3threat Media’s Personal 2009 In Review

2009….damn what a year and on first look, for all the wrong reasons! It was certainly a year of struggles and obstacles but rather than highlighting the negative it would surely be more beneficial to highlight the positives that arose from said difficulties. 2009 was the year I realised that with a little belief, determination and confidence I really could stand on my own two feet and create my own opportunities. No matter how rough the road to that discovery was it was a road worth travelling, even if most of it was on crutches!

Perhaps most importantly, 2009 was also the year I realised that even a blood clot couldn’t stop me. A few inches higher up and that really could have been game over but for some reason thankfully it was not! The whole experience certainly provided both a personal and professional wake-up call. I couldn’t help thinking that next time I might not be so lucky, therefore it was time to start building a legacy. That moment marked the beginning of a much bigger professional turn-around than I could ever have imagined.

Some might call it luck, some might call it fate but I prefer to be honest and call it hard work; there was nothing easy about 2009. It was a year of many battles but it was also a year that saw many victories. Rather than looking at 2009 as a bad year, I would rather consider it a prelude to 2010, which I am certain will be a year of improvement and a year of opportunity for all that wish to embrace it. This year taught me that I still had a long way to go and so much to learn and 2010 will hopefully see me making these improvements and continuing to develop my work.

There were many people who made all the victories in 2009 possible and they also deserve the support and belief that they showed me throughout what proved to be a very difficult year. I would like to extend a heart-felt and well-deserved thank you to a number of people and offer them my full support for the New Year:

I would like to extend a huge thank you to my friend and (extremely understanding) Allhiphop.com editor Chuck Creekmur for giving me the opportunity to do some great interviews and develop my skills further this year. I also assure you that meeting deadlines better is certainly my main New Year’s Resolution! (One on the way very soon too I promise).

The team over at Tapwire Magazine, especially Fathom, Syncere and B, who have frequently put up with my crazy creative visions and helped make them possible. I especially appreciate the many opportunities you have given me to push my creativity to the limits and develop my style. I also appreciate the advice and support you have given throughout the toughest part of this year.

I would also like to thanks all the wonderful and incredibly talented artists that I have had the pleasure of working with throughout this year. 2009 has been a year of some great interviews and hopefully 2010 will be the year of even better ones! I look forward to working with you all again in the near future.

I have to extend an extra special shout out to Chino XL for always taking the time out to encourage me in the rehabilitation of my foot regardless of how busy he is. I also have to thank Raekwon for an amazing interview and reminding me of exactly why I stupidly continue do this job even when the doctor tells me I really should take a break! Mike Streezy, I have thank you for constantly reminding me of just how much hard work and taking the time to study and perfect your craft can pay off and Slickmouth for giving me hope for the UK scene! Derty Harry, I want to thank you for an amazing interview and for making me laugh harder than I have in a long time. I think a huge thank you is also in order for La Familia Ent and DJ Mr President for their continued support, outstanding professionalism and for being great role models from the next Hip Hop Generation. There are a huge number of talented artists out there that deserve your support and recognition, as music truly is the soundtrack to our lives and without it I firmly believe that this world would be a much worse place to live.

Finally I would like to thank my wonderful friends, who have helped deal with the highs and lows and never failed to believe in my abilities and potential, even in the times when I have doubted them myself. Without you there would have been absolutely no way I would have got through of 2009 still standing and I doubt I would have had the courage to go for some of the amazing projects that I have lined up in 2010!

Whilst the fourth quarter has been relatively quiet for a number of reasons (mostly health-related…in 2009 I also learned that eventually everything starts to take its toll if you don’t listen to your doctor and rest once in a while) I have worked hard to ensure I have laid the foundations for some great projects for 2010. There is so much more to come and I hope that some of the projects will help make an impact and open some eyes to talent and potential of the next generation.

I would like to wish you all every success and happiness in 2010; it’s going to be a great year!

3TM’s Full Hip Hop Year in review is COMING SOON!

Urban Beauty – London Architecture (Canary Wharf)

Canary Wharf - Urban Jungle (Photo: H. O'Connor)

I guess you could say architecture has always inspired me to a certain degree, although it took a long to to appreciate that some of the best modern architecture actually lay on my doorstep. London is home to a wealth of architectural beauty but there is something particularly inspiring about the Canary Wharf business district, especially as a young business-woman.

Every inch the urban jungle, Canary Wharf plays host to not only cut-throat business but also a vibrant and diverse population of young urban executives – the next generation so to speak. The bold glass structures of One Canada Square, 8 Canada Square (HSBC Tower) and the Citigroup Centre actually played a significant part in my own desire to start a business or a legacy of my own.

Walking through the towering buildings, you can’t help but feel somewhat in awe of their striking beauty and therefore feel the urge to build something equally remarkable (be it a business or creative masterwork). Built on the site of the old West India docks, Canary Wharf represents the transition from the past generation of business to the future and demonstrates literally that the sky really is the limit when it comes to building a legacy.

Wyclef Conference Call

Wyclef Conference Call

It was very interesting taking part in the Lord Gang DJz conference call with Wyclef Jean and discussing his upcoming EP From The Hut, To The Projects, To The Mansion. The insightful discussion shed some light on the concept behind the project and its collaborations.

Having listened in on the general discussion, it was great having the opportunity to discuss unity and collaboration in Hip Hop culture with him directly.

Consider it a warm up for great things to come from 3threat Media…

Wyclef’s new EP is scheduled for release on November 10th.

VIBE Magazine Relaunch

tlc fire cover

It has been confirmed that VIBE Magazine, which was forced to close its doors earlier this Summer, is due to be relaunched with a digital focus in November 2009. VIBE and Vibe.com were recently purchased by InterMedia and Blackrock Digital for an undisclosed amount. The exact terms of the deal also remain a mystery.

The new owners have announced that the Magazine is due to relaunch in the fourth quarter of this year and will be published quarterly from 2010. Both Vibe’s website and Twitter page have officially started raising awareness of the relaunch.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT – Allhiphop.com & Tapwire Magazine

After a short hiatus (thank you to all of you who sent messages of support during my hospital stay!) I am proud to announce that with immediate effect I will be contributing to two new publications.

Firstly, I have become part of the team at Tapwire Magazine and very much look forward to helping to build up this promising brand.

Secondly, I am now extremely happy to announce that I am part of urban news giant allhiphop.com’s team. I have just completed my first assignment, an indepth interview with the new Death Row Records boss Ms Lara Lavi, which will be available online very soon.

Finally, Thank you all so damn much for your support in making this dream become a reality 🙂

Press Release: Tapwire Madden Edition

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Brian Wise
EM: truth@theuim.com

Tapwire Magazine and EA Sports have teamed to bring you…
The 1st Annual Digital Madden Edition!

Cyber Cerebral – It’s here! In celebration of the release of Madden NFL 10, professional sports’ most popular gaming designer and publisher – EA Sports – has teamed with interactive publication Tapwire Magazine to bring you this, 1st Annual Digital Madden Edition!

This publishing first is as historical as it gets! This has “never” been done before – until now!

“It’s amazing how the Madden franchise has impacted pop culture.” – Rob Semsy Senior PR Manager – EA SPORTS

EA Sports has supported the urban market for years and has given countless opportunities to urban and other genres alike. This is our special dedication to pay tribute to the creators and the fans of Madden.

“We wanted to bring Madden to the urban market like never before. It was only natural we team with the creators of this globally recognized gaming franchise, making it a true interactive experience instead of doing a typical magazine feature.” – TRUTH & FATHOM Founders – Tapwire Magazine

“We also wanted to salute John Madden, the man for which this franchise is named. Our dedication to innovation in publishing and journalism, along with being creative and charismatic has been inspired by Madden’s professional conduct, commitment to excellence and personality.” – Mr. Joe Walker Editor In Chief/Creative Director – The Underwire Interactive Magazine

This special Madden edition of Tapwire is packed with entertainment. It includes exclusive interviews, new music from up-and-coming artists on our “Unofficial Madden Soundtrack”, and exclusive interviews; these feature EA Sports’ Phil Frazier (Senior Producer), Ian Cummings (Senior Designer), and Mike Young (Art Director); Trey Wingo (host of ESPN NFL Live), NFL players Shaun Phillips (San Diego Chargers), Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis Colts) and (former Atlanta Falcons star) Jamal Anderson; Olympic gold medalist and TNA wrestling champion Kurt Angle, rap stars Paul Wall, Juice, Young Black, Cashis, E.S.G, Moka Blast, Young Black Boss Hogg Outlawz, Tre Beatz, Pro-Verb, Smoov, and Hakeem Tha Dream! Producers and On-air Personalities and DJ’s; Roscoe Umali, Big D (The Basement), and Dj Hollygrove! That’s an All Star line-up!

This issue also takes an in-depth look at the cultural impact of the Madden video game, along super giveaway contest!

The 1st Annual Digital Madden issue will be available now at:


Announcement: Tapwire Magazine

I am proud to announce that I am now the latest member of the Tapwire Magazine family.

Tapwire, much like 3threat Media, is dedicated to providing high quality and interesting written content for the hip hop generation.

The latest edition of Tapwire, the Madden edition, is available to download online at http://www.tapwiremagazine.com.
I am greatly looking forward to working with the team, starting with the next issue of Tapwire.

Music Business: Turn The Page in Your Career

A young rapper reading Shakespeare’s Tragedies? That hardly fits the typical hip hop image, right? Perhaps not, but is it really a less attractive image than a young artist being taken advantage of by ruthless labels or promoters due to a lack of business knowledge?

Like it or not, reading up on the industry is one of the best ways to improve your changes of success in this cut-throat business. Only by knowing the obstacles that you are likely to face, can you plan to tackle them effectively when they do arise.

Shakespeare may have little to do with the modern music industry, but there are many key lessons to be learnt nonetheless. ‘Hamlet’ teaches us the importance of taking control of a situation and taking action when necessary. The play also warns of the dangers of wasting time. Whilst ‘Othello’ demonstrates the necessity of doing your research on a situation before you act. As Tupac once said, “Shakespeare’s dope;” there is a lot to be said for these works. After all, anything that has managed to remain relevant for over 400 years is probably worth taking note of.

If Shakespeare is not for you, however, there are a number of helpful and insightful books on business and the industry. These will also help to enrich your knowledge and awareness. Rap mogul 50 Cent praised Robert Greene’s guide to ruthlessness in business ‘The 48 Laws of Power’ and accredited it with improving his business mind. The book had such a positive effect on his career, that 50 is currently working with Greene on a project called ‘The 50th Law of Power.’ Though if 48 Laws is a little too Machavellian for your liking, there are many books available, which take a gentler but effective approach.

Finally, it never hurts to read up about your craft. Reading biographies of artists that have been an inspiration to you may give an insight into what inspired them. By discovering how they found success, perhaps you too can benefit from their experiences. Books about the genre itself often also give an insight into market trends and reasons behind success careers.

So whether or not you feel that reading fits your image, it could arm you with the necessary knowledge and weapons to succeed in your career. in fact, the artists that have longevity generally tend to have a strong awareness of both their genre and the wider industry. Plus you would be amazed at the number of meetings that take place between industry professionals, where the conversation turns to literature of some sort. So instead of dismissing books as a drain on your time, look at reading as a necessary investment, which if used effectively could help turn a page in your career and lead to real results.

Han O’Connor (3threat Media)

Career Clots

You’re just recovering rapidly from a surgery, when totally out of the blue, a blood clot appears and slows your progress right down. Imagine that! Well, I actually don’t have to (in fact I write this from my BlackBerry in my temporary hospital ward office). Rather than laying there, embracing the negativity and vulnerability, it was necessary to consider the positives of the situation.

After all, when you think about it, clots appear all the time in our lives, especially in our careers. They develop in all sorts of areas and vary widely in severity. One day everything is flowing nicely and then suddenly the proverbial spanner is thrown in the works, which instantly grinds everything to a halt. These clots can seem so overwhelming and difficult to overcome. Looking back at a perfectly healthy career after a clot develops, it really can seem like game over.

These career clots, however, can also be a positive development. It allows you to return to the basics and inject some new material and renewed interest into the system. Career clots are just as easy to disperse as actual blood clots, as unnerving as both can be initially. Just sit back, take time to analyse the situation and recognise the positives.

Firstly, the extra time out from your usual routine will allow you to strengthen ties with contacts and colleagues and most importantly, clear your inbox! Secondly, the time that would usually be used for working can be used to develop your skills and industry awareness. It is never a bad thing to read up on the business and update yourself on the latest news. It is also worthwhile looking back at your previous work and taking note of any areas to improve.

Finally, overcoming any obstacle is just like tackling a blood clot. After fighting against the unknown and rising above the pain to succeed, you will know in your mind that you can overcome anything. So instead of letting a clot put a stop to your career, disperse it…and in 3 to 6 months you should be able to fly again.

Respect the Game

What is the meaning of the word respect? It is a word that is frequently used and even more frequently misused in the urban music world. Respect is something that everybody wants but nobody wants to work for.

In this industry not a day goes by when you don’t receive countless demands for respect; be it due to the amount of online interest, ‘undeniable swag’ or any other number of reasons, it often has the opposite effect. What many artists and even more of my own counterparts do not realise, is that true respect comes from respecting others.

Frankly, respect does not come from Facebook friends and Twitter followers; it comes from building and nurturing strong, loyal working relationships and even friendships with contacts and peers.  It certainly doesn’t stem from having the biggest ego or the biggest mouth, after all if you really are that great then people will respect you anyway regardless of how much self-promotion is involved.  Finally the most important rule in winning respect is to respect the game itself. There is no substitute for hard work, loyalty and determination in this industry. Put simply, respect must be earned not won…so don’t try to fight for it; respect others and they will respect you.


There are a number of people that I would love to thank and give a large amount of respect to, especially including Rell Fury, Dustorm, Mike Streezy, Pro-verb, and The Redland amongst others. These artists have not only earned my respect after working incredibly hard to perfect their craft but also are very deserving of success; a lot could be learned from these guys.

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