TwitterFacebookGoogleYouTube

Thomas Handsome – First Mailbag Of The Year (Commentary)

  

First Mailbag Of The Year

Well, glad to be back after my dumbass forgot to hand in a piece last time… Not like you turds missed it any. But, much to your chagrin, I’m back with the first mailbag segment of the New Year.

It is the first one of 2014, right?

Anyhow, I don’t feel like much has gone on since the last one of these that we did. Michael Moore won a Grammy for rap album of the year, Pharrell wore a hat modeled after Yogi Bear’s genitals and you probably bitched about all of it, while having spent exactly zero point zero dollars on music this past calendar year. Same old, same old if you ask me.

Which, believe it or not, you did.

So here we go, yet again. The ground rules, for those of you who have not participated in a THHH Mailbag before with your Uncle Handsome, are real simple. I only mention the first name of the questioner and try my best to answer the question asked. If it’s dumb, I do reserve the right to make fun of your question in front of all THHH readers. Speaking of the readers, I do my best to correct spelling and capitalization of submitted questions, because my readers expect a certain quality of intellect… Hold you laughs, please… If I didn’t answer your question, it was either similar to one I did answer, being reserved for a future segment, or it was fucking stupid. Also, there will be no shenanigans or the falling for bananas in tailpipes.

Now, let the games begin.

Q: How do you feel about the Macklemore/Kendrick thing at the Grammys? Do you think Kendrick was robbed? – Alicia, Twitter

A: Good thing I have a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account, otherwise I’d have no fucking idea what you were asking me. I know a lot of people were up-in-arms over dude’s win over Kendrick and the alleged text that was sent out, but, honestly- does any of it fucking matter? The Grammys have come to be a meaningless award that seemingly can be bought by a first-come, first-serve basis. The fact that people say Macklemore shouldn’t have won because he makes “pop” music is moot because if Kendrick won, the exact same argument could be used against him. It’s not like Macklemore beat out an Illmatic, Ready To Die or Fear Of A Black Planet…. Once again, in an awards show that doesn’t mean SHIT anymore. If anything, independent rappers across the board should take extreme comfort in the fact that Macklemore and his life partner beat the industry machine with an album they paid for entirely out of pocket.

Q: Datpiff. Wack or not? – Anthony, Twitter

A: Is this like a “smash or pass” or another “fuck/marry/kill”? Because this is an easy one. In my last post on this site (like a goddamn year ago), I dealt with a few bad sites to deal with. Then I alluded to a few that you could dump a few dollars into that wouldn’t be such a horrible idea. Datpiff falls into the latter. In my opinion, Datpiff has probably seen better days as far as popularity is concerned. It’s a site that peaked earlier this decade but still offers a consistent platform for users to utilize. With them you can upload free if you’re approved, but the offer upgrades and promotional packages as well. Now, if you’re not working with a mid to upper 4 figure budget, most of these packages won’t do you a whole, whole lot of good, but it’s all up to you. Check out what they have to offer and see if it makes sense for your situation.

All of that said, Datpiff is wack, but not if you’re an artist, promoter or DJ. The people are there and the name is familiar enough to where people will remember to search for your project. Bloggers, on the other hand, may be hesitant to post your Datpiff players, so make sure you diversify where you have your project. For whatever that’s worth to you, Anthony.


Q: I see you’re in to underground hip-hop. So am I. Check out my beats. – Nova, Twitter

A: No thanks.

Q: If my song is in rotation on the radio, how much royalties will I receive? – Tanya, Twitter

A: Let’s see, how do I break this down so it will make sense… Regardless of how many spins you receive, the breakdown is roughly .08 per spin (yep, 8 whole cents)- but that’s the FULL payment. If you wrote the song by yourself and composed and produced the beat entirely from scratch, PLUS you own your publishing rights, then you would receive the full 8 cents. After that, the breakdown is complicated. You wrote the whole song, your man produced it, you both get 4 cents… For the sake of confusing the ever-loving shit out of you, everything else will be broke down either by what’s stated in your contract or via proper ownership shares.

All of this, might I add, doesn’t mean a dick to a paralysis patient if you haven’t taken care of your publishing. If you haven’t, register your works with ASCAP/BMI or an agency of the like and look into other royalty collections agencies such as Soundexchange.

Honestly, you should really ask the legendary producer Domingo. He’s the model citizen when it comes to this department. Look him up and check out his posts. Pure gold.

Q: What do you think about the way Eastbound ended? – Alyssa, Twitter

A: Alyssa- did you ask me about Eastbound a few months back? Because one thing has kept me going since I last heard from you, and that’s the sight of those glorious tits.* (I’d apologize or digress here, but you should already recognize that line). Always a turn-on when ladies ask about the old Kentucky Colonel Kenneth Powers. Here’s the thing- I saw the first 4 or 5 episodes (around the time “Taters-N-Tits” was introduced) and then agreed to stop until it came out on DVD so I could watch it with my wife. See, I’m only a half-way cheater lol. I’m sure now that I’ll get a whole bunch of spoilers about how it went down, but honestly, I’m just glad that it came back- whether it was overkill or not. It could have ended with the 3rd season, and honestly, the last episode of season 3 will probably always be the one I remember the most, but to be able to see 8 more episodes from one of the greatest characters in modern TV history is still better than nothing.

Has nothing to do with music, but fuck it. I’ll talk La Flama Blanca all damn day.

That’s it- thanks for reading. I’ll try my best to come around more often. In the meantime, hit me on twitter @rapperthomas on RadioHandsome@gmail.com with your questions for upcoming mailbag segments, or just to say hi.

Which reminds me, I recently published a book. It’s about a courageous little fella named Thom and the worm-hole he lives in. It’s one for the ages. It’s called “My Diary: Memoirs Of A Liar” by Thom Aubrey (really, I wrote it though) and it’s available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and at http://www.memoirsofaliar.com. Excerpts, history, etc is available at that website as well.

Who ever said that I was shameful?

*Denotes Eastbound & Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is coloring inside the lines that one time, and has received praises about his “enamoring as*sface” personality from avid listener Mary Tyler Moore. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for outrunnig Sherri Shepherd while she was in heat. “Slow down!! We gonna fall off the end of Earth!!” – Sherri Shepherd. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome: Know What You’re Paying For (Commentary)

  

A few weeks back, Deerok and I had a brief conversation about what some outlets charge for their services; mainly, posting fees. Since Dee doesn’t charge to post your music (but instead, posts what he likes), the reality of how much some places charged astonished him. Among the laundry list of things I do, one of them is create and distribute mixtapes, so I’ve become numb to the sticker shock of posting fees and have learned through trial and error which ones may be worth your while, and which ones are a waste of resources. I plan on sharing a little about the latter with you today.

Mind you that this is for the independent artist whose budgets come out of their own pocket, and may not have a whole lot to put behind a project. That’s mainly who I deal with, so that’s mainly what I will focus on while touching on a few higher priced things along the way.

Away we go.

The first common misconception among the internet game is hits versus money, and what the payoff is in relation to the two. I’ll try to break this down in the most coherent way possible: overall impressions (hits + listens/streams + downloads) doesn’t always equal the success you are after.

It’s always nice to have a lot of overall impressions- hell, who doesn’t like to put all that work into something and actually have people hear it- but it may not get you to the goal you had in mind. Even if your goal was to merely have a lot of listens on your project, depending on where you posted your project, some of these views/streams/downloads may be inflated in one way or another… and I’m not talking about buying views for your Soundcloud or Datpiff project, either. It’s those artificial stats that you didn’t know existed before investing in your project with popular websites.

Allow me to break it down even further.

There’s no way of knowing which hits are real and which aren’t. There are probably even some sites out there that aren’t aware that their hits are inflated by non-human visitors. However, there are a couple “popular” ones who are aware of their imposter visitors, and try to gain financially from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t knock the hustle. I would love for someone to give me $500 to post their mixtape or video on a site I own. Apparently there is a market for it and I’m not mad at them for that if people will pay their fees. However, what I do have a problem with is them trying to pull one over on artists who may not know any better. Artists who don’t have a fat stack of greenbacks to invest into their project, who hand over a chunk of cash and think they’re going to blow up overnight.

Don’t worry, your buddy Thomas is here to help. We’re buddies, right? Lol

The first site that a new artist will always ask me if my tapes are posted on is LiveMixtapes. I have no problem whatsoever with telling them that I do not have any of my projects on their site, for 3 reasons. The first reason is that I’ve found that most people who ask if I have access to it are only interested in having their material on the site in question because of the mobile access. If you only want on LiveMixtapes because people can play the project on their phone- there are SEVERAL other sites that will let you upload your project for free and have iOS and Android playback capability. Bandcamp and Datpiff, for instance.

The second reason that I’ve found that people want their project on LiveMixtapes is due to the perceived popularity of the site. I’m sure they get a lot of hits on a daily basis, but you need to consider the kind of traffic that the site receives. There are always exceptions, but most people who are there, aren’t there to browse everyone else’s projects. They looking for one or two particular projects, not necessarily yours. So, when you deduct those listeners, that leaves you with the traffic that you drive to a site, and there are other sites who are just as easy to navigate who will post your project for free. You’re looking for a mallet, but this ain’t Red Lobster, sweetheart.*

Also, since we are already here, most people who are in a position to help push your project further (namely, bloggers) do not like dealing with LiveMixtapes links and will more than likely disregard any that you send them. Don’t take my word for it, hit up Dee or any other blogger if you don’t believe me (plus, how many times have you seen a LiveMixtapes embedded player on a blog?).

Lastly; and here’s the biggest one- LiveMixtapes charges between $500-$800 just to UPLOAD your tape. No promotion, no advertising, no eblasts, not even a measly tweet to their followers. No extra anything. That’s the sticker price just to UPLOAD.

If all of that seems okay with you, be my guest and fork over the loot to upload. I don’t have a problem with LiveMixtapes one way or another. I just want the artists with a lack of resources to know what they’re getting themselves into from the jump.

Another site that charges a lot and tries to pull the wool over your eyes is Worldstarhiphop. Ah yes, the Jerry Springer of the digital age of hip-hop. Who would have ever thought that they would be out to dupe you? Seems crazy, right?

I recall a Facebook post from MC Shan, a well-known pioneer of hip-hop, laughing at the email he received from Worldstarhiphop after he sent them a link to a video of his. The email stated that they’d be happy to post the video for somewhere around $600-$700, BUT, if it were a “diss record”, they wanted another hundred or two, plus a lot of other “but if’s” that incurred extra costs. They stated that their website provided a platform for artists to “make it big” due to their traffic.

One, that’s understandably laughable to send to MC Shan. But anyone who has ever sent a video to Worlstarhiphop knows that they send that email to anyone who contacts them. Two, they are lying their asses off about artists “making it big” due to their traffic.

Here’s a new term for some of you that we are going to discuss now:

Fake Proxy Hits.

What is a Fake Proxy Hit?

A fake proxy hit is created by a fake proxy server, which simply put, is a computer program that continuously visits the same URL, using different made up IP addresses every time it visits. These fake proxy servers can visit the same URL thousands of times in a matter of a few minutes. From my understanding, this is the same kind of software that some of these “fake Datpiff/Youtube view” “companies” were using before the sites caught on the hustle and shut it down. Same principle, just different use.

The use of the technology this time? Convincing you that you should spend upwards of a thousand dollars to post your video on their site.

It’s no secret that Worldstar is a popular site; however, don’t let the numbers fool you on everything they post. For every “Sharkisha”, there are a couple thousand posts from people who paid to be on the site whose statistics are inflated. Not saying who inflates them… just that it’s commonly known that the numbers on that particular site don’t reflect the actual traffic. I’m not the first to claim this either: 50 Cent, VladTV, K.Michelle and a lot more.

But unlike LiveMixtapes, I kind of do have a problem with Worldstarhiphop. Other than basically ripping off unsuspecting artists, they also help to further deteriorate the hip-hop culture by promoting ignorance with the videos that they post. I’ll leave my distaste for them at that for now, as the rest of it will take me way off topic.

Those are just two examples of websites that will exploit unsuspecting artists. If you have a lot of dough to put into your project and your mission is to literally be on EVERY site, then by all means, be my guest and patronize those two places. Even if you don’t have a lot of dough and still want to do business with either place named above, go ahead. But please be careful and understand what you’re getting yourself into. At the very least, simple Google search should help you with your decision making process.

Also, please don’t misunderstand the point of my post. Injecting cash into your project is always a good thing to do if you are trying to gain new followers, get noticed or even get a record deal. Advertising is never a bad investment either, along with the proper research. Keep in mind that this is something I do a lot for other artists and have had great success doing so with minimum buy-ins. I’ve got artists signed either directly or to subsidiaries of Universal, Koch, Atlantic and Stones Throw- and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

And never ONCE did I do any of this with the help of LiveMixtapes or Worldstar. In fact, I also did it for less than half of the money that these companies are asking for just to POST your shit.

Not bragging, gloating, being a dick, looking for dick sucks or otherwise- just stating that I know for a fact that you can do it for less and garner better results.

There’ll be no dick sucks tonight.*

That’s it, thanks for reading. Please keep the questions coming for future mailbag segments @rapperthomas on Twitter or RadioHandsome@gmail.com

*Denotes Eastbound & Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is rigging the Special Olympics to save Staavi’s fingers, and has received praises about his “motherfaker” personality from avid listener Glen Chervin. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for sneaking out to watch Dirty Dancing and catching Lynn’s boyfriend with a hooker lady. “When the fuck did we get ice cream?” – Jeffy Dahmor. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome – Guilty As Charged (Commentary)

  

For that matter, you’re guilty, too. As hip-hop fans, we are all guilty of this. Some of us still practice this; after all, it is a filthy habit to break. But at our very best, we have all done this no fewer than once in our lives.

What are the charges?

One count telling a rapper that they’re too old to still be doing what they’re doing and one count of destructive insecurity. Which all may be reduced to one in the same charge.

I’m not one to name drop…. A pause for the “oh, you asshole!” laughter… but I recently had the privilege to sit in on a call with West Coast legend Warren G and East Coast vet Bumpy Knuckles. It was so ill to hear these 2 gentlemen converse like old friends- mostly because, who knew, right? And also due to the wealth of knowledge these 2 share as if it were common place.

I’ve heard Warren recant the tales of 2pac and the whole East/West issue before, but hearing Freddie Foxx chime in on it and having the same stance as the G-Child was more than interesting to say the very, very least. It made me realize just how far hip-hop has come, how thrilling it can be when everyone comes together and how misconstrued issues can become when amplified by the media. It honestly reminded me of why I got into the game to begin with.

But that’s a story for another day.

In the middle of the discussion, one of them mentioned how hard it was to get their music into rotation on radio stations. Being independent now, they faced the exact same struggle that all the rest of us face- hard as it may be to believe. (On a side note, it goes to show you that you can have one of the biggest hits the genre has ever seen, and if you aren’t forking over $20k, you get no play. Only in modern radio.) The other one unabashedly stepped right on in and told him “fuck them. Your name is way bigger than that. It may take you a little bit longer than paying all that money per single, but there are ways around that. Most commercial stations will have you on, play your single, but at the end of the day they’re going to want money to keep playing it- unless you build a relationship with the DJs at that station.”

True, that echoes what I’ve been saying all along, but let me finish. He then went on to say:

“I’ve been told a lot of shit in my career. ‘You’re too old’, ‘You need to stay in your lane’, ‘When you gonna kick a dope rhyme again’… motherfucker, you been rapping for 5 years, when are you gonna kick your first dope rhyme?! Young rappers act like there’s some sort of competition out here, or like if I’m over here still doing my thing that it makes less room for them to shine. Fuck outta here with that- what other type of music has that mentality??”

And at that exact moment, I knew I was guilty of doing that. More importantly, I knew that he was right. So what if this was coming from a guy that I grew up listening to? He has such a valid point. I mean, Mick Jagger’s ass is still out there singing and the Rolling Stones are still rocking. Frankie Beverly and Maze just came through my town and put on a hell of a show and I heard Phil Collins is rolling through later this year. Those guys, with all due respect, put out their biggest records yeeears ago. But if I gave you a free ticket to one of those shows, would you go?

Now let me ask you this: Do you think that, if given the chance, someone like Usher would go out of his way to disrespect Frankie Beverly? How about that one dude who always wears undershirts on The Voice (I always call him Avril Lavine, but my wife says that isn’t his name)- do you think he’d talk shit about Mick Jagger to his face, or even at all? What if Adele decided to go on TV and say that Phil Collins needs to quit singing? All of these scenarios are set in the “right now” of things; no previous ill-dealings between any of the mentioned parties.

Don’t strain your brain- there’s no way in hell any of those younger artists would take jabs at their predecessors. Weird, right? It’s almost like they have a code of honor amongst them that they call “mutual respect” or something.

Or, they realize that’s not how respectable participants behave in a business that has plenty of wealth and recognition to go around; in a world where natural talent is lauded.

I know there comes a point in every person’s life where age catches up with them. This isn’t the take-everyone-over-80’s-drivers-licese argument, nor is this gonna wind up with me taking cheap shots at 2Chainz for gaining his first commercial success at the age of 43… though I may be tempted later, so I make no promises. In fact, this isn’t even 100% about honoring and respecting the artists who came before us and the ones that surround us. This is also about the difference between friendly competition and insecurity.

You want to be mad at the next person spitting when you have never met//dealt with them? Be my guest. But think about this while you’re festering:

How long does one of your songs last?

How long is the average person’s attention span?

How much money have you made off of music?

What is the underlying reason for your anger toward them?

Look in the mirror and think long and hard about that. If you are mad because they’re “taking your shine”; get your ass back to work and shine even harder than before. If you’re mad that someone who is a “fan” of yours is also a “fan” of theirs, remember, your songs only last 2-4 minutes, and not all of them are your best offerings. When you go to Youtube to listen to music, do you listen to the same artist for hours at a time, every single time you go there? Do you think that the author of the first song you listened to should be mad because you went over to the suggestions and listened to a different artist after that? Are you mad because you feel as though the next artist is making more money off of music than you? If so, figure out new avenues to create a revenue stream. Music doesn’t sell like it used to.

If any of the above applies to you, you have no one to be mad at but yourself for not using those feelings as motivation to better yourself. The same goes for the ill-feelings towards the ones who came before you. I don’t mean some jerkoff who made 2 songs on Windows 95, created a make-shift cover on Paint, sold it on CDR at the local fair and never did shit again. I’m talking about the trailblazers; the ones who either made you want to do what you’re doing or inspired the ones who motivated you. So if you feel as though KRS-One coming to town is blocking you from being booked or whatever the hell preconceived notion you may have- then stay the fuck at home that night. KRS-One, and every single artist, DJ and B-Boy before you who made a name for themselves deserve more respect as an artist than you do- and you shouldn’t have a problem with that. To many this is common sense, but to a wide margin this is something that needs to be addressed.

All of this being said: I know that hip-hop has been revered by some as a sport (myself included). So, here’s what should be the universal guideline for starting up shit- direct from the mouth of Bumpy Knuckles:

“Have you sold a million records?! How about 200,000?! Hell, have you even sold 20,000?! You go do that, then come back and talk that shit.”

I hope you followed all of that; I know I was a bit all over the place. It’s another part of the growing process for me that I work my way through every other week, thanks to writing this for you. The politics of hip-hop, much like everything else, are a many headed hydra. You cut one head off, it sprouts another. Today my mistreatment of older rappers has been beheaded. So be it. A new head is sure to grow in its place. One head might be selfish and mean, but that doesn’t mean the next head to replace it can’t be thoughtful and nice. A hydra has many heads.*

Thanks for reading. Hit me on twitter @rapperthomas or on old grandpa mail- RadioHandsome@gmail.com with any questions for an upcoming mail segment.

*Eastbound & Down quote. That’s right, new year, same old shit.

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is doing pot in the bathroom with Tim Meadows while on tour, and has received praises about his “pu**ssy tw*at” personality from avid listener some 3rd grader. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, halfing his brother by accident. “The wrong kid died!” – Dewey Cox’ dad. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome – End Of The Year Mail Bag (Commentary)

  

2013 is drawing to a close. It’s been a fun year- if you think fucked up shit is fun. In the world of pop culture there were a lot of travesties, injustices and oddities- but we both lived through it, so I’ll spare you the recap. Personally, I had not so great of a year at times, mostly full of unnecessary scares. I guess it’s a matter of perspective though, because I managed to make it out alive and healthy…

Kinda. I write this to you still recovering from food poisoning.

I wasn’t sure if people from my town read my posts here, but since I now have the validation that they do- stay away from the McDonalds on Smiley and Range Line. They’ll just invent an order for you that you didn’t ask for, and then when you say something about it, they will do something strange to your food.

So, with that going on with me right now, plus I’m writing this 2 days before Xmas (Happy Birthday, Dad… My dad’s Birthday is Dec 23- not insinuating that my dad is Jesus- though I do have an Uncle Jezus), I decided to go with a themed Mailbag segment. Most of the questions below deal with 2013 in one way or another. Mostly.

I will not share what I learned with you this time, though I will acknowledge that I usually have some sort of foreshadowing statement to make here at this point. I’m sick, cut me some slack. I however will throw out this disclaimer at this point: All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone, I only put the first name listed on the account the question was asked from for the sake of privacy and I have done my best to correct punctuation, capitalization and grammar where applicable. Unless I’m making fun of the way you talk or your ignorance shines through with the way you wrote it, of course.

Enough of the warm up- let’s dance, fuckers.

Q: What was your favorite album to come out this year? – Rex, Gmail

A: There were a lot of good albums that were released in 2013- most of which, no one will ever hear. Some honorable mentions in my opinion are Riza Biza’s “Hey Summer”, Thad Reid’s “The Attic”, J.Love’s “Pardon My Intrusion” and Wyldbunch’s “Unbreakable”- which would have easily been the best album of 2013 had “Legends Never Die” by R.A. The Rugged Man not been released this year as well. R.A. was always dope- I first heard of him on the Soundbombing releases by Rakwus Records over a decade ago. Other than a few features here and there, I hadn’t heard much from him since (though he did apparently release a few projects 10 years or more ago). To go on a 9 year studio album hiatus and return almost better than before is insane. Not to mention, his flow is ridiculous and lyrics are on point. Maybe I had just slept on him (if having no material to go off of is considered “sleeping”), but after listening to his album start to stop, he demonstrates the full range on the album and has the quintessential “song with an artist Thomas Handsome despises” that all my favorite albums have (this one, his song with Tech N9ne, where R.A. destroys him at his own game). Put all of this together, and this is one I’d buy on all formats when released (digital, CD, cassette and vinyl). It’s that good.

Q: I listen to your shows, and know that you’re an Eminem fan, but how come you don’t play any new Eminem? Didn’t he have the top selling rap album this year? – Amanda, Gmail

A: Thanks for listening- and reading, Amanda. I truly appreciate it. Yes, I am an Eminem fan, but I think the second question you asked pretty much answers your first question. I can honestly say that yes, I do own his latest album, and yes, I think it’s an okay offering, however it’s not the original Marshal Mathers LP. Eminem is a great rapper- probably the best who has ever done it (like it or not, you know I’m right), but Eminem is very mainstream now. “Eminem” gets no play because he’s suited for a pop station. “Slim Shady” can get all the play in the world when he returns. That’s why you hear early Eminem on my shows (on occasion) and maybe once every other year you’ll catch something off of Relapse in my rotation.

Q: What do you think the top moment in hip-hop was this year? – Aaron, Twitter

A: I think that the great thing about hip-hop being fucking everywhere is that there are a lot of “top moments”. Of course, just like all the others, it’s left up to the perspective of the viewer/listener. I usually gripe that all the other places get shit wrong or blur the lines between pop and hip-hop, and that will always be the case. Some outlets will even get the definition of “top moment” thrown out of whack. It’s not always the “feel good” moment that they make it out to be. Sometimes it can be an event that changes the way you view hip-hop forever. On that note, the passing of my homie Shrizz Mac was the top moment to me in 2013. His voice and delivery sounded like he belonged in the Outsidaz, his persona was one that Wiz Khalifa only wishes he could emulate, and yet, very few people knew who he was. He and I came up together with the help of Green Lantern and though I’m proud of his accomplishments that he did achieve, I am even more proud to have been able to call him a friend and have been there with him as he worked his way up. Rest in peace, Stevie. Thanks for the question, Aaron.

Q: F/Marry/Kill: Nicki Minaj, Kim K, Lil Kim – Nova, Gmail

A: Fucking finally! An F/Marry/Kill question! I feel like I’ve finally made it! Which means, that because I was asked this question this year, that it fits into the theme… right? Okay, here goes: You don’t want to marry Nicki Minaj- she doesn’t make music anymore. Same with Lil Kim, though she does look like LaToya Jackson now, so maybe we could pass her off as LaToya and get some of that MJ estate money? And Kim K… C’mon, son. No one in their right mind wants to marry her…. As for fucking? Sounds like 50 shades of gross to me, motherfucker.* Shit, this is a tough one. I say kill all 3.

Q: Since you won’t answer your show’s email, why have you stopped playing underground shit on KOPN? – Trae, Gmail

A: I know the underlying question here- why won’t I play your or your man’s shit, right? I’ll get to that, but first, I’ll answer what did ask. The term “underground”, much like “hip-hop” itself, has begun being used too loosely. Where as one person defines Macklmore as “hip-hop”, it in all reality is “pop”, much like the music that is not “mainstream”, i.e., shit that isn’t played on popular music stations, doesn’t make it “underground”, per se. To me, “Underground” “hip-hop” is music that is genuinely inspired by the old school format; boom-bap, well thought out rhymes and a hook that consists of more than 3 words. Better yet, a hook that is done by a DJ. So, to answer your question Trae, I do only play Underground hip-hop, if only by my definition. If it’s dope, well produced/engineered and is clean, I will play it. There are several other places in the area that will play someone else’s definition of “underground” “hip-hop”, but I stick to my format. Listenership is up both in terrestrial and online/mobile. If you are upset that I don’t play “local” music anymore, which is what I always hear, plain and simply put- it’s either not leveled correctly, not presented properly or just flat out not good- but that goes for EVERYONE’S submissions, not just locals. For the record, I never did answer the email listed for that show because we had an intern running it, and also my co-host Tyree. Tyree is running for city council and will step away from the radio indefinitely and our intern moved on to bigger and better things as well. While I’m grateful for any listener, I pretty much guarantee you are like everyone else who bitches about this- you only listen to see if I play your record, and when I don’t, I’m a “hater”. Trae, do what’s best for you and I wish you all of the best. If you send me more material, I’ll check it out, granted you send it to the address I’ve given out for the past 2 YEARS on air. One more bit of advice, if you do use the term “hater”, don’t even waste your time. We don’t mesh.

(Funny how it’s only morons who have “haters”, isn’t it?)

Q: Out of everything you do, what tired you out the most this year? – Ricky, Gmail

A: Answering your dumbass questions. I kid… Maybe. I think being the father of a 2 year old tires me out the most, but other than that it’s not one thing in particular. Sometimes I hate doing all of it, same as you. You wake up and don’t want to go to work. Neither do I, but that’s the way of the world. Hopefully this time next year some company will have decided I’m the voice they’re looking for and paid me f-you money to be the voice of their brand (a brand like Paramount or MGM or some shit), then I can move to the middle of the mountains and never be heard from again. But until then, I’ll be right here, answering your dumbass questions.

Okay, enough. Sorry I picked the easy ones. Like I said, I’m not 100%. Promise to be back next time with more vigor and more knowledge (or lack there of) for that ass. RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter with your questions for the next mailbag.

I’m out. Thanks for reading. Happy New Year.

*Denotes Eastbound & Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is coloring inside the lines that one time, and has received praises about his “enamoring as*sface” personality from avid listener Mary Tyler Moore. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for outrunnig Sherri Shepherd while she was in heat. “Slow down!! We gonna fall off the end of Earth!!” – Sherri Shepherd. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome – All I Want For Xmas (Commentary)

  

Ho, Ho, Ho, dickheads.

Last time I wrote to you about what I was thankful for. This time, I’m going to share with you what I hope to be thankful for come this time next year. It may seem a little early to be giving you my Xmas wish list, but let’s be honest with each other here: you’ve been ready for Xmas since the middle of October, and you’re not really going to get me any of this shit anyway. Besides, I wouldn’t expect that- I’m not a materialistic asshole… I’ll pause for those of you who really know me to laugh at that one…

So while you’re on your laptop or tablet, frantically hitting the refresh button on the USPS tracking screen in hopes that your Black Friday TV that you got a voucher for has magically moved a thousand miles in the past 20 seconds, give that index finger a rest and let me share with you my letter to Santa. That I wrote. Just now.

Are you there Santa? It’s me, Handsome.

I know I haven’t been the best kid this year, but let’s cut the shit. I’m a full grown up dude with a radio show… A lot of them. This brutish voice may open doors but it doesn’t pay the bills unless I’m a little bit ornery. I know you probably have your elves working around the clock on the UFO my 10 year old wants, so I’ll spare you the unreasonable requests.

This year, I would like for all of the rappers who I don’t know to stop sending me youtube links in emails that say “Radio submission”. I am running out of clever ways of telling them that my FM radio show is ACTUALLY on the FM radio and NOT on TV. As strange as it may seem, people can not receive photos or pictures on their FM receivers, though I’m sure someone’s working on that.. Oh, that’s right, they already invented it and it’s called television- which, again, is that thing that my FM RADIO show is NOT ON. (Side note, I do have a show on AT&T U-Verse, but it’s basically a black screen when you turn it on, similar to Music Choice. However, I do not accept submissions for that one nor do I give out my info on that show, so don’t give me that shit!).

While you’re at it, I would also like those same rappers to stop sending me soundcloud links. If you don’t attach it, chances are I’m not going to listen to it. Actually, I’m probably not going to listen to it anyway, but you’re sealing your fate by only sending links. If you’re man enough to blindly send me your shit, you should be man enough to know what a service pack is. Also, no one cares how many listens you have a your site that no one goes to, let alone heard of- stop licking your own butthole about it.

Mr Santa, if you have time, could you also please get rid of the following: ignorant rap music (Drake, Wayne, Rif Raff, Wack Flocka, Jeezy, Rick Ross and all those that fit their molds), fad terms that I dislike the most (hater, swag, turned/turnt up, etc), Tom Brady, excessive adlibs in verses, commentary adlibs in verses, shit- all adlibs in verses, Soundclick beats (to make it harder for just anyone to be a rapper), men’s jeans that stay tight all the way to the bottom (and tight up top, for that matter. I mean, c’mon Santa, I’m 6 foot 7, 250lbs- why do all new denim makers assume that I want to look like a fat rodeo attendee?), the Boston Red Sox, people who use the term “Lo Life” to describe themselves when they just buy a lot of Ralphie and no nothing about Lo Lifes, people use the term “bout that life” and don’t apply it to internet related things or being upper-lower class/lower-middle class (stop frontin), people who use the term “stacks” when they had to taze someone to get that flatscreen for $98.00. And AIDS, Santa. Please get rid of AIDS.

If you’re feeling really generous, can we please get a movie that pits Big Momma, Madea, Monique and Mrs Doubtfire in some sort of duel to the death? Some of those bitches need to go.. You know who I’m talking about, Doubtfire.

Also, I’d like a jetpack. Because I was meant to fly. Air Jordan Air Maxes, dogg. Number 24.*

Oh, and if I haven’t overreached my boundaries yet, let’s get the Juice Crew back for one more album. I won’t sit here and sound like a Hip-Hop message board troll or anything, but don’t tell me that out of all of the groups/duos that should reunite and make something that this group doesn’t top that list.

Sorry if the cookies are bad. My wife can’t cook for shit. And I left you a tall can of Colt 45, just like you used to like when I had Xmas at my grandparents house.

Promise to be better next year,

T.Handsome

There you go. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have got to indepth about some of my wishes, but once you send that shit to Santy, it’s out there.

Thanks for reading and letting me invade your eye holes twice a month for the past year. I feel we’ve both done some growing. Please feel free to send me your questions or comments to RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter, though I haven’t been on Twitter in almost a month. Better email me, on second thought. New mailbag next time.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

*denotes Eastbound & Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is stopping, dropping, shutting them down and opening up shop, and has received praises about his “diamond encrusted dick*head” personality from avid listener April Powers. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for seeking the one known as Eduardo Sanchez. “It’s all Eastbound & Down references! Get It?!” – Me, I said that. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome: What I’m Thankful For (Commentary)

  

Christmas shopping season is in full effect. Fat women are trampling other fat women to death to get a toy for a kid that 8 years from now will sell their old jewelry for drug money. At the same time, their husbands are at their company’s Christmas party with mistletoe dangling from their belt buckles and the babysitter is learning a new game with her boyfriend on their couch called “just the tip”.

As they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

By the time this gets to your eye-holes, Thanksgiving will have already come and gone to little fanfare. Everyone will get full, be pissed at the lame ass teams that play on Thursday and may just be drunk enough to attempt to figure out how hockey works (heads up- I’ve watched it sober several times: no fucking idea). The others will set their alarms to wake their plump-asses up in enough time to get to Target for Black Friday on Thursday night… You know, tradition. However, I write this to you from the past, from a day where Thanksgiving has not happened yet. So, allow me this opportunity to explain to you all of the things I am thankful for, if only as it pertains to hip-hop.

After all, that’s what Dee pays me to do…

Understand that I realize not everyone will be grateful for these things. I am expressing them to you so that an oft-overlooked holiday gets the recognition it deserves. I remember when Thanksgiving meant something. I remember my folks getting hammered at their friend’s house and playing basketball in their basement until someone fell through the drywall. I recall watching the Goonies and Home Alone while sneaking sips of margarita mix and swearing up and down to my cousin that I was shit-faced. I’ll never forget Barry Sanders stopping in his tracks, mid-run, and making the entire city of Green Bay fall down. I remember when Thanksgiving was Barry Sanders Day in our household (didn’t matter what team you rooted for- if you’re a football fan, you know damn well what I’m talking about). And since Barry watches the same games we do now, and no one has stepped up since he hung up his cleats, allow me to at least try to rekindle some sort of tradition for this glorious holiday that allows most of you to have a 2-day work week.

So, here we go. Here’s what I’m thankful for this year… or, at least things that I’m thankful for that so happened to cross my mind this year.

I am thankful for… RZA no longer rapping. The man is a legend. The man is an icon. He has made some of the best beats of all time and contributed lyrically to even more. But for the love of god, he doesn’t care anymore and it shows… Or maybe he doesn’t show up anymore on wax and I don’t care. I feel like his recent verses sound like a narration on a shitty 70’s commercial. I’ll pass. Thanks for the great records and your contributions, RZA. Good luck with acting.

I am also thankful… for Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse. As horrible as that song was, and as slightly above average as his contribution may have been, it allowed us underground heads to recognize a few things that are going on in rap. Mainly, that people who listen to his music don’t really pay attention to what he says. Everyone was up-in-arms over his “king of NY” line, but blocked out the rest of the sentence (he was writing about being the offspring of 2 men, one of which is the “king of NY”, by the way). This helped us realize which underground rappers not only waste their time listening to shitty music, but which ones are quick to pop-off over shit that they are ignorant about. Thank you, Kendrick, for attempting to call out other pop-rappers and reaffirming what we all knew- nobody really gives a fuck about pop rap. Oh, and thanks for creating a buzz for those 3 days and making me actually have to listen to that cow-porn of a song… dick.

Of course I am thankful… that I have kids who insist on watching Nick Jr. all damn day so that I have no idea what all of this “real housewives” and “love and hip-hop” shit is. It also provides me with a great excuse to not watch all of these so-called music award shows, all while giving me a free pass to not be considered a “hater” for catering to the tastes of my kids… Seriously, I would rather watch Dora and Diego instead of those shows further shred what miniscule amount of dignity our culture has left. Plus, I love my kids. A le escante!

Thank you, Lil Kim… for turning into LaToya Jackson. Now no one will ever take you or your music seriously ever again, leaving us with only MC Lyte to claim as the best female rapper ever, and not have a giggle follow it. Latifah is there too, but I think those shitty movies didn’t help her cause. Before you open your mouth to retort, you know damn well that when you think of her you also remember that shitty movie with Jimmy Fallon or the shitty movie with Steve Martin.. Thanks to you, Lil Kim, no generation can argue with Lyte being the illest female of all time. Give my best to Robert Evans. (That just flew over all of your heads, didn’t it?)

Another tip of the hat to… your good buddy Kanye West. I have not been able to stand him for years and often thought of his contributions to music as being overvalued since he stopped making beats… or at least listenable ones. I haven’t paid him a lick of attention in years, but from what I see on the internets, every time he opens his mouth he is becoming more and more delusional. He is deteriorating in a hurry and lives in a reality that is not the one you and I share. One where he is a “genius” (to steal a line from Jenny Johnson- you can’t name your kid “North West” and then claim to be a genius). Pair that with his non-existent sense of humor, and I don’t see us having to put up with him for too many more years. Thanks for not being able to take a joke, gay fish.

I am extremely thankful… that this “swag” fad seems to be fading away as well. Of course it will be replaced with something equally as annoying, but at least I don’t have to hear that word any more. I have this theory that most people who use that word have no idea where it came from. Though originally intended to be a shortened version of the word “swagger”, the more rampant the trend became I started wondering if it came from the “S.W.A.G.” meeting posters that used to be posted up in NYC in the 70’s. “S.W.A.G.” or, “Secretly We Are Gay”, seems more fitting as the time has gone on. Men wearing skirts, leggings and other types of women’s clothing- not that there’s anything wrong with that- seems to be a polar opposite of what made hip-hop so appealing to begin with. Of course, that’s just an observation, however I’m calling it now- by this time next year, no one will be saying “swag” unless it’s the punchline of a joke. Who am I to say this? I’m your Handsome white Jesus, motherfucker.*

But above all I am thankful for… all of the underground artists, whether covered here or not, that help keep good hip-hop alive. From producers to emcees to DJ’s who spin the good boom-bap; even though they do it because they love it, they prove that hip-hop will never die. It’s the love of the craft, paired with their immense talent and drive that proves hip-hop really is that street kid out of nowhere who got a shot at the champion. Though Rocky V may be what is played on the pop channels, it’s good to know that the original Rocky is still alive and well. Artists like (and believe me, I’m leaving out THOUSANDS) Ag Da Coroner, Spit Gemz, J-Love, R.A. The Rugged Man, J.Nolan, Raekwon, Wyldbunch, Kool G Rap & Necro, Roc Marciano, Marco Polo, Meyhem Lauren- the list goes on and on- all of these artists dropped new material this past year that made me proud to do what I do. The fact that we can make music that is an updated version of what we all fell in love with and it STILL comes out dope speaks volumes for the ones who actually give a shit about hip-hop. So to you guys mentioned above and the tens of thousands who I didn’t name who put just as much work into their craft this year- I am thankful for you guys. You help get the taste of a forced-upon-us Drake album out of our mouths.

Probably could have worded that better, but you get the point.

And of course, I am thankful for you reading. Hope you all have had a great holiday season so far and that it continues to be even better in the weeks to come.

See, I’m not such an asshole afterall… or maybe I am for having to point out that I’m not.

Send me your questions/comments for an upcoming mailbag to RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter.

*Denotes Eastbound & Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is coloring inside the lines that one time, and has received praises about his “enamoring as*sface” personality from avid listener Marie Osmond. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for sweeping the leg. “You got a problem with that??” “No, sensei”. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome – The Return Of The Mailbag (Commentary)

  

SPOILER ALERT: This is not a pornographic post. Sorry to disappoint.. well, at least in a way that differs from the norm. As with all of the other mailbag posts I do on THHH, I had an extremely busy past few weeks and am fresh out of ideas; as shocking as that may seem. So, as my mind and body adjust to my usual altitude levels (just a few miles lower than I have been these past several days), I decided to knock the dust off of the mailbag email address, and even decided to log in to Twitter and see what y’all hoes been talkin bout.

In my typical foreshadowing fashion, this time around I learned that many of you really do like these mailbag pieces. Some of you in particular would love for me to drop everything else all together and do nothing but mailbag segments. I also learned that while some people actually take the time to ask me about bullshit artists that I could care less about, there are those of you out there who have the same tastes as me when it comes to this music shit… to a certain degree, anyway. The one thing that I already knew, and am good on the reminders of, is that there are a whoollle lot of dumbasses out there with my email address and no filter between their brains and fingers.

Always a nice “welcome home”.

Quick refresher- I only use questions I feel make for a good post on this occasion. Just because you sent me a question and I didn’t respond this time does not mean that I will not answer it (or any of your other questions) in a future post. But, more than likely, it was either similar to one I’ve already answered or I thought it was a stupid or non-entertaining question. All names posted below are the names on the user’s accounts, and I do not include their last names for the sake of partial anonymity. I have also done my best to clean up all questions, to the best of my ability, for the sake of the educated reader whose eyes have high standards of reading. And, before I forget, all answers to your questions come from me and do not reflect the point of view of anyone else affiliated with TheHipHopHead.net.

That’s right, I take responsibility for my own assholeishness… That’s a word, no need to bother with looking it up.

So, in the words of President Gerald Ford- let’s get this fucking thing started.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best hip-hop movie of all time? – Lindsay, Gmail

A: Baller Blockin… And if you believe that, I have a jar of fresh mountain air to sell you! There are a lot of ways that you could look at that question. The influence, the exposure to the mainstream, the overall quality or “Oscar” worthy-ness of the film. 8 Mile did technically win an Oscar (best soundtrack counts, right?) and it exposed a lot of people to the craft who otherwise would never have took the time to learn dick about it, but for the best overall hip-hop movie of all time? Beat Street. Enough said.

Q: How come some DJs will put a song on a mixtape but won’t play it on their radio shows? – Sixxx, Gmail

A: It really depends on the DJ and what kind of radio show you’re talking about. I’ve personally put records on tapes that I would never air on the radio because it fit the tape. If the DJ works for a commercial FM station, chances are that he has no control over what he plays at all. Don’t hold that against him. If you worked at a jewelry store and that DJ came in, you wouldn’t hand him a Rolex in front of your boss and let him walk away with it, would you? I know it’s a stretch, but it’s the same idea. He’s just doing his job. Then again, your song might just suck vergingers and they threw you a bone on the mixtape.

Q: Why the old heads hate on tha way the new rappers dress? – Jamaal, Twitter

A: Because they put zero to no effort into their appearance. I mean, maybe try spending more than 6 bucks on a haircut. You know, buy shirts that aren’t fuckin plum colored…* Kenny Powers could have told you that!

Q: Why do you assume that people know your past in your posts? Not to be a bitch, but I only know you from your writing. – Delilah, Twitter

A: You know, I guess I just assume that everyone already knows me and has read everything I have posted on this site…. That’s a joke. I look at my posts on here as me writing for one reason, and one reason only- the particular post I am working on currently. I’m not a journalist and though I do have a book deal in the works, this is my only writing experience. So if I ever do a less than thorough job in explaining myself, or where I’m coming from in my posts, I apologize. I promise to do a better job of this in the future, but here’s a little background on me. At 18 I signed a developmental deal with So So Def. I sat as a stubborn pot and pill head on their roster for 24 months and never did shit for them but be a dick and collect a check. After I was cut free, I realized what a golden opportunity that was and kicked myself in the ass for years, thinking that I squandered my only shot. At the age of 25 I signed with Latin Thug Records, a subsidiary of Koch Records (now known as M1). This label was headed by Senn Dog of Cypress Hill with his brother Mellow Man Ace basically running it. I dropped a self titled release through them, did my numbers and then was dropped. I currently am signed with First Son Records and am working on a project with a rapper named Wyldbunch. I became a radio DJ waiting on a project to be released through a label called Ingrooves, which I ultimately released through First Son last year. I have worked with Platinum selling artists and producers in my day and have a home that is paid for and a restaurant to show for it. I currently host an FM show in Missouri, 3 syndicated internet shows that are available in your car, on your TV and on your phone and am a Regional Manager for the Fleet DJs. I am also a working “voice actor” and have done ads for regional and national ad campaigns, recruitment and training videos and do the imaging for Fleet DJ Radio. I am married with 2 kids and have an endorsement deal with a company that I may not be able to mention on this site (didn’t ask Dee ahead of time). Oh, I also work for a music licensing website and write this post every 2 weeks.

Basically, I don’t give my background because it takes too damn long to explain. Not to be a bitch, but everything you need to know about me and my background is mentioned in the signature of each post that I do. I do appreciate you reading though, Delilah.

Q: Hey bruh why do you give out your email if you ain’t gonna play peoples shit? – Wikked, Gmail

A: Apparently to turn you into a punch line on TheHipHopHead.net

Q: I enjoy the mailbag more than I enjoy the other things that you write. Can you only do mailbags from now on? – Aaron, Gmail

A: Well Aaron, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not. Truth be told, I wish I could do mailbag segments every 2 weeks, but I’m sure that Dee would prefer it to be mixed in with moderation as it is now. When I first started to float the idea out there I figured no one would write to me at all. As weeks went by, I finally opened up the email address and there were a lot of responses! Some from artists who had been looking to get a hold of me, some from people in similar professions to me who were glad I was taking the time to bitch at you about the shit that also drives them crazy and some from mailing lists that I had apparently signed up for- all by myself! (Those all got reported, btw). I’m glad to share any insight at all that may help an up-start artist, even if it’s only a little. I’m also happy that you guys think enough of these posts to reach out. Just know that whatever you send me stands a chance of being ridiculed.

Q: Yo, you crack me up telling females to send you pictures of their tittys on your show! Do they really be doing that? – Trent, Twitter

A: No… (makes sure the wife isn’t looking)… you better believe it, Trent! Sometimes I wish I were a complete shitbag and wouldn’t have a guilty conscience about making a website posting the photos that these ladies send me on there. I look at it as though they appreciate me sharing my intimate views on music with them, so in return they give me a glimpse at their intimates… But really I know that they’re just thirsty and think I look like Ed Asner or whoever bitches think is sexy. If I did my show on TV I’d get photos of 50 year old fat Eskimo ladies like I used to get on Myspace. To all the ladies who do send the photos- you’re safe with me. However, if you go off sending them to other DJs, just remember that Wiener fella who was running for mayor of NYC. Be safe about it. Only send them pictures of your butthole.

Q: That shit you wrote about new school rappers was wack. I aint sendin you no more of my shit if that how you feel. – Akoo, Gmail

A: Bye, bye, motherfucker. I post my opinions; if you don’t like it, don’t read it. But, just to clarify things a little, it’s “I am not sending you any more of my shit”, and “Akoo” is a registered trademark of a different shitty rapper than you. Consider that a parting gift.

Q: How come labels only hand out 360 deals now? Do any labels do deals that don’t take a cut of everything you do? – Rafael, Gmail

A: I don’t think that there are any major labels who hand out anything less than a 360 deal to unestablished artists- if at all. Not any more. That’s because there is no money to be made off of record sales alone. The money to be had is in touring and merchandising, which used to go directly into the artist’s pocket untouched. I get a lot of artists I interview or deal with that swear up and down that they’ll never sign a 360 deal, and I don’t have a problem with that because it’s their right to do so. Here’s the thing though, Rafael, the kind of exposure that a deal from a major label can give you may be worth the cut they take from you while you’re under contract. Yeah, you’ll be restricted on what you can do for a while, but if you sit down and do the math and are smart about the situation they are discussing with you, it may be a blessing in disguise. If they only have the rights to your titles you release during the duration of your contract, it could be a smart move to sign it. Think about all of the artists who had one major album then went independent that are successful now. Killer Mike, Saigon, each individual career of all of the members of Slaughterhouse- all of them had major deals that didn’t go as planned for them. They may have gripes with the ways they were handled to this day but each benefited from it in one way or the other. They’re names are recognizable which means a higher feature tag, a bigger cut of show money and fewer hands in whatever records they sell now- which the unit amount will be higher than had they never signed that deal to begin with. Basically, do what’s best for you, and if you have one of these contracts in hand, never sign it without a lawyer you trust looking it over. Best of luck.

I could keep going with these, but I’m pretty sure this has been long enough. As always, I enjoy answering your questions. Please keep them coming RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter.

Also, make sure to swing by my website and cast your votes for the 1st annual Dumb Up Awards. http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thanks for reading

*Eastbound and Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is frenching your sister, and has received praises about his “I’d like to sit on his face” personality from avid listener the mom from Wonder Years. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for ruining actor Jason Hervey’s credit. “Jason Hervey, eh? Oh, you were in Wonder Years and A Christmas Carol! That’ll be $485… Credit?” – The dumbass who thought I was Jason Hervey because I had his credit card. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Thomas Handsome – Off The Top Of The Dome (Commentary)

  

A few weeks back, I lightly foreshadowed this topic when I referenced some advice that was once given to me by a very successful rap artist. Today, I will do my best to relay that message to you. Those of you who are extremely sharp will immediately get it, but for those of you who do not quite process information as quickly (or willingly) as others, I will break it down for you.

When hip-hop was in its infancy, hype men, for lack of a better term, would get on the microphone and start rhyming off of the top of their heads to get the crowd’s attention. A DJ would loop a break in a record and they would do their thing for a few minutes before the DJ took over for the rest of the night. What the “hype man” was doing would eventually evolve into emceeing… Nothing you don’t already know.

As the art of emceeing grew, so did the fascination with freestyling. If you could freestyle some insane content on the fly, your credibility as a rapper grew. Be it on the street corner, live on the radio or in a freestyle battle competition- the culture’s obsession with one’s ability to drop an ill 16 at the drop of a dime became so rampant that artists who lacked this ability- well known or otherwise- would pre-write “freestyle” verses and memorize them so that they could unleash them when they were called out to do so. Some of these rappers were exposed as having their rhymes written ahead of time and their reps took a hit.

That’s just a very small, very compacted history of freestyling, for those of you who are not familiar with the subject. And believe me, I left out a whole lot and simplified the subject.

In today’s game- and I’m not sure why- but every so-called rapper sees the product that’s being put out in the mainstream and decides to no longer write down their rhymes. Maybe it’s because of the way the outsider looked at someone who could freestyle- was I asleep when it became un-cool to write your rhymes down? Nah, I’ve seen way too many freestyle battles on youtube that are pre-written, so it can’t be that. Was I too hard on the rappers who came into my studio and spit their wack ass rhymes over an old industry beat live on air? Nah, they honestly do suck. Have I somehow lost contact with the entire hip-hop audience? I guess so, because I swear I’ve been hearing this sentence for the last 5 years:

“Lil Wayne doesn’t write his down, why should I?”

On one hand, with the type of money he makes, I don’t have an argument…. That is, if you’re only in it to exploit the popularity of the hip-hop culture. Nothing he has ever recorded was monumental to the betterment of hip-hop, to the betterment of society or to the betterment of… well, anything. That’s the problem with freestyling.

On the other hand though, some artists are extremely good at freestyling- Craig G, Supernatural, Eminem, even Jay-Z- and I can’t believe I included him- can all hold their own with creating a verse by simply opening their mouth.

(Side note: to those of you who honestly believe Jay-Z is a good rapper, think about how much better he would be if he wrote his shit down.)

These guys, and others who I omitted, all get a pass when it comes to freestyling on wax. These individuals are so comfortable with their written material that they are confident that a freestyle here and a freestyle there won’t hinder their development as artists.

And that last sentence right there is the message of this post.

Mellow Man Ace (look him up) asked me a long time ago if I freestyled. When I told him that I occasionally did, he told me to stop doing it. Curious to pick the brain of a legend, I questioned why he recommended this.

His reply?

It makes you settle for good enough instead of incredible.

That took a bit to sink in, however shortly after he told me this, I started looking around at not only the local rappers in my area, but at the ones I had long looked up to. A huge revelation came over me- similar to the one that every rapper has when they realize that they are lyrically better than Snoop Dogg-

Mellow Man Ace knows what the hell he is talking about.

Local rappers who I’d been around for years that had seemingly digressed talent-wise for no apparent reason; the rappers who I tried so hard to emulate that fell off so hard from one release to the next; the new rappers who were fucking horrible out of the gate- what did they all have in common? Why was it that a majority of them all saw their skills lag?

After doing a little research and recollection of events past I realized that they all fell victim to freestyling.

You see, it’s one thing if you’re an aspiring rapper who is just starting out, as freestyling is a good way to figure out how to land on beat, play with different patterns/styles and learn lip movement and breath control. If someone hears you early on and tells you that you suck, no big deal, it part of your training, so to speak. If you’ve been freestyling for years and people still tell you that you suck or that you’re “pretty good”, but in a condescending undertone, then stop. You don’t have that special gift and it is no longer beneficial to you as an artist. Continuing will only stunt your growth.

What do I mean by that? Lets say you sat down to write a verse. You’ve been working on it for an hour and finally finished. You re-read it, and notice that you rhymed 3 syllables in a row at the end of the first 3 lines, but then on the fourth you only made a match on the last syllable. Seems harmless. But then what happens when you sit down to write a rhyme and pretend homonyms rhyme like Cam’ron does? Or even worse, you just say the same word at the end of every line and think that works like Lil Wayne and Cam’ron does?

Don’t be that guy. The more you analyze the market and the rappers around you, you’ll realize that the rap that they make is not real. It invokes no thought and any money they receive will be gone in a hurry- trust me on that. I know it’s a tough path to take, but think about those lyrical verses that you’ve heard in the past that made you lose your damn mind. Think about the pride that emcee takes in writing their verses, hand crafting each line to paint a portrait in your mind and have you experience it with them. It may seem like it’s a tough thing to do at first, but that’s how champions are made. Wacka Flacka, 2 Chainz, Young Jessy- those guys are contenders who gave up. Champions are contenders who refuse to give up…

Wait, I quote Rocky in every post, right?

I, for one, refuse to give up on hip-hop. I refuse to go quiet and let every dumbfuck with 2 grams for sale think that the bullshit they record is rap music. I’ve been there before and I know it’s a rough game. One that will chew you up and spit you out before you can even check out your surroundings, but if the advice I pass along to you gets through to even ONE of you, then I’ve done my part. Not to get radical on you, but incase you haven’t noticed, I offer advice to all of you in the hopes that it not only helps, but also contributes to getting hip-hop music back to being a respectable craft that actually means something. I refuse to give up on the ever-harvesting crop of new emcees because surrender is death, and death is for pussies. And my ass ain’t no pussy, my ass is a fucking champion.*

Ah, that’s right. I remember what I quote every time now.

On the surface it may seem like a stretch, but mark my words- freestyling up to a certain point a very slippery slope. One that I advise you to avoid if you are an artist. In my opinion, freestyling on wax sets back everything that the hip-hop culture has worked for. There will always be “party” records, or ones that you may find to be more watered-down than others, but let’s not allow a majority of the new jacks to make a career off of one syllable rhymes (or same word rhymes).

But you don’t have to take my word for it- take the word of the first artist to ever go gold in North America, Central America and South America.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next time with a new mailbag segment, so please feel free to send those questions to RadioHandsome@gmail.com or on twitter @rapperthomas

*Denotes Eastbound And Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is knowing who really killed JR, and has received praises about his “you shouldn’t play the black, white or other game on the air” personality from avid listener his mother. He is best known as the 106th favorite rapper of his grandmother, and for pissing off his wife so bad that one time. “I was joking when I said ‘Who it THAT?!’ as you walked down the aisle! I know your name, Lisa Leslie!” – Thomas Handsome. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Ricardo Mendoza(Of R&J Studios) – Songwriting Tips: The Great Movie (Commentary)

  

Last night I had an amazing business meeting. We talked about building brand recognition, marketing, promoting, as well as the hip hop climate. We specifically discussed the “BET Cypher”. Some artists delivered their 16 bars with all their heart while others were less than stellar. One thing that stood out during our discussion was passion. The dividing line between good to great was passion.

To elaborate on passion in the music business let’s use the Cypher presentation. The world is watching and will be judging you on your 16 bars. Will you fill your bars with fluff with the occasional hot punch line? That’s what some artist did. I won’t concentrate on the not so stellar performances but instead bring to light the great ones.

Have you ever watched a movie trailer that showed some exciting snippets and made you want to go spend $15 to watch the full story? In the film business, you only get 30 seconds or less to sell your movie to the public via a trailer. You bet the editors are going to give you all the amazing parts of the movie upfront to drive movie goers to spend their hard earned money. I believe this business model could be translated in the music business.

Think about your song as a movie. Each verse, 16 bars, is a preview of the song in whole. Each bar acts as a trailer of what’s to come. Remember the trailer has to be exciting for your audience to want to buy your movie. Each bar has to be exciting! What does exciting mean in song writing? It needs to be fun, memorable, catchy and not to difficult to comprehend.

As songwriters we need to create fun movies for our audience. Give your best performance at each and every bar. Don’t fill your bars with fluff and you WILL stand out in a sea of MC’s.

My name is Ricardo Mendoza and I’m a father, husband, brother, son, and friend. I own and operate a successful recording studio, R&J Recording Studios in Perth Amboy, NJ. I will be sharing my experiences as a recording engineer as well as tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way. My hope is that you get a little out of my world and leverage my 13+ years of experience to better your career.

R&J Studios website

Thomas Handsome: Stuck In The 80′s (Commentary)

  

“I see you complaining a lot about today’s generation of rappers. Why is it that all of you old guys are stuck in the 90’s?” – Pretty Lance, Gmail

Usually I save the emails I get regarding things like this for my mailbag segment, but felt this email from Lance deserved its own post.

What, shocked I actually put thought into the emails you send me?

You know, Lance raises a good point. It seems as though most of us have a gripe with the turn the music industry has taken, especially in the hip-hop genre. Over the course of our time together, I have blatantly explained why DJ’s won’t play your music, asked that you demand more of the companies who put out this fodder they call ‘music’ and even offered advice on how we as a community can start to pave a road back to the glory days- or at least to a more respectable culture. I’ve pretty much done everything but accuse the rap music that’s being played on commercial radio of being responsible for such a high crime rate, drop out rate and drug use rate.

Short answer, Lance, yes, a lot of us “old guys” are stuck in the 90’s. That’s because that era of hip-hop spoiled us as an audience. I’m assuming you weren’t around to witness this, but to further my path of assumption, here’s a list of albums that you can look up to see what we’re talking about. Wu-Tang Clan’s “36 Chambers”, Dr Dre’s “The Chronic”, Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous”, Nas’ “Illmatic”, Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”, Public Enemy’s “Fear Of A Black Planet”, Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “Mecca And The Soul Brother”, Gang Starr’s “Step In The Arena”, Ice Cube’s “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”… The list is seemingly endless.

(As for the “old guys” remark, yes, it’s true that I am a real life grown up person. But the truth of the matter is that I can out drink, out party and out fuck all of you. Youth can suck my dick.*)

Another side note- this one with out the parenthesis- I don’t need a list of the “classic” albums of your generation. I survived what you “grew up” with. It was garbage the first time around- compared to the albums listed above.

Back to the subject at hand; as you can see, those albums not only garnered commercial success and awards (in some cases), they also blazed the trail for the craft to thrive, much like the pioneers before them did. There was a lot of money being thrown around at the time- hell, AZ only had one verse on Nas’ “Illmatic” and got signed to a 7 figure deal- but that’s because the message hadn’t been sullied yet. The art was so raw, so uncut, so unpackaged that the consumer couldn’t help but to be drawn to it. Not only that, but perhaps its biggest draw was how truthful it was- and each point of view shared a different glimpse of reality. Nas, for example, didn’t make entire songs or albums about his car, jewelry or how much money had. Public Enemy didn’t talk about running out and killing people for unjust reasons and Gang Starr didn’t make songs about ass cheeks. They retold their surroundings to us, creatively took us on a tour of their life and crafted it into a way with words that made your mind salivate- all while weaving a moral into their stories, if only in their own little way.

Maybe your Young Jeezy does the same thing. Maybe I just described what your T.I. does to a science. Maybe- just maybe- your Future fits the blueprint I described in your mind. The major difference to every listener who experienced the 90’s is that all of “your” rappers are doing the same shit that the people before them did in a far, far less creative manner. We are unimpressed, uninspired and turned off by the way they deliver their music. Never mind digging deeper into the issue- there’s your public enemy number one when it comes to dissecting your question.

We’ve heard all this shit before. And we heard it done a whole lot better.

It’s the same reason people get mad when someone says LeBron James is the best basketball player who ever lived. He may be extremely talented, but he’s a piss in the pool compared to a man by the name of Michael Jordan. Skill is skill, and the respect would normally be given to it if it weren’t attached to this negative stigma in the eyes of those who have more experience as a fan. And you know what? 10 years from now, when Justin Beaver’s adopted son puts out a highly successful rap album where he just says “penis” a thousand times in 3 minutes- it will all click. Everything you’re reading now will have come full circle and you will truly grasp why we don’t like this new shit.

For the time being, here’s an analogy that may help bring a little more clarity to the matter. Can the brain function without hands? Yes. Would it want to? Fuck no. After all, somebody’s gotta carry the water, fold the clothes, wash the dishes and wipe the fuckin ass.*

In the passage above, the brain is the brain, and the hands is hip-hop. And Lance, my ass doesn’t get wiped that much anymore.

There is a lot of music that comes out every day that I find to be extremely dope, but with the over abundance of horrible music that also comes out every day, it’s hard to find the good ones. Some get posted here; most get overlooked due to Dee’s inbox being flush full of ignorant wastes of 3 minutes. They just don’t make them like they used to. And when the old models do come back out in today’s market they seldom live up to hype we placed on them when we were younger. Most have been tainted by the game today in some way or another. Nas, for instance, has now made songs about money, cars and jewelry. Chuck D of Public Enemy has remained the same, but Flava Flav… well, you know. And if they haven’t been influenced by the downward spiral the game is in, they seldom if ever release new material anymore because there no longer is any money in the business. (Which makes you wonder why it’s even still called a “business”).

Lance, I appreciate you taking the time to reach out with this question, and I sincerely mean that. But there’s one more thing you are incorrect about in your question.

I’m not stuck in the 90’s. I’m stuck in the 80’s.

The way in which the hip-hop industry has taken shape really has all but turned me off of the music all together. Now, don’t get me wrong, hip-hop is my love and my work. I spend most of my day listening to new hip-hop music and I owe a lot to it. However, when I get into my car and turn on the radio- I head straight to the 80’s pop channel. When I pull out my phone to listen to music when I’m shaving, shitting, etc- I’m looking up 80’s pop music. If I’m going to my un-named app that lets me listen to any station in the world- I listen to 101.5 out of Denver that plays… Soul… and 80’s pop music.

So in conclusion Lance, while your assertion may be half-right in the instances of others, it couldn’t be further from the truth when applied to me. I don’t expect an apology or anything like that- just as you shouldn’t for me assuming you don’t know Pete Rock & CL Smooth or for assuming that you’re a Drake fan. There will forever be a discrepancy in the views between you and I, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to take the time to explain my side of hip-hop’s Berlin Wall to you.

That being said, don’t ever ask me a fucking question again.

That’s it- I’m out. As you can see, I really do read your emails, so please keep all questions coming. Send them to RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter.

Thanks for reading. Now back to your regularly scheduled Wiz Khalifa marveling.

*Denotes Eastbound & Down Quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is feeling like there’s blood in his penis when he’s excited, and has received praises about his “oh, this fucking dude?!” personality from avid listener his wife. He is best known as the 76th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for painting up a donkey to look like a zebra. “No, you don’t want a ride from their zebra, that motherfucke*r has AIDS!!” – Thomas Handsome. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

Album Review: Termanology – G.O.Y.A. (Editorial)

  

Let it be known that Termanology had one of the best years of his career in 2012. He dropped not one but two widely acclaimed records in that true collaborative hip-hop fashion he clearly holds so dear. First, he and frequent collaborator Statik Selektah dropped an album as the duo 1982, 2012, in May. And seven months later, Term linked with rapper/producer Lil Fame (aka Fizzy Womack of M.O.P.) for the tough-as-nails Fizzyology.

Despite that constant studio grind last year, the New England-hailing MC kept that fire in his belly warm while dropping preview cuts and ripping guest features in anticipation of his latest solo affair, G.O.Y.A. (Gunz or Yay Available). Despite being a solo record, the album is another collaboration, and an impressive one at that, with bubbling producer Shortfyfuz, who also hails from Term’s native Lawrence, Mass. Maybe it was the fact they share a hometown or that Shortyfuz feels he has something to prove—or simply that returning home to record the album served as inspiration—buy G.O.Y.A. is yet another impressive offering from Termanology.

The album comes packed with 17 brand-new tracks, three of which are skits, from the rapper known for his blistering flow, tough-talking rhymes, and drug-dealer wit. In other words, it’s everything you would to hear from Term and his cohorts, which include like-minded spitters Action Bronson (the superbly funky “Take My Turn“), Sheek Louch (the uber-raw “Straight Off The Block”), and Wais P (the metaphor-heavy “Cocaine Eyes”). The most intriguing guest, however, is Chris Rivers on gangster-rap banger “Scandalous.” For those unaware, Rivers is the son of the late Big Pun, whose voice echoes across the hook and was a huge inspiration on Term. In fact, some detractors have unfairly labeled Term a Pun biter but, as made evident on “Scandalous,” that’s simply not the case. He just knows how to rip apart a beat like it stole his lunch money with his lightning-fast delivery.

It’s not all internal rhymes and head-spinning raps, though. Term gets introspective and meditates on street life on “Black Hole” alongside crooner Lee Wilson and the Roots affiliate Dice Raw. Elsewhere, you’ll hear the Massachusetts MC flex his talents as a storyteller on standout “Secret Location,” which finds Term in the role of a mafia boss outlining how to transition from a follower to a leader. You get the feeling that Term has lived this life, like an online casino owner gone bad. As he details where and how to stash your cash, you can picture him piling up dough as the guy behind a site like Casino.Betfair.com. As players press their luck, he stacks his own paper—maybe even indulging in gambling himself—and knows where to keep it so the feds don’t catch up with him. That kind of vivid imagery brought about by Term’s lyrics is what makes him such an engaging MC.

There are also moments of mutual respect displayed, like on the legends-laden title track. “G.O.Y.A.” is actually a skit full of shout outs from rap kings Large Pro, Lil Fame, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Even though Termanology has worked with all of them, this interlude feels like he’s being ushered into higher echelon of Northeast hip-hop and rap music in general. And as long as he keeps pushing out records like G.O.Y.A., we don’t see him losing that spot.

Thomas Handsome – Okay, Let’s Do This Again (Commentary)

  

Heads up, turds- if you read my posts on a regular basis, there’s going to be a LOT of things covered here that you’ve heard me talk about already. HOWEVER, it seems that many people are not taking what I say to heart, so this is a bit of a course review for the benefit of those who remain in a fog of their own false immunity.

Okay, I generalize. Really this is only a refresher of mistakes I see over and over again when it comes to artists trying to license their works. Though I should fuck some of you up for the way you continue to approach me when it comes to… anything. Most of you are cool, and I appreciate that. But the rest of you can suck on my nuts. You can suck on my nuts so fuckin hard that you can’t breath through your mouth, only through your nose but that will even be hard to do because my big dick will be clogging that shit.*

Welcome back, Kenny Powers.

So, in review, there is a website on the internets that serves as a medium between the corporations who are looking to license music for their shows, advertisements, video games, motion pictures, etc and the musicians looking to license their music to them(both independent and otherwise). The website charges a small fee for musicians to submit (one way to weed out who is serious and who is not) and the corporations ultimately wind up with a batch of submissions fitting the criteria of what they are looking for specifically. However, in between the musician submitting and the corporation hearing their works, every song comes to me as a sort of “quality check”. My job is to make sure that not only the music fits the submission guidelines, but also to check to make sure that it’s of a high enough quality and substance to stand a chance.

Simple terms: I weed out the dumb shit so the big heads don’t have to put up with it.

This is good on a number of levels, but can be summed up with one explanation: The companies in need don’t get burned out and discouraged by listening to insanely dumb and ill-fitting material ad-nauseam. They continue handing out cash to starving artists and the ones who had quality material and followed the directions carefully stand a fighting chance of getting their hands on it. So, as you can see, it’s a necessary evil.

Another reminder: Licensing money for your music is difficult to come by, but it is very, very real. My bank account reflects that.

So, with ALL of that serving as a reminder of where we are, please allow me to ask the majority of you who have submitted for licensing yet again:

What.

THE fuck.

Is wrong.

With you??

Seriously people, I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH how you come off when you submit music that sounds like it was recorded in Richard Simmons’ asshole after he crammed the lyrics up there for you to find and recite. I remember people’s names who sound like this, and so do the companies (if they ever choose to listen to them, which I always recommend they do not). It’s like applying over and over again to a job that you are in no way qualified for- if you haven’t been taking the time to improve your resume, you’re wasting your damn time!

Though that’s the most common demerit I run across, it’s a pretty cut and dry fix. Have someone master your shit if you don’t know how. If you truly believe that it’s worth the consideration of a major company then certainly it’s worth the extra hundred bucks to make it sound professional.

That’s not the only tip I have for you though, oh no, no, no.

I know it’s a novel idea, but people like me, and the ones with the money to fork over to you, do in fact pay attention to your lyrics. Please do not come with a song that would otherwise stand a chance until you open your mouth. Though I feel that hip-hop in general desperately needs a writing class (or 12), it’s especially crucial in the case of you wanting to license your music.

For example:

The submission comes in. I see it titled “Do Me”. That could mean a number of things. I’m paid to listen, so I press play. The track comes on. The beat sounds perfect for the Reebok ad it’s been submitted for. So far, so good. 4 bars go by before I hear “Uhhhggghhhh, It’s (artist name here) bitch! Did you miss me?!” (No, I have never heard of you before). Then the hook kicks in. “I’ma do me, like LeBron, Christina Millian, I’ma do me like I just bought a fresh pair of LeBron’s”.

Oh, reader, I can hear you now.

“Thomas, surely you’re making up stories right now. No one would ever record a song like that, let alone seriously think that Reebok would buy it”.

I may never let a little thing like the truth get into the way of a good story, but I assure you, those are the lyrics to this song, verbatim.

Now, you’d think it obvious that not only does that not really rhyme, it also doesn’t really individualize in the way that the title would lead you to believe. Those lyrics not only didn’t take much thought, but the author apparently has no idea of what “doing me” means. Personal feelings aside (I think that term is ignorant and leads to the further detriment of the hip-hop culture), the content displayed in the song really is an incoherent train of thought. The artist let his own careless crafting of this song get in the way of what could have been upwards of 15 grand for Reebok to use his song in a national campaign.

That, and LeBron is signed to Reebok’s biggest competitor.

Another thing that these companies are turned off by is the “signature sound” that a lot of you think you have to have. Let’s say you do have a song that fits the curriculum to a tee, but your adlibs are so loud with that bullshit sound you chose to make all over your record. Do you think they’ll reach out and ask you for your song minus that stacked vocal of you sounding like Jeezy getting a broomstick rammed up his b-hole? Nope. They’ll be on to the next one. And I can’t say that I blame them- that shit is mad annoying. Though they prefer it completely absent, at the very least make sure your engineer knows how to tastefully place and adjust your dick-awful adlibs.

Moving right along: Ladies. Though this applies to every artist out there, I see a common pattern with the female emcees who submit that must be addressed. Just because you’re a minority in the rap business does not mean that you are immune to the standard set forth by the industry. It may seem like it’s much harder for you to get props, but a majority of the time it’s because you come with mono-syllabic rhyme patterns and expect for opportunities to be handed to you because you’re a female. That may work for you when you go to local venues to perform or hit up producers for beats, but it won’t typically work out for you that way when it comes to submitting for these types of opportunities. Not to sound like a complete asshole, but here’s why that doesn’t work: you won’t physically appear in the film/commercial and a corporation does not want to fuck you. Not literally, anyway. I know it sounds harsh, but if the beginning of this paragraph fits your descriptor and you don’t know that this is true, then licensing your music should be the last of your concerns.

Lastly, and this doesn’t have a lot to do with the music that you submit, please make sure that if you choose to leave a message for the opportunity you submit for that you write it in plain English. There are 666 words in the English language that contain the letter “Z”; “That’s” is not one of them, nor does that word begin with at “D”. Also, no curse words in your message (including the N-word). If you don’t know what to write or how to use spell/grammar check, just leave that shit blank. They won’t think any less of you for it.

I say all of this to you yet again because I genuinely would like to see you all succeed and have your dreams fulfilled. It kills me to see us represent ourselves in such an unintelligent manner, and I know that the ignorant ones who are in the limelight now will not last for long. The key to the procurement of the hip-hop culture is a proper balance of the attitude that laid the foundation and the wisdom of knowing how to carry ourselves in the adult and business world. Once we reach that standard, there will be no limit to what we can conquer.

Oh, the views and opinions expressed in this writing are solely mine and mine alone, yadda-yadda-yadda and all that bullshit.

That’s it, I’m out. Thanks for reading. Please keep hitting me with topics and questions for an upcoming mailbag RadioHandsome@gmail.com or on Twitter @rapperthomas

Speaking of which, think we can get a campaign going to get the turdlicker who has @ThomasHandsome to come up off his account? The prick hasn’t tweeted in like 3 years and doesn’t have a photo! So important of me to bring up, I know.

*Eastbound And Down quote

Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is coloring inside the lines that one time, and has received praises about his “worthless sack of as*s” personality from avid listener the old bitch from The Goonies. He is best known as the 96th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for setting booty traps for the Fratelli’s on the way to One Eyed Willie’s gold. “That’s what I said! Boobie traps!!” – Thomas Handsome. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com

CyberChimps