4 Things Love & Hip Hop Taught Us About the Industry

Posted By: Crystal Be · 3/16/2012 5:57:00 PM

For two seasons we looked into the lives of East coast women who literally eat, sleep, and breathe music industry.  From your favorite rapper’s baby’s mother to an aspiring singer who literally slept on a dirty mattress, these women in hip hop kept us watching, laughing, and learning.  Below is a list of 4 things that VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop taught us about making it in the music industry.

# 1 - Don’t Get it Twisted: Your Clients are not your Friends.

In season 2 of the series, fans were introduced to Yandy Smith, the young, carefree manager of Jim Jines.  It wasn’t long after this introduction that the drama and tension between her and Jim’s now fiancé Chrissy Lampkin took center stage.  In the end Yandy resigned from her position and her and Jim parted ways.

 Despite the tremendous amount of love that had formed between Yandy, Jim, and ...

F.A.F: Fake Rapper wins Battle + Showcases With a HOT Co-Sign [Video]

Posted By: Crystal Be · 3/16/2012 2:22:00 PM

This video is funny because we have all been to a battle where the challenger, regardless of how nice he is, has NO chance of winning.  It is unfortunate, but it happens.  Check out the hilariousness below.

When you are done check out a few of the showcases that the HOT 97 staff are involved with. Click their names to redirect to their websites.


Mic Check Wednesdays w/ DJ Spynfo

 Roc the Mic Showcase w/ DJ Absolut

 Monse’s Sunday Night Showcase

 Time 2 Shine


B. Martin is the Best!! - NY Dominates SXSW Battle for the Best

Posted By: Crystal Be · 3/16/2012 11:17:00 AM

Thousands competed for the chance to be in the first ever Battle for the Best at SXSW.  Two had the chance.  One will fly home to NY with the title.  That's right, NY one that Battle of the Best against L.A. yesterday.

Won may actually be an understatement.  Battle rap is all about wrapping "oh sh*t" punch lines into a bigger story.  Albany MC B. Martin put these into good practice to shut down LA's MC Imprint.  He even held his lead in the final round, when contestants were permitted to perform an already produced record

But don't just take my word for it, check out the battle below on Who's Next TV.

And make sure to show B. Martin some love.  Reppin the whole Tristate aint easy



Watch live streaming video from hot97 at livestream.com

Even the Notorious B.I.G was once Unsigned Hype

Posted By: Crystal Be · 3/9/2012 11:51:00 AM

It is hard to believe that Biggie Smalls has been gone for 15 years now. 

It is hard to believe that he is even gone at all. 

If you are like me, you come from a generation that may or may not have entirely understood the impact of Biggie's untimely death on hip-hop while it was happening. But as you have aged, you have seen his musical reach.  To this generation, Biggie isn't so much a person, as a legacy.  He is the rapper that our favorite rappers rap about.  He is the sample that runs through the newest song.  He is the man that we have never met but speak about as if we have known our entire lives; mostly because we have known of him nearly our entire lives. 

But Biggie Smalls wasnt always Notorious.  There was a time when he was grinding for a deal and dreaming just like ...

Battle for the Best [Video]

Posted By: Crystal Be · 3/9/2012 10:21:00 AM

Tell a friend to tell a friend that it is about to go down! (Insert played out Nicki adlib here)!  The Battle for the Best has come down to two MC’s and they are ready to duke it out (lyrically of course) for the title at SXSW!  Even though the main competition is happening in Austin, you won't be left out of the fun.   HOT 97 is streaming the entire event live on hot97.com.  Make sure you are close to your computers tis Thursday March 15th at 2pm. 

In addition to the battle there will be live performances by J. Cole and Mobb Deep's Prodigy.  The whole thing is set to be hosted by HOT 97's Peter Rosenberg and Felli Fell and Yesi Ortiz of Power 106. 

The two contestants who will go head to head were chosen after weeks of voting by station listeners and Who's Next Community users ...

Funkmaster Flex Breaks Down How To Get a Freestlye

Posted By: Crystal Be · 2/14/2012 3:11:00 PM

A while back Samsung came out with their “We All Aspire Campaign” and left me speechless.  The commercial, although more than a minute when played in it’s entirety can be summed up as this: we come to win.


No one aspires to be a one hit wonder.  Being an artist isn’t about making that one hot song.  It is about being a voice and speaking to your audience.  If you don’t have the cosign of a major label deal to back you up when you are pushing a song, a large digital footprint and social media buzz can be just as powerful in getting the attention of the decision makers.


This fact came up when I caught up with HOT 97 DJ Funk Master Flex a few Saturdays ago.  He was just coming off the air, and it seemed like the perfect time to pick his brain and ...

Take it From J. Cole - You Should Always go With Your Gut

Posted By: Crystal Be · 2/10/2012 12:08:00 PM


Depending on who you ask, there are tons of ways to tell that you have made your mark on the music industry.  Being nominated for a Grammy is hands down the biggest- when it comes to the mainstream.  This Sunday, millions of award show junkies will be glued to their television sets to watch the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.  Among the hip hop and R&B artists up for a title this year are: Jay Z & Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Cee lo, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Dr. Dre, and J. Cole.


When you think back to where these artists have come from, you realize how much a dream and a whole lot of hustle can change your life.  In the case of J. Cole, A Dollar and Dream (and a whole lot of grind) took him from being on the HOT 97 Who’s Next Stage to being a ...

Warning! DJ Camilo Tells How To Get Into the New @ 2

Posted By: Crystal Be · 1/24/2012 1:54:00 PM

Every weekday at 2 pm DJ Camilo brings you the hottest new songs in the tri-state during his New @ 2.  This mix has become the mid-day destination for exclusives, world premieres, and general hot ish. Even though new music comes out daily, Camilo never fails to successfully separate what’s “new & hot” from what is simply new.


Ever wonder how he does it?


I caught up with him to find out. Plus he told me exactly what an indie artist would have to do to get on his radar.


Check out what he had to say below, and make sure to follow @ DJCamilo on twitter. 


CB: What kinds of things are you taking into consideration when you are putting together your New @ 2 mix everyday?

Camilo: “Hot songs, artists that people want to hear.  For example the new Rick Ross, the new Jay-Z, ...

Who's On Deck - Trillogy

Posted By: Crystal Be · 1/20/2012 12:54:00 PM

A couple of weeks back, I checked out a showcase in Jersey called Spotlight Live.  The show was cool, but there was a group that went on toward the middle of the night that caught the crowd’s full attention.  When Trillogy performed their song “Ride Around Town” the head nodding went into full effect.


Their music has been featured on The Real World: Las Vegas, Bad Girls Club, and Kourtney & Kim Take New YorkTheir profile is no where near the top of Who’s Next Cipha right now, but when has Jersey ever gotten the respect it deserves?


Something tells me Trillogy may just be a group to keep your eyes on.


Check out their artist profile in the Who’s Next Community and let us know what you think

Artist Development Tip 4 - Protect Your Neck

Posted By: Crystal Be · 1/19/2012 4:29:00 PM

If you went through the public school system, you have been given that over- killed speech about plagiarism and the importance of academic integrity. It always boils down this: don't use other people's words or ideas. If you must, make sure you give them credit.

Seems simple enough, but not everyone sticks to this rule. We have all seen those headlines on the blogs about an aspiring producer or rapper suing a big name artist for stealing their sh*t. While some of us write it off as an attempt for attention, the truth is swagger jacking is alive and well.

HOT 97's own DJ Spynfo has been running his Mic Check Wednesdays showcase for years now and has become all too familiar with these situations. He offers all aspiring artists and producers this advice:

"Make sure you get all of your legals done. Artists are always down with Get Money ...