Making A Living Off Music (In A Different Way)
ever since i was little i was intrigued by music. i loved to listen to it. i loved to collect it (i had shoeboxes full of cassette singles-everything from LL “Around The Way Girl” to Pajama Party “Yo No Say”-don’t ask). as i got older i started buying records! every 12″ rap single that came out!! my collection was growing and my parents were getting pissed haha!! then i started writing raps and making shitty beats on a Roland with 4 buttons (don’t even remember the model #). i would rap with my friends in 6th grade. there was this kid we called Puerto Rican Freddy who would wear suits to school and would try and battle me but he would use Redman lines as if no one would notice! i would use written rhymes back then but they were so shitty it isn’t like you could tell….
i was approved for $2000 on a Sam Ash Card and a Guitar Center card in one day and i said “fuck it”. i bought an MPC 2000 XL, Pro Tools, monitors, mixers, new needles for my turntable etc etc. for the next few years locked myself away and made music. i thought it was my calling!!! i released solo EP’s, solo full lengths, group albums etc. looking at the shelf right now our Fingerprint Records label probably had 20 official releases. we spent so much money it hurts my brain to think about it. we did a lot of tours (if you count a tour as 20 cities spread over 2 months) and were selling a decent amount of records (at least we thought) but still never made our money back. basically we were the model for the indie hip hop label. my good friend said “you guys are great. only if you were making music in 96”. we all started getting more business minded and were all doing shit for self rather than the label. lines began getting crossed. basically too many cooks spoiled the broth. we closed shop! this was right after i started making beats with Dez!
what was the next logical step for my career in music? logically work for a major label. i was hired at Sony as a temp and felt like the coolest person in the world. until i realized there were 800 other temps in the 35 floor building all competing and sucking dick to get that one coveted spot as administrative assistant to the A&R for Verity Gospel haha (whatever face)….i sucked it up and did bullshit computer work in the Copyright department, was strung along on a temp salary and was told by an insider i was going to be laid off. i jumped ship just in time and landed a job at the Jersey offices and was offered a salary and benefits and the world managing International Artist Royalties! 2 days after i signed the papers i was laid off! YEP! unemployed and driving a truck for my friends father. these are the breaks!
so what do you do in 2009? take advantage of random rap of course! nah but seriously! i had a collection of about 3,000 12″ singles and EPs and LPs (all rap) that i had collected over the years. i was like a pack rat when it came to that shit. and on top of that i was buying collections and selling the doubles on the side. basically i was a record dealer to supplement my income. as time went on and i realized i can’t drive a truck forever i snapped! one day i got into a fight with my boss and drove the truck into a parking garage and left it there. ask Alaska about the truck. we bumped into eachother one day. it was a big piece of shit truck and i was wearing bummy ass clothes ha!
i get home that night and as i am looking for a video camera charger in the closet so i can film my suicide note (just playing) i see my shoe box of cassette singles and mixtapes and thought hmmmm. why do i have this shit? why am i holding onto this stuff i can’t even listen to? why am i a pack rat?
i was put on this earth to make a living off music. to sell it! to sell what i don’t need! i took my OCD ass and built up the balls to start selling off my record collection. records i would never see again! and it worked. i started eBaying and selling privately (ripping everything i couldn’t find an mp3 of) and building some money to ultimately do what made me happy. why be a horde? why try to suck corporate America’s dick? would you believe i finally have a job where i can make my own hours? collect records and enjoy music? make music on the side and actually tour all while working? yea finally! and it only took me close to 30 years!
i started buying a lot of rap collections. through a phone call at Sony i was able to get meet Mr. Walt and get into his and Evil Dee’s basement and dig through their records. talking to them on a regular basis gave me and email or a phone number. next thing you know i am hanging with Tony Touch at his crib looking through his records. he might give me the number of someone who no one has ever heard of that has 10,000 records. it just snowballed. before you know it i was meeting my idols. the same cats whose tapes i had just seen in my shoebox i was at their storage units. digging through sealed copies of indie rap 12″s from 93. these storage units are like tombs. you open em and dust and asbestos and rat shit wafts out of it. i wear a dust mask and gloves. and pull awesome titles that these DJs look at and go “what was that? oh that shit sucked”!
i still have a collecting problem! i sold close to 1,500 of my own collection in the last 6 months but have almost double what i started with. better titles have replaced the so/so ones! records i thought i would never see again turned up 3 times since. it is weird how shit works!
i am finally making a living off music. doing what i was sent here to do. sharing some of the more obscure undocumented shit with the world. i still owe DJ Riz a few rips of records i bought from him. it’s just been hectic thats all!!
A tip of the hat to Nobs. More Nobs here. Stay tuned for the Dez & Nobs Rocky Dennis LP arriving in March 2010.