Ask Angelo

Excerpted from the Book:

... Whether through interviews, shows, classes, lectures, or even my syllabus being used in university courses on artist development, I want to reveal another view of the 'truth'. One that contains the five w's of the entertainment industry-who you have to be inside, what zaniness you are up against, when not to make certain moves, where to invest your focus, and why you need to educate yourself. Maybe in the end you can add it all together to see how this business can be survived with your soul intact. It's about getting in, staying in, and succeeding to whatever extent you are able, but only if you can hold YOU together.

.... I teach survival skills to my artists because I think that people need to know how to take care of themselves. Self-preservation is the first law of nature in a business where the laws are written in gold and blood. Many of us get it by what they call 'paying dues'.

... He has to want it bad. You can want fame, money, and success but you have to want to LIVE too. Wanting it and doing the things consistent with it may not be the same action though. If you indulge in everything that is bound to kill you and also dump the stress of trying to make it on top, what are you odds even when you want it so bad?

... At some point I tell those urban hustler-turned-artists to put the 40 ounce beers down, sweep the blunts off your nightstand, tell your entourage to get the hell out, and get serious about making it even if you're a young rapper starting out with no 'dues paid'. Is there a future for them? Only time will tell but they have to make it out first. Live to tell the tale and rhyme another day. Therefore, I encourage artists in my workshops to apply the same drive my mother pushed into me-to survive because you have to. Not just because you need to keep the gravy train fed, but because life is to be lived for the artist long after he drops the mic.

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