From Daily Dot:
Most rappers use YouTube to get in with the major labels. DeStorm Power used the site to get out.
Seven years later, Power is the most popular rapper on the social video network, an entertainer with more than one million subscribers and a trademark franchise that’s earned him widespread acclaim and attracted the attention of such mainstream artists as Talib Kweli and Boyce Avenue.
But getting to that point wasn’t exactly easy—not by a long shot.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Power moved to New York City in 2004 to try to make it in the rap game. He got himself an apartment and quickly called a friend, the only New Yorker he knew, who happened to have a job at Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. With his help, Power was able to work his way into a ghostwriter role within the group.
The mission was simple: write raps for other artists until he gets noticed, then go out and do it for himself.
It wasn’t long before that plan went awry.
In a 2010 YouTube tell-all, Power describes the fallout that occurred when his friend lost his job at Bad Boy, forcing Power out in the process. The firing seemed to have a spiraling effect. He lost his day job shortly thereafter, then his apartment. He was down to practically nothing and lying to his family in Baltimore about how little he had.
Power started to busk in subways, saving up change so that he could sleep in motels. He scraped up enough money to get himself a place in Harlem. He got back into performing at clubs, and, at a show in Harlem, came across a girl who’d recorded his act. He asked her for a copy of the video.
Needing a place to store it, Power turned to YouTube, a site that at the time was barely two years old. And with that, DeStorm’s channel was born.
Power launched his channel with a bevy of fitness videos—and with good reason; he’s cut like Terrell Owens. First it was “Super Leaping Ability!,” then “Extreme Pushups” and a second volume. He started racking up fans; “Vol. II” has over 920,000 views. That’s when he learned that he could use YouTube to launch his music career.
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