For those who aren’t privy to the knowledge of who Be’n Original is, would you please introduce yourself to get everyone up to speed? I am an entertainment industry insider who has been blessed with several talents and most importantly opportunities to assist other talented people in showcasing their skills to the masses. In accomplishing this, I have experience on many facets of the business including being a poet, producer, promoter, journalist and publisher. My past endeavors have given me great insight to maximize business opportunities for my clients and companies. I have negotiated licensing deals with American Greetings Interactive and Def Jam as well as overseen the successful debut of Michele Fletcher’s Essence Magazine best-selling novel, Charge It to the Game.
How much more work is it running an operating urban world magazine, compare to being a writer for The Source? It’s a totally different level of responsibility. As a writer, you are only responsible for your contribution, but as a publisher you have to oversee and manage every aspect of the company from editorial to advertising. Most people completely underestimate the work required to even embark on a project of this scale especially when you’re the owner and you’re taking the honest route which is the only route for me. No dirty money over here.
In all the years that you’ve been involved with media on and offline; What would you say has been the most drastic change in your medium, both for progress sake as well as the opposite? I believe that the most drastic change has been quality control. There are very influential people selling cakes full of B.S. because the masses are sometimes reluctant to look pass the icing. While this is definitive marketing at its best, sometimes it comes at a cost of authenticity. When you see talented artists like Sun N.Y., Cannibus , Geo-Roc or El Gant go hard and not get the credit they deserve, yet someone who is lyrically challenged like SouljaBoy is selling over 700,000 units, we have to check ourselves.
What are you listening to these days? American Gangster is my favorite right now. Jay-Z is a master of giving introspective lyricism. While you may not always agree with the message, his music has a soulful integrity and honesty that makes you feel where he’s coming from. He did an excellent job capturing Frank Lucas’ American Gangster storyline. Watch the movie and listen to the album, it’s phenomenal. I really dig honesty.
How long have you been snapping photos and manipulating graphics? Who or what have been you strongest influences in this field of art? I started in the late eighties during my teenage years. I look to capture moments of time in images. Images that have profound depth and can speak in volumes at a glance. I learned from a great deal from T.C. “Rezones” Weaver. He’s been my most influential mentor. I also learned the basics from Jean Claude Olivier “Poke of Trackmasterz” in high school.
Where do you think then new wave of music namely ‘Hiphop’ is headed, sound and content wise? It’s going to continue to open up and reflect the differences of the people who make it. Advances in technology have opened a lot of doors for people to take their unique grasp on hip hop to the masses. We may not always like what’s being marketed, but if you really look, the quality music is just a few clicks away.