Day 2: The Future Producers of Hip-Hop Battle It Out

Live From One Stop Shop Music Producers Conference Phoenix, Arizona, Day 2 (May 9th… 1am overlooking Phoenix city lights from a Jetblue red-eye to NYC)

Hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day! Day 2 technically starts at 12:00am from yesterday so I will pick it up from there. We found ourselves at Club PHX with Sha Money and many of the talented producers and artists who attended One Stop Shop. I have to admit, I had no idea that Phoenix was such an after-hours kind of town. The club was packed and as always when hanging with a bunch of musicians after midnight, the conversations flowed candidly about gear, projects and the state of the music industry.  Everyone I spoke with agreed that no matter how much turmoil the music industry is facing, it’s an amazing time for musicians who want to take control of their own music (and future) by empowering themselves with tools such as Cakewalk. As you will read later, this proved to be true from the OSS Beat Battle.

My wakeup call rang early. Seth Perlstein and I caffeinated up and prepared for what was to going to be a very busy day. The second day of the “V-100 Challenge” brought new talent early and with fury as MC’s jumped on the Cakewalk mic like it was nothing. I was amazed with some of these cats when I asked them if they wanted to hear the beat first…  or warm up… or something…  nope – these dudes would just step up to the mic and throw lyrics like they had been there all night practicing. Today we had some MC’s representing Boston, Phoenix, Florida, Dallas, Queens, Brooklyn and even Mississippi.  I’m glad I’m not the one deciding on who is walking away with SONAR 8 Producer. Thanks to all the cats that participated and please check Youtube this week for a V-100 video montage.

In between the action of the rap battles, we were pretty psyched to connect with some great producers in the game who stopped by to say hello and get a 1 on 1 taste of the new V-700, that is creating quite a buzz in the Hip Hop world. Neither Seth nor I had ever met Pete Rock and it was a pleasure to connect with him as well as Don Cannon, Just Blaze and Drumma Boy.  Throughout the day there were some pretty heavy panels going on as well.  Sway moderated a panel I caught in the afternoon with RZA, Just Blaze, Pete Rock, Steve Lobel, and many other pioneers in the game.  It was interesting to hear these guys comment on modern production and the state of the music industry.

Later on in the afternoon, we were approached by Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Arif Gursel, along with Sha Money who offered us an opportunity to demonstrate the V-700 right before dinner in front of all the conference goers.  It was a bit of work breaking down our booth and setting back up on stage but it was well worth it.  Seth Perlstein took the stage and did a great job going through some of the main features of the controller, interface, phantom synth and also fielded some questions from the crowd.

In the evening, I interviewed Lee Bannon who has been using SONAR and Project 5 on his recent project with Talib Kweli. Then we checked out the finals of the beat battle and it was crystal clear to me that we are in the middle of a music revolution.  Basically, any undiscovered producer could submit beats for this competition and it was ridiculous how crazy-good the final four contestants were.  Some of these new age producers are really thinking outside the box, that is outside the box with how they are constructing the beats, and the sounds were very refreshing to say the least.

Thanks again to Sha Money and I definitely recommend this conference to any up and coming Hip Hop producer for two main reasons:

1) It’s a great place to easily network with some name brand guys because the vibe is “we’re all in this together”.

2) It’s a great place to get your work out there if you really have an amazing talent.

The Future of Hip-Hop At One Stop Shop

A big WHAT IS UP from Phoenix, AZ !!!

I have to say there’s a common thread of goodness here in Phoenix AZ this weekend; Sha Money (and staff), amazing weather, and great people all pooled together for one reason – the spirit and the state of Hip Hop and creating music.

My co-worker and Cakewalk Product Specialist Seth Perlstein and I rolled into town yesterday and we hit the ground running preparing our Cakewalk booth and demonstration area.  On a lighter note, we showed up at 7:30am and were well prepared for the day but there was one problem…  we failed to realize that we were on “Hip Hop time” and what was supposed to be a 10am start turned into a noon-time launch.  It’s all good? I utilized the time tapping into the wealth of SONAR knowledge that Seth has to offer.  That guy has more SONAR tricks than a magician has rabbits – thanks Seth!

What a great day we have had so far showing people the new V-Studio 100 as well as the V-Studio 700 and SONAR.  I’m getting a great response from artists who are digging the fact that you can throw the V-100 in your suitcase with a laptop and make a record when you land.

A few of our many friends and fans that have stopped by to say hello so far today include Che Vicious who is working on the new Dr. Dre record, Grammy winning producing team Play N Skillz, Q-tip, and Sha Money, but I think the show stealer was Che Vicious’s 6 year old son who logged about an hour of studio time with Seth, and then busted out a monstrous pose with the V-100 (I think we found a new spokesman).

On the plane ride into Phoenix I was thinking about ways to get people engaged with the new V-100.  So instead of just telling everyone how good the mic pre’s are I decided to trigger a way for them to hear it for themselves by having a weekend long contest called the “V-100 Challenge”.

Any willing, rap-battling street soldier can walk up to our booth and throw down a verse over a beat we created in SONAR.  When the weekend is over, we’ll (Cakewalk) take a listen back to all the tracks. The flow-fighter with the most convincing rap will have a shiny new copy of SONAR 8 Producer to make great music with.  So far, it’s been a blast and I think it’s going to be a tough decision.  We have heard some crazy talent step up to mic with representation from Hawaii all the way to Phili!

We were fortunate enough to get an invite to the conference party tonight at club PHX which should be a great time. A sincere Happy Mother’s Day to all from everyone at Cakewalk, and thanks for reading.

Jimmy Landry
Cakewalk Artist Relations

Money Management Group’s ‘One Stop Shop’ 2009

This year’s One Stop Shop Producers Conference in Phoenix, Arizona will be off the chain! Hosted by Money Management Group at the Hyatt Regency Hotel from May 9th – 10th, hundreds of hip-hop producers from around the world will be representing at workshops on music publishing, artist management, studio and sound equipment, production, and artist scouting.

If you’ve got skills, join in on an extensive two-day beat battle, where the contestant with the hottest beats receives surprise gifts, music placement, the latest technology, and more. Also, Cakewalk will be on hand laying down tracks and dropping beats with the SONAR V-Studio 700 & 100 music production systems. 

Founded by Sha “Money” XL in 2002, Money Management Group has boosted the careers of beat-makers and trend-setters worldwide including 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Hi-Tek, and Jake One. Every year, the group’s One Stop Shop Producer’s Conference pulls together 700+ artists and producers from around the world. 

What will it take to make it or break it in tomorrow’s hip-hop scene? Stop by the conference to find out.