The music industry has gone digital and for a lot of us, we’re still trying to figure out what the hell is going on. However, in the midst of the tweets, YouTubes, columns and chaos sits Brian “B. Dot” Miller behind a laptop doing what he loves most, Journalism & Hip Hop. I met B. Dot a while back through the internets but definitely had read his stories way before then. Don’t be confused however, B. Dot is in the streets as much as he’s in the office. True Story: I caught up with Brian at a Joe Budden book release party at SOBs way back then and he had the laptop on deck uploading videos of the performance. How real is that? haha. Anyways, my point here is, this young man is a very passionate individual when it comes to the work field. Today, we’re putting him on “The Spotlight” so everyone can meet the man behind one of Hip Hop’s strongest website, RapRadar.com. Enjoy!
**B. Dot, For those who don’t know please introduce yourself.
B. Dot: Alright I’ll give you the short version. I’m Brian “B.Dot” Miller. I’m 25 years old and I’m a journalist from South Jamaica, Queens NY. Content Director at RapRadar.com by day. Crime fighter by night. [Laughs]
**How did you get into Hip Hop Journalism and what/who are some of your influences?
B. Dot: I got into the game by accident. I guess you can say it found me. While I was attending Delaware State University, Michael Feeney, who now works at the* New York Daily News*, approached me about writing for the school newspaper. My skills were raw, but he must’ve saw something in me. I kept writing and got my first break with *Don Diva *in ’03*.* Eventually, my writing got better and I met Bonsu Thompson, who was a DSU alumni and former *XXL* Music Editor. He gave me first assignment with and the rest is history.
Bonsu was a big influence. As time went on I got inspired by other writers like Rob Markman, Jon Caramonica, Kris Ex, Russ Bengtson, just to name a few.
**You’ve been in the game for a while. What publications have you work for and which did you learn the most? (XXL, Rap Radar, etc)
B. Dot: Yeah, it’s been a minute. My byline’s appeared in XXL, KING, VIBE, RIDES, ESSENCE. Rest In Peace to Scratch and GIANT [laughs]. I think XXL helped me out the most though. The editors at the time were tough!
**Please explain, your daily routines to be better at your craft. (Preparation, Writing, Story, inspirations, etc)
B. Dot: I think the best way for any writer to hone their is by reading as much as possible. Whether its a magazine, newspaper, book, hell, even a menu. For me, I get inspired when a someone adds a new spin on a trite subject. Before I interview someone, I do my homework. I read recent interviews and try to ask questions that haven’t been answered.
**Explain the difference between a blogger and a journalist, if there is? Also, what makes a great journalist/blogger?
B. Dot: Ugh, bloggers.For some reason that word makes me cringe. It sounds like ‘blob’ or ‘booger’ to me. But there’s definitely a difference. Anyone can be a blogger. As long as you have a computer, a wordpress account, and an opinion you’re in. Not all, but a lot of bloggers are more concerned with getting it first, than getting it right and could care less if a story is accurate or written correctly.On the flip side, journalists are more respected. There’s a lot that goes into it fact checking and writing a good story.
But at the end of the day, there’s room for both. I think at RapRadar.com we do a good job at bridging the gap. We can be opinionated at times, but we also know how to present just the facts.
**After having a legend like Jay-Z acknowledge who you were, what were your thoughts?
Video Credit: YouTube.com
B. Dot: If you notice in the clip, before I asked my question, I used my government name instead of the alias because of the setting. You had the governor on one side and with other local luminaries. I wanted to be a bit more professional. So when he said, “Oh you B.Dot”. I was speechless. [laughs] I’m a huge Jay-Z fan. And like you said, he’s a living legend. So for him to acknowledge me based off my work with RapRadar, it meant a lot.
**What is the work you are most proud of? (Any Story or Project in particular)?
B. Dot: Man, that’s a good question. There’s a couple that come to mind. I think I was really taken back when my Nick Hogan feature in RIDES gained national attention. That got me my first television appearance on Fox News.
Another was my involvement in XXLs first Freshman issue. That was technically my first cover feature.
More recently, I think the post I did on Rap Radar of Jay-Z and Trey Songz visiting the white house. That got the site on CNN. Thought that was pretty cool.
**What is your purpose in life?
B. Dot: I’m still trying figure that out. But I think purpose is to serve God. After that, I think is to basically the world the talent I was blessed with. Did I just take ya to church?
**I noticed you and Elliot Wilson are great friends. Please Explain your relationship with him and how he’s helped you branding yourself.
Video Credit: TheHipHopChronicle.com
B. Dot: Elliott? Never heard of him. Ha! But in all seriousness, I think we work well, because we “get” each other. He’s a seasoned vet and I’m the youngest in charge. Having him around is dope because he let’s me do me. He’s already established and with the site, I’m not only able to get my name out, but I can do the same for Rap Radars other
contributors Paul “Big Homie” Doung and David Amaya
**What does the future hold for B.Dot?
B. Dot: Big ting na gwan on! Right now, I’m working with Kodak on their new So Kodak campaign. After that, skys the limit. But right, the focus is making RapRadar the best website possible
Video Credit: RapRadar.com
“One word to describe B.Dot”
I asked others in the Industry if they could describe B. Dot in one word, what would it be and why?
Michael J. Feeney, NY Daily News Reporter
One Word to describe B. Dot : JOURNALIST
I describe B.Dot as a journalist, and I have to smile when I say that because I remember him as a freshman at Delaware State University. I was the editor of our campus when he started writing for me. He turned in story after story, and spent many hours in the office. (A lot more than most)
Students would look forward to his articles for his clever lines, and to see what B.Dot was going to say in each issue.
Well, truth be told, B.Dot never wanted to consider or call himself a journalist. “Nah, I’m not a journalist,” he constantly told me. He was “too cool” for that label. (So he thought – haha) That was in 2002, and I’m sure he embraces the title as a “journalist” more now than he did back then. After all, he earned it.
I’m not surprised to see his progress, and I attribute that to his work ethic. It’s a good work ethic that separates the men from the boys, and the good from the great. B.Dot is great.