Look Behind UBO For The Real Story

The desire to start something big begins in small spaces. The tightening confinement of the mountains was weighing my heart down, not noticing my artistic abilities yet acting on them as not only one to share but one to accept knowledge. Bathing in the sun felt as if I was in the wrong skin; examining people for actions and words — my life turned a new page.

When I was in junior high, I desired to write on a level higher than I had ever experienced before. Not only did I want to publish my writings but I wanted to teach journalism. Recently I was granted that very wish when I was able to teach a music engineering class about media and public relations but that is another chapter.

A student of journalism, something that belonged purely to myself, made me feel as if could conquer the world with my words.

A little let down in high school, I did not get back into journalism until I was a junior but made Features Editor my senior year. Now, I knew that why I was here was to learn as much as I could and to let others know; utilise my power with words.

Situations exasperating, I entered college and wrote, edited and assigned stories for my college newspaper, my fourth. This was one of the last classes I had to take for my A.A. in journalism.

This was also the same semester I was asked the question of when I wanted to start my own magazine. At first thought, it was outrageous simply because I had no funds to back a magazine at the time nor did I have the staff to help me work on it. Little did I know that it only takes one person to start a riot.

Underground Beat Online began August ’01, one month before the towers came down and our nation felt as if it were to fall apart. Little by little I picked up the pieces of local music and put them together online where my magazine laid. It was a fairly new concept; “e-zine,” yet it was taking off on an exponential level. I was getting 1000 new unique visitor hits every month, I was out and about three or more times a week at shows or interviews with rock bands locally or on the phone with anyone from hip-hop, folk to punk-rock. I even was able to interview a guy that ran a Christian jazz-based hip-hop choir. My magazine was so diversified, I featured naturalists, Communists, socialists, herbivores, vegans, Christians, Jews, Agnostics and so many more; all in the name of music.

My new muse. Music was where it was at for me. I got into underground music the day I took three guys out tagging, came back to one djing, one spitting righteous thought and other reminiscing underground cats I had never heard of, including Blackalicious. This all happened months before I put everything together.

I went home and dreamt of hip-hop that night and how I could save the general public from being poisoned by the radio and that was when my e-zine went from interviewing local artists to really being a part of the community.

Fast forward to ’06. I was renovating UBO. If you have ever lost a business you would know what I mean. It isn’t on a “cha-ching” deal as much as it has to do with the love for what I have created and the abandonment and fear of losing something great that I have come back to; especially when my heart was in order.

There ain’t no man that could take UBO, not no job or family member. I don’t care how crazy I come across or level headed, this is my baby. I created this shit and I plan on carrying it out.

…enough of the slang, aight then!?

When UBO came back, it was with a vengeance. I sought to locate the same artists and more that I was already working with, I had found a tight circle of hip-hop cats with all their own cliques that I could peak inside and that was and still is all right with me. As a journalist I am not here to befriend people on a level where I know every detail of their very existence yet at the same time if I am publicising them then it is my duty.

Public Relations came second to UBO. Not really, just an extension. UBO P.R. Services was created so that I could assist regional artists with media, consignment, galleries, boutiques and more. The longer that I have been doing this the more that I feel that it is my calling to conduct public relations, book events, promote/market and even manage artists. This is a long throw from my once love and desire of journalism yet if people are willing to pay for me to write and communicate on their behalf then what can I do?

It comes down to the fact that I don’t want a nine-to-five job nor do I want a part-time job where I am making nearly nothing. I’d rather work in my field. I am an expert at local, independent and underground music. I have expanded the thought into art, apparel, boutiques, restaurants, venues, bars and more. I don’t call myself an expert because I want notoriety; I do it because it is simply what I do.