Catalog Shuffle: Blueprint

In this edition of Catalog Shuffle, Sean Kantrowitz travels through time with the renowned Blueprint with stories on his groundbreaking catalog.

We’re back at it with another installment of Catalog Shuffle, where artists get their entire discographies thrown into a playlist and give the stories behind randomly selected songs. This month features rapper/producer/book author/filmmaker Blueprint. We go through both his solo work and work with Soul Position (his group with RJD2) and talk about storytelling, Cincinnati riots, the time that he sampled one of hip-hop’s most notorious samplers, and how a single computer programming command helped him write a song on one of indie hip-hop’s most beloved debut albums.

Blueprint “Untitled” (Sign Language, 2009)

Blueprint: Sign Language was my first attempt to make a real instrumental record with the MPC. I made [2004 instrumental album] Chamber Music before then, but used the EPS-16 for that. I always wanted to make a “real” instrumental record like a DJ Shadow type thing where it was all samples within the MPC for the most part.

But when I made “Untitled,” I was starting to get into playing instruments more. That track came about because I had always been a fan of Terrence Trent D’Arby. “Sign My Name” has always been one of my favorite songs of his. He’s an unsung ‘80s kind of guy. He’s got a couple dope hits, but that record was always at the top of my crates. One of the last songs on that album [“As Yet Untitled”] is an a cappella. I would listen to it and wonder why nobody had taken this a cappella and put music to it. This was before the whole mash-up craze was really cracking.

I couldn’t do it with the MPC because I didn’t have enough sample time. So I did it how I was doing it with Chamber Music where I was just flying in samples and dropping them into my 12-track [recorder]. I would mix around them and move elements around. I didn’t have the ability to time-stretch the samples. I had to make it work to the tempo that I kind of guessed. Some parts were perfect and some were a little off. I only had 20-30 seconds of sample time, so I just kind of made the beat around what I thought should be there.

Was Sign Language the last record where you used the MPC as your primary tool?

It might have been. Either that or maybe the Blueprint vs. Funkadelic record. Those were made around the same time. 

Blueprint “Kill Me First” [1988, 2005]

This is fucked up to say, but you could put this song out today and its message would still resonate.

Blueprint: I agree. What’s funny is that my man Swamburger [from Solillaquists of Sound] called me a little while back saying, “People think we gotta talk about police brutality on every song, but you was talking about it on 1988!” That shit is still relevant. It’s fucked up, but it’s very true.

I was living in Cincinnati right before the riots in 2001. There were three incidents in a row where a Black man had gotten killed. One of them got choked to death on camera by mall police. A month later, another guy died in police custody; there was foul play. Cincinnati at that point was maybe nearly 50% Black, and each of these incidents was making things more and more tense. The news was reporting about it constantly. The next thing you know, Timothy Thomas got shot in the back and killed by police running through an alley. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I was working downtown at the time in the Kroger building. The area was mostly corporate, but one street over was one of the most dangerous and craziest hoods called Over-the-Rhine. I used to catch the bus to get to work and had to go through there. The shit you would see going on was just wild. Super hood shit. Not funny hood shit like how I tell funny hood stories on my podcast [Super Duty Tough Work], this was fucked up hood shit, like “I need to get the fuck up out of there” hood shit.

I could see the area from where I was working in the IT division and saw motherfuckers running through downtown destroying shit, breaking windows. It was right around the time that we needed to leave. There was a four-lane street that separated all the corporate shit from the hood shit. I walked out of my office and needed to cross that street to get to the parking lot—on the hood side.

As we get to the corner, there’s literally a hundred police officers in riot gear standing in front of us. On the opposite side of the street is a couple hundred people trying to get through them to get back into downtown. The cops were riot ready, and we were escorted over. It got so bad that the city went through three days of a 7PM curfew; you had to be off the streets in Cincinnati. That climate was basically the backdrop of that song. I had CJ the Cynic on there because he was a Cincinnati dude, too. I had to get somebody who was from there who understood that feeling, that there’s no guarantee that even if you are acting peacefully that you’re going to get out of there. Motherfuckers are dying in custody and it made us really uncomfortable.

Blueprint “Never Grow Old” (Deleted Scenes, 2012)

Blueprint: As an artist, when you get older you can go one of two routes. You can try to be hip and young, never speak about age, and attach themselves to whatever is new. Or you can grow and express your reality as you experience it. I always felt comfortable just expressing where I was at. And age is something we have to think about as artists. What you talk about in the public eye is judged by people. The way you act and your age don’t always coincide. There are young people who have seen crazy intense things and were forced to mature very early; and people who are older who haven’t seen as much, and they may have a younger perspective.

“Never Grow Old” was me trying to capture the sentiment that age is not always a number, but it’s how you see the world. You can be young in age and old in mind, or you can be old in age and young in mind. I thought the best way to express that was through the concept of relationships. I describe what sounds like a young chick; she’s riding a bike to class and is super energetic and happy to be in school. And then there’s this guy who drives a Cadillac and is all even-keel in the back, not excited, and you would think maybe he’s the older guy because his demeanor is of someone who’s seen a lot. But then you see that he’s a guy that was in the military really young and is just now doing the things that a lot of people his age had already done. When they hang out, she’s like, “I’m the one who’s supposed to be old; so I need you to act your age instead of acting all old.”

When you write a song like this one, are you basing these characters around people who in some way already exist in your life? Or are you thinking about concepts and then building made-up characters to serve the song’s message?

Blueprint: It’s everything. I see people and their qualities and characteristics. At the time I don’t think I’m going to make a song about it, I just see their energy or perspective and think it’s dope. I don’t think about it at all until I’m writing and telling stories where you have to think about characters. How do you tell stories? There’s so many ways to approach songwriting, and sometimes the easy way is just telling people, “You’re only as old as you act,” and that’s it! That’s the easy way to do it. I always try to think of a different way. I don’t want to get bored. I try to think of the slickest way to approach a subject. I try to think about people and stories and what would happen when this type of person comes in contact with a person or thing from a different place.

Soul Position “No Excuse For Lovin’” (8 Million Stories, 2003)

Blueprint: Parts of that one were drawn from a girl who I used to be friends with in college, way before I ever started writing. We were just great friends, never anything romantic. And she was with this dude who used to put hands on her. I might have been 18 at the time, but I was like, “Yo, you can leave anytime you want.” This guy didn’t even go to school with us; he lived in another city. And I’ll never forget how she was always like, “I can’t leave because I don’t think anybody else loves me like him. I don’t think I deserve more.” I never had a response to that.

That’s such an honest answer. It’s obviously not healthy, but it’s very self-aware. It’s not like she was making excuses.

Blueprint: What can you say to that? “Well girl, start feeling good about yourself”? That’s all you can say. I saw her for the first time since college about a year ago. I’ve been out of college about 15 years. I saw her at the mall randomly and she said, “You was right, you kept telling me to get rid of that dude. I got two kids by him, I can’t stand him, but I finally got rid of his ass. But you was right back in college.”

She was the archetype of the person in the story. That was the first time that I felt like I was writing for people who weren’t artists or writers, who didn’t have a voice. That was one of the first times where I was like, people are going through things I haven’t personally experienced, but maybe I need to use them to inspire a story about a topic.

Soul Position “Candyland Part 2” (8 Million Stories, 2003)

When I first heard these songs/interludes [note: three different versions of “Candyland” pop up throughout the 8 Million Stories album], I thought it was such a great idea. It’s not crazy complicated, but it’s so dope. And you don’t even notice that the lyrics don’t rhyme, either.

Blueprint: Those lyrics were inspired by Ghostface on Supreme Clientele when he was describing scenes of his childhood in the ‘80s. “Candyland” was one whole song with three verses, but none of it rhymed and there was no chorus that you could possibly put there. So I was like, this could be a dope way to bring the record together and make them three individual songs.

As far as the lyrics not rhyming, I didn’t even write them in alphabetical order [as they appear on the songs]. I just wrote all the shit I could remember, and then because I was a computer programmer at the time using Unix, there was a command called sort…and this is some super nerdy shit, but you could take a text file and apply this command and it sorts it however you want. So I wanted it to be alphabetical. I sorted it with Unix, all these memories. And it came out like “A-Team, Activator.” And it was like, “Yo this is the shit, now I can actually rap it!” It was hard to put together because it didn’t rhyme, but when I ran it through that command, it spit out these three alphabetical rhymes. As long as I put a rhythmic cadence there it would sound dope.

Mission accomplished. And that is definitely one of the most nerdy rap origin stories I’ve heard about a song.

Blueprint: [laughs] I think Soul Position started all of that nerd-core shit. The first computer science guy really rapping about it. I’ve met people from that world who told me that that inspired them to rap. I wouldn’t be surprised if 8 Million Stories started nerd-core as we know it.

My Melody (Chamber Music, 2004)

I was mostly using my 12-track to track things on that album. I didn’t have much sampling time. At that time, I was really into DJ Shadow and Prince Paul, and how free Prince Paul was in terms of what he would sample, especially on the vocal side of things. I was watching a Charlie Rose interview with Puffy, where he was talking about melody. And at the time I hated Puffy. This motherfucker ruined rap. In 2001, the consensus with all “hip-hop heads” was that Puffy ruined rap. I would come home and just set my VCR to watch the next day. I went to sleep or something and I went back and listened and was like, “Yo, this guy has said some brilliant shit.”

That was the time that I turned the corner and stopped hating Puffy—when I realized it was no accident what he was doing. He understood pop music and trying to do something similar with rap. He also signaled to me why so many underground records or indie records aren’t as successful as pop. Maybe it’s not just the marketing dollar, but also maybe it’s the melody.

Blueprint “Rise and Fall” (Adventures in Counter-Culture, 2011)

I know you’ve talked about this song and the rest of the album in your The Making of Adventures in Counter-Culture book. But I’m curious to know—now that you’re so far removed from that album—what are your thoughts now when you hear it?

Blueprint: I think it’s fucking incredible. It’s weird that it’s one of those records where I’m like, “Wow, I made that.” There’s a point when you make a record and you’re too emotionally attached to evaluate. That one took me a while to detach myself to where I can listen to it as someone outside of myself. I almost have to forget the process of making it before I can listen to it.

Now, I’m super impressed with it. It’s like a statement of what I can do. How far I can take this shit. There’s only a couple of conventional moments on that album, but they mess with other genres so heavily that it’s not conventional in that sense. I don’t think there’s a record like it on Rhymesayers, and I don’t think that there will be one like it afterwards.

You’ve played that song live a lot, too. More than a traditional hip-hop song that might evolve in a live set, that one has changed in a broader sense. You jam it out more, adding to the intro, changing the melody of the hook.

Blueprint: Yeah. That song is one of the ones that we used to figure out the live show. How to use the bass live, how far can we go, re-arranging everything. When I started messing with it, I realized I didn’t technically have to do adhere to anything on the record because it’s new, and people don’t know the arrangements.

I listen to it, and it’s one of my favorites because it just makes me feel good whenever it comes on. It’s not over or under produced, and that’s always something I try to watch. Not throwing too much shit in there, and just keeping what works. That song really works, and there’s only 2-3 instruments.

That album in general isn’t really over-produced. It’s minimal, but tasteful. When songs like that get released, have they typically been stripped down from their original versions, or do you sometimes just build a track piece by piece and stop when you get to the second or third element of the beat?

Blueprint: I always start with a bunch of shit. I have demos of that song where it was at half the speed and had a bunch of shit going on. From there, I keep things that work and for things I don’t like, I’ll start to pull out. As a producer, I start with a lot and try to slowly chip away and pull things away until the only things that are there are absolutely needed to convey the mood I want to convey. So for “Rise and Fall,” there’s a bassline; a weird arpeggiating synth, and then an additional synth in the chorus. But the melody of the bassline is what really makes it dope. I didn’t feel the need to put a bunch of stuff over there. The more I put on there, the more I would compromise it.

Blueprint “Where’s Your Girlfriend At?” (1988, 2005)

You have a lot of songs in your catalog that are really dark and heavy. But then there’s a song like this that is totally not that at all.

Blueprint: The chorus to that song is where it started. That whole statement was a running joke, when we used to make fun of each other. Whenever someone was annoying us, talking about some shit that we didn’t want to talk about, one of us would go, “Hey man, where’s your girlfriend at?” It was just us being assholes. I wanted to name a song after that where we just chant it.

A lot of my music is serious but I do also make music with a funny element. I needed that on 1988. The music for the beat itself reminded me of Benny Hill, when he’s running in circles trying to squeeze girls’ butts. So I felt like I needed to rap about some Benny Hill shit.

Blueprint “Fist Fight” (King No Crown, 2015)

Blueprint: That’s a deep one. I wrote it in 2011. My brother was living with me at the time because he had had a stroke. Him and my mother came to live with me while I was out touring. When I got back from a tour, my mom was upstairs and there was a therapist who was over working with my brother. He couldn’t really walk at the time; he was relearning. My studio was underneath his room. I was playing music, but I remember hearing him fall. I rushed upstairs and my brother was really torn up. It really hit him how he couldn’t walk. He had lost his physical ability. His decisions had caught up with him and he had deep regret about a lot of it. He expressed it to me. It hurt him that we had to take care of him. I remember when he had fallen, and I walked in to see if he needed help, because he was nearly 300 pounds at the time. But they didn’t want me to help him up. He had to learn to build up the strength not just physically, but also mentally because there will be times that I won’t be around. That situation inspired that song. I started writing about it immediately.

It ended up being a message to anybody who had fallen. As I was standing in that doorway, I just wanted him to fight to get back what he’s got and not just lay there and cry. But you can’t just yell that at somebody. You’re rooting for them, but they have to do it for themselves. I wanted someone to hear that song and know that even when you have taken losses, you have to get back up.

Blueprint “Anything is Possible” (1988, 2005)

Blueprint: Production-wise, I always wanted to use [the song’s main drum sample] “Sucker MC’s” somewhere. It’s hard to put anything on those drums because they sound so dope by themselves. But I found a sample that sounded good. The rhyme was about the mentality that it takes to really be successful; I started that record right around 2002. That was right when I started doing music full-time and I feel like at the time I had perspective on how my life had changed—and how it would continue to change—and how it was happening because of sacrifice and never giving up.

I was looking back at college, because there was a point in my third or fourth year that I didn’t want to be there. I did not like college at all. I had more money in high school because I could work. In college, I was so busy that I was broke all the time, but I was surrounded by wealthy people. Wealthy students driving BMWs and Benzes, and I was eating ramen every night—and it was awful. I also ate that boxed macaroni and cheese with the powdery cheese every day for four years. So with that rhyme, I was looking back and remembering how I almost gave up then, but I didn’t and look how I benefited. And then when I looked at rap, there was time when O thought it wouldn’t work out but now look, it’s taken off. It just reinforced that anything is possible when you stick with it and put in the work.

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Speak your piece in the comments below or over at the UGHH Forums

 

I’m excited to announce the launch of UGHH Magazine, one of our first moves to becoming more of a media company. To clarify, we will always be a record store, but to insulate ourselves from changes in consumer behavior of physical media, and capture more people, we are adding things that the rest of the modern Internet is using to our arsenal. I’m going to use this post as an opportunity to give a bit of an update on everything we’ve been cooking up and what you can expect moving forward.

Over the last five months, we’ve put over a collective 1500 hours into the site. That’s not including my own time, Jeremy, Adam’s or that of editorial staff. I’d estimate that if we included all those other people it may be closer to double that. We’ve done a ton of strategic planning and somewhat re-platformed to put rappers and content front and center. We’ve also made sure to connect articles and artist content with their relevant products to make it easier for you to discover new rappers. We’ve been working incredibly hard on this and you’ll soon start to see more and more things happening visually with a complete redesign coming down the pike before the end of the year.

So, I just want to take this moment to shoutout to the iPullRank team for all of their hard work in addition to all other very demanding client work we do.

UGHH Magazine

As I mentioned before, the state of online journalism is generally in disarray when it comes to quality. That’s largely due to performance in the web environment (pageviews) lending itself to low culture content. In other words, cat videos get more views than say – coverage on the State of the Union. Naturally, that is true in any creative pursuit, but the Buzzfeedifocation of music websites as of late has left me unfulfilled as a reader. Despite that, there have been flashes of brilliance on those sites and I want to build UGHH into the magazine that is comprised more so of those flashes of brilliance and does a much better job of getting to the bottom of the story.

In starting UGHH Magazine, we are focusing on digging deeper and telling higher quality stories. We’ve brought on one of the stars of hip-hop, culture writing and general media badass Kathy Iandoli as our Editor-at-Large. She has been reaching out to her network of journalists with legit pens and getting us exceptional stories. On the iPullRank side, our Content Strategy Lead Fajr Muhammad is working with her to push the bar. But please, don’t judge either of these wonderful women based on the grammar and punctuation of what I write.


What you can expect from our publication is a shift away from interviews with rappers built on stock questions. You can expect us to get investigative and dig into the stories that haven’t been told about this community. You can expect better content experiences where we go the extra mile to make things beautiful, data-driven and visually interesting. You can expect not to read articles about articles or news that isn’t news. People that write for UGHH will write the types of articles that they wish they could write on the sites that are solely after the pageview.

We’re a record store, so that monetization avenue affords us the ability to not live solely on advertising and we can invest in quality over the opportunity to drive short attention span traffic. We’re attempting to serve slow-cooked gourmet meals rather fast food.

You can also expect that we will challenge our readers and cover topics and artists that other people won’t. UGHH has long represented hiphop’s counterculture. It was the original platform for the “independent as fuck” movement or mantra. We’er not here to recreate that, rather we’re here to capture its evolution and modernize the approach.


Mela Machinko’s “I Hate the Term ‘Underground'” piece is a fitting example of such an article that challenges commonly held beliefs. I love that she’s tackled the idea head-on because “underground” is such a nebulous concept for the music and culture that we all love.

Kathy and Fajr have done a wonderful job kickstarting the magazine in a short timeframe and I’m excited to see how we collectively grow it into a must read. There is a lot I want to achieve visually on the site and we’re still looking for additional design folks to work alongside our internal design resources to deliver timely production of customized visual elements that will really set the site apart. Do holler if you’re interested.

As of late, we’ve been getting a lot of questions as to how to submit for coverage on the site. For those of you that want a guaranteed video feature in our video section, continue to follow the process on our FAQ page in paragraph with the heading “How Do I Get My Music Video In Your Videos Section.” Those videos are not editorial placements. For those of you looking to get into an editorial feature, shoot your submission to submissions@ughh.com. Just know that those are reviewed once a week and it’s completely up to the discretion of the editorial team to decide what gets coverage.

Everyone else, I invite you to check out the magazine and subscribe to the mailing list. There’s a whole lot of new stuff in the works.

Sales So Far

I made a bit of a pledge to be as transparent as I can with how things are going, so here is a look at year over year sales through the end of May.

For some background, the iPullRank team took over the reins at the end of January and began working on the strategic direction of the company and the site. So, the site had continued doing what it was doing with light changes here and there.

In March, we did a beta launch of the UGHH Premier subscription service starting with our most frequent customers and working our way down to the top 50%. The whole time we’d been gearing up for an April release of the new content-driven version of the site and UGHH Magazine in advance of Record Store Day. We missed April on that release, but we were still able to have what Adam called the best Record Store Day to date. Mid-May we finally got the new site live, but ran into technical difficulties with Shopify that caused the store to be down for a day and made us pivot on a core part of our strategy.

Also, with dramatic change in site structure, you can expect an initial drop in traffic and sales of some kind. All in all, we are ~10k short of the revenue that the site generated in 2016, but showing a small profit whereas the company had lost nearly 4k by this time. I’m happy that the opportunity cost has not been much higher to get us to this point, because now we have the infrastructure and access in place to pivot much more quickly.


That said, our expenses are still quite high because we took on the debt that the company already had. We’ve been systematically honoring all those debts and paying them down while at the same time kicking off new initiatives. So, while the business expenses are a bit lower in aggregate, they creep up as we continue to reinvest in the business.

That said, we very much appreciate everyone who has shown their support to help keep us going.

WTF is UGHH Premier?

As I mentioned above, UndergroundHipHop.com is becoming a media company. We will always be an e-commerce company bringing you the best is in physical media like vinyl, cd, t-shirts and whatever other merchandise rappers can dream up. In fact, we are actively seeking partnerships to create such original merchandising. Roc Marciano action figure anyone?

The media model is built from subscription. Naturally, the more subscribers we have, the bigger things we can do. Right now, we’ve got podcasts and mix shows in the works and we are in talks with folks about releasing albums and documentaries with hopes that we can expand into custom programming like online tv shows in the future. UGHH Premier is our answer to Amazon Prime with a heavy helping of the Netflix model. For those that don’t remember, when Amazon Prime first launched in 2005 it was largely about free shipping and it wasn’t until about 2012 when evolved into a multitude of media-driven perks. The current perks for UGHH Premier customers are:

  • VIP Pricing
  • Priority Customer Service
  • Free Entry to Concerts
  • Access to Exclusive Music and Video
  • Early Access to Exclusive Super Limited Releases
  • Access to Flash Sales

You might wonder why we don’t offer free shipping with this, it’s entirely a technical limitation that we will remedy once we switch e-commerce platforms. Another common question I get is “why would rappers do a release with us in such an ‘isolated’ environment?” Really, there’s two reasons:

  1. The independent rap audience is still on UGHH in a very focused way. Unlike Bandcamp or Facebook, you’re not competing for attention with more famous people and memes. When you’re on the UGHH platform, a visitor is looking for a specific thing. So, would you rather get 20% of 250,000 people’s attention that really care or 0.000001% of 1.6 billion that don’t? I’ll answer that for you, you want the more focused attention.
  2. We offer a better deal than a record label wherein backend is an actual material thing. Additionally, because our model is subscription-based, artists get paid every year for a single sale.


For our customers, I believe all the current incentives are worthwhile, but since our customer base is rightfully very price-conscious, let’s focus there. We did competitive pricing analysis that revealed we were, on average 8.6%-15.2% more expensive than sites in our competitive set for products that we both sell. Note: There are plenty of products that we sell that are unique to us so it was never fair to say that UGHH was expensive. In some cases, our competition is also a distributor or a label so they have more control over prices or can sell certain items cheaper as a loss leader. Then there was one site that sells items for dramatically lower prices, but their stock is way smaller than ours. So, the 15-20% VIP discount that UGHH Premier members receive effectively makes UGHH the best option for purchasing your music. That discount applies to any sale items as well, so it quickly pays for itself. All the additional incentives just sweeten the deal.


Thus far we’ve secured exclusive music from Ghostface, Conway the Machine, Smif & Wessun, Cormega and many more. We’ve gotten Premier subscribers into concerts headlined by Raekwon, Arrested Development, B.o.B, Devin the Dude, Das Efx, Ceschi, and more. You can certainly expect the perks to grow and our ability as the program matures. If you haven’t signed up, head over to the UGHH Premier page and get started today.

Ultimately, UGHH Premier is a way for us to hook our customers up and a way for us to build better avenues for rappers to release their music where they can make more money.

PackFM40 and UGHH Powered Shows

PackFM is turning 40, today actually, and is throwing a concert this coming Friday to celebrate that. PackFM being both UGHH family and my real-life family made it obvious that we should use this opportunity to pilot the “UGHH Powered” show.


The UGHH Powered conert entails promotion of the show through our various channels, giveaways, a premium artist page, UGHH kiosks at the show and filming of the show in 360 video for view on the UGHH Premier channel. These are also shows that UGHH Premier customers can get free entry into.

Another component of this is putting quality standards in place, much like Rhymesayers Entertainment has seemed to develop with their tours. When have you gone to a Brother Ali show, heard bad sound, an annoying host, a substandard performance or had the party start late? Shouldn’t every show you spend your hard-earned money and time on be the same?

The goal is to build a promoter network of UGHH Powered shows and continually improve the quality of the show experience for show-goers. Promoters and artists interested in joining the network, please contact Jeremy@ughh.com.

We hope that you’ll join us for PackFM’s show on June 16th. Get your tickets here.

UGHH20 Update

On the topic of shows, you must be wondering about the 20th anniversary show that we’ve been cooking up. We ran into a bit of a roadblock with finding the right headliner that the venue believes can pack in the 2500 capacity space, but this is still a super high priority concert for us. We really want to deliver an incredible show experience and don’t want to have to cut corners on anything.

We’re working on enlisting some help in this area and we hope we can announce the date and the lineup in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, we are still aiming for September and I’m excited about the rest of the lineup that we have built.

UGHH HQ is Moving to NYC

Earlier this week, Jeremy drove a U-Haul to NYC from Boston to move UGHH to the iPullRank office in NYC. While Adam and Jeremy will still be based in Boston, UGHH will be HQ’d in NYC moving forward. With our shift to more of a media company this makes sense since the iPullRank office is in the heart of NYC’s media center, a block away from Rockefeller Center and two blocks from Complex.com.


Jeremy will focus more on business development, Adam will focus on site maintenance and customer service and our new NYC-based guy Lou will focus on order fulfillment and UGHH Premier customer service.

We’ve begun filming video in the office and will continue to use iPullRank resources to create things until UGHH outgrows the space and moves to its own office here in NYC. So, rappers, give us a shout as you make your promotional rounds.

What About The Forum?

Users on the forum have said that I haven’t talked about the forum enough. We have a lot of things in the works for the forum. The iPullRank team has scoured the feedback in the threads and has given a lot more visibility to forum by directly linking to the boards from the homepage. I personally recognize the forum as one of the few vibrant hiphop communities that is still alive.

Previously, most hip-hop sites had message boards and this is one of the few that has stood the test of time. That said, I have not wanted to stir the pot too much to date, but there will be a lot of change moving forward. Once Adam finishes with the migration of all the historical data to the new platform, we will be on a modern message board software and we’ll have all the required features to breathe new life into it. We’re building a better integration with the rest of the site so you won’t need to have separate logins for each section and we’ve got some ideas for content that is specific to the forum. For example, we’ll be doing a PackFM AmA this week.

There is a lot coming to get people more involved and I’m excited to share it with y’all. So don’t worry forum heads, I got y’all.

We’re Still Looking to Work with You

While the team we’ve put together is strong and we are systematically plugging away at our goals, we’re still looking to get you involved. Whether you’re an artist going looking for a home for your next release or a writer tired of writing articles about articles, a promoter looking to enter the UGHH Powered show network, or a member of our community that wants to just contribute somehow, we’d love to hear from you. As always, you can reach me at mike@ughh.com.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll catch y’all on the next update and hope to see those of y’all in the Greater NYC area at the PackFM40 show. Thank you for your continued support.