Why I Have Newfound Respect for Rapper, Wale


Social media has been booming lately.  Between rapper, Meek Mill, going to jail and him dissing his fellow MMG mate, Wale.  I usually read about stuff like this to stay in the know about what’s happening in the entertainment business, but I typically don’t write about it. I feel all writing does is fuel a dangerous fire,  i.e. Tupac vs Biggie.

However,  I chose to highlight this particular “beef” story, not because of the hype,  but because I wanted to focus on how amazing I felt after reading Wale’s response. There is hope.

Long story short, Wale was called out for not supporting Meek’s upcoming album release via Twitter (so stupid) and was labeled as a “hater” and fake. Meek also went as far as saying Wale wasn’t “MMG”.   For a grown man to even feel the need to call another grown man out about something so childish,  makes you wonder how tight the screws are.   Now,  I’m from Philly (like Meek Mill) so I get the passion and sense of respect you have for those in your life.  People from Philly take things personal,  that’s just how we’re wired.   But,  when you begin to sell records internationally and make a name for yourself in this world, you must elevate your mind and behavior.

I believe all rappers and business-minded folks should take a page out of Wale’s notebook after reading his response to Meek Mill.  Here’s the classy Instagram snap back:


Few weeks ago. (7w) I posted this .but ok. Movin along . My Avi always changed when it’s THAT time .. Ok that’s not enough y’all see “razor ramon” post on his no. But I don’t care.. I wrote a long ass post day before his single dropped .. Mariah record dropped nobody said a word I didn’t care .. I still don’t… I carry myself with confidence and humility ., I always try to have a lighter side to MMG.. Cuz I understand I don’t “fit the mold” so if I’m tryna spruce an interview up to show that we not tryn be “serious tough guys” on the red carpet Or try to be a bit more engaging to broaden our audience forgive me . I never wanted anybody to think we take ourselves THAT serious. (Were rappers )I don’t need to take anybody shine.. Or hate on anybody . I walk in a completely different world .. Where I look for slp jeans and Shanghai dunks online and know what “kayfabe” means. I check nbadraft.net daily . I’m on whatculture allll day I enjoy shyt like that. I play fuckin Zelda and fuck wit bitches who teach yoga and paint… I get it . I’m different . I always embrace that shyt.. I encourage y’all to embrace what y’all like or the person y’all wanna be.. I text niggas happy Father’s Day and get no reply .. I laugh it off .. I laugh at how I write songs about “chain music” and y’all get lost or “600benzz” i like to have fun with our culture. Because I beleive I add THAT to a “gangster rap” faction. I made my opportunity work for me that way. I write poems . I watch wwe . I collect kicks. I’m sensitive ok. Maybe bi polar. But one thjng I’m not is a hater.. I see Daquan jokes all day yesterday and patted myself on the back that I’m regarded as the aforementioned adjectives and not “Daquan”. I’m me and I’ll be me and do this shyt wit my “dew” till I don’t wanna do it. I encourage you to wake up soon as you find time. This was a post about #nothin”

*Video* Wale Shares Episode 1 of “The Gifted”

He may be trying to spark some interest for his upcoming project, but whatever the reason, I’m loving this montage of “gifted” individuals that Wale highlights.  It’s about time that artists start encouraging others to follow their dreams and also start realizing their own God-given potential.  Check out Episode 1 of “The Gifted”:

Spinning His Way to the TOP! DJ Omega

Through interviews and personal stories, my goal is to highlight individuals that are following their dream(s)/passion(s).  By understanding their journey, it may serve as an inspiration for the next person, thus creating a cycle of goals, hard work, and success!  It’s no surprise that Justin “DJ Omega” Gaines gets the spotlight for this Dreamworld interview.  If you don’t know about him, you’re missing out and I’m here to tell his story so that you can be on the lookout from this moment forward.    DJ Omega has taken the art of spinning and turned it into a lifestyle and I’m not talking about the iTunes DJ that plays music at a friend’s wedding, I’m talking about a true DJ with knowledge of the craft and its history!

His journey through the business began at the young age of 12 while walking through a mall when he saw a DJ performing; from there the rest is an amazing ride to the top.  Getting excited and thinking to himself how cool it was, he put the wheels in motion to make it happen.  Justin began getting advice from other DJ’s, saving his money from allowance and snagging around-the-way jobs until he was able to buy his first turn table.  He started booking gigs at the mall and skating rinks throughout the Philly and South Jersey area, perfecting his skills along the way.  He moved up to booking gigs at teen clubs in Philly, then working/interning at 103.9 for the next three years.  At the age of 17 he landed his own radio show, which aired on Saturday mornings with its intended audience being high school kids.  By the time college came around he moved on to one of Philly’s biggest radio stations, Power 99, and was a regular guest on NBC 10, which turned into a regular program for the next three years.

As if that isn’t enough excitement to last a lifetime, that was just the beginning for this star.  He began working with State Property and while in the studio, ran into Wale; from there, magic happened. Wale dropped his first album and began touring, bringing along DJ Omega for the next two and a half years.  He’s back to the hustle and grind where he started, DJing at clubs throughout the U.S. (Miami, Vegas, Philly, New York City to name a few).  He’s been featured in The Source Magazine, XXL and Complex and is launching his own snap back hat line with Wale, Mitchell & Ness, Meek Mill, Big Sean and Big K.R.I.T.  Here’s some of my interview with DJ Omega where he explains the feeling of so much success, how he landed some of the biggest gigs of his life and how he remains humble through it all.

Who are some of your inspirations?

Kid Capri, Jazzy Jeff, DJ A-Track and I also read a lot.  One of my favorites is the story of Malcom X since it relates to struggle.

How do you remain so humble in the midst of your success?

I’m very humble!  We all sh*t and bleed, nothing separates me from anyone else…I’m cool as hell, I follow my dreams and ambitions.

How do you maintain your drive and hustle?

I’ve been DJing since 12 and I had to step it up to mainstream.  This isn’t a phase, this is a career choice for me!  I could easily go to school, but it’s not for me…if it’s your passion, it doesn’t feel like work.  It was love at first site!  I looked in The Source and said “I’m going to be in this magazine one day…” and I did that!

What now?

I look towards the future.

What’s in your future?

Ownership, franchising…I’m a business minded individual…I want more residual income.

You do work on the East Coast and West Coast, would you ever move to the West?

Depends on the opportunity.

What’s your pet peeve about the industry?

DJ’s back then were known for their record collection. Now DJ’s bring their computer and push a button all night! It’s a slap in the face towards the culture…it’s easy for DJ’s now…they need to leave it to the professionals.

What do you think is your God-given purpose in life?

Self preservation and procreation.  I want to keep the good cycle growing.

Are your parents supportive?

I have the greatest parents in the world! They weren’t supportive at first, but they never hindered me from doing anything.  My mom used to drive me to clubs for work and I grew up in church.

What changed their minds?

Seeing me on TV and being on the radio…they knew I could really do it!

What advice can you offer others trying to do the same thing?

Practice! Everyone has music, but it’s your style that differentiates you from the pack.

Are you in a relationship now and are they hard to maintain with your success?

No girlfriend and absolutely!  A lot of girls can’t deal with the lifestyle.

What do you look for in a partner?

Ambitions. They have to have something going for themselves. They would have to have their own life outside of the union and bond.  It allows you to miss the person.

Where have you traveled (outside of the U.S.) doing what you love?

London, Paris, Japan, Switzerland, Amsterdam

Who are some artists that you have you worked with?

Kevin Michael, Wale, State Property, Beanie Sigel, Killa Mike, Big Boi, Kevin McCall (works with Chris Brown), to name a few.

How do you reach out to big artists; is it all about who you know?

It’s all about who you know and the relationships you build. And musical directors…once artists reach a certain level of prestige, they like musical directors.

So in regards to your hat deal, how did that happen?

I sat with the President and CFO of Mitchell & Ness to pitch the concept and idea for the program and they backed the idea.  It’s going to be $50-$100 per hat and 50 hats per artist will be sold; it will be limited edition.

When will you be able to sit back and say to yourself, “I made it!”?

When I have grandchildren and I’m in a rocking chair (lol). I will just tell them to look on my Facebook page (lol).

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell that DJ Omega is a package deal: humor, drive, fortitude and most of all the skills to make a name for himself.  I’m a fan of his work and have been for quite some time, but as you can see I’m not the only one taking notice.  Keep it up and thank you for visiting the Dreamworld!

To check out DJ Omega visit: http://www.djomega.net

Scooter Smiff…He’s on His Rise to the Top!

If there’s one thing I harbor a slight regret for, it’s waiting so long to follow my dreams.  One piece of advice I would offer is to start young and dream big.  With this in mind, it’s no coincidence that I wanted to snag a moment of Scooter Smiff’s time…such a young talent with a world of promise.  Born Jermaine Smith, in Baltimore, MD, Scooter Smiff brings a lot to the table.  He can dance, rap and act and his talents have been noticed by some big name industry moguls.  At the age of 5 he wowed the crowd with his performance on Showtime at the Apollo, showcasing his dancing and rapping abilities to the world.  Continuing on his success train, he played the role of “Daniel” on Season 3 of the hit show, Lost and joined Tom Arnold in the film, Gardens of the Night.

One of his biggest opportunities came when, super star, Chris Brown brought Scooter Smiff along to perform on the Grammy’s with him.  He was signed to Brown’s independent label, CBE Records, having the opportunity to work along side one of the people he looked up to.  Scooter Smiff landed it big time when he toured with Chris Brown during his “Up Close and Personal Tour” and was featured in videos such as Wall to Wall and Kiss Kiss. Now 16 and no longer signed to CBE Records, he has released a solo mixtape, First Period, with collaborations such as Mario and Wale.  How does he process his success? Is he still able to enjoy being a teenager?  What was it like working with Chris Brown?  Scooter Smiff answers all of the above and more; take a look at what he has to say about his success thus far!

1. You’re an amazing dancer, rapper, actor; if you had to choose, which would be your ultimate career choice?

I always say that I’m a dancer first and foremost. Thats how I started and thats what I really love to do but I think my ultimate career choice would be acting. I’ve acted  in the past and its something that I would love to get better at.

2. You performed with Chris Brown at the Grammy’s, how were you able to digest such a monumental moment in your career?

I was so young but it was still crazy. We did the Grammy’s, Oprah, The Today Show, & Good Morning America, which was my favorite. I am really grateful for that time I had with Chris because I saw so much.

3. How is your business relationship with CB, present day?

It’s good, Chris is like my big bro. I’m so happy to see everything going great for him now because he’s a big inspiration for me.

4. What was your motivation/inspiration for “First Period”?

My determination to get back into the game and show everybody what I was capable of. That kept me focused and inspired to get in the studio and work.

5. If you had to pick your favorite track from the mixtape, which one would it be?

That’s a hard one. If I had to chose though I would say it would be a tie between “Could Be” & “Stop It”.

“Could Be” Ft Mario


“Stop It” Ft. Lil Twist


6. How do you balance the success of your career and still being able to enjoy your teenage years?

My team makes sure I still get to be a teen and do regular teenage things while working and on the road. I keep a really good balance between the two.

7. How is your “sound” different from other rappers, i.e. what makes you unique?

I think my voice and flow are very unique. Also I don’t curse or talk about anything out of my age range in my raps.

8. What advice can you offer other young artists on their journey to the top?

I would say just to stay focused and get yourself out there. If I would have never done that talent contest at the Apollo I wouldn’t be where I am now.

9. What’s one fun/quirky thing about you that your fans may not know already?

Haha I love to eat cookie dough.  Before I get into the studio to record or write I gotta have Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

He’s down to earth with so much more to accomplish and he’s already experienced more than most artists in the beginning stages of their careers.  If there’s one thing Scooter Smiff has shown the Dreamworld, it’s that you can dream as big as you want to…the sky is the limit.  Let his story be the reason why you put goals into action!