Where do you get your weekly in-depth analysis of new Hip Hop album releases? Well, Off The Record of course! We spoke to @stickykeys a few days ago about making this week a bit different and to share with everyone his experience so far as a part of the #hhtb squad, so we’ll keep the intro short and pass the mic to Mr Sticky!
Welcome to the twelfth edition of my weekly offering to @hhtb! That means that it’s been almost three months since I began my first article on Royce Da 5’9″s ‘Book of Ryan‘ LP. Time has gone by so fast, and I’m counting down the days until my holidays for my day job! So, for this edition of Off The Record, I’m going to ‘unmask’ myself and tell you a little bit about my life whilst reintroducing this column. It will be fun for both new and regular readers! And before we start, I want to thank everyone for your support! Much love!
On posters, social media, and some of my email usernames, I go by the name @stickykeys, but my friends and family call me Ryan. No one really every calls me Sticky Keys. It’s just a stage name to look fancy. I am currently based in Bangkok, Thailand and working full time as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher here, right by the old airport in town. I literally live a twenty minute walk from the airport. I teach to high school students, but I have taught pretty much all ages, from kindergarten to fifty year old adults. On my free times, I am a DJ every few weeks or months or so, depending when I am needed. I mix a bunch of different genres from Hip Hop to Reggae to Dancehall and Funk & Soul, it’s easier for me to list the genres that I don’t dabble in, rather than the vast amount of genres that I do. I like to quote my friend Greek friend, Adonis “I play music that sounds sexy“.
Before I became a DJ about six or seven years ago, I lost count, I was working with @hhtb‘s founder, @vandigital on some Hip Hop-related events as a stage manager and run-around guy, learning the ropes to the music industry from the background. Then I started to pick up beat-making, as a form of expression. Later on came Graffiti & Street Art, and eventually DJing, which I found is the most financially viable way of making money from my passions without sacrificing my soul.
It’s been an amazing three months writing Off The Record for you guys. There were a lot of things I wasn’t expecting when I first started writing. I expected my music library would grow with my reviews, and I expected that I would be covering more old-school rappers, but I discovered that some new artists actually sound pretty good if you look past the generic name/logo and hipster fashion, while some of the older artists I covered are kind of bland. Keeping my fingers crossed for Cypress Hill’s upcoming album!
Thank you once again for your support for the community! Big things happen with many small efforts, so we are all part of a future which begins today. Let’s try not to fuck it up!
One Love, and see you all next week!