Happy Tuesday! I hope this email finds you well.
I decided to tell you a story today. I’m going to tell you how I turned my failed rap career into a successful marketing one. I must have been seven or eight years old the first time I heard, “CRUISING DOWN THE STREET IN MY ’64…” and ooh, that spoke to me. I had no idea what he was talking about in most of the song, but the way Eazy-E delivered his lines just drew me in and I was hooked on rap music.
Fresh Prince of Beal Air was probably my favorite show at the time, and I remember spending hours listening to b96 in Chicago waiting for rap songs to play. And then in 1995, “As I walked through the valley of the shadow of…” Coolio just explodes withe Dangerous Minds, and I knew hip hop and rap was going to be “my shit” forever.
Then in 1999 my family moved down to Texas.
It was kind of hard for me to make friends at first because of the huge difference in cultures. See, EVERYONE in Chicago is a little “ghetto,” even in the suburbs… it’s just an urban setting all around. Here in Texas, being “ghetto” was not very popular in 1999 to say the least lol!
The few friends I WAS making were not exactly exemplary students. So I turned to music to be my friend, and then on the radio, on then B104, “Can I hit it in the morning…” luckily the local radio is known for being “a few years behind” with their playlist and Jay-Z instantly becomes my favorite rapper and influences me to try to become one.
I spent my entire High School years writing terrible lyrics and practicing my delivery. I got pretty good and even won a few rap battles back then. Hip hop became a little more accepted, and it was now playing everywhere. “Hi, my name is chiki chiki -“… that’s all you heard everywhere you went.
Drafted Straight into the Pros
After high school, I went straight into the marketing industry making websites which led to my first job in the industry. I honestly learned to make websites to try to promote my music, and people kept asking me to make them one so I did. I didn’t even keep track of the sites I was making because they were so terrible, they weren’t really worthy of being compiled in a portfolio lol!
Around this time I had also learned to play a few chords on a guitar and I was trying to start some Limp Bizkit type of band which always led to me joining some crazy band that sounded nothing like my vision. But that also led to me meeting a ton of bands and managers who also needed websites.
The Beginning of Social Media
Then MySpace came along and the first forms of influencer and social media marketing were born. I, of course, used MySpace to promote music. Then Facebook happened… and someone decided to put it in our pockets. I recorded a few very terrible songs and used facebook to promote them, a few people were listening, and I realized I was getting pretty good at asking people to listen to my music.
I had a very well established reputation for building websites by now, and I started preaching social media marketing to my clients. They laughed. Everyone literally laughed at me when I started telling them I can run their facebook page for a few dollars. I kept creating content for almost no one and with no direction for years.
I promoted my music page like crazy to the two or three followers I had. I bounced around a few jobs and somehow got kind of good at sales. Then my best friend, Your Knife Guy Rene, asked me to help him with some knife job he had gotten. He was running his own office for this knife job, and wanted my help.
It took me a little more than half a year to come in even though he bugged me literally every day. Finally one day I said, “fine, I’ll come help you sell a fkn knife *eye roll*” and that job turned out to be the biggest blessing to my marketing career. The stuff I learned at the knife job, and the work ethic they instilled in me for the two years I was there was more valuable than the almost two decades of job experience I had, and I had a pretty good tenure in the marketing scene.
I started implementing the stuff I learned there to my music, and voila – I started getting people listening. And then I made an experiment out of my music profile… I started focusing on marketing my music page. I wanted to prove to the world that I could make myself popular using social media despite of how terrible my music is.
And it worked. I started showing other rappers what I was doing and giving them ideas. And it worked for them too. Then other businesses started noticing and asking me for advice. And then my wife and I took a trip to NYC that would change our lives forever. Right before the trip, I became obsessed with making money online.
I started doing anything from selling my old stuff on marketplace to promoting the Dosh app – reading every article and watching every youtube piece about making money using the internet I could find. I joined groups and fished through hours of shitty content to find golden nuggets.
And I created a group to teach my Dosh friends how to get referrals of their own. That’s when things got really fun! When I started teaching how to do what I do. Because that forced me to create a system and it forced me to write everything as simple as I possibly can. Not only that, but it also forced me to learn these skills better.
In the knife job I learned that teaching something is the best way to learn it, the person teaching the class benefits most from the lesson. Today – My mentor group is 111 people deep. – My newsletter has over 100 subscribers. – I have actual consulting clients. – I have over 100 referrals in Dosh and all my apps. – My online cookie brand is booming.
Failing in rap gave me the knowledge, skills, and thick skin to succeed in a world where practically and results are the only thing that matter.
Click the image below to check out my website:
Featured Artist Matt M.
Matt is on another level of work ethic and leadership, but I think what stands out most about Matt is his big heart. From the very first time I met him I could tell he’s a great guy. He seems to genuinely want everyone to win. He doesn’t seem selfish at all. And all of this is out there for everyone to see in his music.
I started paying attention to his lyrics one time when I heard his song about his gay brother coming out to him, and I realized his music is very, very different to the majority of the genre. The more of his songs I heard, the more I began to kind of understand his message and what he is trying to teach his peers through his music. It’s more than just music to him, check out his story and see for yourself.
Please, please, please… if you find value in my content or know someone who will, share my newsletter with them. Forward them this email.
I’m gonna leave you with the following quote:
“Coincidence is a secret handshake from the universe.”
– Robert Moss
Thank you so much, keep rocking!