ProFile: Rapped Up with the Mac

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Q:   How did you get into using Macs?
A: Everything I learned about graphics I learned at Adelphi University in New York. I graduated in 1984. And everything I learned in college was obsolete by 1990. I had to relearn everything on the Mac, through Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. When the G3 came out, I jumped on it like a rabid dog. I want a DVD player, but I'd have to get a new laptop, and I don't want to because the G3 is like a piece of my hip. Mainly I use it to create album covers for the artists I represent. I'm always traveling between my studios in Long Island [New York], Atlanta, and Anaheim Hills [California], so I can do everything on the plane. I've gotten fast. I can do covers-in the past it might have taken me three days. Now I'm down to 15 minutes. Macs are the clearest example of how to project music and art. Running [SlamJamz] off a laptop is a beautiful thing.

Q:   What are you trying to accomplish with Internet radio at
A: We have ten shows. I do two radio shows, When the S * * * Hits the Fans and Beats, Rhymes and Life. The beauty of Internet radio is that we can do one hour of programming a day. We don't need to program 24 hours. If the show starts at 9 p.m., and you're on the road at 8:45, you don't need to bust your ass to get home. You can listen to it whenever you want.

Q:   The big challenge facing everyone is how to make the Internet pay. Have you learned anything about making money online?
A: It's very important to realize you can't be everything to everybody in the digital space. If you don't recognize what we do and what we don't do, we are never going to succeed. You have to look at the audience as being a potential partner. We don't want people to come to the site and consume something. We've got to get them to come in and participate.

Q:    So have you started making money yet?
A: Rapstation is moving into the realm of making profits throughout, mainly based on ad base. We have yet to get funding from anywhere. If we got $8 million, we could last five years and get into the black. At SlamJamz, if we can turn four or five of our masters around, into TV, advertising, video games, then I think we can be profitable.

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