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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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“Sincerely Detroit” Listening Session with Apollo Brown

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Sincerely Detroit Listening session

In the internet age, terms to describe things become less powerful, lose the impact of its meaning. Lets take the word CLASSIC.

1. ADJECTIVE:    judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.
                                “a classic novel”
 Personally when it comes to music it is hard for me to see something as classic if its creators have no history of success.
INSERT:   APOLLO BROWN
Apollo Brown is one of the most iconic producers to hail from the mid west, and Michigan to be exact.
Dating back to 2007, Apollo Brown has made tracks with some of Hip Hop’s Elite. Boog Brown, Journalist 103
Guilty Simposn, Ghost Face Killah, Ras Kas, Rapper Big Pooh, Planter Asia, Joel Ortiz, Skyzoo and the list continues. Apollo Brown can be found touring over seas year around
INSERT:     Detroit’s finest Emcees
Let me go on the record by saying i have never heard a full project 20 songs deep with over 50 artist involved and i not say one time “They should have came better than that” Yes after 79 Minutes and 29 seconds (a cd can only hold 80 minutes of music) not one artist on here dropped the ball.  Apollo along with Executive producer Hex Murder collected what turned out to be Apollo’s favorite artist. He stated “There was no pitty everyone on this i wanted to include for a reason, there is all kind of different eras, groups, solo acts and djs”
APOLLO BROWN + DETROIT’S FINEST EMCEES = Sincerely Detroit (CLASSIC)
If you know APOLLO Brown you know his sound. Some of that good ole mid tempo boom bap hip hop. In the early days he was a hot producer on the Beat Battle scene with a reputation of Hard hitting drums and nasty samples that keep your head on swivel. As he mentioned at the session, “I got to feel the music now, im married with a kid” so you can still feel them drums hitting just right, but the samples have a little more soul to it. Every element of this project from the drums, to the samples used and the vocalist are definitely something that is FELT.
 During the listening session he often pointed out how proud we should be because here in Detroit, we truly have the best of everything. Producers, artist, vocalist, but something he said that he has been trying to keep in his creative process is the use of the DJ. “Its a lost art that we must keep in the process”  With the likes of DJ AMF, DJ LOS, DJ Dez, Nick Speed and others this project truly feels complete and the ingredients of what makes a classic.
  It was so much to take in, i mean track after track, bar after bar with nothing falling short. There was just to much to digest in one sitting. But standouts for me personally on this compilation were Trick Trick, Paradime, Mz Korona, Quest Mcody, Fatt Father, Clear Soul Forces, Moe Dirdee, Seven The General, Boog Brown, Ketch P, Guilty Simpson, Ro Spit Bronze Nazareth, Boldy James. SMH why did i even get started. This project is a must cop!

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Bizarre Previews “Leatherface” ft. Hopsin, King Gordy, Lazarus & Eminem??

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Bizarre Previews "Leatherface" ft. Hopsin, King Gordy, Lazarus & Eminem??

As the Halloween season comes creeping forward, so does the anticipation for an obscenely wicked collaboration. Four confirmed hip hop heavyweights and one big possibility shall be arriving to frighten soon on “Leatherface“. The single, from Detroit’s own Bizarre, comes from an album we’ve been hearing whispers about for some time & is aptly titled “Rufus”. With that we’ve now got a preview from Bizarre himself of the upcoming song featuring Hopsin, King Gordy, & Lazarus. That alone provides for an epic laceration of gruesome lyricism that could stand on its own but let’s not stop there, for rumor has it this Halloween hip-hop treat might just be getting graced with a feature from Eminem. So make sure to check those headphones of yours for razor blades on October 31st as the tale of “Leatherface” might be getting slightly shadier.

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ALBUM

A.R.E.S. Releases the “Eye Contact”

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ARES

Its been a while since we heard from the guys that make up A.R.E.S.  Emcees Slautah and Alius Pnukkl and DJ Los release “EYE CONTACT” now available on all streaming platforms.  The project has features from Pierre Anthony, The Prezident Chris Walker, Kid Vishis, Guilty Simpson, Konphlict, Lord Jessiah and Kawshus.

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