MEKA: Two years ago, this site started on the foundation of two things: a platform for the two of us to put potential viewers on to the music we liked, and a voice for the Left Coast that wasn’t heard previously. I, however, also had another motive for the site: desperation.
Two weeks prior to the site’s debut, I had lost my job of two years in commercial production due to the impending writer’s strike that forced studios to trim the fat in order to save money. It was the first time in nearly seven years that I didn’t have a job and to be honest I was scared out of my mind, as no amount of college training had prepared me for unemployment. So in between scrambling for a job and freelancing like gangbusters to keep my lights on, I only started doing one daily post on the site: Meka’s Soul Mix Show, just to keep at the very least my sanity in check.
Eventually I landed another job, but by then I had slowly begun to put more input into the site that the ideal of “working my way up the professional ladder to success” wasn’t as all it’s cracked up to be. Eventually I left from that job, deciding to throw my energy and faith into something that, while was starting to catch on with the masses, I was unsure what it would do for me and my career. Seems that I’ve made the right choice, as not only was I hired to head the new media department at a digital marketing agency, I was able to accomplish a life’s goal of mine by moving to New York, thanks in part to this site.
Long story short, if there is anything to take from my long-winded diatribe it’s that you should never lose focus on your goals and dreams if you’re really passionate about it. I’d like to give props to everyone who’s ever been instrumental in this site’s growth, and I thank you all for lining my pockets sticking around with us for so long.
SHAKE: I guess my “story” is a bit in reverse as I started 2dbz with a full time gig at the slave ship some of you know as HipHopDX; and now I’m unemployed with only my free lance design work (ArtByShake.com /plug) keeping me a float. The past few months have really tested my strength and faith in this site as I’ve dedicated a lot (some say too much) of my time to making it one of the best sites on the internets. And doing it with little to no (financial) return. Regardless… the site was never birthed to make myself and Mek millionaires (although, it would be nice haha) so it’s running just as we imagined. Well… not exactly. I never thought something we started just 2 years ago would blossom to a place where over 400k different people visit a month. That’s pretty intense and I thank you all for being a part of this.
I will say this… even without the cashflow, the rewards of (co-)running 2DopeBoyz have been fantastic. As a fan of music since my mind (and my one good ear) could comprehend what I was listening to I’ve always been a “taker”. Sure I pay for albums still and go to shows when folks decide Vegas is a good place to stop. But I’ve never had a chance to “give back” to the artist. Now-a-days I’m more instrumental in the success of artists that have made songs that have got me through the darkest times of my life as well as guided me to the the brightest. I now find myself having artists I’ve been a listening to for years reaching out and showing genuine appreciation of me helping promote their projects, etc. It’s a surreal experience every time and I’m thankful for it each day. I’ve built a lot of great relationships (and gained absurd amounts of haters) along the way. And I’m sure these times will continue for years to come. Let’s get it!