you probably ought to retitle this thread a bit more accurately. because I was a kid when I made the decision to pursue music as a full time career, and I've had more success than I was ever prepared for. this is not a figure of speech, I literally moved 4 days after I graduated high school. I knew my passion, have great confidence in my ability to succeed regardless of the task, and know my work ethic is better than anyone elses. I actually made the decision, however, when I was 15 and had been making beats for only a year. once I found beats, I quit playing sports competitively, quit wasting my time with pointless socializing, and focused my energy and disciplined my mind. I tried piano lessons but quit after the first few sessions. I trusted my intuition above that. and by the time I was 16, anytime someone heard my track they assumed I had taken lessons, when in fact I had only been messing with a keyboard for 2 years. I still applied to colleges junior year - I had good high school scores and a 29 on the ACT - got accepted with academic scholarships into the University of Illinois and Middle Tennessee State (music business school). but that was just to see if I could, and to temporarily comfort my family for the inevitable. by the time I was 17, I had informed my family that I would be moving to Atlanta to pursue a career in music, starting at the very bottom and wkring my way to the top. I had never met a single person from Atlanta, let alone in atlanta. but I did have a relationship with a member from this very website, hip hop science. we talked about once a week, and then we collectively came up with an idea that I could move down there and only pay $100 rent, and he would let me stay with him and we would build our empire by combining my production with his business skills and consulting/management abilities. I packed my car and took off June 4th, 2004, and moved in with hip hop science. from that point on, is a whole novel of amazing stories of success, failure, and maturity. I wont go into it. I'll highlight it by saying that after 3 months of doing many remixes, I finally decided to quit with the east coast/underground/midwest style for a minute, and focus on what everyone was telling me too - make southern crunk or club shit. well, I did, and within my first few remixes, I had done a crazy remix by this duded named G-Money, the song featured Bun B. I had gotten the track coincidentally when hip hop science ran into an old friend of his who was a promoter at EvandeR Holyfield's label, who G Money was signed to. I did a remix that was so hot that when we showed it to Gmoney, they instantly wanted to buy it and come thru my studio to hear what else I had. well they bought tthe remix and 2 other instrumentals, giving me my first major placement with Bun B. they paid $2500, making it my first legitimate check. from that point, I continued to mold my sound, and soon enough we were able to convience bone crusher to actually listen to one of the CDs we gave him. plus my buzz locally had gotten back to him, which intrigued him as well. one day on an off chance, science ran into bone at a studio as he was leaving. science played the CD and then bone decided it was time to come check me out at the studio. I played every single beat I had for him, he liked a few, tried a few hooks out but didnt like em. the VERY last beat I played, which also coincidentally was a beat from a REMIX I had did for one of his other songs, he was really diggin. he did a whole song to it, which opened up a time frame of about 7 days for me to mix taht song, and come up with new beats for him. I worked my ass off that week and came up with 7 bangers and the mix. the mix was cool, but the beats blew him away, and we recorded new songs to 4 of them. one of the songs wound up being so hot that bone crusher called guess who?? good ol Bun B for another one of my beats. the next week I was in the studio with Bun watching him write to my track and put down a crazy ass verse. I would call bone every month or two after that and bring him new tracks, sometimes he'd want to record, others he wouldnt. since then i have honed my style to such a degree that any beat I play he wants for himself or one of his artists. I gotta hide tracks from them. but our relationship became so strong that we now have over 50 songs together, including collaborations with Lloyd of Murder INc, 8ball, the youngbloodz, angie stone, e40, and even a few sessions with good charlotte, although we havent completed the song yet. I currently have 3 placements on his upcoming Jive Album, plus 8 placements on a remix album that is coming out in May. that was just one avenue, of literally hundreds I pursued, most to no avail. but others to great success, such as Mountain Man, who I accidentally bumped into at my boy J Fresh's crib one day. not knowing his business finesse, I casually played him my tupac remix. that opened a world of doors. he put me with the Outlawz, where I wound up rpoducing a track on their 2pac double disc mixtape that made the source magazine as hottest mixtape of the month last month. he put me with Adina Howard, where we produced a song that ultimately would not be chosen for the Americas Next Top Model Theme, but I got to produce a track for her mixtape as well, and I enjoy maintainig a good relationship with her. he also put me with lil scrappy, who had already jacked one of my beats. i gave scrappy some experimental rock beats that just about all the idiots on this site dissed, and scrappy digged em so much he stopped his session to record to them. those are slated to come out on his upcoming album. there are a million otehr ways he helped me, as well as I helped him. we are great partners now and I have produced a nice part of his mixtape, which is going to be monumental, and is loaded with great guest features. Mountain took me to LA and we put it down out there, I got to make a beat with Rhythm D - who was Eazy E's main producer, and produced other hits for Posterboy and Bone thugs N harmony, which is my fav group, so you know I was digging that immensly. the beat we produced is now gonna be a major club hit here in ATL as it features the Bishop of Crunk and the late Chyna head of Legion of Dymes. I really want to keep going, but I'll stop there. yall have seen my resume and know the others I"ve worked with as well. I have literally 10's of stories like this. The reason I illustrate them all is because the music industry only SEEMS to be hard because its so unregulated. u just gotta have street smarts, an open mind, true passion for music, and a GREAT work ethic. the most important of those is work ethic. if you dont have it, dont get in this fucking game without your plan B. if you like to go out to the club every night, if you'd rather chase females than make beats, or if u really like hobbies and a truly balanced life, this aint for u man. cuz this requires more dedication than anything I"m aware of. and it requires a great tolerance for stress, and a great level of maturity, cuz YOUR GONNA BE IN IT ALL ALONE. I'm a 19 year old white boy from the middle class doin it like this. I stick out worse than a sore thumb at every club I go to. shit i'm not even old enough to get in to the club, nor do I look it! but my boy larry is a club promoter and gets me in FREE anywhere I want to go. u gotta learn to use your resources man. alright I"m done, anyoen whos still reading, good luck fam.