I may not always like to talk and share on social media, but I like to find inspiration and soak up some knowledge through some of the platforms. So, I thought I’d share a few of the creatives, curators, and brands I like to follow on social media to refuel my creative spirit and drive. I follow more than that, but these accounts have been useful to me and will hopefully be useful to you. After you check out this list, feel free to share which ones you follow with me on Twitter at @amirahrashidah.
DJ Khaled, producer and businessman
I was totally against following him at first because he comes off as corny. But, he does a few things really well: show images of how to live your best life, indulges in shameless self-promotion, and shows the importance of the future. Most of that message is materialistic, but if you look past it, there are some mental and spiritual messages as well. Plus, it’s always nice to see how much he loves on baby Asahd and his priority in making sure that he’s set for life. He’s laying out a blueprint, and that’s important to absorb and learn from. Snapchat (djkhaled305) and Instagram (@djkhaled) are the best places to catch him.
W. Tyler Allen, consultant and digital media strategist
As a blogger who writes for and about black and urban music creatives, W. Tyler Allen’s tweets are enlightening and food for thought for creatives doing it the indie way. His holistic and thorough tips are important because they make creatives look at the whole picture of their creative lives, from income streams and publishing to marketing and mental health. Find him on Twitter (@wtylerallen) and check out his website for more about him and his services.
Curtiss King, producer and rapper
I’ve realized that I follow much of the people that Top Dawg Entertainment artists have worked with in the past. Curtiss King is one of them. He’s grown a lot since he worked with Ab-Soul on Longterm. With all of the knowledge that he’s gained, he started a YouTube channel giving advice, which he calls #Curtspirations, to fellow music creatives on topics such as work ethic, mental health, creative strategies, production and more. Check out his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter at @curtissking.
Michell C. Clark, social media strategist and curator
I can’t exactly recall when I followed Michell on Twitter, but I know that I liked his urban music website, Artistic Manifesto, and (almost) considered contributing to it before I launched Transcending Sound. In those few years, I’ve seen Michell contribute so much to the culture with his collaborative events (like his official brunch with Broccoli City Festival), his previous work with Maségo, and his social media marketing business. Follow Michell on Twitter (@MichellCClark) and learn more about him and his services on his website.
Elliott Wilson, journalist and curator
You may know him most for his laugh, but I don’t think I have to explain in detail about how important Elliott Wilson and his wife, Danyel Smith, are to hip-hop. His influence started in the 90s with his work at Vibe, continued with XXL, and still survives with his website, his Rap Radar podcast, and now with his hip-hop editorial director role at Tidal. If you’re looking for constant news about what’s going on in mainstream hip-hop, follow his Twitter and Instagram accounts, especially Instagram (@elliottwilson).
Rob Markman, journalist and Director of Artist Relations at Genius
I became hip to Rob Markman for his amazing interview with Kendrick Lamar when he was still working with MTV News. But, before that, he worked as a writer and editor at XXL, Complex and more. Since his interview with Kendrick, he moved forward to work with artists via Genius. You probably know a good bit of the lyrics to Panda and to most hip-hop songs from 2015 to now because of his work. Follow Genius (@Genius) and Rob (@robmarkman) over on Twitter.
James Fauntleroy, singer-songwriter and producer
Fauntleroy has been behind a lot of amazing hip-hop, R&B, and pop tracks over the past decade. You’ve heard him with Common, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and more recently, Bruno Mars. So, when he goes live on Periscope and Instagram Live, it’s important for me to stop and watch, and, most importantly, listen because he does it quickly and then deletes them. Follow him on Twitter and Periscope at @fauntleroy and on Instagram at @jamesfauntleroyii.
DJBooth, hip-hop website
DJBooth is one of my favorite hip-hop sites out, mainly because of its music commentary on some of my favorite artists. Their writing staff puts out one-listen reviews (which I’m not always an advocate of), share new music, and shares theory-based pieces and opinions on music creatives’ work. Some of my favorite pieces come from Yoh (@Yoh31). They also engage their audience very well on social media. Keep up with their conversation on my favorite platform, Twitter (@djbooth), and find them over on Facebook.
Brianna “BreezyB” DeMayo, publicist and curator
Just like W. Tyler Allen, Brianna, aka BreezyB, promotes artists, helps them build their brand and, more importantly, helps them make money because she knows, as a creative herself, how important it is to have control. She does most of this work with her firm, ExclusivePublic, that handles marketing, design and business strategies. She also helps put artists on via a music site called Taste Creators. Check out her advice and work over on Twitter at @Breezyb215, @TasteCreators, and @ExclusivePublic.
D-Nice, DJ and photographer
The former emcee sparked my attention last year when he posted photos from the night after Phife Dawg’s dedication at the Apollo Theater. The camaraderie shown between all of the folks hanging out at Q-Tip’s house was beautiful. Fortunately, D-Nice has captured lots of pictures like that with other folks and displays them on his Instagram page with stories attached to many of them. If you want to learn more hip-hop history and see amazing visuals of its creatives and the culture, that’s one of the places to check out. Find him on Instagram (@djdnice).