Friday, December 28th, 2018

2018, oh 2018, what a year you have been. Between headlines about the Royal Wedding, the World Cup, and everything Trump, it’s been a busy year. The Eagles finally won the Super Bowl, Democrats took back the House, and Thanos wiped out half the population. Zuckerberg went to Washington, a selfie was taken on Mars, and sadly, we all witnessed the tragedy in Parkland, FL. It’s crazy how much happened this past year.

While it’s been a year of big events, I also want to talk about the year that I experienced. Every year around this time, I take a moment and reflect back. Whether it’s the rap life or personal life, I’ve always thought it’s important to appreciate where we’ve come. And of course, it’s also healthy to look at how much we’ve accomplished together. And from what I can recall, there’s been a lot.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy this. Here is my 2018 year in review!


This year was a year of progress. And while it seems like a blur, in retrospect I tried a lot of new things and also got better at what I was doing from 2017. Tell me more, ‘Jaxxx. Well, …

Vlogging – The first new thing that I tried doing was vlogging. While I have vlogged before (so I shouldn’t even call it new), I realized that in an effort to put out as much content as possible, it’s a good idea to record the process (in addition to the putting out the actual final product). I recorded a video in Downtown Orlando, along with setting up the new studio in the new crib. I also shot a bunch of videos that I haven’t released yet. Looking to 2019, I hope to continue this and learn more too. There’s a lot of creative vlogging going out there that I’d like to learn more about and apply to my own vids as well.

Efficiency – Last year, I spent a lot of time trying new things out with recording and video editing. This year, I doubled down and realized I’ve become more efficient. I guess that just comes with practice and repetition, right? Between taking less time to mix down tracks, to finalizing videos in days (versus weeks), I realized that I had gotten better. I began reusing properties, creating templates, and other things which helped me work faster. I’ll need to continue this next year, especially to pump out as much content as I have planned.

Promotion – I continued to promote this year, using new and different channels. I continued Facebook promotion and learned a lot in the process. I also promoted via InstaGram, which was pretty cool. I saw positive results from using these and plan to continue throughout next year, as I gained new fans and reached new people this year. There’s a really strong reach that you can get with this, and with the new videos, it’ll be a powerful tool. Now, just gotta get to those new videos, right?


This year also had its share of highlights…

My Son – Hands down, the highlight of my year (and perhaps my life) was the birth of my son. I became a father for the first time this year. What’s funny is, even though I knew there was a baby coming for nine months, when he finally did arrive I wasn’t ready for it lol. It’s been a blessing though. And while it hasn’t always been easy, we’re learning everyday and it’s an amazing feeling.

Movie Rap Reviews – I continued to put out movie rap reviews this year, including videos for Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp. I tried out different types of videos this year, seeing what resonated with people and what worked best. I’m still experimenting, but I think I’ve gotten into a flow here. I’ll continue doing more of these in the new year. Here’s the playlist for them.

Album Back on Track – And while I didn’t drop the album this year, I did revisit it and it’s back on track. I made several updates to the tracklisting, I created an action list of what specific actions are pending, and I spoke to some of the producers too. The homey Oddeo also came over, and we reviewed some old tracks, listened to different vocalists, and also worked on a new chorus together. Additionally, I have some NEW music that will be included to round everything out. I’m extremely excited to finally release it. Look out for it.

Fav Music

It was a really good year for hip hop in 2018. It seems like everybody dropped an album this year. It also seems like music is finally finding its footing again, with streaming on the rise. However, I feel it’ll continue changing (for a number of reasons), so it will be interesting to see what happens. I felt bombarded with music this year and it was hard to really sit with an album for long with more and more coming out. However, these were some of my favs for the year.

Eminem – Kamikaze – After “Revival” didn’t live up to expectations, Eminem surprised everyone with “Kamikaze” releasing without any promo. I was really surprised myself, as I saw it on Friday morning and thought it was fake lol. However, it was real. Em definitely delivered on this and reminded everyone why he’s a legend in the rap game. From intricate rhyme schemes to some name drops, it was good to see Shady back.

Royce da 5’9″ – Book of Ryan – I remember hearing that Royce was dropping a new album in 2017, and he really came through with this one. While I have other Royce albums, this one was different. He wasn’t just killin’ beats or showing off his skills; instead, he really opened up on this. From tracks like “Cocaine” to “Power”, Royce lets us in and shows us another side to himself. Definitely one of my favs for the year.

Pusha T – Daytona – While I was skeptical to include this because it was so short (why isn’t this called an EP?), I can’t deny that it was dope. Push stays in his lane, giving us what we expected and then some. Kanye also comes through on the production.

Russ – ZOO – I didn’t see this album on many of the 2018 lists (I hate most of those lists anyway), but it was extremely solid. I’ll admit, I’ve been sleeping for awhile but I came across some fire on Twitter which got me interested in hearing the album. A dope listen from start to finish, Russ displays his song-making skills, whether rapping, singing, or even producing. It’s a good album, and one of 2018’s best.

The wrap-up

So taking a look back onto 2018, it’s been quite the year. I remained active and became a father (wow). It’s been one for the history books, that’s for sure.

On the music front though, I don’t feel like I did enough. I’ve been saying that a lot, but I felt like I did less than 2017. I’m not sure where or why, but I feel like life kinda pulled me in other directions. I had different responsibilities and expectations, which didn’t give me the time I needed to really sit down and create. I’d also say the motivation wasn’t always there and even sometimes hard to find. This played a bigger role in me not accomplishing everything on my list.

Additionally, music has changed man. Like, it’s so different from when I was younger. There was a hunger or desire that rappers had to make music. Now, it’s like everything is upside down. As long as you’re [insert social media site] famous, you can make music and don’t need to have skills. It’s somewhat discouraging and can really mess with your head, especially when you care about the quality of the music.

And because of this lack of motivation, I didn’t really focus on the album this year. I mean, I did (you can read that above), but I didn’t get it done. I progressed, for sure, but didn’t reach my goal of finalizing it (even after saying I would on my goals video). I’m not even gonna hate on myself this year, as I needed to put family first. But, I probably could’ve balanced it out better too. Here’s to a better version of myself for 2019.

What to Expect for Next Year

Well, I’m not gonna put the same pressure on myself last year for 2019. Instead, I’m gonna focus on smaller goals and focus on those instead.

  1. The album – I’m pretty far along with the album at this point that I don’t believe it’ll get delayed again. I mean, I say that now and we know how that goes lol. But yeah, I’m confident this time around. I’ve gotten a lot of new songs, and completed some lingering ones too. What’s left? A few voice samples, a few sessions to re-record, and of course the mixing/mastering too. I feel better than ever about it though. So yes, “Something to Prove”, here we come.
  2. The website – I also said I was going to relaunch in 2018, but never got around to it. I’ve learned a lot of new web stuff though, so this is another realistic goal for the new year. I’m not gonna try to tackle everything at once, which I believe will help me along the way.
  3. T-shirts – I actually spent a ton of time on this throughout the year, redesigning my logo for printing. I’m on like revision 9 of the logo and still not 100% on it. But yeah, once I finalize the designs then we should be good to go. This is one area where I’m not opposed to getting help…
  4. 52 videos – Didn’t you just say you’re gonna take on smaller goals? Lol. Well, I am, but I also expect to be shooting A LOT more content this year. I just bought new camera equipment so it’s very realistic to expect more from me this year. 52 means one a week, but I’m planning on doing several videos a week…sooooo, this is achievable. Wish me luck!
  5. Working out – One area where I should’ve done a better job was going to the gym. I think I was pulled in so many directions that I really de-prioritized this. Anyway, I’m gonna get back to working out this year…I mean, it’s my health. I might even try to do home workouts to balance it out.

I feel like 2019 is gonna be a great year. The most difficult challenge I will face is not finding time (gasp) as I’ve talked about in previous years, but instead maintaining the motivation. I’m gonna be writing a list of reasons why I need to persist and continue to reference that whenever I get down on myself. I’ve found that there are days where I am in a rut, or feel blah, or just don’t wanna put additional pressure on myself. In moments like that, I need to be able to get back on track.

There’s a saying. “If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”

And with that, I wish you a HAPPY new year. Oh yeah, if you’ve read alllll the way up to here, THANK YOU! And of course, thank you for rocking with me on this journey throughout all these years. I’m looking forward to 2019 and I hope you’re ready to go on this ride with me. Until then, my peoples. HAPPY NEW YEAR!