Blogger of the Week – Mike Waxx

25Aug09

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For the past couple years, the world has witnessed the explosion of musical influence that is the internet. Like never before, music is everywhere and everyone is now catching on to certain blogs and sites that have led this explosion. Enter Mike Waxx. Just a normal (freshly) 18 year old white kid from Connecticut. Oh yeah, he’s also the founder of illRoots.com, one of hip-hop’s premiere music sites. This week I got inside his head….hit the jump

ca$h: I guess to start, introduce yourself for those who may not be familiar.

Waxx: Mike Waxx! President of illRoots and all that. Blogger, graphic designer, dj on occasion, photographer on occasion.. all around sick awesome guy. I just turned 18 last week, I guess that sums it up!

ca$h: How long have you been running illRoots?

Waxx: I started illRoots in late 2006/early 2007 with my homie Kinggs. we originally were running a message board the summer before that, but decided to venture into the blog game.

ca$h: Did you envision at that time that your blog would morph into what it is now?

Waxx: Shit, I dont really even remember. I just kind of did it as fun and a good way to full up some free time. We were originally planning on making illroots a full fledged website, but that obviously didnt happen, probably for the better. However, who goes on websites anymore?  Blogs ftw!!!!

ca$h: What are your plans for illRoots? Where do you see it going now that youve been critically acclaimed as one of the top hip hop blogs?

Waxx: Man, illRoots is growing like crazy. We have a great team of young people who are really passionate about hip-hop and music in general. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but illRoots2 is on the way and thats gonna be huge!

ca$h: Yeah I’ve seen the hints about that, what kind of differences will we see with ir2?

Waxx: This is like exclusive information, haven’t really talked about it yet. Well, we just inked a deal with Complex Magazine last week and are officialy part of their media network. On top of that, ir2 will feature a new layout and tons of user integration. I dont want to let to much loose, but tons of good stuff is on the way. Shouts to magnus.

ca$h: Wow. thats definitely impressive. Lets switch gears a little. How do you feel the internet, and blogs especially, have influenced the music industry?

Waxx: Hmm, the blogs have really changed the game. A few years ago we had a&r’s, record labels, distribution, mixtape dj’s, etc. and now the blogs pretty much cover all of that in one tight little package. It’s really pretty crazy to reflect upon.

ca$h: Obviously in the ways of exposure for artists that’s been an amazing transition, but how do you feel blogs have impacted the industry? Has it been positive?

Waxx: I mean ever since the internet was introduced the music industry itself has crumbled. People don’t buy music anymore, its just how it is. Sites like bandcamp.com WILL be industry standards in the future. I feel like because of it though, music has gotten to be very, very good. A lot of people like to hate, especially on hip-hop, but there is so much good stuff out there you just have to find. That’s why I love the internet.

ca$h: Who are some artists that you feel have taken hold of the internet and taken advantage of viral marketing etc?

Waxx: The homie Asher Roth credits a lot of his success to the blogs. Dudes like Kid Cudi, Drake, Curren$y, B.o.B., etc. all understand how the game works nowadays and really do take advantage of the internet outlet.

ca$h: Who are some artists that you see on the come up that show potential in this internet stuff?

Waxx: I’m biased but my artist Nero is a genius. The kid is only 16 years old and he’s smarter then 99.9% of cats in the game, no exaggeration. We are working on some great stuff. Also, guys like QuEst, XV, Shawn Chrystopher, Harlems Cash, J.Rocwell, etc. are really smart and know how to work the internet.
ca$h: What kind of doors have been opened to you through this whole process?

Waxx: I’ve met tons of great people. From musicians to bloggers, to radio folk, fans of hip-hop, the list goes on. It’s been a wild ride and this past year has been the best of my life. I’ve gotten so much done, met so many great people, I can’t even explain it.

ca$h: And you did it all as a senior in high school. I  think that speaks wonders for where the game has gone that youve been successful at such a “young” age.

Waxx: Definitely man, age is the easiest way to cop out of stuff but I hate being like “yeah im only 18 so blah blah blah”… I’m fully capable of handling business like a 65 year old man.

ca$h: Yeah and that’s something that older cats will soon learn if they haven’t already.

Waxx: I hate getting treated like I’m a little kid and shit. Fuck that.

ca$h: Does it ever get overwhelming having all these resources at your fingertips and, in a way, kind of shaping what people listen to?

Waxx: Every day! This blogging thing is really a 24/7/365 job. For a while I was the only person handling most of the posting jobs, and just doing that is a lot of work. Having to do a ton of behind the scenes stuff as well can drive a person crazy. I’m excited now as we just picked up two great bloggers, tunji and swynn, who will be doing most of the posting in the future.

ca$h: On an average day about how many music submissions would you say you field?

Waxx: Hundreds of emails a day and tons of dudes trying to get me on twitter. It’s alot of work.

ca$h: So basically “@mikewaxx yo check this song out” doesn’t work so well?

Waxx: Not at all. I use twitter as a social networking tool and a personal thought bubble. I am not trying to hear anyone’s music through there.

ca$h: Yeah, I can just imagine how tired I would get from stuff like that.

Waxx: There are guys that have no self respect, if you go to their twitter page is 200 of the same updates, just with @’s to different people. Like, that is not life.

ca$h: From your standpoint, what advice would you have for an someone that is trying to move up in the blog world?

Waxx: Do something different. There are thousands of hip-hop blogs posting the same things as the NMC, Rap Radar, illRoots, etc. If you want to stand out and succeed, you either need industry connects or to be doing your own thing that people will catch on to.

ca$h: Speaking of different, you hopped on the “Every Girl” beat w Nero, Treazon and J.Rocwell. Are we gonna see more of Mike Waxx, the rapper?

Waxx: That version wasn’t supposed to leak! I re-recorded my verse but they decided to drop the wrong version without me knowing. We plan on putting out a final version soon, hopefully people will dead the first leak because I sound goofy on it….and who knows if you’ll hear more from me rapping. Haha, I don’t know what people thought about it.

ca$h: Well, I personally thought it was quite entertaining lol

Waxx: Hahaha. If I do put out an album its gonna be called Long Hair, Don’t Care.

ca$h: Haha. See it’s already being planned out. You could have basically a who’s who of rappers that’d get on there with you.

Waxx: It’d be interesting lol.

ca$h: Interesting is definitely the word. Good or bad idk but definitely interesting.

Waxx: Hahaha basically

ca$h: Well i guess that’ll wrap it up

Waxx: Dope! Thanks for the interview

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3 Responses to “Blogger of the Week – Mike Waxx”

  1. Blogger of the week? of the year more like haha
    waxx inspired me to blog so props to illRoots for being so dope!

  2. 2 TS

    Waxx is the man. I just can’t fathom how much success he has had. That’s what type of level I’m trying to get to someday.

  3. 3 Clayton A Jones

    Hey man i couldnt be happier for you bro. obviously you dont know me but im just a normal kid myself just working for an advertising company but id like to get some contact info and help in anyway possible, and i PROMISE i can. very impressed with how hard you go. im the same way my dude. well keep it real and i honestly hope you take this serious and i hear from you u


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