It takes a certain type of person to be a hustler. A true hustler takes risks. Sacrifices sleep. Knows how to flip a dollar when they are down to their last one. And these characteristics are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more attributes that, if compiled, makes up a hustler. Meet Flam-Bz. After listening to his story, you will conclude that he’s no doubt a hustler. Not quite the average kind. Instead, he’s the type of hustler that’s very strategic in his thinking. Through his company, Black Label Records, Inc, he understands the benefit of diversifying projects and services. He’s part of this new breed of hustlers. Via various social media outlets, gorilla marketing, and word-of-mouth, Flam-Bz is steadily building his brand (for instance, by pulling in over 25,000 views on Youtube and putting several thousand copies of his mixtape, “Soundtrack to the Streets” out on the streets). Flam-Bz and BLR, Inc. got a plan. Like his Floridian counterpart Rick Ross, Flam-Bz himself lives by the words “everyday I’m hustling…hustling…hustling”.
But as BLR, Inc gets off to a good start in the music mecca of the South…Atlanta, the bossman and artist understands that there will be some rough times and that with success comes the bull—-. Flam-Bz won’t flinch or hesitate on this journey. He vows to not even let rap “beef” slow him down. This is definitely a sign of a true hustler.
STACKS Magazine recently sat down with Flam-Bz to learn about Black Label Records, Inc, his reason to move to Atlanta to pursue music, why rap beef has its pros and cons, ways to maintain financial stability while promoting your product, and much more.
What does Flam-Bz stand for?
FB: Flam-Bz stands for hot, fire, flame, on fire, flamboyant, Flam-Bz, F.L.A… you know what I’m saying. I been carrying that name for a minute. They used to call me Chop Flam-Bz. Some people still call me Chop. Flam-Bz is more of a stage name…an alter ego.
In your bio, you stated that you migrated from Florida to Atlanta. What was your main reason for your move to Atlanta? And how does it differ from Florida when it comes to the music industry?
FB: Well, when I was in Florida I was doing music, but I was more at home doing other things too. But, I’ve been coming up to Atlanta since like ’98. I’ve been coming up here doing music and getting involved with things like that. So when I came here, my purpose was strictly to keep doing what I was doing with music and surround myself with a better industry atmosphere. Also, it was to leave a couple things behind and move on to the next fresh start.
What have been your experiences thus far in the industry? Could you give us some things that have been the bad and good about it?
FB: Well, I’ll say the good things are that I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of people, meet a lot of people, do a lot of things that I feel I probably would not have had the opportunity to do still being back home [Florida]. Naturally, with anything it’s got its ups and downs. So I’ve took loses trying to invest in this, invest in that. And everything don’t normally pan out the way you want it to. But the thing is, you get the learning experience, you get the track record. So even you can turn a negative into something positive because it will always come back well “yeh yall did” or “we did.” But we didn’t do it successfully at the time, but we did it. That’s pretty much my look on it.
Speaking of the music, I noticed that you have a mixtape out “Soundtrack to the Streets”. Do you have something else besides STTS?
FB: Well, I have some singles. I’ve done some work with other people too. I do a lot of hook writing for people. I may not necessarily be on the album or getting the credit. But, that’s been a way for me to build my relationships with people…working with them until I can get to the point to where my name might be on the publishing or something like that.
I got a single Oh I Think I Luv You and I got another one called I’m Hot. We didn’t do a real video for it. But we put a little video together and we put it on Youtube. And in less than 30 days it’s already pushing like 5000 views. And the mixtape itself we are on our 5000th copy of putting that out in the streets. It’s already 4000 of them out.
How would you describe your rap style? What type of subjects do you talk about in your raps?
FB: It’s hip-hop. But it got a little gangster…kind of got some gutter to it. But, I try to talk about everything . What I talk about basically are things that I’ve known and that I’ve seen and that I’ve witnessed, whether it was first hand or second hand. Basically expressing that and putting that out there for those people that can relate to it. But I still have a commercial style where I can pretty much cross that line where its gutter enough to be in the streets but its commercial enough to be on the radio.
So which artists have you worked with before? What producers have you worked with thus far?
FB: Artists I worked with..hhmm people like Goodie Mob, a lot of the local artists like Bobby Valentino, Young Bloodz. I’ve worked with Kurupt from Dogg Pound. I’ve worked with Shop Boyz… a lot of people. Producers I’ve worked with Scrappy. I’ve worked with producers like Jae Millz, Bolo, Maestro, Diamond Kut…different people because I don’t produce myself. So a lot of beats…they normally coming from somebody else.
Are there any artists you haven’t worked with that you would like to?
FB: Yeah. I’m pretty much willing to work with anybody. I like music. I don’t object to nothing somebody is doing. If we can do a track together make some music and do it successfully, that’s pretty much what I’m all about. So all of the big names I haven’t worked with…I’m looking forward to working with all of them. I would like to work with Ross, Wayne, T.I….names like that.
Any female artists?
FB: (laughs) Yeah, it’s a lot of R&B …umm Nicki Minaj.
Often times we do hear about artists beefing with their labels, their managers, other artists…What is your take on “beef” period? Do you think beef is necessary? Does it add any value to the industry?
FB: Beef is something that’s going to come to the table eventually…no matter what. It’s a matter of how you face it when it’s presented to you. Now whether it’s necessary or mandatory or not, that’s like asking is it good publicity or bad publicity and if it’s good or bad for you. Bad publicity can be good for you because, for one, it’s exposure. Your name is still being talked about. It can also be good for you, because it might, for the wrong reason, add to some credibility to whatever it is you talking about if it’s handled the right way. You can’t avoid it! If you on a mission to go to the top, you’re going to deal with controversy and beef and have to take that on as it comes. But I think going about it in a…you can still be gangster but still be cool or positive and don’t really have to push that issue unless it’s brought to you. At that time, you weigh your options. Should I handle it in a beef state of mind or should I be smart and play chess with a poker face.
Have you had any unfortunate situations during your rap career thus far? How do you maintain your financial stability? How do you keep your hustle up? How do you divvy out the money so that you can continue to progress your business?
FB: I don’t sleep. (laughs) I stay on my hustle. I make sure I’m able to do everything I need to be doing to carry this brand and promote it the way that we’re trying to promote it. That’s going to be my best answer right there. I stay busy. I don’t sleep and I make sure that it’s done.
What is some advice that you would give to other up and coming artists about ways to manage their money?
FB: To do certain things you want to do, you don’t necessarily have to be out here blowing a lot of money…what some people might think. “Oh I need to get out here. I need to go in the club. I need to buy 10 bottles. I need to blow through a whole lot of cash to make something look like something.” So you might be recognized the next time you go in the club and think that’s going carry something on. I think you can take that same money that you might blow and blow it into something that’s going to give back to you…whether it’s now or down the road. Instead of running the clubs and blowing a lot of money, I’d rather take whatever that money was I was going to blow and take it and add to what I’m doing. Print out another 1000 cds. Buy 1000 posters or whatever the case may be. If you train yourself to do that, before you know it, everything will bubble and you’d save a lot of money in the process. But, that brand is going to carry itself. The more you put it out, the larger it gets. And then you look back like damn we didn’t have to go in the club and blow a lot of money to do it. That’s a good way to manage your money. And when you spend on certain things, you decide to not spend on other things.
What other endeavors do you have in the works? Besides the mixtapes and growing the label…
FB: Right now I’m checking out a couple of younger artists. I want to get a couple artists…something I can appeal to the youth and put a lot of time in that. But mainly, my label is most important to me now. I push myself as an artist, bt I’m concerned more about the label first. So CEO’ing and building the right team around what we’re doing so we can expand the way we plan to expand in the next 30, 60, 90 days. That’s my main focus. I really don’t try to dedicate my time to anything else. If you spread yourself to thin, naturally, you can’t cater to everything.
What are your plans for the next 3 to 5 years?
FB: We’ll probably be in the position to where we will be receiving endorsements, contracts, putting out artists, doing other things…hosting events. Basically create a whole media center. One thing we’re trying to do here is set up a structure to where if you come to us we can provide anything you need to brand you. Let alone brand ourselves. If you need photo shoots, videos, business cards, flyers, cds print up, recording production, video production, internet marketing…whatever the case may be. We’ll be in a position to where we can take clients in larger than just we want to rap and be able to service everybody. If you need rock bands, rehearsal rooms whatever the case may be. That’s the process we’re in now.
How can your fans purchase or download your music?
FB: Right now, the mixtape is on datpiff.com. It’s on livemixtapes.com. It’s on allnewhiphop,.com. It’s on the website www.blacklabelrecordsinc.com. You can always download it on there. You can check us out on Myspace.com/FlamBz. Everything is FlamBz for Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation we on there. You can download it off of there. And you can check us out on Youtube at TeamFlamBz.
For bookings, features, etc, please contact Flam-Bz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or via phone at 404-346-7814.
Video: “I’m Hot” by Flam-Bz
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