You Better Think!

The page title is self-explanatory. Basically, I want the content you read here to be the catalyst for engaging thought-provoking conversation; something to refresh your memories or to get you thinking on a level you may have yet to traverse. Feel free to agree, disagree, or even respectfully debate anything you read here!

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Interview Commentary w/ Professor Tricia Rose from Fish Rap Newspaper, UC Santa Cruz:

(http://triciarose.com/commentary_fishrap.shtml)

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“…If they’re saying, ‘hey I just want to be a great musician,’ wonderful, do what you do. If they are saying that by being a rap artist that they are radical and part of a “hip-hop nation’, then I want to know what they’re doing with their time and energy. You’re smokin’ weed? You’re chillin? It’s not doing shit for broke people. So do something. Teach something to somebody, do something to advance your own learning. Help others aspire to more than what they have been forced to accept.”

Professor Rose Professor Rose is an internationally respected scholar of post civil rights era black U.S. culture, popular music, social issues, gender and sexuality. She is most well-known for her groundbreaking book on the emergence of hip hop culture. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America is considered foundational text for the study of hip hop, one that has defined what is now an entire field of study. Black Noise won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1995 voted among the top 25 books of 1995 by the Village Voice and in 1999 was listed by Black Issues in Higher Education as one of its “Top Books of the Twentieth Century.”  In 2008, Professor Rose returned to hip hop with: The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-And Why It Matters. In it, Rose argues that hip hop artists and the commercialization of black popular culture more generally has more power than ever to shape racial and gender images, perceptions and policies.

**All content courtesy of www.triciarose.com and Fish Rap Newspaper.  Image included courtesy of www.triciarose.com and Richard Howard Photography.**

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Impromptu Interview @ the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) 4th Annual Conference, GA Chapter

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Sat, Oct 26, 2013

Nikke Stiletto asks Brandi Starr, CEO of Cassius Blue Consulting – Brand Strategy for Start-Ups, what tips/advice she would give women in the entertainment industry (which is a male dominated industry) about building and maintaining relationships while, at the same time, avoiding the sexual pressures that can sometimes accompany male/female relationships.  This is what she had to say:

“It is a fine line…you really have to really focus in on putting forth who you are and what you’re about so that they don’t try you.  Once they approach you in that manner you already know how they see you.  And it’s difficult to change that.  It’s difficult to change a man’s opinion of you.  That’s why they make they comment ‘You can’t make a hoe a housewife’.  Because it’s hard to change that mentality for a male.  So you have to know your stuff, you have to be sharp.   And it sucks but you have to be ten times sharper than a guy doing the same you’re doing.  And you have to stay professional.  People are, a lot of times, naturally flirty.  [This], normally, is ok.  In [the entertainment industry] you have to shut that down.  So if the conversation starts going in that direction you have to bring it back.  And it’s the way you dress, the way you carry yourself, all of that is going to be a big deal.  It sucks that you really have to be that conscious about it, but you do in order to get ahead.  I worked with a girl who was a phenomenal singer and she would get sucked in to “studio” sessions and it’s [basically] a bunch of folks in the studio and they’re just trying to figure out who is going to get her first.  So I started going with her everywhere.  I was her bulldog and people would try it, but they knew not to even bother.  It got to the point where they would try to circumvent me and try to pull me away and I was not going anywhere!  [I would say] ‘if you want to get this record cut, if you want to put this demo out, this is how it’s going to happen.    You’re going to do it between these hours, in this type of setting.  If you want her to be at this party, this is the expectation’.  So I had to be that for her because she couldn’t.  So if you struggle with that you may need to get a third person [to be that buffer].  But focus on making it clear:  this is who I am, this is what I stand for, and this is what I came to do.  Anything beyond that will get you put in your place, quick.  It’s going to take you really putting someone in their place [that] one time before someone gets it.  You’ll be faced with a situation and this conversation will pop into your head.  When you [put someone in their place] you do it professionally.  Otherwise, you become the angry woman.  So you have to become cunning with words.   So when you get to that point, and nine times out of ten it will be publicly, you shut that down.”

**For more information on Brandi Starr and Cassius Blue Consulting, go to her website http://www.cassiusblueconsulting.com**

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Nikke Stiletto attends the iRock Jazz LIVE! chat session with Grammy-Winning Vocalist Dianne Reeves, interviewed by Telly Robinson on SpreeCast.com, and I asked this question:

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Mon., March 31, 2014

Nikke Stiletto: What are your thoughts on the “Art” of making music? Do you feel it is a lost art for mainstream artists?

Dianne Reeves: The beginning [of making music] starts with you defining yourself.  And that comes through a lot of trial and error a lot of jumping off the edge.  And knowing that everyone has a very unique ability. [You] develop that and refine it, then define it, then respect it and protect it, especially now!  You have to decide what is success for you.  For me it was to not to have to compromise and to be true to it and to really hone in and make my skills better and better; to be the best I could possibly be.

 

Adored by audiences and critics alike throughout the world, Dianne Reeves is a natural wonder not to be missed.  She recently released ‘Beautiful Life’ on February 11, 2014, her first album in five years!  The album showcases Reeves’ sublime gifts by melding elements of R&B, Latin and pop within the framework of 21st Century jazz. “At its essence,” says Reeves, “Life is beautiful and I wanted to celebrate that which is too often overlooked.”  You can pick up a copy of her album on iTunes.

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The Power of Wiki!

wiki-logo-reverse-02According to Alexa.com, Wikipedia is currently the sixth most visited site on the entire Web.  With almost 2 million sites currently linking into it, it is also one of the most optimized sites there is.  As such, an artist or band entry on Wikipedia often comes up in the top 3 in search results.

Plus, creating a Wikipedia account/page is FREE…

Think about it.  As an Indie artist/entertainer, what better way is there to get your name and everything associated with you and your work in one location (i.e., you can put links to all of your work on sites such as, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc.) AND have it all accessible within the first 3 search results when someone is searching for you…and have it all be FREE OF CHARGE!

The key to marketing and generating conversions using community-edited sites like Wikipedia is to add specific targeted links back to your site in a way that fits the context of the page. Taking the time to blend the content and the link to your site in such a way that it naturally fits and enhances the content on the page will ensure that your link does not get deleted.

So, I ask again, where’s your Wikipedia page?  Don’t wait another second!  Go create your page now!

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