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Confessions of a Failed Hip Hop Artist Pt 2

One day I get a phone call from an L.A. area code that I didn’t recognize, “Hello I’m calling on behalf of Mr. West.” The dude on the other end sounded like Agent Smith or someone from the IRS.  I honestly didn’t know what he was talking about. “Who?”,  I replied. Once again he stated “I’m calling on behalf of Mr. West.” I’m still kind of puzzled about this strange voice calling on behalf of someone and now I really don’t know what  the hell he’s talking about. “Who!!”, now my reply is slightly agitated. I guess he decides to cut to the chase and replies “Kanye West, I’m calling on behalf of Kanye West!”…… My heart beat instantly sped up, within seconds I broke into a sweat, it became difficult to put complete sentences together. “Oh”, best reply I could think of.

A few months earlier I was living in Silicone Valley, this was around the time Jay Z and Kanye West began doing promo for their upcoming Watch the Throne album.  I happened to read a book, Get Rich Click, by Mark Ofstrowsky.  The book basically outlined different money making strategies that were available on the internet.   One strategy it described was domain flipping, basically buying the domains of popular terms and then reselling them.  It’s a huge industry, Business.com sold for 45 million dollars.  I started buying domains of random words, new slang terms ie figadel.com, possible future terms (fbathletics.com) and lastly I bought the domain of my favorite song at the time………………niggasinparis.com.  Don’t ask me how because I don’t even know.  I just did it, to this day I don’t know what led me to purchasing it.  With one $12 purchase the music industry changed forever.  Since then have you ever seen an artist release a track listing before their album dropped?  Crazy thing is there were tons of huge records that were available as domains, marvinsroom.com was available and a bunch of others.  I bought it on September 27 and received the call on behalf of Mr. West on December 19th.

“We understand that you are in possession of niggasinparis.com, and if you have an offer that’s reasonable we’d consider purchasing it”. The wise thing would have been to tell him that I’m open to discuss it let’s arrange a later time to talk…….but no me, being the genius that I am,  reply “Here’s what I need, I want to send Kanye 3 songs for him to personally give me feedback on and I want him to follow me on Twitter” (I don’t know man, I be trippin sometimes). The guy on the phone was like “Whoa! I’m the president of A&R and I listen to everything before it gets to Kanye.”  I was talking to Che Pope, Head A&R of G.O.O.D. Music.

I wind up talking to him about my music and surprisingly was very open to hearing it.  I talked a little about different things I had accomplished – Side note being in a bunch of blogs is not really impressive to people in the industry, having fans is–  to his credit he was a genuine dude who did give me a shot.  There was only one problem.  I had no current single recorded, hadn’t released a project in 12 months, had no tour lined up or any plan at all except make songs, send them to bloggers and hope they post them.  I sent him the one commercial single I had and a few songs in my catalog.  He thought they were cool, it wasn’t anything that led him to move but he did ask to hear more.  Now I’m scrambling in the studio trying to record stuff that sounds current and industry ready, get it mixed and sent over to him.  A couple weeks pass and I have more songs and singles but now he’s in London with Kanye, then he’s in Paris and it’s harder to get in touch with him,  though he did always reply, even if it took a while.  The people at G.O.O.D Music were very supportive.  Don C, Kanye’s Manager, even agreed to be my mentor for a little while.   All of this was happening after they purchased the domain and had what they wanted. They really did leave the door cracked for me.   But at the end of the day I just didn’t have my shit together. Wasn’t in shape, wasn’t on the road, wasn’t dropping music consistently.  People in the game want to mess with artist who are moving.  They want to throw gas on the fire, not rub two sticks together and try to start one.  I got my shot but I wasn’t ready.  They winded up signing another artist from my hometown, Travis Scott.

-Rob Jay

*G.O.O.D Music winded up purchasing the domain from me for an undisclosed amount and no I didn’t get that follow from Kanye on Twitter. If your reading this Yeezy it’s never too late @robjay09

*Silver Lining** A couple months later I found pointguards.com was available and brokered a deal with an NBA player who bought it and I winded up having much success in domain flipping. At my peak I owned around 75