Our best posts
- IllumiNOT-Me: 10 Ways Rappers Deny Being in the Illuminati
- Kanye West Is Not a Jackass
- From Art Basel to Art Yeezy: Kanye's "New Slaves" Projections as Contemporary Art
- Slap Genius: Hip Hop's Best Slaps
- Top 50 Songs of 2013 // January - June
- When Hip Hop Goes to Court: Rap Lawsuits and Music Law
- Why No One Has Killed Your Favorite Rapper
- Trap Geniuses: Why Selling Rap is like Selling Crack
- The Rapper's Flow Encyclopedia
- 100 Most Upvoted Annotations
- The Beastie Chronicles — I
- Verse to Verse: Arcade Fire
- Top 10 Television Theme Songs
- Verse to Verse: Jay-Z
- Verse to Verse: Kanye West
- Rap Genius Presents: The Top 100 Rap Songs of 2012
- Scarface: The Holy Bible of Rap Music
- Great Expectations: The RapGenius Guide to Rap Albums in 2013
- The Personification of Hip-Hop
- NEW VIDEO from the latest verified rapper on Rap Genius: 50 Cent
- NAS INTERVIEW: why Nas wants to explain his own lyrics on Rap Genius
- Showing Our Poetry Love
- Rappers Crying
- Life is Good's Future Impact
- GODFATHERS OF RAP GENIUS: Ben Horowitz Interviews Steve Stoute
- Rap Genius Explanation Competition
- The Top 5 People Rappers Reference
- RapGenius Ranks the First Half of 2012
- Hannibal Buress: First Comedian Verified on Rap Genius
- Bricks to Billboard, Grams to Grammys: Rap Genius' Top 25 Jay-Z Verses
- A$AP ROCKY INTERVIEW: Maboo v. Nardwuar
- RGU Lesson Two: Me and the Devil Blues
- RGU Lesson One: The Signifyin' Monkey
- What Does Trust Mean in the Rap Game?
- Who's this new Bada$$ kid???: A UK Perspective
- Bragging in Hip Hop
- Professor Rapper: 7 Uncommon Black History Facts as Told by Kendrick Lamar
- Rap Genius goes Inside the Lines with Mac Miller
- An Open Letter from Donald Glover
- Interview With B Horowitz: RG Verified Blogger
- Rap Genius Interviews B.o.B.
- Rap vs. Ronald Reagan
- Drake Says He's The First Person To Successfully Rap And Sing. Here's why he's wrong.
- Are the fans getting more ignorant?
- Rap Genius Nas interview PREVIEW
- Operation Free Earl
- Rap Genius of the Month: Big Ghostfase
- The Top 10 Mixtapes of 2011
- What to Expect from Rap Albums in 2012: The RapGenius Guide to Listening Safely in a Hype-Cycled Universe
- SUBJECT: Jones, Russel Tyrone
- 30 Rock: On Gunplay and 2Chainz
- Why There Will Never be a 'GOAT' in Hip-Hop: An Extensive Analysis
- Top 100 Rap Songs of 2011
- The Direction of Hip-Hop
- The Navy Seal Who Killed Osama bin Laden loves That "Red Nation" Track MTV Banned
- The Recent History Of Mixtape Trolling
- Machine Gun Kelly Inside the Lines
- Rappers' Obsession with Jewish Culture
- Stereo IQ's Top Albums of 2012
- Is The Rap Game Pretentious?
- R.A THE RUGGED MAN AND EMINEM: BEEF, OR NO BEEF?
- Is Pete Rock's Disappointment Justified?
- Five Tips For Unsigned Rappers
- Dear Shyne, Ask Yourself: 'What Is A Classic Album?' Ya Bish!
- My Philosophy on Socrates References in Rap
- You Can't Rap, But You Can Make A Song
- Rap Genius Political Appointees 2012
- "Six Minutes, Slim Shady, You're On"
- WTF is a Basquiat?
- Retrospect for Lu: One Year Later...
- "Triple Beam Dreams": A Reinvigoration of Tradition
- Rap Geniuses of the Month: Kembe X / Alex Wiley
- Black Star: Let's ALL Get Down!
- Freak Wit It - The Five Greatest Censored Versions of Hip Hop Songs
- Inside the Rappers Studio: A Witty Nicki Minaj?
- Top 10 Lines From Drake's "Take Care"
- Don’t Become a Rapper If: A Checklist
- All in the Name of P***Y: 7 Women Who Made Fresh Beef Into Poison Meat
- Fuck You; Pay Me (By Not Buying My Music)
- The Many Nicknames of Lil Wayne
- Can’t Wait To Be King: If J. Cole Really Were Simba
- Kill Whitey: Top 10 Corporate Greed Rap Lyrics
- Rappers: They're Just Like Us!
- Is it right to hate fame?
- Which Throne are You Watching?
- Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor: All the Lyrics Explained
- Introducing the Rap Map™ - your guide through the gangsta terrain of the planet
- 10 Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas For The Hip Hop/Music Lover
- Lupe Fiasco: The Proust of Rap
- Hella Based: The Many Faces of Lil B
- Liquid Swords: Rap Genius on the Rap Genius
- Tyler gets pizzunked
- Bad Meets Evil Hell: The Sequel Lyrics
- My Kingdom For A Platinum Football Field
- ALL of Tyler, The Creator's "Bastard" Explicado
- I Think I'm Turning Japanese: Rap's Infatuation With Benihana
- Eatbox: rappers eat pussy sometimes, too
- Common: "A Letter To The Law" Video Breakdown
- Tyler the Creator - Goblin
- MCA Keeps Rocking in the Afterlife
- Joey Bada$$ & Kendrick Lamar: This Generation’s Biggie & Pac? : A UK Perspective
- The Five Nastiest, Most Explicit Sex Scenes in Rap History
- Wale: The Antithesis of J. Cole
- THE HISTORY OF HIP HOP (as told by Rap Genius)
- Track-by-Track Guide to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- Wax: From YouTube To Def Jam
- Big Sean's "Finally Famous"
- That Shit Cray: Top Ten Meme Lines of the Year Thus Far
- Eminem's Infinite Explained
- Curren$y's Weekend At Burnie's Syncs With The Film
- The Many Nicknames of Tyler, the Creator
- Notes on "Ready To Die"
- Tyler, The Creator vs. Woody Allen
- Al Qaeda / Taliban rap paper plate awards: a discussion of Jihadi references in rap lyrics
- Rappers and the Alphabet: A Romance on the D.L.
- Interview With Jay-Z's Financial Biographer: Rap Genius Editor SnoopZoggyZogg
- Top 25 Rap Albums of 2011
- Curren$y "Covert Coup": All The Lyrics Explained
- "These n*ggas be mad -- that's why they stay hating" : Thoughts on V-Nasty
- "Don't Ask Me How": The Elusive TRIPLE Entendre in Hip-Hop
- Rage Against the Machine: Rap, Rock and Revolution
- Raponomics: Top Ten Foreign Currency References Of All Time
- Rap Genius Watch The Throne Cover
- Lil Wayne Carter 4 Cover
- ENTER THE WU: 36 Chambers
- Big Sean is Finally Famous...boiiiii
- Frank Ocean Nostalgia Ultra - all the lyrics explained
- An Intro to Break Beats
- 2011's Best Twitter Moments
- Rap Genius in the OED
- International Underground: Hip Hop as Global Rebel Music
- One Love. Elzhi's "Elmatic"
- Rap Genius LLP: A NEW Legal Service for the Rap Community
- Excerpt: They call me Jay Electronica
- Belief in Based God
- Gil Scott Heron - Father of Rap
- Bad Meets Sequel?
- Nas, Illmatic: All the lyrics to every song explained
- Dominic Strauss Khan & Ghostface
- On "Blue Slide Park": A Review of Moderate Proportions
- Rhyming Words with Themselves, sort of: Top Ten Homophone Rhymes of All Time
- "Tastes like Swag": Cooking with Lil B (Part1: Wonton Soup)
- M-m-m-maybach Music
- Interview: Vince Staples
- Lupe Fiasco's LASERS
- Wiz Khalifa: probably fucked your bitch
- RAP GENIUS EXCLUSIVE: Despot reveals a supergroup and gives his fans a SPECIAL MESSAGE!
- Tyler the Creator: Tron Cat
- Crooked I Decodes Crooked I
- XV Reasons Why XV's The Next Big Thing
- Hip-Hop's TECHNOlogic Revolution
- Nas interview PREVIEW
- Pass Through, Ghost-like: A Multi Before I Die Mixtape
- Kendrick Lamar - #Section.80
- Cadence & Flow -- A Study in MMG
- Jay-Z: "Rap Is Poetry"
- Donald Glover Interview: "What the fuck is a Childish Gambino?"
- Kanye in Paris
- Subliminal Satanic Messages in Jay-Z
- Most commonly misheard rap lines
- Adrien Brody Reciting 10 Crack Commandments
- Religion in Hip Hop: A RapGenius Overview
- We Found Earl!
- The Classic Yo! MTV Raps Returns, One Night Only!
- Kanye & Pharrell at Design in Miami: Breaking Down Understanding and Rap Genius
- A Modest Proposal: Why those white-bread, hella suburban rappers matter
- An Open Letter Regarding OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
- Thank You Bouillabased God
- Jay-Z vs. RapGenius.com: Who's Better at Decoding Jay-Z's Lyrics?
- All of the Lights: Seizure-tastic
- Eminem, Recovery: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained!
- Drake, Thank Me Later: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained
- Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song decoded
- Rappers: Suckered by Obama's Charm, Just Like the Rest of Us...
- Lil B "Charlie Sheen" music video breakdown
- "Yonkers" Video Breakdown
- "Well I Guess, This Is My Dissertation" - Notes on Graduation
- "Well I guess, this is my dissertation"- Graduation: Decoded
- Psychiatrist Advises Degenerate Geniuses to "Check Your Head"
- Pusha's "Fear of God" Mixtape: Don't Be Scurred
- Hip-hop Superbowl: Black and Yellow vs Green and Yellow
- RIP Biggie Smalls (the Rap Genius)
- ALL the lyrics to Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" Explained
- "Empire State of Mind" video breakdown
- Fabolous SOUL Tape
- Dre - Is Detox coming?
- Fabolous "I'm Raw": A Close Reading
- Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said" Music Video
- Virginia's Finest: Intalek Interview
- Hell: The Sequel
- RIP Macho Mane - Wrestler, Rapper, Baller
- Jay-Z on Biting Biggie's Rhymes
- Woman's work: transporting drugs for rappers
- Congressman Tweets Dickpic: Inspired by Kanye? Or Mannie Fresh? Who knows?
- Osama Got Popped..
- Lil Wayne Explains Lil Wayne
- "Don't Wanna Go Home" lyrics – Jason DeRulo
- Curren$y Interview With DDS
- I Love Hip-hop, But...Part I
- Interview with producer and OFWGKTA affiliate BrandenBeatBoy
- V-Nasty Saying The "N-Word"
- Cole Summer Saga Continues..
- RAP GENIUS EXCLUSIVE: Nicki Minaj's Titty
- Hip Hop & Islam: The Sacred Nexus
- Rap Genius on German MTV!
- Rap Genius of the Month: Don Trip
- DIY: Turning the RG shirt into an RG Lady-Tee
- StereoIQ Lines of the Week: July 30-August 7
- NEW MUSIC: "Hotel" by NRK (Nobody Really Knows)
- Watch The Throne (Snippets)
- Black Hippy Interview
- Cam'ron Threatens iTunes
- Lil Wayne and Birdman's Notorious K.I.S.S.
- Wiz Khalifa x Curren$y x Big Sean = STONER MIXTAPE OF THE CENTURY
- Artist in Residence: Black Cobain spits a fire freestyle
- Rap Genius Editor Teaches Kreayshawn Makeup Techniques
- INSIDE GAME: The Making of Martians vs Goblins
- Rap Genius of the Month: Touré
- Kreayshawn's Ballinest Fan? Drake
- A$AP FERGENSTEIN: on the origins of "A$AP"
- "Watch The Throne" Preview
- Ambition 2: BEHIND THE SCENES
- J Cole on How Jay-Z REALLY Feels About "Cole World: A Sideline Story"
- Big Sean Arrested
- MJ Faded Way: Perfect
- Nardwuar Interviews Casey Veggies
- Game's track-by-track breakdown of the Red Album
- Jetlifer SinnersRemorse Reviews Curren$y's Priest Andretti
- Rap Genius Reviews Dreams and Nightmares
- Frank Ocean on "Watch The Throne".. Good Move? Bad Move?
- Consequence's "Pusha T Diss"
- Top 10 Whistleblowers
- "Uncle Otis" lyrics – The Game
- Oh Mercy Me: New Music & An Artist to Watch
- Tyler The Creator Bonds With Tim Westwood
- What's Wrong With John Galliano?
- Jay-Z 101 at Georgetown University
- Young Dr. Dre on TV!
- Drake care...
- Lil B's "I'm Gay"
- "I'm On One Freestyle" lyrics – Chamillionaire
- Artist in Residence: Black Cobain says farewell
- "Trouble on My Mind" lyrics – Pusha T
- #Ambition (cover)
- Soulja Boy: The Movie (Trailer)
- Freddie Gibbs: Cold Day In Hell Cover
- BEEF: Fox News vs. Jon Stewart (& Common)
- J Cole Breaks Down His Album Title
- Watch The Based
- In the Zone: Jay-Z and Kanye West Live at Bank Atlantic Center
- EARL IS FREE!
- Birdman Forbes Interview
- MeLo-X = Sade + The Weeknd
- Young Jeezy's TM103: Hustlerz Ambition Review
- Odd Future in Germany
- "Oh My Remix" lyrics – DJ Drama
- "I'm On One" lyrics – Tyga
- The Bullitts X Jay Electronica MOOVIE
- Norwegian Mass Murderer Hates Hip-hop
- Lyrics to Tyga's Well Done 2 Mixtape
- Siri vs Biggie
- Drake Interview
- Lupe Fiasco (and Big Sean) - "Wait for Me"
- Bad Meets Evil on Fuse TV at Bonnaroo
- Hip Hop's Hero's Hubris?: RG Introduces Asaad
- MO Purp please! New music from Alex Wiley, Kembe X and Chance the Rapper
- IT'S OFFICIAL: Cyhi is an Otis Fan
- N***AWATCH 2011: V-Nasty Calls A Black Man "N***a" In A Fight
- Mac Miller "Blue Slide Park" Tracklist
- Q: what will be this year's MOST MEME Halloween costume?
- MMG loves lyrics just like RG
- Obama sings "Let's Stay Together"
- Interview - Indie Artist "b.a.sick"
- RUH ROH: Tyler the Creator Arrested (Again)
- "Her Room" by Teyana Taylor
- Lil Wayne: "Dear Anne" Lyrics Explicado..
- Eminem vs. Weezy: Who's the King of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics?
- Detox - July 26 Release Date?
- "Ronald Reagan Era" by Kendrick Lamar
- 2Pac on Intellectual Property
- NEW VIDEO: Lupe Fiasco's "Bitch Bad"
- RG RANCH SXSW RECAP (part 2)
- Wale Contest: Unlock the Meaning Behind The Gifted Lyrics and Win!
- "Loud Noises" by Bad Meets Evil
- "Tree" - Kid Cudi & Wiz Khalifa
- "Everywhere I Go" by 2Pac
- Introducing the Rap Genius Artist in Residence: The Black Cobain Experience
- "Marvins Room" by Drake
- 13 YEAR OLD KENDRICK LAMAR WISHES HE HAD RAP GENIUS
- TDE on Tour & Too funny
- Kendrick Lamar "Hiii Power" Music Video Breakdown
- "She Wanna Have My Baby" by The Game
- "Acura Integurl" by Frank Ocean
- Annals of the Rap Orientalist: Talk of Money in Rap
- Southern Boys Collide: Big KRIT & Yelawolf collaboration coming soon
- FREESTYLE BATTLE: Lupe Fiasco vs. Bill O'Reilly
- Rap Hoods - Hampton Roads, Virginia
- Big K.R.I.T. goes live from the underground and gets verified with RapGenius
- Lupe is a rap god but also human
- ras kass keeps it raw
- What is Wayne? The Artist Lives
- "Return Of Simba" by J. Cole
- New Freshness: Urbana Poppin' Champaign (UPC)
- Ab-Soul Drawing Contest on Rap Genius?!
- Monday Morning with the BRKF$T Club
- Rhyme Spotters: Twinkies
- RIP KING CAPITAL STEEZ
- "Dreams Money Can Buy" by Drake
- Artist in Residence: The Confessional, Day One
- Common talks LUV on Rap Genius - Live Ustream!
- first ever freestyled verified explanation (don't ask me how)
- Lupe Fiasco Exclusive world premiere: breaking down "bitch bad"
- Ras Kass Behind the Lines with Rap Genius
- Behind the Bars with RiFF RaFF, part 1
- Behind the Bars with Riff Raff, part 2 (prepare to be enlightened)
- Does Bruno Mars have a space in hip hop?
- Slaughterhouse tells RG what they really think about Black Hippy
- Odd Future Is The New Beatles
- Big K.R.I.T. booed at Highline Ballroom
- Lil Wayne Carter IV Release Date
- LUPE FIASCO EXCLUSIVE world premiere: Explore Lamborghini Angels
- LUPE IS HERE
- BIG BOI NOW VERIFIED ON RG!
- EXCLUSIVE Lyrics and More From Skyzoo's New *A Dream Deferred* -- UPDATED!!
- What Does Common Think About Rap Genius?
- Goblin L.A. Concert
- 2012 BET Cyphers Lyrics: Who spit fire?
- Tyler the Creator & Odd Future on Tim Westwood
- Tyler Arrested In L.A.
- Grand Theft Audio: The Music of San Andreas
- The Importance of Music Education
- Thurnis Haley: Really Into Golf
- big boi RG fan contest: are you big's rap genius?
- Celebrating Common: 20 years of verified explanations, pt. 1
- MEEK MILL EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: Maybach curtains
- Ne-Yo is Now verified!
- Dreadlocks. Rasta?
- Lupe Fiasco's Long-Awaited Lasers...Cover Art
- Prodigy's Book: The Anti-Decoded
- Blog fam Interview: AFH - Kendrick Lamar "GRIT"
- Celebrating Common: 20 years of verified explanations, pt. 2
- Hipster Girl Raps "Look At Me Now"
- Lil B album to be called "I'm Gay"
- big boi exclusive: new outkast next?
- Verified Artist Lushlife is hosting an RG COmpetition
- 420 NEWS: Kid Cudi quits quitting weed
- Carter IV Preview: Lil Wayne rolling with a cougar
- Tat My Name On You So I Know It's Real
- Joey Bada$$ new single "Unorthodox"
- ALL of the "All of the Lights"
- "Words I Never Said": Lupe Fiasco's Anthem for the Egyptian Revolution?
- Wiz & Amber sitting in a tree.. T - A - T - T - O - O - I -N -G
- Poll: What are the best "fuck songs" / "love songs" in rap music?
- RANCH RECAP: RG at SXSW part 1
- Lil Wayne on Roman's Revenge 2.0: Only One Verse?
- Wale Attention Deficit: DECODED
- Rap Genius x BET: Video Breakdown of Stalley's "Fountain of Youth"
- The Game R.E.D. Album Preview
- Rap Genius Interview: Adam Bradley, editor of the Yale Anthology of Rap
- Introducing RapMetrics™: The Birth of Statistical Analysis of Rap Lyrics
- The Top Ten Verses of 2011
- "Can't Knock The Hustle": How Jay-Z Came Up on Ace of Spades
- The Fine Art of the Name Drop: From Pac to R.A.
- "I Got More at Stake Than Philly": Reasonable Doubt decoded
- News Genius Lines of the Week, 05/03/2013
- Woman sleeps with Nas, Jay-Z, and Allen Iverson; reveals penis secrets
- Kush and Corinthians: Religious Contradictions in Hip Hop
- Jay-Z, Eminem, and "Renegade": Who Killed Whom?
- The Honors English Rap Genius Challenge - CONTEST RULES
- News Genius Quotes of the Week, 05/10/2013
- Lulu's son shine: What is Jay-Z talking about in "A Star is Born"?
- Skylar Grey x RG x Gigg "Final Warning" Verse Contest
- Rap Genius University: Rhyme Types
- RIP Big Pun
- Young and Beautiful: The Anomaly That is Lana Del Rey
- Roots, How I Got Over: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained!
- News Genius Quotes of the Week, 05/17/2013
- "Get it?" Why do rappers explain their own lines in the Age of Rap Genius?
- Either Kanye and Ghostface both sleep head to toe with their respective cousins, or Kanye is biting
- The 5 degrees of decadence in "Fashion Rap"
- The 7 Stages of Yeezus: From "Through the Wire" to "I Am a God"
- Was Slug the O.G. Drake?
- Why Kanye Chose No Album Artwork
- Honors English Lyrics Challenge Coming Soon - Sneak Peak
- Artist in Residence: Making of "The Recipe" freestyle w/ Black Cobain
- TV Night at Cam's
Has a day gone by without being assaulted by someone you sort-of-kind-of-maybe know on Facebook or Twitter hitting you with a “Check Out My Dope New Video/Song… Subscribe, RT and Support!” tweet? Chances are one hasn’t. God forbid you ever comment on a YouTube video, as the “HotFiyahSpitta Wants To Be Your Friend” and “BITCHIGOTBARS Sent You a Video” messages will certainly begin to inundate your inbox. We know why they do it: guerilla marketing, grass-roots campaigning, building a fan base, garnering a buzz, more cliche phrases etc. all in the hopes of getting signed off that ONE video that goes viral. However, what they are really doing is forcing their music on you, the listener. Their growth isn’t happening organically from word of mouth and genuine infatuation with their content. The latter strategy would be successfully utilized to procure a major label deal by Mike Jones … Who?… Mike Jones… Who? …Not that Mike Jones… the other Mike Jones: Wax. Read more of this YouTube pioneer’s story and what lessons unsigned artists today can learn from him.
Wax is arguably the original “YouTube Rapper.” One of the first artists consistently making videos and posting them for the world to love and critique. It all started on May 4, 2007 with this video: “WAX SPITS FURY YET AGAIN!!!!!!!!”
A pompadour-adorned Wax spits an intricate AAAB/CCCB/DDDE/FFFE rhyme scheme for the first few minutes before effortlessly transitioning into a (most likely) freestyle. 6 minutes of straight bars. Nothing groundbreaking about this other than proving the fact that he can, in fact, rap.
Wax would garner a bit of attention by posting his entry on November 3, 2007 for the VIBE Magazine “Verses Contest,” which Prince EA would go on to win.
However, heavy interest wouldn’t be established until January 4, 2008, when Wax uploaded his most watched video to date, “WAX: NEW CRACK!!!!”
Though Wax most likely did not know this at the time or even plan the effects, this video would establish two very important roles and motif’s in his success. The first being him driving in his car while rapping; the second being him rapping over “The Traffic Jam” by Stephen Marley.
It would take 4 years and over 200 videos totaling over 16,000,000 views before achieving what every neophyte and salty veteran has always wanted— a deal.
The Unintentional Marketing Plan
That’s how I, and I’m sure many others, were first introduced to Wax. It’s not an intentional gimmick like being a BASEDGOD or a deliberate attempt to go viral like “White Kid Raps Fast.” It was born out of necessity. Wax had numerous noise complaints lodged against him from his neighbors. He was forced to shoot videos in his car. Sure, it seems silly, but it gave Wax a way to distinguish himself from others. It became his shtick.
Put A Beat On
Unlike most online rappers, Wax rarely hopped on an industry beat. For the most part his efforts were focused on creating original content. It’s easy to rap on the hottest beat du jour and rest on someone else’s laurels and ideas, but making your own stuff will ultimately make you a better artist. However, what Wax did instead was rap over instrumental sections and breaks of songs not necessarily intended for rap. For instance, the beat in the “New Crack” video is “The Traffic Jam” by Steve Marley.
Here Wax pays homage to his DMV area heritage by rapping over the Go-Go classic “The Bud” by The Huck-a-Bucks.
Bonus: Herbal T, his identical twin (and equally dope) brother, drops 32 bars over “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band at a BBQ.
I can’t say that rapping over The Jones Girls songs are superior to rapping over “Otis,” but what it does do is set you apart from the 8,998 other people who are flooding the interwebz with their latest “freestyle” over the same beat. It shows your musicality and diversity. Plus, if not for anything else, it might make someone go “Whoa, that was cool. I should go check out more music by The Huck-a-Bucks.”
At some point, Wax began to include absurd search tags for his YouTube video. The first instance being “horse fucking death” and “radical midget stunts” on his “Wax On The A Millie Beat” video. These tags would morph from afterthought phrases like “ass pounding piihb? omg lol tortoise rape” to fully developed ideas and sentences like “ozzy osbourne biting off bat head while shitting and pissing directly downward into my mouth several onlookers masturbate.” Reading the tags of a Wax video are like an Easter egg of sorts for fans, just another dimension of his endless entertainment.
Proving Content is King
Sure, you can try your best to make one wacky/shocking video that gets tens of thousands of views, but how do you leverage that? How do you convert viewers to fans? How do you get them to keep coming back and checking out your product? Ultimately, it is by providing consistent, quality content. Wax’s YouTube stream is exemplary of this. It reads like a Marketing 101 textbook. There isn’t just generic music video after generic music video. There are commercials, skits, characters, behind the scenes videos and more. If his video catalog were bonds, Wu-Tang Financial would be pleased.
Creative Music Videos
“Stay Off My Facebook”
When Wax was about to drop his mixtape Scrublife, instead of doing a lame teaser trailer, he created this. Perhaps the greatest literal interpretation of any lyrics. Shouts to EOM getting the chips and soda out of the microwave.
He also created the Billy Mays-esque pitchman, Corey Steele, to promote his Scrublife Party Packs.
Characters and Skits
Wax has a bevvy of created personas that have made appearances throughout the years: English Chef Jean Bobbington, the booty-freckle-loving Count Spatula and Gokub The Mathematical. But, perhaps none are as famous as Dale Firebird.
While he was busy flying around the country with his manager, Brian Washington, making music and meeting with record executives, Wax began to deliver a “Wax Weekly” series which chronicled his transcontinental hi-jinks. The topics ranged from him being in the studio with Jim Jonsin to simply buying a new car. Even though some of the episodes aren’t music related, it give fans a look into who he is as a person, creating an even stronger bond because they now feel like they “know” him.
Wax entered the A1 “Sing For Your Beef” Contest and to raise awareness and get people to vote, he did a “16 Bars A Day For A Week” video series. He delivered a verse with accompanying video per day for a week while encouraging people to vote for him in the contest. The series would eventually be turned over to the fans who got to dictate topic. It was only a matter of time before it spiraled out of control into a rap about John Stamos. Wax would end up winning the contest probably due in large part to this tactic.
Another video Wax did for the A1 contest, a parody of David Banner’s “Get Like Me (Stuntin is a Habit)”
What It All Means
“How come people think that funny stuff has any less of a craft to it? It’s hard being funny.” — MC Paul Barman
What Wax essentially did was foster a relationship between him, his peers and his fans. He wasn’t focused on views or empty retweets. Instead, he focused on providing a reason to want to be associated with him by delivering entertaining content and irreproachable music. Wax surrounded himself with a team: fellow musicians and personalities who would promote his music to their fan base, an incredible manager and a talented videographer. Every facet of Wax is shrouded in excellence. It is truly all about quality over quantity. Build personal connections between yourself, fans and your peers. And, for the love of Allah, reciprocate in those relationships. Help the people who have helped you. Promote their endeavors and return the favor.
Too many people are under the impression that 100,000 YouTube views equates to success, which is simply not true. In this age of “What have you done for me lately?” and the mindset that fans are entitled to free music, how many of those viewers will pay $5 for your mixtape? If those views came from spamming twitter or tricking people into watching your video by mislabeling it, the chances are probably around low-fat milk percentages. However, if you build brand loyalty and make people want to be apart of what you are offering, they will have no qualms with parting with their money. You have to know your audience and occassionally bend to their expectations.
At what point in Wax’s career his marketing plan went from “dumb luck” to “thoroughly calculated,” we may never know. But, one thing is certain, he succeeded, and you can too. Make people want to be apart of what you are offering.
Interview with Wax
RG: What made you want to upload a video to YouTube of you rapping and doing music?
Wax: The shit that made me and my brother start our own youtube channel was a contest Vibe magazine had a few years back. It was called “Vibe Verses” and was basically a contest where you upload a video of yourself spitting a verse to one of the beats they provided. I didn’t win the contest but I did really well and got a lot of views and comments and what not. We figured why not just make some more videos and have fun with it. We had already shot our EPICLY AMAZING video for our single “Decadent” off our album Grizzly Season so that was all the more reason to start.
RG: Was it always your goal to use YouTube to try and make a name for yourself with music?
Wax: Not really. I have always wanted to make a living off music since I was a little kid but I never thought it was actually possible. I just enjoy rapping and making music and YouTube is a fun medium for me. After a while it was a way to make some extra money and promote albums and T-shirts and such. I never had any grandiose visions with it though.
RG: Your YouTube video catalog is diverse; it isn’t just music videos. There are skits, commercials, characters, parodies, etc. Did you ever make the conscious decision to “entertain” people? Or do you just really enjoy, as you’ve said yourself, “doing dumb shit?”
Wax: I absolutely love doing dumb shit. I never really had any goals when I was young to do acting, but once I started making music videos I discovered that I enjoy it. I also hang out with a lot of comedians and I love making people laugh. I definitely never ever considered comedy/acting as something i wanted to do though i just kinda stumbled into it. It all started with the music. I have been doing live shows playing music since I was a kid, so yeah I definitely like to entertain people for some reason.
RG: How much of being an unsigned artist is Do-It-Yourself. For example: learning to video edit, make your own beats graphic design, selling merch, etc.?
Wax: I guess that all depends on the artist. Everybody does it differently, some people do a lot of shit themselves while some people put together good teams and what not. In this day and age I would say it is vital to use every tool you can to promote your music, but really the most important thing is to perfect your craft and make sure your shit is quality. If your music sucks the last thing you should be doing is promoting it. For me I have definitely edited videos, made beats, sold merch, etc. all by myself. Now I have built up a team to help. I have always sucked at any type of art/graphic design though my boy Galen who I have known forever has always helped me with that.
RG: You have an solid team around you: a smart manager, EOM, other talented musicians, amazing videographers. How important is it for an artist to surround himself with a team that believes in you?
Wax: Oh snap, I guess I talked a lot about that in the last answer. Building a team is definitely important just for that fact that after a while there is simply not enough hours in the day to do everything yourself. I am blessed to know a bunch of talented people that help me every day.
RG: How has being a “YouTube rapper” been beneficial for you? What are the negatives?
Wax: It has been beneficial in that youtube is kind of a “community” and people are willing to help each other out as far as promotion and collaboration and what not. I have met a lot of great people through YouTube, many of whom are really popular on there. I guess the negatives would be that it is considered kind of corny and nerdy. Luckily I actually am corny and nerdy so it works out perfect.
RG: I’ve seen where people get upset at you for not continuing an online cypher and being “the old Wax.” How do you balance the expectations of long-time online fans and what Def Jam/your team has for you?
Wax: That particular online cypher came at a time where I happened to be extremely busy. I want to keep anyone who is a fan of my shit happy, but I also want to progress and do new shit too. At this point my plan is to just make more music and videos, put out another mixtape or two, then hopefully build up enough momentum to drop an official major label album. It ain’t easy. I have never been the type of person that puts out 8 mixtapes a week and shit. I prefer quality over quantity. In this day and age it is much harder for people who think like that because content gets old so fast and people constantly want new shit. I think ultimately my long time fans will be happy as long as I make entertaining music and videos and what not.
RG: How does it feel to hear people say they are fans of you and not know anything about your YouTube exploits?
Wax: That is something that happened when I put out my last mixtape. Scrublife had a pretty crazy viral life. Not only online, but just through straight word of mouth. Now when I do shows that is what everybody is familiar with, some might have no idea about my youtube presence. It feels good I am just happy that my music affects people, hopefully in a positive way.
RG: The breadth of your music knowledge is extensive (Shouts to New Jack Swing). If you could collaborate with any artist/band of any genre of any era for a collaborative album who would it be?
Wax: That’s a tough question, off the top of my head as I am feeling right now probably Black Sabbath in there early years with Ozzy. Their shit was dark but it was actually kinda funky and definitely something that could be rapped over. Ozzy could just sing enormous hooks and I could rap the verses. Shit would be cool.
RG: What can we expect from Wax in the future? I know your video for “Too Loud” off your upcoming mixtape will be dropping in the coming weeks. Do you have a release date for that project? Have any other things in the works you’d like to tell/tease everyone with?
Wax: At this time I am shooting to release my new mixtape “Eviction Notice” on November 28th. I will be shooting a few more music videos for some of the songs off there, and I really wanna shoot some more skits too. After that I will continue working on songs for my album and do mad shows, as well. I hope it all works out. I have been really stressed out recently haha
RG: Last question, on a rap scale from 1 to “Fucking Beast,” where does your identical twin brother, Herbal T, rank?
Wax: I would put him at “fucking beast.”
I have personally transcribed every song on Wax’s most recent and critically-acclaimed Scrublife Mixtape. If you aren’t familiar with Wax, it’s a great place to start. Hopefully, this post whet your appetite for more. If it didn’t, then may Satan infect your life with his red-dark power and curse you with a life full of paper cuts and cat urine.
PS: Ay yo, Brian, what’s good with that Scrublife Internship position?
Wax — Scrublife Mixtape Lyrics
Wax – 2010 Til Infinity Lyrics
Wax – American Beer Lyrics
Wax – Dispensary Girl Lyrics
Wax – Don’t Need Lyrics
Wax – Shoo Ba Doop Lyrics
Wax – Everything Lyrics
Wax – FAIL Lyrics
Wax – Elements Swing Lyrics
Wax – Limousine Lyrics
Wax – Mary Lyrics
Wax – Music and Liquor Lyrics
Wax – New Crack Lyrics
Wax – Not So Bad At All Lyrics
Wax – Old Ways Lyrics
Wax – RED Lyrics
Wax – Two Wheels Lyrics
Wax – Wax Goes Bananas Lyrics