In the hip-hop game it’s rare for a woman to reign supreme but for Ashley Outrageous, it’s not rare, it’s earned. From living on the pulse of hip-hop music as a blogger in Miami to running digital media for all things Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in New York, with hustle, passion and consistency, she’s turning her enthusiasm for hip-hop and digital media into a career that she loves. Ashley’s learned that in order to build with game-changers you need to constantly work on your craft. If I told you can create a career for yourself doing what you love would you believe it? You’ve seen it before, so what not act on it? Find your own lane of success by learning from Ashley’s advice:
Create a platform for your passion.
What’s your passion and how can you make a platform for it? For Ashley, she created her blog with a passion to share new music that she liked. Back in the days of AOL, she would design all her friends’ homepages, and spend hours on the computer learning how to do HTML code. In addition, she was known among her friends as the go-to source for whose got next in hip-hop. From paying attention to artists on XXL to talking to her friends about what was going on to TRL and 106 Park, and checking out hip-hop sites such as Nah Right and WorldStarHipHop on the daily, Ashley constantly lived on the pulse of music. With that enthusiasm, she launched AshleyOutrageous.com in 2010, a site dedicated to sharing new music she loved, and exclusive interviews with artists on the come-up.
Show initiative and it’ll be recognized.
In creating content for her site, Ashley constantly looked for opportunities on where she could connect with new artists. “I went to SXSW by myself and spent all day networking with everyone.” Her enthusiasm to connect with others led her to meet Dave Free, the President of TDE, who set up her interview with Kendrick Lamar. From that encounter, Dave noticed that Ashley was a writer, and reached out to her for help on the digital media site of TDE. Her responsibilities include developing strategies onsite to keeping the page updated, setting up e-mail blasts and assisting with fan engagement. Be eager in creating great work and someone will notice. Everyone is paying attention, so make sure that what you’re creating is worth recognition from the top players.
If you have haters, it means you’re doing something right.
Originally, Ashley didn’t want to show her face in her Youtube interviews. “I was shy at first, but I wanted to show my personality. I didn’t want to see those comments, but I did it anyways.” Never let someone’s opinion affect you on delivering your best. Ashley could have easily faded in the background and let others hate affect her ability to grow, but she chose to ignore them and do what felt right. Great things never came from living in your comfort zone. Grow.
Transition into the next wave of growth.
Let’s be real. You already know where you want to go and how to get there. But sometimes, the biggest struggles are committing and being brave enough to make the transition. For Ashley, she knew she wanted to get to New York, and felt that staying back home in Miami wouldn’t allow her to grow. It was one of the biggest challenges she’s faced to leave home, but she decided it needed to be done if she wanted to take her career to the next level. Ashley says that the move to New York was “one of the biggest challenges I’ve had so far. I sold my car, I had all these nice Jordans and put them on e-bay, I did what I had to do to get here. I know I can go to the next level.” Have you reached your glass ceiling? Whether it’s a change of scenery or learning a new skill, challenge yourself by transitioning in the next wave.
At the end of the day, winning requires hard work, dedication, patience and initiative. You can’t create success without all the ingredients. Learn from Ashley’s lessons and apply her knowledge to help you on your own path to reaching your own personal best.
Photo by Tony Fair | | Follow him at @fair_grounds