In January 2013, I wrote a revealing, soul-baring article titled “Confessions of a Failed Hip Hop Publicist” which expressed my profound disgust with the music industry, my disappointment in the caliber of rap artists soliciting my services, and why I chose to retire. Written both as a cautionary tale and as a form of personal therapy, my goal was to let the universe know that I was done with this crazy industry, once and for all. No longer would I subject myself to working with second-rate rappers whose only goals were to become the next Chief Keef or 2 Chainz. No longer would I have to put up with self-important media gatekeepers who wouldn’t recognize real talent if it beat them in the head. But as the saying “God works in mysterious ways” implies, the universe had something else in store for me.

Immediately after my article was published by Pigeons & Planes and picked up by countless blogs and social media platforms, I began receiving thousands of emails, Facebook messages, tweets, and phone calls from people around the world thanking me for having the heart to speak my truth. My story struck a nerve with everyone ranging from artists and rap fans to bloggers and industry execs. These folks either urged me to stay in the business, expounding on the merits of my professional integrity, or wholeheartedly supported my decision to walk away, assuring me that what I labeled a failure was in actuality a breath of fresh air amidst a rotting industry. More interestingly, I heard from my professional counterparts, many of them high profile publicists who echoed my sentiments and shared their own nightmare experiences in the field. The feedback I received was overwhelming but encouraging beyond my expectations.

Of course, the haters also had their say. Some accused me of being a self-righteous jerk; some said I was a crappy writer; others ridiculed my lack of business-savvy. More interesting were the interactions I had with high profile executives who, in an attempt to defend their industry, casually revealed their true feelings about the average music fan/consumer. To paraphrase what an executive at one of the world’s biggest mass media company told me: rap fans aren’t the most intelligent bunch so we can pretty much sell them anything and they’ll eat it up. Just to be clear, he was one of many prominent decision-makers I spoke with who felt this way about their target audience. These “gems of human beings” were simply reinforcing my decision to exit the game.

The ironic by-product of my “retirement” letter was the feedback I got from hundreds of extremely talented artists interested in representation, publicity, and plain old guidance. The caliber of artists I had previously been seeking were now flooding my inbox, one after the other, proclaiming their music to be unique enough to make me reconsider my retirement. Here I was, boldly giving the industry my farewell speech only to have it laugh in my face with more potential business opportunities. Some of these artists were complete garbage, the type I was running away from, who must have skipped over the part of my story where I explain how I loathe everything they represent. Others were incredible, though-provoking artists who reaffirmed the fact that great Hip-Hop music is alive and well. Nonetheless, steadfast in my resolve, I kindly turned away all artist solicitations and proceeded to pursue my other passion—education. I resurrected the award-winning educational Hip-Hop program I had neglected when my work in publicity took off. It felt good to be back in the classroom, making a real difference in children’s lives, away from immature rappers and their silly pipe dreams.

Read the entire article here