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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

EVENTS

DETROIT INVADES GUADELOUPE SUN Festival Sept 3rd thru the 5th

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How can you be a artist and don’t enjoy rocking the stage? How can you get a “BUZZ” without leaving your city?

A huge thank you is in order for Hale Management’s Chuck “Luck” Riley. Chuck was a important part of this Festival taking place and making sure the city of Detroit was represented properly. The three day festival includes Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Reggae, Techno, Dance as well as food and art. Guadeloupe a French overseas region, is an island group in the southern Caribbean Sea.

Artist catching the flight to perform include The World famous DJ Maestro, World P, King Renigad, Jass Mack, J Murk, Willie Devon, Kyle Simpson, and Dj Drummer B.

keep up to date with the fest by following ig: @guadeloupe_sunfestival

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RAP ROYAL RUMBLE! A sit down with Josef Coney Island

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So we just Recently had the “RAP ROYAL RUMBLE” a Rhymin Round Robin? What is this exactly?

     It was a night featuring 4 rappers going song for song for 8 rounds (8 songs a piece)  while SNTNCK mixed the set!  We were set up in a ring and instead of each performer doing a straight set of material we all went back and forth Iike a round robin!
How did you come up with thisRobin!
I love the vibe from cyphers and wanted to bring that feel to a showcase.  This is a perfect way to keep the crowd engaged, give the DJ something more to do than just press play,, and keep the rappers on their toes and at their best by putting them right after eachother.
Is this going to become a regular event?
Every 3 months we will do a RAP ROYAL RUMBLE!  Trading cards included
What went into choosing the artist and producer that participated?
I wanted to bring different talented acts that are sonically diverse and have fan bases that don’t really cross eachother but would like everyone on the bill.  We pretty much decided to do the show about 2 weeks before the event. I wanted to book Isaac Castor at the spot and I ran into him and foulmouth at the 37th Shield Library in Eastern Market (shouts to Lord Dru and Dj Psycho), from there I wanted to get Crimson Alchemist on the ticket and had done a couple shows this year already with Dango Forlaine so reaching out to them was real easy… in fact Crimson Alchemist was also at the record store while we were there.  The whole thing was booked in under 30 mins…
The graphic aspect was dope, how did that all come about?
I sat with my designer Kyi from Kyiros Media and explained the vibe I was looking for sent a few reference pics and let them take It from there… we are currently working out the rules for the RAP ROYAL RUMBLE trading card game.
What can we expect in the future from the creatives that put all this together?
First Fridays at the Co.Lab will feature hip-hop shows- release partys, open mic game shows, and of course the RAP ROYAL RUMBLE.  Every third Thursday will be the Cypher. And we have tons of electronic and other music throughout the month as well.  The Co.lab is located at the  Russell industrial center in building 1 room 135.
I forgot to ask, was there a winner? Who won?
Detroit rap won this one. We all killed it. But to give you a real answer I think Crimson Alchemist  had the edge, I mean she came with a bushido blade, and was the last emcee to spit so by the rules of the royal rumble I’d have to give her the Dub...

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Straight from Italy: New Music Lil Mile hits us with “DENARO” produced by Helluva

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Detroit not only put the world on wheels we are also a huge foundation to black music. Most notably hip hop has put the the globe in a chokehold. Detroit artist are touring and making noise. One of the main reasons for this is Detroit producer Helluva. Dont get it twisted for one second the Detroit sound in rap music is not only being sought out nationwide but globally.  Read on as we check in with rap artist Lil Mile from Italy.

 

1. Whats the hip hop music scene like in Italy?
The Hip-hop music scene here in Italy is expanding and it’s pretty strong. Right now hip-hop is the most listened music genre here in Italy and everybody listen to american hip-hop and italian hip-hop.
2. Is Detroit music popular in your country with fans of Hip Hop?
It’s not as popular as it should be but a lot of people listen to Detroit artists like Big Sean, Tee Grizzley, 42 Dugg, Icewear Vezzo but my goal is to expand Detroit music over here with collabs and big projects.
3. How did you land a single with Helluva?
I always listen to songs that are produced by Helluva, but everything is started thanks to Dawgface Calderon. He is my main american contact and he linked me the legend Helluva. He liked my style so he is in my team too supporting me and believing in this project: to build an hip-hop “bridge” between U.S.A and Italy/Europe. The project is big and this single prod by Helluva is just the beginning.
4. Is there plans to do more work with Detroit?
Yessir! Everything has just begun. As soon as they will open the flights I will fly to Detroit to Dawgface and Helluva to make songs, big collaborations, interviews and to “build this bridge”. As I wrote to you we have big big projects on the way.
5. How do you plan to make an impact here in the US?
I played college basketball in U.S.A. for 4 years and I assimilated the real american hip-hop culture. I made real friendships, connections and contacts because of my hard work and dedication. With Dawgface and Helluva there is a brotherhood first, it’s not just a collab. We are a family, more than a team. I am the first italian with real connections built from respect, loyalty and brotherhood. I sing in english too, my accent is my particularity and I have a unique sound, melodic flow and powerfully honest lyrics. Positivity is my main message of my music, to unify everybody.
6. Who are some other US artists you would like to work with?
I would like to work with a lot of US artists because I respect them. Lil Durk is one of my favorite, I went to his live show back in 2017 in San Diego, I met him and he a real one. Big Sean, Fredo Bang, 42 Dugg, Tee Grizzley, Lil Baby, Rod Wave, Da Baby, Toosii, Roddy Ricch, Kodak Black and many others! in Detroit area too!

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