The Birth of Rare Muzik

Rare Muzik I had so many close calls. I was gambling with my life. I was emphatic about leaving the narcotics business. We all have epiphanies. I definitely wanted to make some changes to my lifestyle. Over the course of my illegal activities, I met all sorts of people. Music was always a huge passion of mine. I grew up during the 80’s. There was so many fresh sounds that shaped my love for music. I was a huge fan of New Wave, Punk, and Industrial music. I loved Hip Hop too, it was unlike anything I had ever heard in my life. I would listen to The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Eric B & Rakim just to name a few. Music was submerged deep within my soul. Anyone who truly knows me can attest to this claim. I would always go to nightclubs and concerts as a teenager. My friend AK was a rapper who had recorded music as a group member that was signed to a respectable underground label(Jam Down, Lil Keke) based out of Houston. I knew a few of the up and coming rappers from Houston because a lot of them sold drugs. I would pick their brains when it came to the music business. No offense to any of them, but I was much more intelligent, aggressive, and had an ear for great music. I was a fan of most musical genres, which gave me an edge. How can you truly love music if you only listen to one or two genres? I was able to see the mistakes they made and utilize all of their information and implement that into my own label, that would be strategically unleashed upon the underground Hip Hop music scene. The last few years of my life was a keen example of futility. The only positive was the money it brought in. So in early 2000, I formed my own independent music label. RARE MUZIK, INC. would become the most important thing I had ever taken on. It was my baby. I was well schooled from the guys I knew in the music business. They really did not take it as seriously as they should have. Some of them did, but most of them did it as a way to wash their drug money. I was going to do it so I never had to sell drugs again. That was my motivating factor fused with my great love for music. My bond with AK and Raul was so strong, that I let them in as equal partners. It was a 33.3% split of ownership. I did about 90% of the business operations and funding. Raul was going through a rough patch. We were barely starting off so I was micro-managing the hell out of my label. I thought of the name, logo, marketing strategies, bought our studio equipment, hired a legal team, set up our publishing company, hired producers, engineers, got our U.P.C. codes, and so much more. I thought of ways to promote. Some of which included mass quantities of posters, shirts, flats, radio promos for shows, Houston Press ads, sponsored wet t-shirt contests(these were huge back in the early millennium) at night clubs before our shows. Whenever a night club would have their commercials played on the radio I would ask them to mention Rare Muzik since we were performing and sponsoring their weekly contests. They all agreed. At first I only had AK as an artist. We had recorded a few songs. Houston had a very basic, almost elementary sound to their Hip Hop back then. Only a few of the rap artists from H Town actually had the intelligence to have lyrically sound verses with amazing metaphors. Besides the legendary Scarface, they were mediocre at best. For the most part, acts like Lil Flip, Big Moe, and Paul Wall were starting to gain some national recognition. Their lyrical content was extremely basic. We were doing more and more shows. A buzz was slowly being forged from massive amounts of hard work and our fresh sound. It is Nearly impossible to describe the amount of work I put into Rare Muzik. I would have to dedicate countless entries for you all to grasp the blood, sweat, and tears I put into my company. In late 2002 I met another artist who went by “Lost Child.” He was brilliant. He had so much natural ability. He could freestyle for over 30-45 minutes of instrumental tracks without missing a step. That is very difficult. A lot of you reading this are probably not into Hip Hop, but it takes an extreme talent to be able to flow for that long without using any written material. We really starting coming into our own with the addition of Lost Child. We were headlining our own shows at local nightclubs with crowds of 800-1,000 people. We shared the stage and opened up for Scarface and UGK in front of thousands. Lost Child was slowly gaining more recognition. I challenged Paul Wall and Lil Flip to a freestyle contest against Lost Child for 5k each. They both declined. I was spending all of my free time trying to gain more fame for Rare Muzik and our two man roster of talent. I would go by myself and pass out posters and T-shirts around 2 a.m. whenever the clubs were closing. I made connections at the radio stations. It seemed like we were really about to take off. The only thing I was not happy about was the 33.3% split I voluntarily gave to Raul and AK. I should of listened to the phrase of “never mixing business with friendship.” Ak was becoming lazy and was not recording or finishing songs. Raul was still unable to help out financially, but he was not helping much with the responsibilities of running the label either.

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That did not go over very easy with me. I was working countless hours and had spent over 30 thousand dollars. Lost Child was the only one who had the same drive as me to complete our first full length release. I bumped AK’s album back due to his unwillingness to put in the work to complete his project. So, I focused 100% of my time and resources on Lost Child’s album. This was putting a heavy burden and strain on the battle tested relationships I had with Ak and especially Raul. I had several talks with them voicing my frustration. I asked them both to step it up. I felt taken advantage of and this was something I could not allow, even from them. We were going to make lots of money. At least that was the plan. I was going to be able to have shrink wrapped, store ready CD’s pressed up for about 70 cents. After the distribution(local) percentage was taken out, that was going to leave the label with about $9 dollars per unit. This is one of the major upsides of owning a label yourself instead of going the old-fashion route of looking for a record contract. That is why you saw so many rap labels during the mid to late 90’s being formed. To this day, this entrepreneurial attitude is the norm in the music industry. If I pressed up 10 thousand CD’s at 70 pennies per unit and made $9 dollars off of each one that was a net profit of $83,000. Of course I would still have to deduct my initial investment of starting the label and getting these projects completed. It would still leave me with a $40,000 profit after only 10,000 units were moved. After that, it was going to be some serious numbers. For some reason, Raul and AK were still not carrying their load. I could not allow this because we were in contact with Universal, Interscope, and Jive records for national distribution. They are as big as it gets in the music business. Jive Records was going to fly us to New York for negotiations. I pleaded with Raul and AK to step their game up. I was furious after another attempt went almost ignored for some reason. I contacted my lawyer and had him draw up papers to have them relinquish all ownership and shares of Rare Muzik back to me. All I needed was their signatures of resignation. I remember thinking, “I should of signed a fucking alternative band!” This was a very delicate situation I was about to go through. Friendships, a million dollar offer, and the streets were on the horizon. Old habits die hard and they can be costly too…

Comments (41)

  1. Erin Wilson

    You’re an amazing soul! Great storytelling skills! Much love!

  2. Coachguru

    Do I have to wait another week to hear the rest? Ugg!!!!! Great stuff man.

  3. Olivia

    Ahhhh! You left me needing to know what happened. Shame on you! lol

    • 1rare1

      Thanks so much for reading, Olivia! I have to keep them short because it is a blog…also, I want to have you all come back for the next installment:)

  4. The Stonewall

    Excellent blog and even more interesting when juxtaposed with the previous two.

  5. Thomas

    Never got that CD bro 🙂

    Whatever happened to Lost Child?

    • 1rare1

      I know man!! I can only blame one on the mail to Malta. I totally forgot when you where here in Vegas. I will get one to you. It’s crazy…it was copyright 2003. 10 years flew by:)about Lost Child…I will tell you more about him in the next installment. He(his story) is kind of important…so I will answer question about him in my next blog:)

  6. Randy Larsen

    Getting rather diverse in flavor. Digging it, Adrian. Keep up the good work. Poking in the darkness is better than not poking at all.. I am happy to say I am seeing alot of LIGHT!

    • 1rare1

      Thank you very much, brother! I appreciate the kind words. I am glad that people have stuck with me and knew some changes were coming. Take care man:)

  7. Ellen

    Its always tricky to mix business with friendships. Looking forward to seeing whats next.

  8. Your Madre

    I liked this one…..much safer than the previous career!

  9. Dizzy Bee

    Wow, great life story..For being so young, you have experienced so much…Keep up the awesome writing : )

  10. John palacios

    Amazing bro and you tell it so well! Sounds like we hung out at a lot of the same spots at the same time… Good thing we never really bumped into each other then or else we probably BOTH be in prison watching each others backs till this day!! Haha!! But seriously bro, great stuff homie… Keep them coming!

    • 1rare1

      Thanks homie! Yeah, we probably did! We did so many shows! We had monthly shows at T-Town 2000, Coco Loco, Hallabaloos, Roxy, and Los Magnificos Car Show(3 times because it is annual), and that’s just to name a few. Played in Chicago, Dallas, ATX, and New Orleans too.

  11. The 80 D.J

    As allways I enjoyed the read. I was on universal for a short time and was talking with A. Coy about doin some remix work for Dope House. None of it went the way I wanted to go. At this point in my dj Career i was burnt out and had a cocain habbit that could make Ozzy look like a rec user. Artist are fucked up people. The more fucked up a person is the better artist they become. Anyway this is your blog not mine. I look forward to reading more. You know me I truly love music and have knowedge on so many different styles. I love it all. I allways enjoy playin song and Artist with you. Take care

    • 1rare1

      Thanks bro! I appreciate you reading and commenting! Yeah, you are one of the few people I can talk music with. I mean, really talk music who has in depth knowledge, passion, and love for it. Take care man

  12. Dori

    This was a great read and another interesting facet about you.

  13. tom

    love reading your stuff bro, hate having to wait for the next one. fuck that leaving us in suspense shit, spit it out man. i hate you adrian. lol.

    • 1rare1

      Thanks homie! I appreciate the love man! I have SOOO much I left out. I have to keep them short. It is a blog. I will give you a rough draft to my book. I am seriously considering the challenge.

  14. Erin H

    Such a talented guy. Perfectly written to make readers crave more. Love it

  15. matticus

    couldn’t you have bought out ak and raul’s shares?
    also i’m still waiting for the return of rare.
    also also i’m extremely sad to say i lost my lost child cd. i really loved it. (i lost all my cds cause they were stolen… including my first run revco linger fickin good and my lords of acid voodoo u promo gary got for me.)
    also also also cheers for being one of my only friends who truly loves all music. rare indeed.

    • 1rare1

      Sure, I could of bought them out…but I am not built like that. They did not deserve that after coasting and not contributing or putting the effort that is/was needed to make it.I would only take back what was mine to begin with…I would not pay for something that belonged to me. I have some Lost Child CD’s left. I will send you one. I have flirted with the idea of returning to music. I would never mess with Hip Hop anymore…it would have to be something truly unique and different. Think if Muse and The Gorillaz had a baby…and then that baby met the offspring of DyE and Crystal Castles…and they had a baby…something like that! Lol:) Thanks for your support my friend!

      • matticus

        man. i can feel you on that. after my band mates replaced me they continued to perform all the songs i had written. i never felt more stolen from in my life. and i think you should get back into music someday. you have a great appreciation and a keen business sense. you could make it happen. shit you know i’d be there at any houston shows buying t-shirt and stickers and cds.

        my address is 1917 ruth st.
        houston texas
        77004
        😀

        • 1rare1

          Yeah, that would really be a tough thing to accept…having your songs(that you wrote) taken from you like that, I would be furious. I remember that project. What was the name of the band? It was something like “breakfast project” or something w/breakfast in the name. You had good material. One song in particular was really, really good! I can’t remember the name of it. It was slow and I believe an acoustic track. It was really good. Thanks for your support and the kind words. I will get you a CD ASAP. Just don’t lose this one. I only have about 20 left. They are truly “rare” now. Lol:)

          • matticus

            we were called “this complete breakfast” that way I could tell people I was part of this complete breakfast with a straight face. haha!

            and yeah — i’m going to put the cd on my iphone and then straight into my safe. I intend on not losing it again!

          • matticus

            thank you so much!

  16. Brandee

    Super impressed with your writing abilities. Who knew you had all this in you? I feel like I’m reading a story straight out of a published book. Crazy to hear about everything you have gone through……super interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • 1rare1

      Thank you so much, Brandee! Yeah, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I can do a little of everything:) I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read and comment. I am getting lots of people telling me I should write a book. I started on one about my life about 5 years ago…just had a lot going on and never finished it. I have about a 50 pages of handwritten entries I need to go over and see if there is any usable material. Anyway…talk to you soon:)

  17. Sunny Scofield

    In my life as a wife, mother and business woman I can relate on many levels. First the music. The Smiths and beastie boys are still my favorites. On the second, yeah I know Paul Wall, lol. My husband built his home in Houston and it was too funny. He had no clue how to turn on a light or run the sprinkler or alarm system. The alarm system? haha. guess he made have had a gun:) I know I can be greedy and do things to knock the other out of completion. I am clearly grounded when I see my kid do everything as he should. good read! I’m in round rock for baseball so been checking in every now and then.

    • 1rare1

      Thanks so much for reading! I know you are always very busy! I am so happy for you! You seem like a wonderful wife and mother:) yeah, he is an idiot. A rich one though…lol. I hope your son continues to destroy his competition in baseball. Oh yeah…I am just curious…did you happen to read my last installment? Wild Boy-Part 4?? No need to comment…just a yes or no will be fine(because of its content).

      • Sunny Scofield

        Yes I did! I think just forgot too. Awesome read and better you than me. haha. I would get eaten alive. I thought we were all crazy kids from Spraaang!

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