Artist Of The Week - Conscious
Renaissance man. It’s a phrase that isn’t used very often in 2006, but how else could one possibly describe Conscious, a man who’s an MC, producer, painter, poet, actor, Jask clothing model and internet entrepreneur? Very few people can say they’ve performed poetry for those incarcerated in our prison system and rocked shows with the likes of Hank Shocklee and Immortal Technique. Conscious, however, is that man, which is why I caught up with him this week to feature him as my Artist Of The Week.
Adam Bernard: You have been dubbed Hip-Hop's renaissance man. What does this mean to you and how do you go about living up to such a title?
Conscious: I think it's a responsibility to show and prove through my movements, but it’s one I am capable of. I basically analyze what my abilities are and try to exercise them thoroughly through the arts. I enjoy finding new ways to entertain, educate and empower individuals through all that I do.
Adam Bernard: What do you feel you gain by coming from so many angles?
Conscious: I can reach a much larger mass of people through being able to navigate various circles. Each circle will have its own communities with folks that don't cross over much into the adjacent ones, so by being in more of those communities I can not only reach additional folks but at times get portions of them to look into things that they didn't previously involve themselves with. Another reason is I do a lot because it opens up multiple streams of income. I have better sense than to sit around and think I'm going to be a millionaire over the summer by selling CD's hand to hand. I'm a multifaceted person, why not do what I'm capable of? One of the largest reasons why I do so many things to begin with is to show people that they can, too. It's unfortunate that some folks’ progress can be stifled by individuals that convince them that they shouldn't try to do more then one thing. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and experienced to its fullest extent. I'm not about to allow naysayers that have nothing to do with their own lives suggest anything to me about what I should do with mine.
Adam Bernard: Let’s talk music for a minute. You live in New York, a city that's flooded with MC’s and producers, how are you making sure you stand out from the crowd?
Conscious: I think for one I stand out for the fact that I truly am different, when it comes to my music I really don't sound like anyone else. I also have taken my business and research seriously where I'm doing things with a calculated, purposeful, approach. I've spent a fair amount of time assessing what tools this technological age has given us to market and network with and at the same time I realize my organic approach with people is just as important. I think my balance of those two elements gives me a great advantage. Sociability is also important. I also find that after getting to know people they tell me that they're not used to people that follow through with things, or people that call or email them up randomly just to see what's going on. I pride myself in not approaching people with an attitude of what can you do for me. I try to embrace people and offer whatever service I have available. The reciprocation factor is out there and these actions balance themselves out.
Adam Bernard: You have launched a number of websites. Why is it important to you to have such a presence on the web, and what can artists gain from having such a presence?
Adam Bernard: Quite simply maximizing, and offering different looks at interesting things that people may enjoy. From a business perspective it’s also testing the water to see what actually works. Similarly with pushing the envelope with art and entertainment, you want to offer quality and hopefully offer a lot of it. The bigger the presence the better the odds are of increasing your visibility.
Adam Bernard: Finally, what do you feel is the "next level" for you?
Conscious: I’m completing a few projects I have on the low and taking businesses that I have started from the 'self employed' stage to the 'business owned' stage. There's a vast difference. Also, creating situations that will enable me to employ folks. Aside from the business aspect of what I'm involved with I want to try my hand at theatre and a little stand up, two things that I'm actually nervous about. I know that I'm capable, but I think the responsibilities are much larger then with the other performance methods I've been involved with. I think doing stand up is even more scary then doing a stage play. At least with a play you’re sharing the stage and interacting with others, which takes some of the edge off. Sounds like I have a lotta nerve but I'm gutless huh?
Websites: iareconscious.com, FreeHipHopNow.com & Conscious Bootleggers
Blogs: ConsciousMe, Relax Star Vibe School & Growing Money Trees
Ringtones: Zingy.com & DecentX
MySpace Pages: myspace.com/conscious