Blog | Makin' It Magazine


Nobody Gets in XXL Magazine for FREE… NOBODY!

NOBODY gets in XXL Magazine for free. EVERYONE PAYS! Whether it’s paying direct through advertising or paying indirectly through tens of thousands of dollars on PR, Marketing, Promotion, etc, it costs money!

The chances of you as an independent with only a few hundred followers on IG getting featured in XXL Magazine are practically ZERO!

Listen to our "Valentine Vibes" playlist on Spotify!

In honor of valentines day we took the weekend to go through updates from our all of our active members and put together a special "Valentine Vibes" playlist. Check it out to discover some new music to set the mood on this special day. 

How Industry Clowns Destroy Artists' Careers!

Unfortunately, over the years we’ve all become too familiar with stories of scammers posing as executives and ripping off unsuspecting artists. We’ve all heard tales of some hopeful rapper wiring thousands of dollars for a meeting, performance or “Record Deal” that never happened.

Dope Music: Hip Hop & Drug Culture

I recall being criticized for referring to Future as the “soul of Atlanta music”. Maybe I was premature in my assertion, but that same statement today would hardly raise an eyebrow. I can clearly remember my first time meeting Future at the Def Jam office in Atlanta, and not too long after, spending an evening in the back of Magic City for the Dirty Sprite listening party. Atlanta was buzzing; but I was still on the fence. Having seen so many independent artists come and go, there was a clear pattern of their buzz lasting only as long as their budgets. “Racks” was an undeniable record, but it was YC’s record. When “Tony Montana” dropped, it was inescapable. Even Drake jumped on the wave.

Is Diddy Hip Hop's Steve Jobs?

While explaining to an artist’s manager the benefit of spending nearly $1,000 to register for the Revolt Music Conference, I realized something. I sounded a lot like the many people who’ve tried to convert me to using Apple products over the years.  As I described hearing Puff speak about attending his first concert and the moment he knew he wanted to get into the entertainment industry, I couldn’t help but visualize Steve Jobs speaking to a room full of Apple acolytes at the very first World Wide Developers Conference. In that instance, I thought to myself , “Is Diddy Hip Hop’s Steve Jobs?” While this may seem like a leap for most, being both a fan of hip hop and avid nerd, stacking these two side by side offers some interesting parallels.

6 Reasons Tidal Will Fail!

So… Before we dive into this list of why Tidal is destined to fail. I must start by saying that I’m a paying subscriber and as such I have every right to review and critique what I’m paying for. Now lets get started with WHY Tidal is going to fail. 

The 2 Reasons Most DOPE Artists DON'T Make Money!

Any time and artist comes to me for consulting, the first question I ask them is, “Why are you doing music?” More often than not, I get some existential answer like:

  • To change the world...
  • To bring the real back to the game...
  • To blow up...
  • To represent for my people...
  • To show "them” [enter State/City/Hood] got talent...

The only answer I never seem to get, is the one I’m actually looking for… “TO MAKE SOME G.D. MONEY!” 

Makin' It Magazine's First Annual Media Matters Soundstage during #SxSW was a Major Success!

Makin’ It Magazine’s first annual Media Matters Soundstage was a huge success. Writers and representatives from,,, Hip Hop Weekly,,, Livemixtapes, Worldstar and a ton of other independent media outlets came thru.

5 Reasons DJs Make the Best Producers!

If you want to be Hip Hop’s next big Producer, don’t purchase Fruityloops or Reason.... BUY SERATO! While that may sound odd, a quick look at some of Hip Hop’s top hit makers will clearly illustrate the strong connection between DJing and great production. Just google the discography of DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Timbaland or Swizz Beats, all of which cut their teeth as DJs prior to becoming some of the most influential producers in hip hop.

My MLK Day Rant: Hip Hop, Helping and Hustling

Eight years ago I started this magazine with one goal: Help independent artists! The first issue of Makin’ It Magazine was actually just a four page black and white newsletter. I printed 5,000 copies and hit the streets myself, passing them out in every open mic, mall and record store in Atlanta. I can clearly remember promoters charging me to get into events that I had helped promote for FREE. I remember promoters hassling me about passing out magazines in their events. I can remember industry “professionals” having “beef” with me because I was FREELY giving away information they charged for. I was banned (still banned) from “networking” events because promoters feared the message that I spread. The urban music industry is in bad shape because there are so many “professionals” that would rather make a quick buck off an artist’s dream than putting them in a position to succeed.

How Much Does It REALLY Cost to Break A New Record? The Answer Might SHOCK YOU!

We asked a panel of seasoned radio programmers and industry professionals, “How much money does it take to start pushing a single?” After a few minutes of discussion about relationships and passion, we were presently surprised to get a very honest and straightforward answer from Sonja Norwood, music consultant and mother to R&B Super-stars Brandy and Ray-J.

NW$: 7 Reasons Hip Hop Has NO Billionaires!

When it was announced that Apple was acquiring Beats for $3 Billion, the hip hop blogosphere exploded with talks of Dre being hip hop’s first billionaire. Being the nerd that I am and having followed the acquisitions of tech companies like Instagram and Whatsapp, I understood that there were finer financial intricacies at play than cutting a check for 25% (Dre’s stake in Beats) of $3.2 Billion (The initial Beats sale price to Apple). After the dust settled and the acquisition was complete, Dre’s  post-Apple net worth was estimated to be in the neighborhood of $780 Million; leapfrogging him over Hov and Diddy, but still putting him more than $200 Million shy of the billion dollar mark.

The Hood Isn't Online

It’s been a while since I wrote a No Chaser blog, and since the last one I’ve had several epiphanies that I need to address. Somewhere up in my top 10 of things I have come to realize is that my “hood” upbringing was a blessing in disguise. I say that because in most cases, if you have lived through a circumstance, you are more likely able to understand how or why it is the way that it is. Thus, there are a number of things that I hate about the “hood” that I know will never change. If it did, it would no longer be considered the “hood”. Keep that in mind as I continue.

Rapper, J-Blev, uses Membership to Open for Meek Mill, Jadakiss & K-Camp

Watch how Independent artist, J-Blev, used his BASIC site membership to get booked as an opening act for Meek Mill, K-Camp and Jadakiss in Rochester, New York. Another great opportunity brought to you in part by our friends at

Keith Jacobs Actually Has a Good Video!

Its REALLY hard to put out a GREAT music video. A lot of people don't realize how many working parts have to come together seemlessly to pull off a truly great visual. I mean, not only does the song have to be DOPE... but the concept has to be DOPE and the actual camera work has to be DOPE too. You can even accomplish all that and still have someone else F&*@! it up in editing. So whenever we find something exceptional, we try to acknowledge it. Our friends over at @ATLTop20 blessed our inbox with this treat from R&B artist Keith Jacobs. The visual flawlessly blends live action video with motion graphics to deliver a bit of eyecandy with a plot. Not only did it draw me in, but it got my dedicated attention for the full 4 minutes. Kudos to Keith Jacobs. Watch, Share & Repost!

Why Waste Money on CDs When Everyone Listens to Music Online?!

Today I ran across a very interesting report from Neilson. The report breaks the country down into regions and not only gives stats about how people get their music (Streaming, Paid or FREE), but also which devices they primarily use for listening to music (Phone, Computer, Car, TV, etc) and their primary means of discovering new music, beside radio and word of mouth (ie. Youtube, Pandora, Facebook, etc). What's so interesting about the report is in every region, the Car is the #1 device used to listen to music. 

Here’s Why Commercial Radio Keeps Playing The Same Songs Over And Over And Over

It’s no secret that some songs just get hammered on radio. Did anyone manage to not hear Lorde’s inescapable ‘Royals’ in the last year? And hearing Pharrell Williams’ bouncy chart hit ‘Happy’ might not make you so cheery after you’ve heard it spun the umpteenth time in an hour.

Now, All those Tweets Might Land You on Billboard!

A little over a year ago Twitter announced Twitter #Music, a new Webservice and app aimed at helping fans discover new music. After a little more than a year with limited success, Twitter announced it would shut down the project shortly before announcing a new partnership with Billboard.

Radio VS The Internet: Shocking Report Reveals Where MOST People Discover NEW Music!

Found this great study that breaks down how people discover new music. At first glance, you'll quickly notice that AM/FM radio dominates with 35%, but if you really study the numbers there is more to learn. Here are a couple of key points we pulled from the data.

Artist Loses $1,000 Show... Find out How!

Watch and learn how one artist BLEW a $1,000 performance opportunity including 30 day promo campaign. You never know what opportunities you might be passing up when you try to get over on people. Always do good busines. #Music101


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