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NEW !llmind BEAT-TAPE "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"

By Ill Mind

NEW !llmind BEAT-TAPE

13 brand new beats. I made this for the JEEPS. For the bass rattle. A new bounce. I hope you enjoy this collection. For all of my MUSIC PRODUCERS out there, I've included the audio stems so you can manipulate these to your heart's desire. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO STEMS HERE.

Available on iTunes & Spotify on FRIDAY 4/28/17

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Trap Carols EP - When Holiday Anthems Meet 808 Bass

By Ill Mind

Trap Carols EP - When Holiday Anthems Meet 808 Bass

I love the holidays. It's my favorite time of year. As much as I love Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and Frank Sinatra singing Christmas carols every holiday season, I decided to create an alternative. Yes, this might piss your parents off. Yes, It might force you to pour a little extra liquor into your eggnog. However it makes you feel, I can guarantee it will get you into the holiday spirit. One warning though. It might cause damage to your speakers, so tread lightly. 

Trap Carols EP Tracklist:

  1. Chestnuts
  2. Jingle Bells
  3. 12 Days Of Christmas
  4. Frosty The Snowman (Listen)
  5. Deck The Halls

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NEW EP: Music Inspired by BIRTH OF A NATION

By Ill Mind

NEW EP: Music Inspired by BIRTH OF A NATION
I had the honor of working on music for the film Birth Of A Nation. After watching the pre-screening, I was absolutely blown away and inspired. Although the music I made did not make the final cut in the movie, I felt a need to share it. I present to you: Music Inspired by BIRTH OF A NATION. Enjoy.

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The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Music Producers

By Ill Mind

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Music Producers

"Been a while, I shouldn't of left you..."

Back on my blogging bull-ish. I've been thinking about this one for a while, so let's talk about it. Over the years I've compiled a sort of "to-do" list in my brain of what makes a music producer tick. Being a producer myself, and having interacted and interviewed many successful producers (via my Podcast BLAPCHAT which you should absolutely subscribe to) I think I've found a nice set of bullet points to point out the common denominator habits of the successful.

Here we go.

  1. THEY PUT THE WORK IN - Work ethic. It's simple. It's obvious. It makes total sense. I like to call it "sweat equity". Take the time to get good. Realize that you're not going to be good at making music when you first start doing it. Every new piece of music you create, you get better. You sharpen the sword. It is absolutely essential to put the hours into working on your craft. If you have a day job, make time. If you go to school, make time. If you do both and/or have other "life things" on your plate, it's up to you to make time to do it. Everyone has their own personal circumstance, and no 2 are the same, so don't feel bad. Get motivated and get going on that "sweat equity".
  2. THEY'VE MASTERED THEIR PROCESS - I'm talking about the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Get comfortable and get GOOD at knowing your equipment and your process. Trust me. I've been there. I've tried every DAW and almost every piece of hardware. I'm not saying to avoid trying new systems. Be mindful of the fact that at some point, you're going to have to get really good at knowing your equipment. The more you jump around, the more time you are wasting that should be going into creating the actual music. Don't get stuck and don't get obsessed with jumping around from DAW to DAW. You'll quickly find yourself in limbo.
  3. THEY NEVER STOP LEARNING - Actually "mastering" the art of creating music is impossible. Everyone knows this. You should know this, and if you don't know, now you know! (I'm on my old school references today and I didn't even mean to do that). Every new piece of music you create should feel like a learning process. Learn how to play an instrument. If you already do, learn a different one. Read books. Lots of them. Youtube is your best friend. At this point there are thousands of tutorials (most for FREE) that you can watch and literally learn anything you need to. Surround yourself by people you know you can learn from. People that are better than you. Trust me, after the grammies, the plaques, the accolades and the money, you should still have the hunger to continue to learn. You're always going to be a student to the music.
  4. THEY NURTURE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS - I've said this many times on my blog and on my podcast. You won't succeed unless you know the right people. It's a people business. Get to know them. If you don't know who they are, find out. Surround yourself by likeminded people. That's a great starting point to help get you to the people that will change your life. Understand that the more people you meet, the better your chances at success. Make sure you nurture those relationships over time, and don't piss anyone off or be an a$$hole. Good people skills go a long way. There are thousands of awesome self-help books to improve your social skills. Read them. I've read many and I'm still learning.
  5. THEY'VE SOLIDIFIED AN AMAZING TEAM - You need people by your side. You can't go at this alone. You might be able to for a short while, but will soon realize that it is all too overwhelming. There are no websites or services out there (that I know of) to help you find a manager, attorney, assistant or team member (that would actually be kinda scary if there were). There's really no right or wrong way to develop your team. Your childhood friend who loves your music and always supported you could one day become your manager. Or maybe you met someone at a show a few years ago and kept in touch and realized that person could be of help. 
  6. THEY DEVELOP THEIR OWN ARTIST(S) - 40 & Drake. Dre & Snoop. Future & Mike Will. Primo & Guru. Timbaland & Missy. Clipse & The Neptunes. The list goes on. Get with the artists that you believe in and that also believe in you. You should have the instinct to know. You will soon find that your best music will be made with the artists you click with the most.
  7. THEY NEVER GIVE UP - Every failure is a learning experience. With every missed placement opportunity comes 100 more. From Jordan, to Einstein, to Kanye, everyone has suffered failure at some point in their career. The difference? They never gave up.

What are some challenges you face on your journey to becoming a successful music producer? Don't hesitate to comment below and get the conversation started!

- !llmind

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NEW !llmind beat-tape "NEW DRUGS"

By Ill Mind

NEW !llmind beat-tape
Had to drop off some NEW DRUGS for the streets. That KNOCK. That SLAP. Oh yeah, and you can download the AUDIO STEMS so you can flip these too. Crazy.

DOWNLOAD STEMS + EP HERE.

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Confidence Is Key: How To GAIN By Utilizing Its Power

By Ill Mind

Confidence Is Key: How To GAIN By Utilizing Its Power
"I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they would like me. Now I look around and wonder if I'm going to like them."
- Anonymous
So, like, there are a TON of theories out there that contribute to why people become successful. I think it's so worth it to put some energy into researching and learning about these people. The information is endless (google is your best friend). 
One of the most valuable things I've realized in my career is the importance of being confident. From the perspective of a music creator, it is an absolute necessity. You may disagree, but time and time again its proven to be true.
Confidence energy shows in the music. Being bold enough to go where no man has gone before requires uber confidence. When placed in a scenario where confidence is important (let's say if you were thrown into a studio session with a superstar), being shy and timid is just not an option. Not if you want to knock your performance out of the ballpark! 
A great way to start is to practice being more decisive. Confident people don't ponder or wait around. They make decisions quickly, and commit to them fairly easily. They rarely change their minds because they know what they want. I think the key to becoming more decisive in your decisions is to simply know yourself and know what you want. It's hard to make decisions if you're confused about what you want in the first place! Get into the habit of setting some goals for yourself. Envision them in your mind and do what you can to achieve them. Let your goals become your roadmap for the future.
I used to be timid. VERY timid. I always was. I remember being at the height of my "timidness" in 9th grade. It took a lot of learning and experience to get to know myself and what I really wanted out of life. When I realized that, I was slowly on my way to becoming more confident in myself and my decision making. Over a decade later, confidence has become a habit. I'm not saying I'm perfect. I am human. I'm not always at 100% confidence level always all the time. It's not something you can master, but it is something you can work towards and incorporate in your everyday life. 
Living a confident life yields results, which ultimately leads to happiness and self-love. These are the ultimate keys. Maybe even one of the "major keys". Look at Khaled. He embodies confidence.
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves." - Marie Curie
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau
"Let your body tell you you're powerful and deserving, and you become more present, enthusiastic and authentically yourself." - Amy Cuddy
"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda
"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love yourself. Love others. Everything else will fall into place. Every song you write, every beat you make, every collaboration you embark on, every person you meet, should be manifest from a place of passion, honesty and love. Start there, and I promise you will be on your way to feeling more confidence energy.
- !llmind
Join !llmind as he conducts a series of live workshops (kind of like his own TED Talk). The next one is in Philadelphia on Saturday, July 30th. Go HERE for details.

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Thank you...

By Ill Mind

Thank you...
- !llmind

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The Best Way To See Results: Spend Time Wisely

By Ill Mind

The Best Way To See Results: Spend Time Wisely
They say time is money. I guess that's true based on the way society is set up for human beings. In my opinion, time is more valuable than money. I've come to learn this a long time ago. Of course, money is required to maneuver and do certain things, but time is something that we don't have much control over. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Money comes and goes. We earn it. We spend it. We earn more. We spend more. And this repeats. Over and over and over again.
Money is a piece of paper that represents a "value". When we think of real estate (for example) we think of investment. Equity. Having ownership of something that has value. So, what about "time"? We spend it, but it never comes back. Sure, we can schedule our lives to spend more of our future "time" to do the things we want and need to do, but once those moments are gone, they cannot be earned back. What type of perspective can we apply to give "time" a value? How can we ensure that the time we spend is worth something to us in the future?
For a moment, let's look at this from a different perspective.
Time doesn't equal money. Time is something we spend, but never earn back. Time is a "moment". It's the present. It is exactly what is happening now. Just as you've read this sentence, time has just been spent. You'll never get those moments back. I promise you're not wasting it though. Just stick with me for a little while longer. =)
Time is a building block. Think of it like building a structure. Every minute you spend is a brick. The next minute you spend, you're laying down the concrete. You're learning as you go along. The minute after that, you're placing another brick down. After a few hours of this, you've noticed that you managed to build a few feet of what looks like a brick wall. At this point, your confidence is building. You're getting some validation. Your subconscious mind is getting excited. You start to really enjoy doing this. You feel like you're getting better at it, so you continue to build. You're laying bricks and concrete down much faster than you did before. You feel like you're in "flow". Eventually, you become so good that you manage to spend enough time to complete an entire structure. From here, your brain starts to think bigger. You hire a few friends to help you build the next one. You act as a leader by guiding them through what you've learned from your own experience, so they can grow more rapidly. It takes you half as much time to build the next structure. From here, you expand even further. Now you have your own construction company. The possibilities of expansion and continued success are endless at this point. For some, it's not necessarily to become hugely successful, but more to experience the joy and satisfaction that it brings. Or, a combination of both maximum joy and maximum success. (disclaimer: this is not a literal portrayal of how to start a construction company or how to build a house. lol).
One word we can use to describe our building scenario is "sweat equity" (shouts to my manager for putting me on to those words). It's the amount of time put into something that eventually yields some type of pay-off in the future. It can be spent on basically anything. 
"Sweat equity" applies to any and all industries. But for today, let's take a look at what this means for the aspiring MUSIC PRODUCER.
In the beginning, some outside force drives us to give music production a try. It could be a song. Or a beat. A curiosity. For all of us, the reason is different. The purpose is the same, though. To create music.
First, we acquire some initial knowledge to gather the tools we need to start creating music. From there, we begin our first hour of "sweat equity". We lay down our first brick and start to figure things out. We're getting better and more confident as we spend more time doing it. We try different things and take risks. We research more, listen more and build more. We're enjoying every moment of it. We finish our first 10 beats, and then we keep going. We reach a catalog of 100 pieces of music, but we are relentless. We build some more. We create some more. We reach 1000 pieces of music, but that's not enough. 2000. 3000. 4000. It almost seems infinite at this point.
Along the way, we've built a catalog big enough to expand. If we want to maximize success, how can we "populate" these buildings we've created, you ask? 
People.
We absolutely must meet people at this point.
Keep in mind that the hundreds and/or thousands of pieces of music we've made are increasing in value, over time. We have a catalog. We have equity. We have value. We have confidence. We posses a skill-set that not too many people have (out of the 7 billion people on earth). 
There is a demand. There will always be a demand to populate. There will always be people that exist whom want to help you populate. 
It's your job to find the people. Some people will come. But you must do what you can to attract and find the people. You can't do this alone. If you're passionate enough, you WILL not do this alone. Start with the people right in front of you, and expand from there. This crucial step in "populating" is a huge turning point. You've decided that you want to maximize not only joy, but success.
If you've been spending "sweat equity" for what you consider a long time, yielding NO results, you've got to evaluate what you've been doing the whole time. Analyze your past and dig deep into the types of decisions you've been making. Are you pushing hard enough? Are you pushing yourself to meet new people? Are you spending too much time being frustrated? Are you spending too much time complaining and placing blame on other things? Maybe you just need to keep going and try not to over think things. Maybe more patience will help. Maybe you THINK you're passionate about creating music, but you've lost that passion and joy. Maybe you just want to lay bricks because doing so brings you joy, but posses no desire to populate. Sure, we all have our own individual situations in life, but there is always a root to where these circumstances originate. Find that root and make those changes for yourself as best as you can.
This process is on-going. It never ends unless we choose for it to end. Thankfully for us, we enjoy every brick we lay down. That is the beauty of our "sweat equity". Every piece of music we make is a lottery ticket. Every brick we lay down is contributing to a higher cause and potential opportunity. We enjoy every brick we lay down. Some of us are driven to maximize success. Some of us are driven to maximize joy in life. Some of us want both.
There's a beauty to the idea of "sweat equity" bringing joy. Shouldn't every moment of our lives be spent being happy anyway? I believe it should.
- !llmind

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