4 performances, wow!
Posted on January 20th, 2016 by Taylor Karras
I myself would never have thought it would happen but I got a show with Brett As Is, I got a slow with Big Rob, I got a show with AK on the beat and I may have a show in Anaheim. While I may not have an album release party; I’m hoping I can turn in good performances to promote that album.
I know, I’m going to get slaughtered by Kanye but this is a good album and I’m not letting the work I put into it be deterred. While I would of liked to go on tour; I feel these performances will help spread my fan base to the point where I do have enough money to tour. I don’t know if the person I want to tour with is available but seriously. I want to do a tour.
I really hope the people turn out for the act I’m going to be putting on, even if it’s for fifteen minutes. I’m not going to let anybody down for this is my heart, this is my soul. I’m going to record them and put them on YouTube as always but expect less of my open mic recordings. I’m getting to the point where I feel confident about my own act.
Here’s to the 4 acts I booked and here’s to many more. I really hope I sell them CDs though.
Cheers!| No Comments »
I’m becoming more positive.
Posted on January 18th, 2016 by Taylor Karras
Most recently I got a comment that my blog was a cesspool of negativity. I did some re-reading of my blog and I came to the conclusion that I am too much a worry wort and include a lot of downbeat negativity in my blog posts. I also realized that nobody wants to read what is essentially the emo version of my life.
So I’m going to be more positive. Which means expect less of the complaining.
For one, I’m finally getting bookings and thanks to Big Rob the Champ and Brett Miller for giving me the opportunity to perform; secondly, I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can belong and fit in; I was never meant to be a geek or nerd but I am a hardcore hip-hopper and I’m just glad I’m finally fitting into something. Thirdly, I feel like I’m finally putting out work that I’m proud of. 7-4-2020 being an example of that.
I had good runs being a geek/nerd but ultimately that never worked out fully in the longrun. I’m just too aggressive and out there to ever fully conform and with a reason to put out a good music, I don’t feel like being a geek/nerd anymore.
If you want to read the more personal stuff, please subscribe to the newsletter (which you can get to by clicking on the “Fan Club” link.). If you really like the negative/personal stuff then you should get it exclusively. Nobody else should suffer my negativity except my fans and you can help grow that fanbase by joining the fan club. Really makes me smile to know I have fans.
Anyways, I’m working on the next album right now and I’m hoping I can get it released 2-3 months from now. I also hope I can pay off my debt, being an artist is expensive; I just payed $500 for 100 copies of professionally produced CD’s. Here’s to hoping I can make it and make my money back.
Cheers!| No Comments »
Making it is a hustle
Posted on January 13th, 2016 by Taylor Karras
The music industry is one of the hardest industries to work with. You have to make the best possible product, appeal to the most possible people, connect with the people and somehow get your face out there. The hip-hop industry is even harder; with the entry level low you’ve got cats who are making lots of product and releasing them at cutrate speeds. I’m the person with no mixtapes and few non-album singles and a person like me is at a severe disadvantage despite having 4 albums out.
For one you have to get the singles out in a timely matter and without a convincing bio and content that just churns out like butter, people don’t pay attention to you no matter how good your content is. They want the stuff that’s hot, that’s going to get their name out there; theoretically they should be for the good stuff but popularity is worth more than quality and since there are a ton of hip-hop blogs out there; I’m forced to suffer through the 10 emails an hour limit that my host instills upon me which sucks since my previous host allowed me to send unlimited emails. Even then, there are billions of cats out there who are doing the same stuff as me, hustling the same as me. I don’t have enough of a convincing hook for these people to grasp onto.
Another is that you have to get your name out and it’s a constant drain of money to advertise the album on Twitter and Facebook and Google. I’m spending a total of $200 per week in order to ensure that I have a lasting chance against albums that are bigger than me and I could be saving up that money for a car. I may live in a double story house but I am very limited in terms of how much money I have, it would be much easier if I were rich but it wouldn’t be as rewarding and challenging. Since I’m spending that much money I’m taking out money from PayPal and my credit cards therefore placing me further in debt. Worst part, the impressions I get aren’t even much and I’m guessing of the 300 people who clicked on that link, none of them are actually going to buy the album.
If you want to get booked, that’s another story. You have to be on top of bookers at all available times and I don’t have time to attend every single event that they do. I would love to perform at one of Big Rob’s shows or one of Mono TheAdvent’s; I would even love to perform at an AK on the Beat show since I’m from the OC and would love to contribute to their scene but again, I can’t keep up with everything. I have no car, all I have is public transportation and a couple of dollars. Cellphones are supposed to make the thing easier but they barely pick up the phone; I’m calling at appropriate times during the day and well, it’s all about persistence. But there is a thing as being too persistent.
There is a silver lining though. I’m constantly working on my act, working on how to promote myself because in the hip-hopless city of Eastvale. It’s ludicrously tough, you have to rely on the internet to get your word out and with tons of free time, I’m figuring out how my body works, what moves I should make. I’m still super stiff and can’t even perform SXSW because I’d embarrass myself on stage but I’m finding ways to get loose, I’m also finding ways to memorize the songs that I have written/freestyled. I really hope I can go on a California tour soon across the state because I need a way to get the word out and promote my fellow artists in the LA/IE/OC but that costs money.
Still, Brett Miller (As Is) came through for me and I got myself a free performance on the 31st which I’m working hard on. I really want to wow the crowd, I really want to define this new era of me and advance my career as I spent too many time on pointless chatrooms/communities especially of the geek kind. I’m hoping that I can parlay this into something special because if I fail then what can I do with my life, I burned too many bridges damnit!
Words of advice. I’d say keep on hustling, keep on getting bookings, make your own radar for performances and try to understand the scene because the scene will help you out in times of need. The scene has been supportive of me and I’m supportive of the scene. In fact even if I don’t make it super big, I have people who appreciate me for the work I’ve done and the ethics that I have. People may say that I’m untrustworthy and full of bullshit, those are just lies perpetrated because they’re stupid. I have showed professionalism, I have showed a willingness to do things, I have showed that I can hold my end of the bargin and thankfully the scene understands that. People can’t kick their way in, they have to earn their way in and earning my way in is what I aim to do.| No Comments »
Things are different (or going to be different).
Posted on December 24th, 2015 by Taylor Karras
Hi. Been a long time but I’m writing a post and man, things are different. Got myself a medical marijuana recommendation, been smoking the stuff and man; have I discovered how good music is. Underneath the underlying tones lies an experience no man could possibly comprehend… There’s just a certain harmony and a certain feeling that you get that you can’t get anywhere else; I don’t know what the best music for it is, there’s feelings to each music; some negative, some agressive, some that’s mellow, some that’s groovy but listening to post-disco while high (especially Change and Chic) really makes for some wonderful listening experiences. I was wrong to say that “weed is a lie” because my world is so much clearer, I can dismiss obsessions with a wink of an eye, I can finally let go of things that don’t matter and I finally gained a sense of what’s really important.
I don’t know if I can fully let go of things but man, feeling isolated never felt so great.
I also found the inspiration to remaster my first album because on weed, it sounded so flat and so dimensionless. Those samples have soul too and I aimed to bring it out by making the stereo image wider, making the highs higher and converting everything to 48khz/24-bit. My description for this mix is to give it definition; the original intention was to make a record that sounded like it was recorded in the 60’s. Only hip-hop heads would get what I was trying to go for and well, not even those people would fully appreciate it; it’s more of a more higher-frequency defined mix with definition on the mid ends and booms on the lower ends, simply put; it’s a mainstream mix.
I don’t know how to give this away or sell it though. If I do it through Bandcamp then it’s just going to give people the ability to listen to compressed MP3’s which people will download instead of FLAC/AIFF/WAV and that’s undesirable. This has to be listened on a good audio system; especially the instrumentals. Don’t listen to the vocals though because I don’t think the vocals are any good, listening back on them now; they sound tinny and undefined and garbeled (not in terms of audio quality, but in terms of my lyrics). I understand some people like the lyrics but I was in a confused time where I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do. I was under the false belief from false gods who claimed they were almighty.
I forgive everyone on the 3rd verse of “Naming Names”; I’m sorry I put you through that, you deserve better.
I could redo the lyrics once again but I don’t think anything is going to save the vocal part of that album; the instrumentals however are worth listening to which is why I’m trying to find a way to sell this stuff to the hi-fi audio masses. I’m also looking to remaster other albums and make an alternate mix for those who just want to listen to the music.
I’m thinking of calling these recordings the “248 Series” and will only be avaliable from hi-fi sites with an option to purchase an audio DVD containing both the album and the instrumentals themselves…
I know my music isn’t good enough; may not still be good enough but I think I reached a point in time where I can remaster these and make them sound better to those people who want it to sound better. I don’t know if I can make my lyrics any better but as someone said, I’m amazing with production work; have potential in that.
Also I finally have enough money to promote the albums I want to promote. I’ve been saving up and starting on 01/02/16. You’ll finally be able to preorder “7-4-2020”. Usually I had to push albums with no promotion and on a date way after the release date. No more, I want to provide the Taylor Karras experience to you in the best possible form; even though nobody may like it, I’m just starting out. I don’t know what I really want to do after this is all done but I feel more like a rapper than ever before. Screw being a geek, hip-hop culture is where it’s at.
Till next time.
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I have bipolar disorder.
Posted on November 10th, 2015 by Taylor Karras
It’s no secret I have burned many bridges; some of them reasonably, some of them unreasonably… Well, I discovered from my doctor that I have bipolar disorder and well; I don’t know how to take it. Much of my behavior has been because of this thing that I didn’t even know I had. It’s sort of like one King of the Hill episode except my ups and downs often last for months on end, plus I have odd reactions to many medications due to the autism… About that, my autism is only mild apparently and I don’t know… I feel something now for the severely autistic people who can’t even speak properly, do basic things and/or have unstable behavior conditions. Those people really need the cure; for me, it just feels like I’ve been skirting the world of disability for years.
I’ve gotten free bus passes (which have been helpful), cut the lines at rides when I was a kid and well… gotten special treatment. I don’t know if any of that was warranted but there was a reason I felt uncomfortable around other autistics; cause I wasn’t really one of them. I just felt like I was in a different universe and it felt very distant and twisted; I’m not even on the wavelength of these people, all I do is somewhat stem and get into imaginative situations in my head.
I do not know what to do to cure this bipolar disorder but I do know one thing… I am rethinking my decisions and my future decisions because well; they’re probably incorrect. I am socially awkward but only because I did not gain the experience from the people, all I lead was an isolated life doing dumb shit on the internet; real life would of been a better outlet mainly because the consequences are more heavier and realistic. All you really get on the internet is a banishment which doesn’t really reflect on real life. Sure, people on the internet see you like you’re some sort of menace but you don’t really learn anything on the internet if you get into communities. All you get is pointless in-jokes and different communication structures that don’t even apply in real life.
I can’t even think of stuff to say in real life because I simply don’t have the experience. I have internet experience but as I realize, that is pointless and stupid. People who focus on animated kids shows and form communities around that. People who focus on internet as a culture; that has no bearing in the real world despite almost everybody using the internet at this point. I was one of those people but then I realize it’s not worth it to focus on something that was clearly dead and was not going anywhere and had no opportunities. I was mocked for it, rightly deserved. I still think it’s good and it might be good to talk about it but hey, nobody else was talking about it and nobody knew what it was so there it went. I don’t even live that lifestyle anymore.
Anyways, I’m going to always be in the position where I do something stupid like call somebody’s parents just to act on some decision that wasn’t even right. I don’t know if what I did was right mainly because other people’s reactions make me think otherwise but there’s something I’m missing in the bigger picture. There’s a revenge-Wikipedia article around saying that I’m some retard who runs in front of cars and shouldn’t rap because I’m white; it may of happened but you do realize the speed of a car and the impact it could have if it hits you. I realize the danger of strangers, the dangers of unfamiliar environments and the dangers of jaywalking. Why do people do it, because it’s convenient but I don’t see those people being critiqued; only me because I have a mental disability.
One thing’s for sure. I don’t know if I’ll be ever to cure this bipolar disorder. There’ll be times when I’m sad and there’ll be times when I’m happy and there’ll be times when I’m paranoid; only thing to do is make music, haven’t even been on an online forum in like; months mainly because I’ll mess it up again. Still, is it me or is it the other people that need to change… I’m asking this because there are people who take advantage of me, again I don’t have the social skills or the experience needed and well, it’s a massive hindrance. I really need to be less shy and more engaging…
I also need to be less of a slacker. I am one of those people who claim to know something only to know nothing; I’m like the 8 year old who hates homework because it’s hard or the 20 year old who feels contempt with his life but could do much more but doesn’t because it’s hard. Planning is hard and doesn’t always work right. Getting a job with no experience is hard. Everything is hard. Life is like a movie, you’re just subservient to the plot and there’s nothing you can do about it; everybody has their place and you’re destined to find it unexpectedly. I may not be huge in hip-hop nor freestyle exceptionally or do more stuff with my hands but hey, I’m destined to be a micro-celebrity.
As for the pills, I don’t know if any of them will work; the Abilify I’m taking doesn’t work much and again, it’s an up and down that’s unexpected and my body chemistry ain’t really all that. I really hope to not let you down and not to have a past that’s regrettable and stupid on the internet cause this bipolar disorder is definitely going to get in the way.| 1 Comment »
How to make it despite the lack of presence…
Posted on October 22nd, 2015 by Taylor Karras
Well at least that’s what I ask myself…, I have not made any effort in getting good photos of my concerts or having people record me perform. In fact I only have two videos of me during open mic and that one place is where people know me all the time. I don’t deny it, I have considerable talent; I may not be consistent or perfect (as evident by my mistakes) and I might of spent too much time on pointless things but hey, at least I’m still young.
I’m disenchanted by websites that have to make me pay in order to play (I’m talking to you multiple blogs) and I’m disenchanted by the services offered for musicians. Google is supposed to be the source to help you yet when you put in “inland empire hip-hop”, all you get is JooseBox.com which seems to be the only source out there for IE hip-hop. I can’t find a local Hit-Boy concert nor anything that isn’t an underground hip-hop event. I’ve read that people used to connect on the street and sell CD’s on the streets. That’s how the artists met each other… It’s very hard to connect when the music in the scene is traditional music and high schools are pristine and rich. If you take one look on the street, I guarantee you will not find a rapper walking out trying to promote his music.
The Herbalistics, Brett As Is & JooseBox are the only websites/group promoting IE hip-hop through events and postings; I’ve been to a couple of concerts yet I can’t find out who’s beneficial or who’s basing their fanbase off of The Herbalistics or Brett As Is. If IE hip-hop is about jumping on the bandwagon of someone recognizable then it’s no wonder there’s few IE rappers. I don’t know about the OC rap scene; I consider much of OC my stomping grounds since I grew up there and still want to promote/create the scene of the Orange County rap scene no matter how isolated it may appear.
Which brings me to this point. It appears in order to get booked you have to have some sort of manager (because doing it yourself without any experience is hard; may take a music business class.) and even those are hard to find, you have to pay $175/year in order to find the perfect manager who may not help you at all. I mean face it, if you pay money on Fiverr for song promotion and then have the songs posted on a few sites then you’ve wasted your money; in fact the only thing that may make sense is GigSalad because that can gain you performing experience which basically amounts to your resume.
In a few words or less: everybody seems to care about their companies bottom line then the artists.
So what do I do? Well I produce, I used to have deals where I gave people comparable professional music for $5 but nobody bit, neither did people bite for the $5 raps. So I have a large category of 10 albums (soon to be 12) from which I can curate songs in case I gain a fanbase/go on tour/become famous. Since the events are far and few inbetween, the only thing for me to do is to read websites (mostly gossip and entertainment news), produce albums, lay down my raps, learn how to promote my albums for a minimal amount of money and hope I can find a way to do events for the OC rap scene.
That’s all I can do.
With the internet, it’s numerous and without the backdrops you need. All you can do is photo manipulate, video manipulate, make things to the best of your ability and hope things work out. At least that’s what the surface is; there are so many people that I’m lucky to reach 100 song listens for my serious work.
So my advice to you, keep producing… You’ll never know when you need the reserve; at least that’s how I make it.| No Comments »
My website Two-point-O.
Posted on October 16th, 2015 by Taylor Karras
Well… This is like the 3rd time I relaunched this website; coming off the feat of a failed podcasting network and several burned bridges it’s been tough but well, I need a web presence and this is it. It may be the home for long form blog posts and behind-the-scenes content; I admit, this rap stuff is hard but I’m trying very hard to find a way to make this work.
This website only contains the relevant info; where to follow me, where to get the music and where to contact me; there may be more along the way but I don’t know if I truly need more than just a WordPress blog; we’re reaching a point where everything can be done without the need of a single website and it should make things easier but it doesn’t… In fact it’s the same as it’s always been.
I realize the Inland Empire is not the best place for hip-hop since there are many hip-hop heads, fans and artists but I’m trying to make it work from where I’m located. If anybody’s from the IE who knows what’s going on, hit me up.| No Comments »