September 5, 2015, 7:30 pm PST
Somewhere in Southern California
Growing up, people always told me that I would be successful and leave my hometown. During senior year in high school, I decided to stay in the area, passing up an opportunity to go to St. John’s in Queens, NY. That decision haunted me day in and out, until I took Mass Media Literacy at my university; this blog was an assignment in Fall 2014. I decided to start my blog today (a year ago), thinking I would never continue after the class was over. It was inconsistent at first, posting every once in a while. There was a long hiatus, while I conducted academic research on Wale, the marginalization of black marriage, in correlation to Hip-Hop music for PCA/ACA’s 2015 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
After that trip, something reignited my heavy passion for finding independent music and writing. The more time I invested in YTS, the happier I became. It used to be a very disorganized blog as I covered somewhat mainstream music; then I found my niche after creating a Soundcloud to document my new finds and the concerts I had attended.
At 20, I used to be a college student who was anxious about figuring out her future, let alone what to major in at school. I knew that I wanted to major in Communications and double in African-American Studies. But for the past two years in college, I would run all the time to my professors’ office and complain about not knowing what to do with my life. Like everyone else, I was afraid of working a job I hated after graduation and live an unfulfilling life; so I was determined to find what I loved to do during the upcoming summer. I read books geared to twenty-somethings, including The Defining Decade by Meg Jay with hopes that I would figure out my aspirations by my third year during fall semester.
That book changed my life. It helped me do some introspection and reflection on myself and my interests. I learned my future career has always been in front of me. As time passed, I became more invested in Yo! That Slaps and sharpening my writing abilities, so I figured, why not brand it (after a few weeks of consistent blogging) and become an entrepreneur, despite being so young and not having the “normal” college experience. By this time, in July 2015, I decided to make necessary steps to stand out and begin branding. During that summer, I also started a podcast with a friend while managing a rapper.
A few reasons I decided to pursue Yo! That Slaps wholeheartedly, was because of the daily fulfillment I received from reaching out to artists and their management, expressing interest in the music; as well as them submitting to me, in hope of being covered. I believed that everyone was and will be featured, has potential to being someone in the music industry. I also felt these people were working so hard and growing as artists, to be someone who wasn’t covered by a mainstream media outlet, so I wanted to be that outlet for them. I do what I do because I love it, I find new music and have the ability to showcase it worldwide. I believe that someone is always listening and watching, somewhere in the world.
Here we are, a year later. So much has been accomplished within the first year. I have landed my first business partnership and received contribution offers for other sites. I also spoke for the very class that changed my life. Yo! That Slaps has received views worldwide, in record-setting fashion (personally). I also just started looking for writers and contributors for the site. This blog and brand is always on my mind, all the time and I would not give it up for the world. The more I work towards building it and all these other pursuits into something bigger, the more ecstatic and driven I become. Even though I have a lot on my plate and a lot more artists waiting to be featured, it will be done in due time.
I never would have thought I would be an entrepreneur at such a young age. But maybe it was for the right reason. I can’t wait to see where Yo! That Slaps is next year. Thank you so much everyone, for supporting the blog. Great things are coming — the future is about to be LIT.
P.S. Yes, I decided to get a birthday cake to celebrate.