Where you can find Cyrus A. Webb
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Recording artist/author Jacki-O releases excerpts from RELENTLESS
As national recording artist/author Jacki-O prepares to host events in Mississippi as part of the Hip Hop and Books literacy campaign during the month of April 2010, she is also excited to be sharing her story with others in anticipation of the release of her autobiography RELENTLESS.
Fans of her music and even her novel GROWN & GANGSTA will surely enjoy this in-depth look at her personal life and in the music world: the drama, sex scandals, beefs, extortion rumors and her take on the music business as a whole from the female artist perspective. RELENTLESS will take you into it all.
And now, here are excerpts from the forthcoming book RELENTLESS:
My life as an entertainer and individual has changed so much over the past five or so years. I feel less trusting of people because of what I have had to deal with. One of the biggest lessons I have had to learn is that it's difficult to do business with people if you have an emotional attachment to them: friends and family are the worst people to work with. They never seem to work as hard or be as loyal. It's hard to get into business with some people, period.
I've become emotionally torn in many ways. There are many lessons that have to be learned, and some of them I have had to learn the hard way. If you are going to make it in this business, you have to learn not to wear your heart on your sleeve. It's just that simple. If you let it, it will tear you apart. Believe me, this business can make you or break you if you're not careful.
Financially you hate to look at what you have to spend to get noticed,but it takes money to attract money and to look like money and attract money you gotta be willing to spend. See its different when you look at it from an artist's perspective.You just wanna spend and ball-outta control.There was no limit to the things i bought.From eighty thousand dollar Mercedes Benzes to ninety five hundred dollar Birkin bags. Its the the high you get when wealthy people look at you. They look at you different when you go into expensive restaurants and high end boutiques. You feel accepted and they feel less threatened.It feels like a sense of accomplishment and success. Success felt good. But when you are business woman you have to be smart... think of things. Know what's important and whats not.You don't get many opportunities twice, so you have to make wiser decisions and do what you can to stay out there.
As I tell you my story, I want you to know that I am as strong as I portray to be. Sometimes you fall down,dust yourself off and get back up. Depending on the person, some people stay down and lay down, I'm not the latter. People will try to keep you down in fear of you passing them in this rat-race. Because of who they think you are and what they think you have,they will use you and eat off of you until there is nothing left on the bone. A lot of things try to penetrate me,and a lot of it does, that's only because i am not a robot.I am a real person with real feelings.You just cant let them know it. At no point can you be derailed from your dreams, you can't allow people inside your emotional zone.Once i realized that people fed off my emotions, i stopped letting them in. That helped and it hurt because now the wall i had built to keep out the pain also kept out the joy.
BEING A FEMALE IN THE BUSINESS
Record companies want to spend as less as possible unless you have a strong following. And when i say strong, i mean Lady Gaga strong.Female artists have to be just as good as the boys in the game, if not better. Nowadays things are digital, so you have to make sure to stay relevant, or you're going to miss out. I put albums out on the Internet and make sure I keep the streets supplied with my music. In entertainment, people want to follow a chick that's fly. They don't care how bad she can spit. They want to see you looking good. That puts a lot of pressure on an artist, especially when the label wont do things for you not knowing if they will be able to recoup the money thats being spent.When money got tight with music,Thank GOD i kept my hustle.
Guys will come on to you in hopes of putting another notch on their belt.Ive entertained a few,but they were almost identical with the last.I wish i had a love story to tell you about how some guy in this business said all the right things and how much i was in love with another artist, but sorry i cant. In fact the guys that i did have personal interest with either were clones of other artists or were too full of themselves to keep me interested.So I always try to keep it business but somehow it always seems to turn into something else. Take this situation for example,really popular platinum selling rapper that has made a name for himself in the business who non apologetically often raps about drugs,asked for my number from my body guard.Me seeing this as a way to possibly get on a few songs and work with him, i agree to have my body guard give it to him. After what seemed to be a few innocent conversations about the industry, he then agreed to meet with me to listen to my music.I must admit,i was a bit excited. Not groupie excited, but really anxious.This could be a break for me.I was smart enough to not to meet him alone because in this business you just never know.So i took along a few people that was on my team including my body guard.He had a show in a small city about 2 1/2 hours away from Miami ,and 2 1/2 hours was nowhere to drive, especially to meet with a fellow artist that could possibly put me back on.When we got there, at his request, we met at his hotel. Since his entourage was large he had several rooms and it took a minute to find out which room he was actually in. When he did come out he seemed nervous and irritated so i decided to get straight to the point before i missed my opportunity to chop it up with him about my music.He knew my story or at least he thought he did, and started talking briefly about the whole Poe Boy mess i had been in, and because i didn't want to have him focus on the negative i decided now was the time to pull out my mp3's of my latest project.That's when things took a turn.I had been misled. He never wanted to hear any of my music, but i should have figured that out when he asked my body guard to stay outside the room.He had led me there for one purpose and one purpose only.SEX...
Not everyone that is trying to be around you is there to really help you.Some to share the shine and some just want to see what they can get from you. Take me for instance.I wanted to put out an album independently for my fans,just to let them know I was still here. I have been putting out mix-tapes since I left TVT/Poe Boy Ent
Because I have so much music, I wanted to make sure that I was getting the most out of it. A lot of it, I was just giving away on the streets for free. There were some who said I was crazy for putting all that music out there. I had someone approach me saying they wanted to offer me an independent deal. The deal was only for a 1 album mixtape,in which he would distribute it,but what I needed was an major album budget to get back out there.
This guy lets just call him (D.W.) had a long list of things he said he could do: promoting, getting me on the radio... None of it happened and things got nasty.I mean the only thing he kept his word on, was paying me all of the 12,000 dollars we agreed on for the mixtape.I did get that however, my first mind told me something wasn't right.He initially said we would do it as a mixtape and we did paperwork on it for a mixtape. However after he saw the amount of press i started getting from the mix-tape he started to promote it as an album..Red flags went up, before we could go back and redo our mixtape deal he started putting out the album without my knowledge. It was embarrassing for me, because I know what it takes to be successful. An artist needs proper promotion, good music and a strong team.. I had to find out from someone else that my mixtape was now being called an album and it was out on the Internet in stores and being sold!
The whole business with the guy was messed up. I never got a letter of direction saying how I wanted my money to come to me and not him. He had really sold me on this big idea of what he could do for me and the music, but in the end it was more trouble for me than anything else. Because he had done such sloppy work,the mixtape/album flopped! In the end, I was alone again trying to make things happen.I must say, i was kinda glad i had given him pre-released mixtape music. After all, isn't that what he first said we were doing?
By me doing other things like attending to my personal life and not having the help I needed, some things suffered.Websites,office duties and simple things like calling djs to ask for support,all started going bad. I decided somebody is going to hear my music one way or another. The majors weren't dealing with me, and some of the minors weren't paying me any attention because of my last situation.
I had to put in a lot of work all by myself: doing interviews, booking shows and promoting. I had bought a couple of promotional vans and had them wrapped, and it was time to hit the pavement. It wasn't the way I wanted to come back out, but I had to do what I had to do. .I work hard and everybody knows it. What bothers me is when people in the industry say all these good things about me and my music, but at the end of the day it is the "every man for himself" mentality. Alot are intimidated by a strong, talented female rapper, and because of that we suffer a lot as women in the business.
Look for RELENTLESS to be released later in 2010. For interviews,more information about the book, Jacki-o's involvment with literacy and other projects, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.