So in my profile you'll notice it says "writer/marketing guy/artist," and one of the results of that description is that I'm an excellent pitchman.
When you think of a good pitchman, and I'm talking about in the office not commercials, ideally you want someone who can write well, has a good handle on the brand/marketing agenda, and also has some special flair, a unique compelling artistry when they present.
And in many ways I consider myself a pitchman for hip hop. Hip-Hop's Assimilated Ambassador (H-HAA! - that's a laugh). So when Andrew Krucoff comments that TAN "is doing his best to make sure the future of the Internet isn't 'pretty much made of white people'" he's only half right.
Sure hip hop and race have their correlation. I'm definitely about "black people that like white people and white people that like black people". But I am also a big believer in the connection between hip-hop and rock-and-roll. That common energy. That shared spirit of revolution. That impulse to imagine ...
For me that is hip hop. Or at least that's where I want to help push hip hop's image. As an ambassador. A pitchman. A writer/marketing guy/artist.
So when I translate Gawker to hip hop. That's a big part of the motivation. I want to open a door. I want the opportunity to pitch hip hop. To assimilate that energy. Because, in my opinion, that's something I'm good at.
One of the first times this all coalesced for me was when I decided I wanted to write for Nerve.com. Why did I want to write for Nerve? Because here was this edgy, contemporary, well-regarded content provider that marketed themselves as "urban-savvy," yet I was shocked by the lack of hip hop. The lack of melanin.
Urban means big city right? And if you have a big city, you have negroes (amongst others). And if you have negroes, you have hip hop. So let's make the party inclusive. Hip-hop-and-roll baby. The more the fuckin' merrier.
Of course I know Get Rich Or Die Tryin' hip hop makes that a tough proposition. Because, well, no one wants to be "urban" if it means bullet holes in your body.
So TAN makes it easier. You get that good "urban" hip hop, plus no one is gonna get shot. Well at least no one that doesn't deserve it.
So I made a package for Nerve and told them I was down for whatever. Make me an intern (even if I'm a bit overqualified), but let's get some melanin up in there.
And in order to get their attention, which is always the first challenge, I wrote a song, the piece-de-resistance of my pitch package.
The objective was to make it sexy and personal, like Nerve, with a hip hop edge. So I basically went to the editors page, looked at the bios, and let my mind wander over a Primo beat.
The staff has changed some, but the cast of characters at the time included:
Rufus Griscom - CEO aka the guy who "runs sh*t"
Whitney Lawson - photo editor, clips from NY Times and The New Yorker
Sarah Harrison - inspirer of more-than-embarassing thoughts
Ada Calhoun - master of Sanskrit studies
Michael Martin - editor-in-chief, "Left Gear" for Nerve
Tobin Levy - had to leave a spot for her
This was the end result:
Got Some Nerve?
let Nerve.com know that them, sex, and hip-hop make for the perfect menage-a-trois. Oui?
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