Back in 2008 I started an event called “BLAP”. It stood for Beats Love Alcohol Party. It was an event where 5 music producers (with their laptops) set up at a bar/venue atmosphere to take turns playing their beats. It was kind of like a “beat cypher”, but with alcohol, food, strangers and a good time. It was a vibe.
That same year I released a mixtape called “BLAPS RHYMES & LIFE” and threw a release party. The tape was a compilation of songs I produced with mostly up-coming artists, who at the time I was working closely with (some even purchased beats from me). The party was amazing and I had sponsorship from Crooks & Castles and even Miss Info from Hot 97 hosted it. We had swag bags and metro cards + free Crooks & Castles gear for the first 50 people who came. The party was in NJ and I managed to get 300+ people from NYC to cross the water. It was definitely a vibe.
In 2011 I released my first drum-kit, called “BLAP-KIT VOLUME 1” and it became an instant hit. It helped usher in the “producer drum kit” movement. This was also the same year I started my music production podcast, which at the time was called “BLAP ON THE RADIO”.
In 2014 I started a monthly membership called “THE BLAP-KIT PLATINUM CLUB”, which is now called the “ILLMIND PLATINUM CLUB”. Again, I was one of the first music producers (if not, the first) to initiate a monthly membership model.
I opened a studio in Brooklyn, NY for 2 years (from 2015 - 2017) and during that last week before shutting it down I wanted to do something special. So, I invited a small handful of up-coming music producers to come to the studio to hang out and play their beats, ask me questions, etc. 5 people per day quickly turned into 15-20 people per day. After I shut the studio down, I rented a studio space and invited 20 up-coming music producers to do it all over again. At that point, my PASS THE AUX (Blap Sessions) private in-studio meet ups idea was born and I went on my first tour in 2018 (2020 tour announcing soon…!)
These early steps were the starting points that planted the seeds to where I am in my career today. I was always thinking outside the box. I went out of my way to do things no one has ever thought of doing. Because of that, my career is at an all time high. I’ve managed to become a pioneer of sorts and I’m living as comfortably as one wishes to. I also feel supremely fulfilled, yet still trying to push myself to do more. I realize this is still only the beginning.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Why is Illmind talking about this stuff? Is he trying to flex?”. Absolutely not. But explaining these early steps is crucial to getting to my next point (and the whole point of this blog entry).
What motivated me to step out and do these things? Was being a “music producer” not enough?
There are 4 main ideas that caused me to make these decisions that ultimately transformed my life:
1. BELIEF - This is probably the most cliche’ thing you’ll ever hear but “belief” is the ultimate power. It’s the ultimate fuel. It’s the driving force behind the magic to success. Early in my career, I had true and powerful beliefs. I believed in my skills as a music producer. I believed I could become a better producer if I just practiced every day. I believed I would one day win a Grammy and work with the biggest artists in the world. I believed that I could organize and throw parties that would bring people together. I believed that drum-kits were supremely valuable to someone like me, so why not release them myself and see what happens (Even though at the time, no one believed in them. In fact, people thought I was corny for doing it.) The belief must be strong. You must believe in these things just as you believe that the sky is blue during the day, or that grass is green, or that we breathe oxygen. The thing you believe in is a FACT and no one can tell you otherwise. You’ve got to believe in yourself when no one else does.
2. LOVE - There’s a reason why the concept of “love” is spoken about throughout history. There’s thousands of songs about love. People say “love” every day. People feel “love” every day. I inject “love” into every single thing I do. It could be a beat. It could be a drum kit. It could be my intentions of wanting to do a podcast. It could be an event to bring people together. The intention behind it all is “love”. I love doing it all and I don’t dread any of it. Before doing anything, ask yourself this question: “Will I love doing this?”. If the answer is yes, you should probably go for it.
3. ACTION - There would be no beats, no drum kits, no songs, no Grammys, no platinum plaques, no podcast, no youtube channel, no live events, no community building without “action”. The problem with most people seems to be that they don’t know which “actions” to take. When I took action, I didn’t think of the repercussions or failures. I knew I had to take that leap to just get myself one step closer to reaching my goal. To me, the most important action is that FIRST step. That logistical first step to get your momentum headed into the right direction. Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to figure out every step along the way. You’re not supposed to know every step. Just feel good about the FIRST one and take it. That will help you decide what to do next. Let it all happen in real time.
4. POSITIVITY - All of those stories about “positivity” are true. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. The thing that’s so powerful about positivity is that you can train your mind to harness it. Whenever I experienced a failure or hardship or setback or negativity, I immediately focused on every single positive thing that came with each scenario and I kept my mind on each of them. I approached every decision as an “experiment”, which gave me permission to fail. Tell yourself that things could be even BETTER than you could imagine them to be. Know that there is always something positive that comes with every scenario and train your mind to hunt down and focus on those things. When you have a positive mind, you make positive decisions, which lead to positive outcomes and positive results.
B.L.A.P. (Belief Love Action Positivity) is the mantra. It changed my life and I hope it can change yours.
I'd love to stay connected with you. I have a special monthly membership club called the ILLMIND PLATINUM CLUB with hundreds of up-coming creators. Would love for you to be a part of it. To find out more and to join, go to this link: https://illmindproducer.com/products/the-llmind-platinum-club-pc
Love it ahhh love you ahhh
As a Head of operation of Forever Great Music with artist Nathaniel the Great. The stories that you told resonate with me exactly, I feel we going thru all this currently. Thank for sharing your experiences, it reassure me that we are heading for stardom.
Thanks for all the advice over the years. God Bless iLLMIND
Been a huge fan and avid follower of yours for a little while now and I’ve just got to say every post of yours, no matter how witty or silly, has been incredibly inspiring, as cliché as it sounds. Seeing your raw unfiltered honest posts every day subconsciously helped me finally be honest with myself, my craft and what I want, and I’m happy and proud to have just launched my online beatstore and look forward to all to come next. Thank you and bless up!
Your a true inspiration! I hope to one day accomplish my goals as a producer and this right here helps put things into perspective.. Thanks illmind for being you!!!!!!!