How They Came Up: The Problem Story

How They Came Up

Published on October 17th, 2014
by FuNkwoRm


Countless articles have been written about networking and how it is a valuable part of establishing relationships in your music career. Even if you are high on the food chain, meeting new people who you can build a connection with can be a game changer. Be as that may, there are wrong ways to network with people such as sending out mass twitter DM’s or not following directions when submitting your music. But, if you allow yourself to be discovered by focusing on the business needs of your career, you can open yourself up to the exceptional opportunity to meet and work with someone who has a broad network of their own. As a result, you will have an indirect affinity with people you haven’t met; especially if you can do something for them (because no one likes a freeloader). So how did Problem team up with so many established names in hip hop? Of course it didn’t hurt that he knew at least one person, but that alone didn’t get him collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams and Kendrick Lamar. Feasibly, it was the result of being authentic and learning the necessary components of treating himself as a business. His unsuccessful stint at Universal taught him the keys to being hungry without being desperate. Once you determine how to brand yourself, you will have no problem making decisions and knowing what you have to offer other people.

  • Problem was born as Jason Martin on May 8, 1985 in West Germany and grew up in Compton, California.
  • Some of his musical influences are DJ Quik, The Isley Brothers, Lil Wayne, and Prince.
  • In 2006 he released his first mixtape titled ‘Deal or No Deal’.
  • Problem’s music career started to take off in 2007 when he wrote a verse for Terrace Martin on a song the track Be Thankful which appeared on Snoop Dogg’s album The Big Squeeze.
  • After the positive attention he received from the verse, he began recording with artists such as E-40, DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, and Daz.
  • Problem started his own independent label called Diamond Lane Music Group in 2008 which became official in 2010.
  • In July of 2008, he released a follow-up mixtape called ‘Deal or No Deal 2, Universal Cut The Check’.
  • In 2009, he signed a record deal with Universal which eventually fell through.
  • Problem has worked with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Chris Brown, 9th Wonder, and Game, just to name a few.
  • In 2011, he released his third mixtape titled ‘Hotels’.
  • In January of 2012, Problem released his fourth mixtape called ‘Swig Tape’
  • Soon after, he released 2 additional mixtapes in 2012: ‘Welcome to Mollywood’ and ‘Welcome to Mollywood 2’.
  • In the beginning on 2013, he collaborated with Iamsu! and released ‘Million Dollar Afro’.
  • In the summer of 2013, he released his eighth mixtape titled ‘Ain’t Nobody Hotter Than Me’.
  • Problem then released another mixtape in June of 2013 called ‘The Separation’.
  • His single Like Whaaat reached number 20 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.
  • In December of 2013 he released his first EP titled ‘Understand Me’.
  • During the same year, he collaborated with Iamsu!, Juvenile, Too Short, and Omarion
  • His 10th mixtape, released in August of 2014 was called ‘354: Lift Off’.

Here’s what Problem had to say about being signed to Universal: “I guess through the media and you know just through the hoopla of this rapper thing, that’s one of the goals that everybody starts to have because they think that that’s the key to the promise land. I mean it didn’t work out like that for me, I mean it definitely opened people’s eyes and looking back it showed that I was accepted as one of the ones that could generate some money for the business and that’s cool but as far as becoming the artist that I am today, nah you don’t need to do that. I’m not knockin anybody that does that, whatever your goals are, get em. But you don’t need to do that to be successful”

Post by: Rosie J. – music marketer


rosie sm


About the Author

FuNkwoRm is a music producer, creator of the hip hop comic strip, Rap Ratz, and has a dope backspin.

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