Wemix Contest Q&A #4: RavYen

January 8, 2009

Here’s my question. I read some where that in the entertainment industry morality is a speed limit. Some times I feel it’s more like a roadblock. So I would like to know if it’s possible to be successful in the mainstream marketplace with out loosing your morality? If so what steps should that artist take that are different from your run of the mill do anything say anything artist? My last question is are there any record labels that lean more towards artist that are actually saying something in there music if so who should I contact? Thanks for your time God speed and God Bless…..RayVen

Before we jump in, I have to point out: in the comment about the “roadblock,” you seem so jaded already. I don’t blame you; it’s too bad that the music world is so full of corruption and negativity that it makes young aspiring artists feel bad about doing what they love to do. I hope that through the stuff we talk about here on this site, we can improve things a bit and make things a little better.

Before I say anything else, I think it might be best to put a sample of RayVen’s music up:

Moving on to “morality in the mainstream,” I think the main component in this equation is you. Nobody can make you do something you don’t want to do. They may try to pressure you to do things a certain way in order to position yourself in the music marketplace, but at the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with it in order for it to get the green light. And remember to PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS–figure out what it is that you do, from both business and creative standpoints, that works well and makes a good connection with fans.

Let’s also talk about how you’re reaching out to new fans. Who are you promoting to? Where?

Injecting some positivity in the world of hip hop is an admirable (although daunting) goal. In taking on this responsibility, my main piece of advice is: embrace, don’t preach. Do at least as much listening as you do talking. Sometimes it may be good for you to reach out to people who are already interested in your message, but don’t be afraid to reach out to people who aren’t. “Preaching to the choir” is going to help you find fans, but in the bigger picture, it might be more powerful to reach out–in a positive, non-confrontational way–to people in the “bitches, guns, and money” world of hip hop. Be a part of a movement…and maybe even lead one.

Check out RayVen here:




  1. pepper on January 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    ‘this is what we settle for?’
    that was awesome with some great writing in there. I enjoyed it and respect him as an advocate of more positive beats, leaving the stereotypes and cliches of this industry behind. that’s awesome to see.
    “be apart of the movement, and maybe even lead one” great words from you too mike.
    The very fact that we’re talking about this and how much attention RayVen’s music is getting is proof enough that there is a movement and people are starting to listen, starting to get sick of hearing the same crap all the time. Good luck and keep it up!

  2. rockermeg on January 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

    First: RayVen’s music is amazing.
    I guess it’s all about what your morality is
    If you think it’s acceptable to let someone else write your music and to rap about things like guns,drugs and money then you’re sticking to your morales. And then if you stand up for your morales when people put them down, that shows even more morality, am I right?
    Then there’s the concept of ‘Right and Wrong’; who are we to say what’s right and wrong? Could you explain what right and wrong are? Again, you refer to your own personal morales.
    People are different
    I love this song and the lyrics, but can you not see how this might offend/annoy people in the music industry?

  3. _AdRiFt_ on January 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Hey there Mr. Shinoda,

    My post to this blog has nothing to do with the blog itself but it’s the latest under the music recommendations and I just want to point out a very good artist. Bring a CA man yourself, you had to have heard about Jack Johnson. He is an amazing guitarist and lyricists and if you haven’t heard his music–you must! Here is a link to a you tube video of his.

    Once again, he is amazing! Just thought I would put my 2 cents in. 🙂

    Good day!


  4. davidkyoku on January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    hey mike first of all sorry formy english,I’m studying it at school my name’s david, i’m from spain,and i’m 17 congratulations by your blog,it’s a very interestingwebsite.i’m musician like you,I’m in a rock band from Barcelona,and I’m following your steps since 2007.you’ll maybe laugh but thanksto you my life have changed.i was in a very bad situation and you gave me lot of motivation and you gave me a big autosuperation spirit,until I’ve reached some musician wishes,like record in a studio or performing a concert, but the most important, you’ve made me a happy live.thanks to linkin park i’ve met my best friend and also my girlfriend i hope could thank you someday. check myspace/overdriven66

  5. Ranger111133 on January 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    this guy is amazing! his music is really good and i love that he’s a good rapper that wants to be a good role model, i know there are rappers who try to b role models but they arn’t as good as RayVen. RayVen, ur music is amazing and u definetly should try to keep putting meaning into your songs and not lose ur morality

  6. analoggirl on January 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Great advice! “Embrace, don’t preach,” and “Be a part of a movement…and maybe even lead one,” can be applied to different areas in life. 😉 RayVen, best of luck to you!

  7. nillp on January 9, 2009 at 9:11 am

    i liked his question about “how not to lose morality”.. it’s something that some artists should have thought about before losing it..

    don’t be afraid to reach out to people who aren’t” this is SO true.. you and LP reached out many people i know that “didn’t like you” with MTM.. i think RayVen should invest on it!

    this sample that you posted is really good.. he seems to be pretty talented; hope he achieves everything he wants!

    completely changing the subject

    i’d like to say a big THANK YOU.. i’ve been gone through bad times (again) and LP have helped me to overcome them (AGAIN!).. so, thank you guys A LOT!

    have a great day and take care. (:

    love ya; mk’nil :*

  8. Lvix on January 9, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Deekay(Artist) and me(manager and producer) will have to organize hip hop events.
    Because there aren’t much hip hop events here. So if the website finally is online, fans will get the oppertunity to donate some little money. Because organize events, All the material, even there will be a videoclip… means you have to get a start budget. Deekay’s friends, all the guys are people in the drugs, bitches, money… And they all helping to promote. Without them it was more difficult. Anyway i hope the projekt will be going good. Right now we’re working on the first Album.
    Anyway, Mike what do you think is right now the most important? The music, the website, ..?

  9. Gabry94LinkinParkfan23 on January 9, 2009 at 8:55 am

    heyy Mike, veeery cool. take care, Gabry

  10. ShadowerLiltani on January 9, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hey Mike, what are we going to do tonight? The same thing we do every night fans… TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!

    You are raising your little brain minions well.

  11. colinreid on January 9, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Yo Mike, hows things? I just came across this new trailer for a film called Fighting which drops April 24 this yr It’s got your Remember The Name included on it should check it out, lke the way its blended it in. Heres the link http://www.myspace.com/trailerpark

  12. Blaesbjerg on January 8, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    You’re gonna start a music-revolution – And in the end people are gonna thank you.

  13. JohnLP89 on January 8, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Mike, LP needs to play Hawaii. I’m from Virginia and have seen you twice at Nissan, but you need to hit up the Waikiki Shell or Blaisdale. If 311 can do it you can too!!!

  14. murry on January 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Hey, I just saw a segment on The Colbert Report tonight that might interest you. The author of the book, “Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy,” was on talking about how copyright laws are archaic in light of new technology. Really interesting interview. The guy’s name is Lawrence Lessig. I’d post a link, but it’s not up yet. It’ll be on colbertnation.com, though, as of tomorrow.

  15. durg on January 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    sigh mike im not gonna lie, i didnt read this one, i just needed to comment..
    i just really hope you & the rest of the guys know that everyone really does appreciate everything that you do.
    just having a bad time in the family right now & its like music is all im really holding onto at this point,
    so even though it really doesnt do any kid of justice in just one word, thanks.
    & i feel like a total nerd for being such an emotional wreck in a comment you probably wont read, haha, but oh well..
    just really need you guys to know that.

  16. thompson on January 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I often find myself having a similar problem in the realm of illustration. The fact that someone like you Mike has the same opinion, someone who hasn’t given up their morality for fame is awesome. You are truly someone to look up to, for your music, lyrics, and art.

  17. ThePrincess on January 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I agree with your view about how to embrace the fans,but there a few additions from me,that is be careful to the arrogant characteristics coz from the point of my view many successful artists who have experienced ‘THE POST POWER SYNDROME’ but they do not realize it and the first thing that must have learned by the person who wanted to enter into the music business was the characteristics of modesty,low profile,had a big spirit and of course often to learn but the basic characteristics like i was named earlier was the most important coz believed without ‘that’ although they was a great artist still will fall, well that only my opinion but as usual your advice still the best..

    Princess 😉

  18. lucky_cat on January 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Rayven, do you know Xavier Naidoo? It’s difficult to assess for me … His name was the first that came to my mind after reading. He is a German RnB singer with a deep Christian belief and shows it in all his lyrics AND he is very successful with his music for many years. He sings in German but occasionally in English and collaborated with several famous artists, RZA for example. So, that shows this way might not be the easiest but is obviously possible. In 2000 he founded his own label. I’m not a fan but there are a few songs that I like.
    Mike, that “figure out what it is that you do” seems to me like a never ending process I’m involved in since I took my first breath

  19. Saphira on January 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    this is really interestin… ppl these days will od anything in order 2 get fame and the media it seems only scandalous stuff acutally get more attention than good, moral things that ppl do it really sucks reall bad that this what ppl follow, all the stupid negative shit =( anyways nice advice mike =D

  20. tpbarbosa on January 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Nowadays scandals’re happening with many artists,it’s just a easier way for reach more ppl,midea helps on it.I’m afraid on perceive on doing my own stuff,I’ve recorded some demos but somehow I’ve lost hope,seems like ppl are more interested to listen to artists who’re big on the midea then to those who want to make it real and true.About this pressure,I know many ppl wouldn’t survive to it the big labels just want to make money and only it,at least it’s the way I see it.You kind of gave me some hope when in that song of FM”Get me Gone”you said ppl weren’t too into you to rap, but somehow that turned LP into something special and different from the other bands.Is it worth to do what love?

  21. cuz on January 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Morality is a very important thing to discuss. Especially that scandals are easy to get more attention. Some just wants that attention, some use it to be successful faster–if fame is a success. It’s so easy to loose the main reason–music. And your pointing out about being jaded was so accurate. I just feel that way with my life but without any music bussiness related cases. Take care 🙂

  22. NoMoreSorrowGirl on January 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Prof. Mike, good advice “Do at least as much listening as you do talking”…Heh!i kinda confused on that one…it’s hip-hop he rap, you mean that think before he talk!?…nevermind it…Take Care Mike:))…Love yah!:))

  23. Madlen on January 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I think most celebrities these days are ready to give up everything they believe in just to get more,money fame,fans or whatever…I’m not saying all of celebs do it but there are definitely a lot of people out there who changed themselves just to get to that I’m famous statute.

  24. Stef_No_Mercy on January 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    im a little confused mike….anyways….
    also…”hey Mike:D”

  25. Kalini on January 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “Everybody wants to be a millionaire”, that’s what I remembered of the song and cash/ guns/ cash/ guns. Maybe that’s what you call “bitches, guns, and money” world of hip hop. I hope that RayVen will find fans, who don’t think that hip hop music starts and finishes with “bitches, guns, and money”! I’ve never accepted that a music style is a lifestyle, no matter if it’s pop, rock, hip hop or whatever. You say it right: “Nobody can make you do something you don’t want to do”. Mike, I find your piece of advice very challenging: “Be a part of a movement…and maybe even lead one”. I think you are that kind of a person, who is not afraid of taking challenges. Good luck to RayVen! Krassie

  26. Twiggy on January 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    So do you mean that to enter on that world you have to be a fake person?? , I don’t know, is what you did??
    You get me so confused right now.

  27. liope on January 8, 2009 at 11:26 am

    You have to be really strong to refuse something that you want so much in order to keep your morality (and this is one of the reasons i like Linkin Park!! Because you have succeed that!! ). Most people prefer to make their dream true by sacrificing everything!! I wish Ravyen to keep his morality and make some good music!! 🙂

  28. KATHYxx on January 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Preaching is like telling other people what to do. So i second that notion. People don’t like hearing things they’ve already heard, know or basically telling them that they’re wrong.

  29. miKer0cks on January 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Cool piece of advise Mike thx 🙂 Although I’m not in a band or something, I find these posts really interesting 🙂 I’ll agree with you on ”Nobody can make you do something you don’t want to do”. I believe that if you make music that you DON’T like then it will be more hard for you to play it and even enjoy listening to it, so it’s better doing your thing, the way you like it and have someone make some comments on it and give you some tips on what to change or keep 🙂 But in the end, it’s really your choice what you’re going to do 🙂 And of course keep the fans happy with the result 🙂 (does that ring a bell to you Mike?) You said that in the making of FM album, so thx ”teacher” Mike 😛

  30. eleni1997 on January 8, 2009 at 10:42 am

    oo my god! the first comment!

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