"The music business is 90% Business and 10% Music."

This couldn't be more true. Yet a lot of aspiring artists today don't yet realize it.

Being an artist is far from cheap but what you are doing is building a brand. This branding of self is going to be key to the success of your career in music. Right now I'm really into A Boogie's music, so anything with his name on it, I'm interested.  A Boogie is a brand just as much as Nike is as I usually wear Nike shoes and I already have a connection with the brand. I'm more likely to listen to A Boogie than another artist because his brand already has me pulled in.

There are multiple ways to make money as a hiphop artist, the idea is to be creative and have as many possibilities open. For example, learn how to engineer music, design clothes, do graphic design, learn videography, etc. Learn how event planning works and set up your own events.

Professionalism is key as well. We are musicians and all different and unique, but no body likes an arrogant person. Every agreement should be written because we are creating works of art that could possibly generate a lifetime of income. Contracts and written agreements are standard in the industry so get used to them.

Remember if you are paying someone for a verse, they are working for you. What you expect from them in terms of promotion, marketing, and contributions to the song should all be laid out on paper and signed.

Being an artist is amazing don't get me wrong, but one must have an entrepreneurial spirit in order to be independent unless they want a record label doing everything for them and not maximizing profit. My thought process when it comes to working is that I'd rather work 24 hours a day to make my dream happen rather than 8 hours a day to take orders from somebody else. It excites me knowing the work that is cut out for me in terms of building my brand and I look forward to the ups and the downs of the whole journey.

20 days until "No Excuses" my first full length album ever is released!

Check out this weeks featured artist below!

Until next week, I challenge you to treat someone you don't usually get along with, kindly.

Thank you for reading!

I love you all.

-Tony Blanko



This weeks featured artist is the Castle Hill Bronx-native Slicktalk, who was born December 5th, 1989. A self-made CEO, to the company "Really Be Outside," Slicktalk runs his own brand and has a vast catalogue of music available on Datpiff.

Besides music, which is his biggest passion, Slicktalk loves to smoke weed and get money. He likes basketball and football and casually plays 2k and Madden, as well as GTA V on PlayStation 4. Although a lot of his time and energy goes into his brand, as he hopes to get into other fields such as fashion, he always dedicates time to be with his 6 year old son Omari. They cook, play fight, and go to the park together. Omari plays the drums and guitar, he sings, and besides his fathers music, he also likes Michael Jackson, and Chris Brown. 

Slicktalk can trace his start in rap back to when he wrote his first rhyme. He was in third grade and had completed his classwork earlier than everybody else. He decided right then and there to pen his own take on a Mase song he was listening to.

His love for music is what keeps him passionate about his work saying "It's my love of music, PERIOD," when asked. He expressed this passion by explaining how he felt hearing a hit of his own. "There's no better feeling than making your own tracks that give you the chills."

Slicktalk was greatly influenced by the Bad Boy Records era of the early 90's. Mase, Puff Daddy, and Notorious B.I.G, are among some of his favorites. Even though these are his favorites he does not try to emulate their sound. He feels as if he enjoys their music but when it comes to creating his own, he knows what to expect from himself, what hes capable of and what his style is.

Nelly, 50 Cent, and Meek Mill are artists that also influence him as he has learned so much from them. "From business to music and handling their careers, there's so much that they've taught me." Another instance that gives Slicktalk motivation is when he sees people in the street who he doesn't know at all, but they show him love because they've seen or heard him on youtube or instagram.

I asked Slicktalk, "What message do you want your listeners to get from your music?"

"No matter what the circumstance or obstacle infront of you, keep going," answers Slicktalk, "I been broke, I been up, I been starvin, I been full, you never know what tomorrow holds. Just keep goin."

I first discovered his music through an instagram post with the following track "Lights Out." Definitely worth checking out.

Check him out on instagram and soundcloud: