Best Do-It-Yourself


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Last year, a rapper calling himself Acafool cut a CD in his Tampa home that included a song called “Hata Blockas,” which celebrated a special type of magic sunglasses that can keep all those haters out yo face. Acafool and some friends test-marketed “Hata Blockas” on the streets and in the clubs, and then hit up Wild 98.7 for some airplay. Big, corporate-owned stations rarely pick up records from independent local acts, but the song’s bounce-beat and badassitudde got folks at the station interested enough to give it a few spins. The audience responded, Wild put it in heavier rotation, and soon enough rival station 95.7 The Beat jumped on the record. Meanwhile, Acafool and his crew had designed sunglasses etched with “Hata Blockas,” and were selling them online and at shows. The song’s popularity has spread to such far-flung markets as Honolulu and Salt Lake City, while entrenching itself throughout most of urban Florida. Acafool will independently release his self-titled album in October. He’s been doing shows around the state (and even one in Salt Lake) based on the popularity of “Hata Blockas.” A few labels have put out feelers, but Acafool is waiting for a right and proper offer. An encouraging case of DIY in action.

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