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Hip Hop Gets Real: Frank Ocean Comes Out

Last week, Frank Ocean told the world he was gay in an open letter posted on his Tumblr account.

“Whoever you are, wherever you are… I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike,” he writes. He goes on to describe details of his first love, which he reveals, was a man.

“We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide¦Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence…until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him¦By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life.”

“I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager¦the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not speak¦I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore,” he wrote.

For fans wondering what his Odd Future crew members think about his recent revelations, particularly Tyler The Creator, who has been publically chastised for making homophobic remarks and gestures numerous times; he made it clear he was onboard with Ocean’s decision.

Tyler tweeted, “My big brother finally f—ing did that. Proud of that n—a cause I know that sh– is difficult or whatever. Anyway. I’m a toilet,” he quipped.

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Vibe Wants To Hook You Up This August!

VIBE is back on OurStage to keep up the heat for the month of August! They are giving one artist the ultimate chance to be featured on not only VIBE.com, but also Allhiphop.com.  Just think, the top destinations for today’s news in hip-hop could feature your freshest track and an exclusive Q&A. All you need to do is enter your best song into the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com music channel by August 22, 2010.

Take a look at some of the artists currently tearing up the charts:

Become A Judge For The Vibe.com And Ernie Ball Competitions!

Summer is in full swing and the competition at OurStage is getting hotter by the day. Fortunately for the artists, we have some great prizes in store to help them beat the heat. But they need YOUR help at the judging tables. Help out your favorite OurStage artist by becoming a judge in the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com and the Singer-Songwriter (Male) Music Channels. With you on their side, July could be their big month.

Ernie Ball’s Year Supply of Strings Giveaway

Ernie Ball is again gearing up to offer one lucky OurStage artist the opportunity to win a year’s supply of strings”a cherished prize for axe-wielders of all shapes and sizes. Last month, they hooked up indie-rockers The Black Rabbits, and now they are turning their gaze towards the crooners in the Singer-Songwriter (Male) Channel.   One of these acts will get to cross strings off the shopping list for an entire year! Check out some of the artists that are currently topping the charts in the Singer-Songwriter (Male) Channel.  For more information, head to the Ernie Ball page here.

Vibe.com Artist Feature

VIBE.com is back at it again to give artists in the Rap, Hip Hop, and Alternative Hip Hop Channels the opportunity to make their voices heard. In April, they gave Rox aka Mr. Young Richie Rich a shot at the top by hosting his mixtape with DJ Irie for the entire month of May. This month, VIBE will be giving one lucky OurStage artist a chance to get their music out in the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com competition.  You will be in charge of helping the best of the best get into the spotlight, earning them a chance to grab the ears of the folks at VIBE. With your help, one lucky artist could get their big break. Check out the official rules here.

Generation DIY: Wrap Up

As everything in life has a beginning, there is always an end. For Generation DIY, I’m not looking at this last post as an end. During the past 6 months, I shared many tips and ideas as well as heard some great stories from all of you”I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this column. As promised, this will be last installment and wrap up for our PR campaign. So let’s dive into the end, and find our path to stardom.

After compiling your lists of reviews from various media outlets, and sending out your thank yous, make a public announcement to newer fans about happenings within the band. Keep yourself consistent and constantly in the public eye after you launch your PR campaign. No point to light a fire and let it dwindle down 10 minutes later”keep that sucker burning! There isn’t much more in the end other than keeping the relationships strong and tight with all of the media outlets that took the time to listen and review your music. Next time you run a PR campaign, these contacts will come into play and may open doors for larger outlets (like print media giants Rolling Stone, VIBE, etc).

That’s it! Easy enough right? The one suggestion I insist on is to keep in touch with all of your contacts that you’ve made thus far, even if it’s a friendly email to say hello and ask how their week has been. You’re not only building business relationships but friendships that may flourish into something bigger. In the end it’s all about who you know, so never turn down a handshake!

I hope this blog helped all of you aspiring musicians out there, and gave light to new ideas that you may not have thought about. In this day and age, it’s all about ingenuity and keeping your material fresh (whether it’s your music or the business you conduct in pushing your music into the listeners hands). As always, refer to past posts (you can click on my user name and see the back logs) and check out the different topics I’ve touched upon. It never hurts to go back and re-instate some of the different tips covered over the past 6 months. Like I said before, this isn’t an ending, just a farewell for now. Thank you for being such a great friend along the way!

Keep the hustle strong Generation DIY. This,and always will be, YOUR year!

- Internet Warrior

Vibe Is Back For July!

Your Number 1 source for the latest news on the hottest names in hip hop is back for July.  VIBE is bigger and better than ever, and looking to catapult one lucky artist to the top of the urban heap with the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com Competition.  One high-ranking artist will not only get the chance to be featured on VIBE.com but have their music showcased in one of the resident DJ’s monthly mash-ups as well.  If that wasn’t enough, the winning artist will also have their very own featured interview!

All OurStage rap, hip hop and alternative hip hop artists can enter their best track into the Get Your Music Featured on VIBE.com Music Channel starting July 1, 2010.

Here are some of the urban artists currently at the top of the charts:

Vibe Announces Winner For April!

Last month over 600 artists threw their hats in the ring for the “Have Dj Irie Host Your Mixtape on VIBE.com” Competition. Irie will premiere and host the winning mixtape all month long on one of the urban music scene’s most popular destinations, VIBE.com.  Having worked with Timberland and a host of other top names in the game, you know DJ Irie will put it down!

Straight out of the Brownsville Brooklyn underground, Rox aka Mr. Young Richie Rich stood out for the folks at VIBE from the get go.  So it’s no surprise why he was selected as the winner of the Have DJ Irie Host Your Mixtape on VIBE.com Competition.  His unique sound and explosive energy can be felt through each line he emphatically spits on his winning track, Intro/Walken on Water.   Music has always been the driving source behind Rox aka Mr. Young Richie Rich and has kept him grounded through a life filled with seemingly neverending uncertainties.   It seems like one thing is for certain now, this will be a monumental year for the  up-and-coming, soon to be 23-year-old.

Take a listen to his winning track below:

THE DEATH OF PRINT?

Cover of Vibe, May 2009

Cover of Vibe, May 2009

On June 30, 2009 Vibe Magazine”considered to be one of the big three among hip-hop magazines” announced they were halting the publication of their magazine effective immediately. Although a shock to most, later reports indicated that Vibe will continue on as a company and publication much like Blender, with its focus on web content. Earlier this year, Paste magazine was just one of many publications who found themselves running into financial crisis. And while Paste narrowly avoided collapse, others have folded (Harp, No Depression, and Resonance being the biggest names in ’08 to stop publication). So does this mean it’s the end of the print era?

Certainly, there has been a surge of music websites and blogs streaming into popular media outlets. Just think of the places you get your music news and information from. The web, right? More and more people are turning to the Internet for their information, and music publications are the most recent victims in this new age media trend. There are Web destinations for hip-hoppers, metalheads, pop-fanatics, singer/songwriters and all other variations of music fans. It’s really no surprise then that both Rolling Stone and Spin are putting a majority of their content online in addition to print.  Some Web sites, like Pitchfork, are thriving because they see tens of thousands of users per day.  If you still love your print media, enjoy it while you still can because there is no telling how long your favorite publication will be around.