Posts Tagged ‘Rap’


Los Angeles, CA, February 2012 – Amidst this year’s polarized political landscape characterized by presidential hopefuls flaunting their classism and ethnic biases as campaign platforms, rap artist Journey Brave seeks to bring a message of unity through his self titled debut album “Journey Brave”. Aptly named to encourage listeners to travel bravely on their journey through life, Brave believes that an artist’s responsibility is to empower those with an open ear and mind. While so many other artists choose to stay silent regarding the current social climate, Journey Brave felt this to be a perfect time to speak up and has scheduled to release his album  during Black History Month.

”I’m releasing the album during Black History Month because I take pride in being a part of a people who have overcome so much. I also view The Civil Rights movement as a metaphor that represents the internal struggle for peace and equanimity in all mankind. This is what ‘Journey Brave’ is about,” says Journey. With an eleven song offering covering themes such as determination, success, love, and the illusion of fame, Journey aims to speak to the best in all of us. While he’s aware that today’s average rap fan may not be accustomed to Hip Hop music with a message, he also refuses to insult them by assuming socially conscious rap is over their heads. While sonically, Journey’s sound and delivery is steeped in the classic Hip Hop tradition of “beats and rhymes”, he’s confident that his message will appeal to the young and old, Black and white, rich and poor, rap fan or not, and everyone in between.

Journey Brave’s self titled album is available at:

Watch the video for “The People”:
The album will soon be available at all popular online music stores such as iTunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody.

For more information about Journey Brave, go to:


About S&H Public Relations 

S&H Public Relations is a Los Angeles – based company dedicated to promoting Hip Hop artists and culture. We pride ourselves on working with artists who aim to push Hip Hop music forward.  We believe that many talented Hip Hop artists, usually referred to as “underground”, are often overlooked due to lack of resources.  S&H’s goal is to provide affordable services to quality artists who are looking to receive greater exposure.

Media Contact:

Sebastien Elkouby

S&H Public Relations


 # # #


Los Angeles, CA, February 2012 – While mainstream rap music continues to suffer from a lack of socially conscious content, there are many lesser known rappers whose music is rich with heart and substance.  Enter Journey Brave.  Los Angeles based S&H Public Relations, who specializes in working with Hip Hop artists, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sign the Atlanta MC who is an example of what rap music sounds like at its best.

S&H co-founder, Sebastien Elkouby, says, “Rappers with a message in their music don’t always get the proper recognition.  Our job is to make sure that this type of music gets to the people who don’t realize it exists.”  To that aim, S&H Public Relations will be working with Journey on the release of his self titled debut album and videos.

“I’m truly excited about my new relationship with S&H Public Relations and I believe that they are key players on Team Journey Brave”, says Journey regarding signing with S&H.  “I expect prosperous and positive results because of their respect and appreciation for true art. I want the masses to know and fully understand that “As You Journey Through Life…Journey Brave”.

“Journey Brave” is scheduled to drop mid February 2012 and will be accompanied by a series of videos.  Look for the album available soon at all major digital music retailers.

For more information about Journey Brave:


About S&H Public Relations 

S&H Public Relations is a Los Angeles – based company dedicated to promoting Hip Hop artists and culture. We pride ourselves on working with artists who aim to push Hip Hop music forward.  We believe that many talented Hip Hop artists, usually referred to as “underground”, are often overlooked due to lack of resources.  S&H’s goal is to provide affordable services to quality artists who are looking to receive greater exposure.

Media Contact:

Sebastien Elkouby

S&H Public Relations


 # # #






Los Angeles, CA/Atlanta, GA, December, 2012S&H Public Relations, who has been hard at work since this past summer representing some of the best up-and-coming Hip Hop artists, has partnered with one of the nation’s premier urban entertainment website, Hip Hop Wired, to kick off the 2012 National MC Search. Judged by Rapper Big Pooh from Little Brother fame, underground heavyweight Torae, and film producer Kareem Fort from “Demos”, this online talent search, beginning January 9, 2012, will give aspiring rap artists across the nation an opportunity to compete for a chance to win exciting prizes including international publicity.

Hosted on and, the 2012 National MC Search is sponsored by some of the most respected names in the world of Hip Hop and entertainment:

Conspiracy Worldwide Radio – Hip Hop’s most discussed weekly online radio show, broadcasting to millions across 180 countries.

MP3Waxx – The #1 MP3, Video and Radio Service for Major and Independent Artists. – The Underground Hip Hop Authority bridging the gap between the underground and mainstream.

On January 9, contestants will visit either and click on the 2012 National MC Search page or and click on “Events” in order to enter the competition.  The entry fee is $6 and artists will have until February 3, 2012 to submit their best song. All music will be evaluated by the judges and the staff of S&H Public Relations.  On February 13, the top 3 finalists will be announced and readers of Hip Hop Wired will vote on their favorite song.  The winner will be crowned on February 20.  Prizes include:

• A part in the upcoming Hip Hop film, “Demos”
• A song on the film’s soundtrack
• A featured interview on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio
• Free publicity
• And more

For rules and submission information about the 2012 National MC Search, visit or and click on “Events”. You can also contact Sebastien Elkouby, co-founder of S&H Public Relations, at or 310-654-1681.


  About S&H Public Relations
S&H Public Relations is a Los Angeles – based company dedicated to promoting Hip Hop artists and culture. We pride ourselves on working with artists who aim to push Hip Hop music forward. We believe that many talented Hip Hop artists, usually referred to as “underground”, are often overlooked due to lack of resources. S&H’s goal is to provide affordable services to quality artists who are looking to receive greater exposure.

  About Hip-Hop Wired
Hip-Hop Wired is the dominant cultural site on the web providing up to the minute music industry and entertainment news relating to Hip-Hop and R&B along with insightful political content to fuel the thinking masses. Streaming the latest tracks from the hottest MCs signed and unsigned, Hip-Hop Wired also hosts a video portal for the latest virals released by your favorite artists. We don’t follow the trend…We dictate it!
Media Contact: Michael “Ice-Blue” Harris (MOGULDOM MEDIA GROUP/President – Operations Manager of Hip-Hop Wired) 678-691-1531 or

Producing and recording music is one thing.  Promoting it successfully is another.  And if you think using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation is all you need to get your music out there, you’re in for a surprise!  How you promote yourself will make you or break you.  So, how will people know you even exist when millions of other artists are using the same sites to promote their music?  And as a broke artist (Admit it! Most up and coming artists are!) how much will it cost you?  This is where effective self-promotion comes in.  Here are the 3 best ways to promote your music for free or on a limited budget.

1.   Create a Media List

Compiling a media list can be time consuming so you should start while you’re still in the process of recording your music. Research all of the websites, blogs, podcasts, program directors, and publications that cater to your particular style of music.  Don’t waste time with those that don’t.  Some sites feature unsigned and independent artists and will have specific requirements as to how they want people to submit their material.  Follow these guidelines carefully or your music may be ignored.  If you’re researching magazines and newspapers that don’t have an online presence, you’ll have to get physical copies of these publications to gather your information.  Look for the “Staff” page and identify the appropriate person or department to send your music and press kit to.  If you’re unsure, contact the publication and ask who to send new music to.  You may or may not get a response (you know how these industry types act sometimes! Just kidding, my industry friends!)  but don’t let that discourage you from moving forward.

Make sure that your list is well-organized and includes names, emails, and phone numbers.  A media list can include hundreds of contacts and should be updated often since new sites, blogs, mix shows, and podcasts are popping up weekly.  Don’t think that only the most popular sites and publications matter.  Lesser known media is just as important when trying to create a buzz. is a great tool to use when creating your list.  It is a blog directory that ranks the top sites of any kind, be it Hip Hop or otherwise, and will help you find many great outlets.

Once your list is rich with contacts, use it wisely.  Don’t spam people or send out poorly written emails.  That’s the #1 way to get blocked!  If used correctly, you’ll realize how valuable your list is once you start getting responses.  Reply quickly, be polite, honor their requests, and you’re on your way to establishing strong relationships with the people who can give you the publicity you need.

But, if creating your own media list sounds overwhelming, you have other options.

2.      Email Blasting Services

An email blast is an email including any content such as a newsletter, press kit, music, pictures, or videos, quickly sent out to a large number of people.  Many companies offer such services to clients looking to target specific audiences.  Hip Hop artists often use email blasts to let fans, blogs, program directors, podcasts, and journalists know about their latest project.  Companies will let you choose who you’re interested in reaching and whether you want the blast to be sent out locally, nationally, or internationally.  You will not have access to their media list but will be given a general idea of who the blast is reaching.  Usually, email blasts are fairly affordable and can be used every time a new project needs to be promoted. is an email blasting service which specializes in urban entertainment.  Their media list reaches up to 300,000 people depending on the audience you wish to target, which can include DJ’s, journalists, consumers, and more.  They can even send out animated blasts which can get you much more attention than boring old messages!  Their services are extremely affordable and it beats standing on the corner, trying to convince people to buy your CD!

Another great service is  They send your music to 843,000 consisting of 65,000 DJs worldwide–radio DJs, music directors, program directors, club, satellite, mixtape, internet DJs as well as music magazines, top 100 music websites, top 200 music blogs, record pools, public relation firms, a-list booking agents, and record label executives.

But if that’s not your cup of tea either, there’s another option.

3.      Press Releases Services

A press release is a written document directed at the media, announcing something newsworthy, such as the release of a new album or project.  Click here for an example.  The release is then distributed to members of the media using a media list or a newswire.  A newswire is a service that transmits news to the media and the public.  Basically, it is an extensive electronic media list consisting of the top journalists and news outlets in the world.

But let me be real with you.  Writing a press release isn’t easy for the inexperienced.  You need to be a great writer and follow a specific format. If you have a hard time spelling and writing cohesive sentences, this probably isn’t for you.  Professionals are usually hired to write press releases since they know exactly what the media is looking for.  I suggest you research this issue in depth before committing yourself to this task.   Still, if you’re confident in your writing abilities, it isn’t impossible.  After all, that’s how I got my start!  There are many websites that can help you write a press release and provide samples and templates for you to use.  Study them well!  Once you’ve written your release, compare it to others to make sure it follows the same format and have it proofread by at least 2 good writers.  Unless your homies fit this description, don’t depend on them to help you with this!  Once you feel comfortable with your work, you’ll need to send your press release to the media list you’ve created or you can get distribution through a newswire.

There are a few distribution services that can help you with this process. is one of the leading newswire for the African American media and can distribute your release for a very affordable rate to over 40,000 journalists and bloggers. Another service, although a little more costly, is  It’s one of the top distribution services in the world and, depending on the package you choose, will get your press release to all major outlets like the New York Times and USA Today.

Please understand that no distribution service guarantees that the media will write a story about you once they receive your release.  All they do is send it out.  It’s up to journalists to decide if your story, music, video, or whatever you’re promoting is interesting enough to write about.  Having your release state that you’re the best up and coming artist in the world will NOT get a journalist’s attention!  They receive hundreds of releases a week and have seen it all.  If your budget doesn’t allow you to spend 2 to 3 bills, there are many free distribution services out there but don’t expect miracles.  They’re free for a reason!

Of course, if you have a budget to work with, you can hire a public relations agency to do all of the things listed here so you can stay focused on your music.  Public Relations agencies create press kits, write and distribute press releases, maintain relationships with the media, create campaigns for your projects, plus a dozen other things that usually come up when promoting your music.  Some PR agencies work with artists who have limited funds while others only deal with high profile clients.  As an up and coming artist, your best bet is to find an affordable agency that understands your music and vision and is willing to work around your budget.

Whichever method you choose to use, this advice will take your promotional hustle to another level.  And isn’t that so much better than begging folks on Twitter and Facebook to buy your music?! Remember though, if your music is wack and your package poorly put together, no amount of paid promotion will make you a star. Bottom line, it all comes down to your art and the time you put into creating a professional presentation.

Until next time…PEACE!


Sebastien Elkouby is the co-founder of S&H Public Relations, a boutique PR agency which specializes in promoting quality Hip Hop artists and related projects.  Our website is currently under construction so for more information about our services, reach us by email at  Connect with S&H Public Relations on Facebook at and Twitter at @SNHPR.

Q-Tip said it best back in 1991, “Industry Rule # 4080, record company people are shady!” Starting in the early days of the music business with Blues and Rock & Roll, payola was once the most popular underhand practice. Record companies and managers would bribe radio DJ’s to give their artists radio play.  Although illegal, this practice has never stopped and continues to be used today, albeit in more subtle forms.  Rule # 4080 still applies and the methods industry execs use have evolved over time.  With the rise in new technology and the dominance of the internet threatening the music industry’s outdated business model, new “questionable” tactics have been developed to help labels stay afloat.  Here are just 5 secrets the music industry doesn’t want you to know!

1. Views, Likes, and Followers

Have you ever checked out a YouTube video only because it had a lot of views and you were curious to see why?  Are you more likely to follow an artist on Twitter who has 324,687 followers rather than one who has 54?  Are you the type of person to be first to “Like” an artist on Facebook or would you check to see that this artist already has a lot of “Likes” before you join in?  While you may think that looking at numbers is a ridiculous way to evaluate an artist’s worth (and it is!), millions around the world feel otherwise.  Sad as it may be, high numbers often propel artists to celebrity status.  Young and impressionable minds, which the industry targets since they’re the largest consumer base, often assume that if a video has millions of views, it must be good.  And even if they don’t really like the video, they support it anyway because everyone else seems to.  But here’s the dirty secret: YouTube views, Facebook “Likes”, and Twitter followers can be bought for a moderate fee. There are now dozens of companies who specialize in increasing numbers.  Some companies use special technology to achieve their goals while others claim to be able to get thousands of “real” followers.  If that weren’t crazy enough, “positive” YouTube comments supposedly written by real people can also be purchased!  This kind of practice is deceptive as hell and makes it difficult for aspiring artists who have to compete against those who have the means to buy such services.  I guess quality doesn’t matter when you can just buy your way to popularity.

2. Buying the # 1 Spot

Once YouTube Views, Facebook “Likes”, and Twitter followers have been bought, it’s time for the label to really go all out and buy thousands of CD’s and downloads to help the artist get to # 1 within the first couple of weeks of release.  Since sales have been declining due to free and illegal downloads, it’s become more and more challenging for artists to hit the top of the charts.  This is why some labels are buying their own products (often with the artist’s money), in hope that achieving # 1 will generate publicity and result in more sales and touring opportunities.  The idea is that the average fan is more likely to support an artist who appears to have a large following. It’s all about image and perception, and for today’s mainstream music fan, this counts more than talent.

3. Professional Reviewers

Ever read customer reviews on Amazon or iTunes?  Some are brief, misspelled, and poorly thought out while others are thorough and clearly expressed, almost as if a “professional” had written it.  Shockingly, that’s exactly what’s happening!  Writers are paid to act like customers and write positive reviews.  Sometimes, these writers are simply part of the artist’s team, other times, they’re professional writers who get hired for their review services.  Companies have gotten in trouble for this kind of practice but this hasn’t stopped it from happening.  Again, this makes it difficult for new artists who don’t have the means to compete against this kind of deception.

4. Wardrobe Malfunctions, Nude Pics, and Sex Videos

Every week, there seems to be another naked celebrity in the news: Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland’s wardrobe malfunctions a couple of days apart from each other, Rhianna’s explicit pics popping up regularly, and sex videos of B and C list entertainers leaked on every gossip site.  Sure, one could claim that these “indecent exposures” are just accidents or that intimate pictures and videos are leaked by spiteful exes and hackers.  If so, why does it keep happening every week?  If celebrities are truly as appalled and embarrassed as they claim to be when their naked bodies are leaked for the world to see, why do they keep such pictures and videos of themselves on their phones and computers if it’s that risky?  Why do artists continue to perform in outfits that barely cover them up and then act shocked when their breasts pop out?  Truth is, most of these incidents are planned by the artists and their team for publicity.  As soon as the pictures or videos are leaked, hundreds of blogs and sites repost them right away.  Millions of Facebook and Twitter users repost them as well.  In a matter of 24 to 48 hours, that artist is Googled millions of times which causes their name to “Trend” online or on Twitter and increases their search ranking.  For the artist, this is an amazing free promotional tool that would otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing.  All it takes is a little nudity and the public becomes their street team, their sales increase, the gossip sites have new content that drives traffic to them, and everyone’s happy…except for real artists with real talent who can’t get the same “free” promotion because they’re more interested in making music than showing their bodies…which leads me to the next point…

5. Fake Beef, Phony Stories, and Controversy

Replace wardrobe issues, nude pics, and sex videos with fake beef, phony stories, and controversy and the result is the same: free publicity.  Did Soulja Boy buy himself a $55 million jet for his 21st birthday?  Is Rick Ross really threatening Kreayshawn?  Did Wayne really take shots at Jay Z? Does Kanye actually have 6 toes?  Ok, I made that one up but you get the idea!  When an artist, or an assistant pretending to be them, tweets something weird, crazy, unusual, or controversial, they know that it’ll spread in a matter of hours and eventually make the top blogs and gossip sites who welcome this kind of foolishness.  And again, everyone seems to get something out of it.  There was a time when this type of nonsense would have hurt an artist’s career.  Now, it sustains it…and that’s pitiful.

There are many more industry secrets.  Some of the ones discussed here are well documented.  I also know that some of you are sharp enough to see through the hype and didn’t need anyone to fill you in on what’s going on behind closed doors.  As well, I know that quite a few artists become successful without using these tactics.  Still, you can bet that the more resources an artist has access to, the greater the chances are that at least one of these methods has been utilized.  Do your own research and you’ll probably discover many more shocking methods.  The question remains, as competitive as this business is, would you use these methods if you had the resources to do so?

Until next time…PEACE!


Sebastien Elkouby is the co-founder of S&H Public Relations, a boutique PR agency which specializes in promoting quality Hip Hop artists and related projects.  For more information about our services, log on to and check the blog at You can also reach us by email at  Connect with S&H Public Relations on Facebook at and Twitter at @SNHPR.