Letter From Editor - Issue #01
Peace, my name is Jake Heinitz, editor-in-chief of Greenroom. Since 2008 I have been involved in the Minneapolis music community as a festival-thrower, blogger, manager and overall music junkie. As a tireless traveler and student of social trends, I began to catch onto a pattern of overlapping interests among my peers - rappers challenging me to practice yoga, graffiti writers teaching me to grow my own vegetables, choreographers schooling me on the ins and outs of the Prison-Industrial Complex. Real people caring about real things, rather than allowing themselves to be restricted by genre or title. Striving to represent an intersection of these subcultures, I began my search for the proper vehicle to carry these messages.
After much thought, discussion and manifestation, that vehicle appeared in the form of a magazine, a quarterly publication that would highlight musicians, progressive urban culture, and practical wellness tips. Next step was to turn the idea into a reality and pinpoint the voice of the magazine. Above all, I wanted the reader to get the feeling that they were hanging out backstage in the green room, keeping company with the artists and entourage while listening to their stories from the road. An inclusive approach to exclusive information. Thus, the name Greenroom was born.
Choosing the name was the hardest part. Second hardest part? Figuring out whose face would go on the first cover. It was February 2013 when Eamon, my music editor, and I decided that Chance the Rapper would be the one. Coming at a time about three months before his sophomore release, Acid Rap, the world didn’t have much of a clue who Chance was, but we did, and we were excited. About three months earlier, December 2012, Chance came to Minneapolis for his first headline gig. Instead of staying at a hotel, I called Pat the Manager and told him they could come stay at Eamon’s house. Chilling in the living room before the show, Chance asked if he could show us beats from his new tape. I swear he freestyled for thirty solid minutes, getting more and more excited as he jumped from beat to beat - “you are going to remember 2013 as the year Acid Rap dropped - watch” he exclaimed to us with a playful confidence. And the thing was, we believed him.
To write the story, we wanted someone who had witnessed Chance’s come-up from the start, so we called upon Alex Fruchter. Fruchter, president of Closed Sessions and former editor-in-chief of Ruby Hornet, is someone taking similar steps to build within Chicago as I am within Minneapolis, so we agreed to collaborate on all future issues. It is now mid-August as I type this note and Chance is standing on stage in front of 90,000 festival goers, opening for Eminem and Kendrick Lamar at Stade De France. Chance’s accelerated rise to the top represents the creative resilience of the new Midwest, the same resilience that birthed this publication.
As for the content making up the rest of this issue, our intentions were to give you a concentrated sample of things to come. Spotlights on our favorite up-and-coming musicians - Hiatus Kaiyote, Lizzo, Wild Belle and those alike. Practical health and wellness tips from artists like Styles P and Alicia Steele. First-hand narratives from storytelling emcees Homeboy Sandman and Big Zach. Highlighting D.I.Y. business practices from grassroot hustlers like Coco & Breezy and Greg Grease. A new spin on journalism written from the perspective of an unexpected insider.
I had my doubts on whether or not this would actually work. It was earlier this summer when I walked into the office of a successful publisher and asked him for his advice, to which he replied gruffly, “Want my advice? Don’t fuggin’ do it.” For about five minutes after leaving his office, I let my mind wander down that dark road and doubted all the ideas I had compiled. What if music heads don’t care about health and wellness? What if print media really is dead? But that was all it lasted, five minutes. Instead of doubting, I launched a Kickstarter campaign for the magazine and thirty days later the doubts had turned to dollars - 107 backers, $21,000 raised. The only piece left is for me to finish is to write this note, send the final design to the printer and then distribute those 15,000 copies throughout Minneapolis, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Melbourne (Australia) and most importantly, into YOUR hands.
If you dig the direction of our content and are thirsty for more, visit us online where you will find daily-updated content, from new music and fashion to practical wellness tips and city guides. In this day and age, no resource seems as stretched as our time and in order to live a fulfilled life, we have to be selective with where we invest it. Thank you for investing yours in Greenroom.
Blessings, Jake Heinitz