGotTheHits, who helmed the majority of the production on the album, provided him with a synth-heavy soundscape that is sparse enough to allow Joe to do his thing while incorporating a good live feel that should translate well in Joe’s performances.

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Standout tracks include “Tell Em,” “Too Much,” and “Flagrant,” where Pontiac’s Sin Crawford drops a notable verse. COMMiSSiON does a great job of maintaining a subtext of growth throughout the tape, and the album climaxes with “Rapper Dad,” where Joe balances music with maintaining his connection with his family.

Overall, GROWiNG UP is a solid project. Making a thematic album for a debut is challenging, as streaming playlists don’t always allow today’s listeners an opportunity to hear records in context. Nevertheless, the songs can stand on their own, and it will be interesting to see how COMMiSSiON and JRGotTheHits continue to build chemistry. As we look forward to future projects (and content) by COMMiSSiON, we can bet that his music will stay true to what those of us who are music multitaskers already know — having balance is the most important thing.

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BayBro – Escape/2AM

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BayBro - Escape/2AM

Enter the cinematic adventure immediately ahead with this intriguing clash of two pieces together as one perfectly portrayed. Broken Blanket Media visualize “Escape/2AM” in a way that pulls you into a story well letting the verses poke through from Baybro directly. Baybro has been on a heavy streak of releasing quality records and this mashup is a perfect sonic entree for those who are just tuning in to the emcee for the first time. It’s always fun to see the creativity of a talented artist get a visual that both grabs your attention and allows the song to breathe. The All The Way Free Records artist Baybro is out to be a force to be reckoned with & undoubtedly upon this offering there shall be more to come.

 

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