This past weekend Diddy held his Revolt Music Conference in Miami, FL. The Revolt Music Conference helps attendees “understand and navigate the evolution of the music business.” In the earlier years of Hip Hop Culture there were similar events such as the Jack the Rapper Convention. These types of events, conferences, and conventions are all designed to teach people how to navigate the waters of the Rap music industry. These events are not geared towards those trying to break into the industry as a performer but how to break into the industry as a professional writer, executive, owner, and how to navigate social media. Granted in the early years of Hip Hop social media wasn’t what it is today so the topics and forums on that subject would have to wait. All in all these types of events show young professionals how they can use their educational background in conjunction with Hip Hop Culture.
Our community has been historically left to become entrepreneurs as we still do not have access to equal employment opportunities. So for us to seek employment within our own industry is a great way to get the Rap music industry back on track. Getting true Hip Hop heads in positions of power and making decisions that affect our culture and lifestyle is just the start. There has never been a general pathway to make it into the music industry whether it is as an artist or as an executive. You can’t go to school and major in Music Business Management and get that entry level job at Columbia Records after graduation. Just like most college majors you have to intern and hope that it turns into a job offer but it won’t be for the desired salary. In the music industry there’s no better teacher than experience and like most jobs they look for the experience before they hire someone but you can’t get the experience without the job. Two sides of the same coin.
This is why we need conferences like the RMC so that we can get the knowledge directly from those who are excelling in the field. We may have to craft our own niche along the way but it would be well worth it. Do you think Elliott Wilson gets up and hates going to work every day? Do you want to give your life to a company that doesn’t invest in you? That’s no way to live but that’s how young Americans have been taught. Go to school, get a job that pays retirement, and work yourself to death for that company all so you can enjoy the last ten to fifteen years of your life. That’s no life to lead. I had to pencil in particular events for 2016 to ensure that I plan ahead for these professional Hip Hop events. There is little to help us in this area but you have people like Shanti Das who wrote The Hip Hop Professional 2.0 for women in the industry and other events like Tech808 which is “one of the most anticipated conferences of the year because of its unique pairing of Hip Hop and Entrepreneurship.” We have to spread the word about these professional conferences because the Rap & Hip Hop is more than backstage access and dope interviews. It takes a level of professionalism and some Hip Hop knowledge to be successful in this arena.