Making it in the music industry is about more than just having the talent, training the skill and getting up on the open mics. It takes game plans, strategy and hours – plain and simple. Of course, it helps if you make good music, which each of the artists that make up BME the Collective (BME Ortize, BME Boog, BotaGee, Bennay.Sixt66n, BoogReed and RMG 2X) do.
A strong, blueprinted approach is what has guided BME the Collective since its foundation less than a year ago. They’ve built a brand from the ground up and have already achieved radio plays across the country. Most recently, they’ve been gearing up for their first live show as a collective, at Cruisers Bar & Grill on June 19.
Though BME will be performing as a group, they emphasized that they are all artists in their own right. “We’re not like a boyband or nothing like that, you know what I’m saying? We’re our own persons. The music collective is just a collective of who we think are the dopest artists out here,” said Rubin Ortize, stage name BME Ortize.
“We’re all artists in our own respect, then whenever we come together, we make magic happen as a group because we can hit all these different genres,” added Payton Baltazar, who goes by BME Boog.
More than bringing musical diversity to the table, each of BME the Collective’s members contribute to a different aspect of the business. Baltazar, for example, is an engineer (“he’s gonna be the dopest engineer in the city,” Ortize said) and choreographer.
Ortize is an entrepreneur, as is Kota Bryant (BotaGee). Ben Rodriguez, who goes by Bennay.Sixt66n and BoogReed, is a musical polymath. As a team, they’ve got every part of the music industry squared away nicely. That leaves them time to focus on making hit tracks.
“We all contribute to a certain part in how our group is, we literally can take on anything,” Bryant said. “We’re a family of like-minded individuals coming together to make our dreams a reality,” Rodriguez added.
Even though they’re new as a group – Thaishaun Hunter is fifth member RMG 2X – BME the Collective are picking up steam fast. Their two-pronged approach to publicity – word of mouth and traditional PR – has gotten them significant attention.
“I think the reason why we’re even getting notoriety and clicked up now is because everybody’s finally, for the first time, seeing people really move as a unit,” Ortize said. The group emphasized the importance of their manager, Cristina Reillo, in the success they’ve achieved so far.
But this road hasn’t always been an easy one to travel. Spokane’s hip-hop scene is small, and the history is very much in the making. “You’re not supposed to be from Spokane and be able to do the hip hop that we can do. It just gives us that chip on our shoulder,” Ortize said.
In spite of that, BME the Collective embody and emphasize the importance of community in music. “Everybody’s on the same team, man,” Ortize said. It might come down to competition from time to time, but in the end, it’s unity and collaboration that will help grow not just BME but Spokane rap as a whole.
The intersection of organic art and calculated career path makes BME a force to be reckoned with, and their concert in June will be both the culmination of months of hard work and the beginning of something, perhaps a trip to the top of the music world.
“Wherever the yellow brick road takes me, I’m gonna follow it,” Ben Rodriguez said.
“I’m a firm believer that you can be wrong 1,000 times, you only got to be right once,” Bryant said. For BME, though, it seems like they’ve been right over and over. BME the Collective is at Cruisers, 6105 W. Seltice Way, Post Falls, on June 19. Purchase tickets online at bmethecollective.com; $20 presale and $25 at the door.
Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at email@example.com.