The Way I See It, is a new guest blog feature for Crabzinabarrel.com. Every week for an entire month, we will feature a guest blogger who will tell us the way they see it. Our first guest blogger, PHZ-Sicks, is repping VA to the fullest and making sure the DMV is getting its due shine. He’s a versatile rhymer with a hype live show. With this blog, he shows that he’s also a good writer with a unique view, calling for DMV UNITY so the DMV can take over this music ish!
The Calm By PHZ-Sicks
There’s a storm a brewin’. There’s calmness in the air, stillness. Those that have witness the potential change this storm could have on the landscape are bracing themselves and wishing for the best. What is this storm? It’s the DMV, but more specifically, the music. This year has proving to be a great start from where we see ourselves in the future (an area that is on par with NY and ATL in the industry). Right now, the DMV is currently in the calm before the storm.
The Sound of Thunder
This region’s music has been slowly spreading itself around the nation and world. I would not be writing about this subject if I didn’t think recent events in the industry backed up the facts. Just look at the stats: Wale, signed to Allido/Interscope/RocNation, & Tabi Bonney has taken the sound, visuals, and feel of DC globally, R&B singer Kevin Ross just signed a publishing deal with Akon’s KonLive, Don Juan signed with Jive, RAtheMC rocked the stage for MTV’s VMA Best Breakout Artist, Pro’Verb “rocked the bells” from MD to LA, Tae Barz did his thing on 106 & Park, Studio 43 w/ XO & Marky are making moves, Lady A gets her video picked up by MTV, Phil Ade went on tour with the likes of J. Cole and the Clipse, Wayna & Koyaki was a Grammy nominee and the list goes on endlessly (lets also throw in The Beat Ya Feet Kings who were on America’s Best Dance Crew). In the time I’ve been in the area (15 years), I’ve never seen this much activity musically and for it to be so exciting. On the same night, you could be in a packed club watching Don Juan & Wale tear shit down and further down the street another artist is rocking a crowd with the room also packed. Each week, there seems to always be a performance that everybody is going too. At this rate, every place considered a lounge or clubs are going to have to build a stage just so they could profit off this.
There are two things I believe are the cost this musical expansion: the ability to perform/put on a show & the individuality in our music.
There’s an art in putting on a good show. To do it right, you have to literally do a business plan. I mean the music is a product; therefore it makes sense to do so. You have to know the audience you’re rocking to, you have to know the lows, mids, and highs of the set (if you start at a 9, you can’t take it back to a 4), if you’re having fun, the audience is having fun (emotion is how we all connect), and always involve them. DMV artist have been able to capture all of this while some national artists couldn’t capture this with “two” good legs. The concept of “artist development” use to take care of this issue, but since the industry is more “1980’s Wall Street” and only see profit, signed artist go through a trial of horrible showmanship until they find their way or just don’t give fuck in stay being a wack ass performer. If I’m going to pay money to stand up and watch you perform, you better put on your show. You can have the greatest song in the world, but if you feel that the aspect of putting on a good show is benefit you, the water will run dry on that money well. A good show will bring in people who would have never been your fans otherwise, usually due to the type of music you do. I’ve heard a lot that the “band factor” was a cheat as far as it came to DMV artist. To that, I say bollocks, bullshit, and any other word that expresses that. This is an area that is filled with musicians, if you’re not going to put them on, we will.
Speaking of talented artist, the DMV is an area full of artists that are individuals. Yes, we might have a few Wale-like artists, but there is no one sounds like Lyriciss, no one sounds like XO, no one sounds like K-Beta, no one like Kingpen Slim but yet you can put these artist in one studio and they’ll be able to mesh together. All of these colorful personalities, intriguing stories, and good music should be heard. The feel of this DMV movement, some say, must be the same way New York felt during the early 90s. Just think about it and the quality of music, whether EPs or mixtapes, and you see that 09, musically was a great year for us and it can’t be ignored. Slowly, the radio has started playing local music and that’s just the beginning for us.
Will the storm reach the land?
This question to me can be answered in the history of Hip Hop. One thing we need before we can say ‘this is OUR time’ is that we need that one HUGE person in the industry to set up shop here and bring out the DMV artist to the nation. Just do your history and noticed that every time an area took over, it happened in this fashion. The prime example is Atlanta. A lot of people have the misconception of thinking that Atlanta just took over the game in one night. That is not the case. For the ATL takeover, you can point your finger to LA Reid & Babyface. Babyface and Reid decided to create “LaFace Records” in Atlanta and slowly started developing talent. Once they were commission to do the “Boomerang” soundtrack, they were able to put their artist (Toni Braxton, TLC, and so on) along well established artist. The industry started to see what else lurked in the area. LaFace signed OutKast and Goodie Mob, while So So Def was coming in to its own with Xscape, Da Brat and Kriss Kross. This wasn’t an overnight feat and neither will it be for us.
Another thing is the easiest of them all: UNITY. When NY was running the game, everybody was working with each other. When West Coast took over, they had unity. The MidWest (when Cleveland and Chicago) had it for a little bit, they had unity. What killed each one of them? Inside bickering and beefs took away from making good music and left nothing but egos. The South, mostly Atlanta, had its share of beefing but each one didn’t last long and later led to those same individuals either on stage together or doing a song together in the future. We, artists, in this area have not reach the level to even consider having a ego. A humble approach will keep you in the game longer than an ass hole one, you can ask Dame Dash about that one. If it’s only the best artist in the area, following the Unity suit, then that’s all we need. It will least give the public the idea that we’re about great music and we have our shit together.
A long time ago, I did a blog called “The DMV outside the DMV”, which was about artist from the area leaving the DMV to spread their music. I felt that doing that would help with putting on the map and it has. We have musicians. We have singers. We have rappers. Cot damn, we have a lot rappers, but we have to mix all that together with our drive. We are the most powerful area in the United States. We make laws. We start wars. We damn sure can takeover the music industry. When we make moves, let’s make moves…and let’s keep them. DMV STAND UP!