Category Archives: Music

Hot 97 is Hip Hop and R&B: Street Soldiers-The Complexion Connection on Superbowl Sunday

Earlier in my career, I have interviewed many musicians including, CHRIS BROWN, TWISTA, CEE-LO, NORE & CAPONE and many others who discussed the challenges of the business, in addition to, how to transition their careers. I have interviewed families on parental involvement in community programs. Further, I have extensive research in the field of education. So, when I was given the opportunity to discuss issues that affect the youth on Hot 97, I was elated!

The schematics of decision-making prompts an analysis that includes the depth of human action as it relates to image, acceptance and purpose.

Youth are greatly affected by what they see in the media. This generation is focused on social networking and building themselves to appear a certain way to appease their peers. Their personal appearance and need to become self-aware is more important than ever because of the internet alone. However, the desire to be like their favorite sports player or musician is not a new concept. In extreme circumstances, fitting in is necessary to secure a job and provide for a household. If the need to survive is based on your career, then people will do what is necessary to live. Therefore, those who have access to resources from the higher socio-economic classes may adapt to survive in their environment. Yet, there is a lack of consideration how brands influence the whole, a larger population, but most importantly those who are highly influenced by their surrounding variables, children.

Children are the future, not a skin color. The human being provides an invaluable and priceless resource in society called labor. Labor make the world go ‘round (whether or not a person is paid well). However, the less fortunate tend to practice a level of humility and need to care for the community. In contrast, those blessed enough to be “on top” is more concerned with staying on top! Those who are fortunate have an image to protect and promote to ensure that they are #1 in their profession. Unfortunately, most aspiring musicians are simply thrilled to “get on” so they lack the knowledge and education needed to help them self-reflect to grasp the concept of boundaries. Boundaries help musicians determine what and what they will not or sell in their quest to make it to the top.

Some musicians get caught up in the hype and start believing the marketing behind their own brand and forget about the socially responsible component that comes with being in the spotlight. In most cases, image is everything, and that goes without saying. However, even the Bible discloses pertinent information regarding image. In the Bible, 1 Samuel 16: 7 clearly states that “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” People are in need of finding acceptance and purpose. Sometimes actions are extensions of self-neglect and a lack of self-confidence. This sends everyone mixed signals about what is factually false and what is real or how one defines the concept of “reality” as a whole.

There are so many variables…the bottom line is people are affected by their environment. Although it would appear that “white people want to be black and black people want to be white”, we cannot speak for the entire population. So, my answer is no, everyone is simply affected by their environment. Therefore, a FAKE (career) brand will reveal itself-eventually, these people will be called out no matter their level of influence in human society.

To learn more about how YOUr career brand can influence others, and promote success, DEFINE YOUrself in 30 minutes or less, learn “How to Operate with Purpose: GET BRAND CLARITY”! IN STORES NOW.

You may also LISTEN TO SHANETTE ON HOT 97 Street Soldiers Podcast! DOWNLOAD SHOW NOW! Or, you may search for the show entitled “Complexion Connection” at

1 Comment

Filed under Community, Education, Entertainment, fashion, Film, Music, Sports

How to Create a Resume

A resume can help you build your career brand. Your resume should start with your name, and contact information. It is important to make sure that your name is bold and highlighted so that it stands out. Next, your resume should have a profile that summarizes your professional work experience. A profile may be more beneficial to the employer than an objective. An objective is to help you identify your long-term career goals. You may want to focus on showing, how your services may help the employer. Sometimes job applicants put their educational background under a profile summary. However, if you have a meaningful amount of professional work experience, then it is necessary to put this information next.

Your professional experience should list your current or former employer details such as a company name, and date. Yet, the most relevant section is a list of how you helped your current or former employer achieve success. Therefore, you do not need to list your job duties. Instead, you can create a list of how your services made an impact or helped the business achieve success. List how your services made an impact with your former employer. Write your accomplishments while serving in your current or former position (in place of the duties section). You may then add your academic background under your professional work experience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Education, Entertainment, fashion, Film, Music, Sports

Contributing Writer Kay Mac: Melodic Life

Melodic Life

Is it just me or have you also made a music video in your head while listening to your favorite song? Have you even acted out a scene that you’ve already seen in the video? I do it all the time, there’s nothing like putting a visual to a really good sound.

From rolling your eyes like 50 cent to seem gangsta, or winding your waist like Ciara to be sexy, it’s a life of creating a soundtrack to enhance one’s daily experiences. I often find myself as a screenwriter/director drawing my inspiration from music. Music as a movement has been an overtaking force for generations. Music helps you on a personally level such as to calm one’s nerves. Music helps on a professional level as well, when providing a message, selling a product, or introducing a show.

Take for instance the Pepto Bismol jingle “nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, Yeah Pepto Bismol.” I’ve caught myself singing this jingle a time or two when I didn’t even have the symptoms. Even if you’ve never bought the product you still know what it is and how the dance goes. Beyonce’s hit song “Single Ladies” has everyone wagging their fingers, including my four-year-old daughter who still gets excited each time the song comes on. Music’s sole purpose is to ignite a feeling and it does this ever so brilliantly in cinema.

“The Body Guard” movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner grossed over 400 million in sales world wide and the soundtrack did over 16 million, and is still the highest grossing movie soundtrack of all time. Now is this because the movie was just that awesome or did someone realize there’s a correlation between films and their soundtracks? When you put one of the greatest singers in the world into a film’s leading role you’re almost guaranteeing a hit in both mediums.

Being talented also plays a factor, of course.

I’m not saying that type of combination guarantees a worldwide smash. Mariah Carey’s movie “Glitter.” Need I say more? But in most cases having a great movie with a great soundtrack, it’s the music that helps create the ambience.

Just imagine waking up in the morning to an alarm of your favorite song, and if you’re like me that song is ‘Sex is on Fire’ by Kings of Leon. Then have music narrate the rest of your day with Ice Cube’s song “Today was a good day.” All along each event from you singing in the shower, arguing with the car in front of you for making you late, flirting, giving attitude because you’d rather be anywhere but where you are at the moment (work), hearing things in the bathroom from the next stall that you wish you hadn’t, arguing with telemarketers who somehow managed to get your cell phone number after you specifically asked to be on the “Do Not Call” list, etc, etc. to the end of the day. You would have a compelling musical documentary, especially if you’re like me and can’t believe the things that happen to you in an average day. Music would help enhance what would normally be seen as routine, it would help express each emotion, allowing others who listen in to be more interested.

I’ll admit I’m guilty of listening to someone tell me about their day and wishing music was on, or pretending to play a violin when I’m sick of hearing them complain.

I couldn’t even begin to fathom what movies would be like without music. Or school, or life, etc… Could you?

Written by Kay Mac
Contributing Blog Writer
Get Brand Clarity for Music & Sports

1 Comment

Filed under Music

Career Branding Reflection for Musicians: The Copycat’s in the 50 Cent mixtape movement

Career Branding Reflection for Musicians: The Copycat’s in the 50 Cent mixtape movement

Shanette Carpenter, M.Ed. states that the worlds most “innovative” commercial for musicians, would be as follows “Got Mixtapes?  50 Cent did it, you can too!” The greatest gifts are in the stars and that is exactly where majority of upcoming artists are gazing.  Many may agree that the proof is in the pudding or is it MySpace®? Must there be a showstopper that begins the show before there is an individualized human being that creates a path for themselves?

Possibly, but due to the overwhelming population joining the 50Cent mixtape movement “obviously-not” would be an understatement.  Mixtapes are an intricate promotional tool with virtually NO RESTRICTIONS (virtually) if used properly.  As we recall; DJ Clue initiated the catapult of the mixtape game, but 50Cent as a recording artist capitalized off a foundation through innovation and a strategic marketing technique.  In analyzing the logistical breakdown of such stratagems, by reviewing the primary element of such success, which landed 50 Cent a record deal, we begin to notice some musicians are locked into the illusion that their life would change drastically, if they just put together a mixtape!

Generally, starting a business resides on a solid foundation aligned with determinates to form a creation.  Crafty lyrics over industry beats alone did not catapult the mixtape game into new heights or land 50Cent a record deal.  The concept of a strategic, relentless, marketing routine in play became an overseen pre-requisite to 50 Cent’s success.  Blatantly stated, there are not amateurs dominating the music industry, which is the premise for why the entire major label chain can be counted on one hand (but that’s another topic).  Will anyone, other than 50 Cent, take time to learn the mechanics of how to generate big business with adequate planning?

A mixtape serves as nothing more that a mere demo tape, by which anyone can submit as a resume.  A mixape is not “the guarantee variable” that anyone would care to hear or take time to listen to a musicians material.  A mixtape is mere demo tape and a demo tape is….well…unfortunately, a non-existent piece of work.  Based on the determinants referred above, one would lead to a profound conclusion.  If one printed and pressed 500,000 units of a mixtape, that person literally printed 500,000 resumes.  This course of action constitutes as a purpose without a cause; a hit without a run and the reason why so many musicians get absolutely nowhere with their prospective careers (note: resumes are another reason why people hate their job, but that’s another topic).  Please let’s plan more as a collective unit of individuals with an objective, and strategy that would defy all odds with absolutely no equivocations.  The 50 Cent Mixtape Movement; it’s not what you think and only five percent of what you have seen or have been sold as a reality.

But who will question the brand lead by what I consider to be the 50 Cent mixtape movement?

Written by Shanette Carpenter, M.Ed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

Career Branding Reflection for Musicians: Independent Master P. Frenzy

Career Branding Reflection for Musicians: Independent Master P. Frenzy

In the mid to late 90’s we experienced an independent label boom as budding entrepreneurs equipped with the proper business savvy and an ear to the street was able to capitalize on the regional music void created by major label negligence. Of course once you started having independent labels selling in excess of 500 – 1 million records per release off of mostly word of mouth, the majors began to open their purses and resources to get in on the action. The flood gates came through once Percy Miller aka Master P was able to figure out that if you hold off on the up front bread and weigh in on the back end you can see the real bread in this game and he did it like no other. Here to revisit this phenomenon from a business perspective is writer Shanette Carpenter, M.Ed. Read on!

Indie labels are steadily maxing out corporate dollars to anticipate the possibility of successful ownership. Although there still remain so few indie labels that sought out the responsible route of legally forming a small business, swarms of these indie labels scratch at the doors for successful distribution deals. The aspect of distribution smells sweet enough to taste especially the terms and conditions that one could never obtain from a basic artist deal contract. Indie labels thrive on the thought of regulatory power and creative control. The indie label craze developed in the late 90’s when a creative yet business savvy mastermind decided to use insightful mechanics to captivate his target demographic “hands on” and independently without the financial support from any major record company. The craze was by far initiated by the media but Percy “Master P.” Miller was at the forefront.

Master P’s initial deal was with Universal and the inner workings of this deal in particular were far from a standard artist deal…it was a clean distribution deal. I shall break down the elements that lead to this type of deal. Master P. already solidified his brand in a populated market and his business entailed a recoup operation with substantial figures, and ample investment turnaround, it was quite clear that Master P. was on to something huge, and of course most companies want to get in on the ground floor. For major corporations the ground floor for investments leads to higher per capita income and corporate profits. In short, Master P. received more so partnership deal that gave him percentage power in the upper eight percentile. Master P. certainly left the negotiation table with a huge bargain on something that wasn’t even for sale…an imprint of a major industry powerhouse for less than half its worth. Needless to state, MasterP. made history, which created the “Master P. Indie FRENZY.”

Nowadays, there are hundreds of thousands of Indie labels itching to sniff the success of Master P’s first deal. As the world continues to go ’round with or without us a question arise “will the exhaustion of the copy-cat application ever make anyone realize that there will never be another deal where a powerhouse sacrifices its corporate integrity to be blasted in the media and challenged by a rookie. Consequently enough, many of these new Indie label owners never researched nor educated themselves about basic business principles and lose hard earned pennies chasing something that may not be tailored for their small business (because of course that is exactly what an independent record label is…a small business)…There is NO CONCLUSION because brand “Independent Master P. Frenzy” continues…….

Written by Shanette Carpenter, M.Ed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music