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On The Grind – Organized Grind

Posted: Thursday – May 28, 2009 @ 12:08 AM

In 2005, a group of musicians, producers, and rappers joined forces to create Organized Grind Entertainment. Organized Grind’s goal is to be the label capable of handling every facet of the “life” of an album, from production to promotion, from artist development to touring. Organized Grind is not your typical record label. Not only do they produce, and release a lot of mainstream music, but Organized Grind also instills a lot of live instrumentation into their music.

In addition to their rappers writing contemporary club, and radio hits, Organized Grind encourages their artists to speak their mind, and not to fear venturing away from the mainstream’s lyrical approach. “Rap and Hip-Hop music was created as a protest music, a music that told a story, and a message that people could relate to,” states Jamin Kendall. Organized Grind Entertainment currently has two R&B singers, two rappers, and one jazz / funk group. They have two producers, (Jamin and D-Black), which have teamed up to create Black/Jamin productions. They also produce beats and whole songs for major and independent artists (for more info visit www.myspace.com/platinumfirm). D-Black has had numerous hits writing and producing including “Wobble Wobble” (Master P, 504 Boyz). They have produced and worked for such people as Dr. Dre, R Kelly, Snoop Dogg, and DJ Quik, to name a few. They are currently open to acquiring new artists, and can be reached at www.myspace.com/organizedgrind. As of July 09, Organized Grind Records is working on three projects.

Rapper Jamin is working on his first solo release scheduled to drop in November of 09. The album features, Snoop Dogg, G Money, E-40, and Big Syke. Saxophone player, Craig Shaw is working on his album The Craig Shaw Quintet. Black/Jamin Productions is producing Big Syke’s (Thug Life, Outlawz) new album, Mr. Incredible (Ride On’ em Records). Organized Grind presents a style that will essentially add to the state of hip hop. How many labels are all about catering to the true meaning of live instrumentation? Bearing this in mind, do know that Organized Grind is the label of the past, present, and future. Currently, Organized Grind is only operating in the western region of the United States, but you can also find Organized Grind on the World Wide Web. Organized Grind will be expanding nationally as potential investors come forth. Jamin states, “We are currently accepting bids from different investment firms.” For those, who feel like music should divert back to its original roots, Organized Grind would be the route to go.

I recently had an opportunity to get Jamin on the phone between studio sessions, and I want to share with you what is going on with Organized Grind.

GUTTA WORLD: What prompted you to start your own record label? 
Jamin Kendall: Really just what we was talkin about. The industry shifted it’s attention from Cali, and at the same time it’s a lot more freedom when you runnin your own shit. It just takes a lot of patience. But I got time, I ain’t trippin that.

GW: How was Organized Grind created?
Jamin:
Out of necessity. We all have been involved in the music industry in different aspects, and we all good at what we do, and we all love the grind and the hustle involved. So we just came together, and put all of our talents on the table, and organized all that into a plan, and we executing it now.

GW: Who are the founding members?
Jamin:
Myself, Craig Shaw, and D-Black.

GW: How has Organized Grind grown and developed since its beginning? 
Jamin: I’d say we a lot more focused now. We worked through a lot of the things you can’t see is gonna happen in when you start a business, and we more effective at being efficient.  Projects take a lot less time to organize and record. So it’s more time for me to focus on being an artist.

GW: What makes your crew different than any other independent label?
Jamin:
Our goals, our music, and our vision. Just listen to our music, and you’ll see what I’m sayin. 

GW: What is your ultimate goal?
Jamin:
To leave behind a legacy.

GW: If you had to describe your flow in a few words, what would it be?
Jamin: Well Rounded. I spit what I know and convey what I’ve been through. Nothin mo and fa sho nothing less.

GW: What do you think the advantages are in being independent as to signing major? 
Jamin: Well, like I was saying, unless you’ve already sold a lot of records, the only way a major will sign you is if they can take advantage of you, or if they fear another company will sign you, and they don’t want the competition. Majors sign acts for tax right offs all the time. It’s a lot of albums and acts that get shelved and never put out. But it’s so many young people that’s so eager to get in the business, they don’t stop to think about what might happen. A major label is like a bank, and an artist is a business. If your business is doing well, and has a good track record, the bank will loan you money at a good rate. If you have no record, they’ll fuck you. Same thing in the music business. So with the Internet, and home studios, and all these forms of distribution, it’s best to do your homework, put a plan together, and sell your own product independently until the majors come to you. Just the same way the banks do. Banks don’t care what business you in, if you makin money, they want some, so they fund you in order to gain interest in your business. The majors don’t give a fuck how good your music is. Are you making money?

GW: Have you been offered any major record deals?
Jamin: I have been offered the opportunity for major deals, but turned them down because they wanted to take too much control over my image, and music, and I’d rather go hood platinum, my way, than make millions of dollars for executives basically being their slave. I’m in this game for quality, not quantity.

GW: Would you reach out to another company for distribution or are you all trying to be strictly independent?
Jamin:
Fa sho. Cash Rules Everything Around Me, so the mo we makin, as a label, the more opportunity will present itself to actually work along with the major labels, and distributors, instead of for them. That is the eventual goal of Organized Grind Entertainment (to work alongside majors), but everything in due time. If you don’t have patience in this game, you might as well either get out, or sell out. Everything in its due time.

GW: You say you want longevity in the game, how do plan on obtaining that?
Jamin:
I ain’t in this game to be the best rapper. That shit is an illusion. You ain’t ever gonna hear me say some shit like that. There’s always gonna be someone that can do things better than the next man. And even then, that’s an opinion. My longevity is gonna come from me being true to my mission and giving people music that they can relate with. Giving them music that is filled with my emotion. Whatever that might be in the moment. Cause shit change constantly and we feel different from day to day. So not all my music gonna be about slangin, or some street shit. I talk about whatever I’m feelin in the moment, just like we was kickin it, drinkin, or smoking. When you put my music on, I want you to feel like we in the same room tradin conversation.

GW: Tell me about www.myspace.com/organizedgrind . Is it a beneficial site for you?
Jamin:
Yeah, Myspace is a powerful promotional tool and for the independent artist or label that shit is priceless. If you use it right, it’s like having an online street team. But, it’s like any other promotional tool, if you don’t approach it properly or follow up right with your fans, you gonna fall short. The harder you hustle, the mo you gonna benefit. That’s life. 

GW: Describe your label mates?
Jamin:
Balance. Everyone brings something real unique to the table. And that combination work well. We bring something all together new to the rap game, actually the whole industry. And at the same time we bringin something back to the game that has been missin for a while.

GW: How would you describe being in the studio with your crew working on your new album?
Jamin:
I Love bein in the studio, and all the cats I work with is extremely talented. It’s like God just blessed us puttin us all together like this. So yeah it’s magic. I couldn’t ask for anything mo.

GW: What is your largest struggle right now?
Jamin:
(Laughing) Finding a decent Cognac.

GW: Can you tell me about the upcoming album?  
Jamin: yeah it’s my debut solo album. I have done a few group albums, which has always been a good experience, but having full creative control, is a refreshing feelin. Me and D-Black have been plottin this project for a while now, we finally got all the tracks together. I’m recording 40 tracks, we ain’t decided yet whether it will be a double album or not. But we got some interest from major labels and publishing companies, and I been able to get some features from cats I grew up listening too, so I cant wait to put it out. In the meantime check me out at www.myspace.com/ogjamin.

GW: For kids who don’t live on the west coast, what would be your advice on how they could get their music heard?
Jamin: Be honest with yourself first about your music. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it. The industry is not for everyone. And it’s a lot of jobs in the industry besides being a performer. That’s one bad thing about all these home studios. All of a sudden everyone think they can rap, or produce. After that, my advice is to take your time on your project. Since everyone rappin, or singin, or producing, the market is flooded. So you want your shit to stand out. Don’t be in a rush to drop five albums a year of music that’s just aight. Put out one project that got all heaters on that. Make sure every track is well produced, it’s mixed well and mastered well. Pretend like you runnin a major label. Make sure the artwork is perfect. Don’t be usin no camera phone shots. Work on your strategy for release, meet as many D.J.’s as possible. And get your album pressed on vinyl. Basically do everything you can to make sure your album doesn’t look and sound like you made it at home.

GW: With the exception of a few, why do you think it’s hard for MC’s from CA to get put on? 
Jamin: It’s just industry trends. It’s not lack of talent. In the late eighties and nineties, Cali and the East Coast was hot, and started beefin. Then the south got crunk, and then the mid-west was the shit. Now we got the hyphy movement in the Yay. So Cali startin to come around again. I think Cali artists need to really come together more than they do to build. Especially on the independent level. It’s the grass-roots movements that can shift the trend with the majors, and help more Cali MC’s to get put on.

GW: Where do you see your crew in the next 5 years?
Jamin:
Success, Success, Success. Definitely international by then. I want us to be competing with the majors by then. In a sense we are now. But I want all of the majors to be scared enough of us, to want to buy us out.  

GW: How do you plan on giving back to your community?
Jamin:
The community invests into us, that’s the only reason we are, and will continue to be successful. That goes for any artist, so not to show your community a return on that investment would be detrimental. We have a lot of plans on giving back to the community, most of which I want to keep out of the press, so we get the least amount of resistance as possible. You know how people get when you try to do something positive. But we plan on giving back just as much if not more to the people that support us. I will say we plan on doing a lot of workshops, financial investments, construction, and youth activities. And every Organized Grind artist plans on being directly involved and very accessible to the public that basically makes us successful. So now you have it, Gutta World is the first to bring you an exclusive interview with Organized Grind’s Jamin Kendall. Be on the look out for Jamin’s debut solo album, and visit him online at www.myspace.com/ogjamin.

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