Brian ‘B.Dot’ Miller: From Hip Hop Admirer to Hip Hop Expert
How B.Dot's appreciation for the hip hop culture turned into a long term career
By: Jordyn Johnson
To me, Hip Hop is a genre that has created an everlasting bond and impact throughout many generations and communities. It’s given people a voice they've used to speak to and for their communities, and give back to them. When we think of journalism, we don’t often envision journalists choosing to discuss music or write about the voices and trailblazers in this genre. Brian Miller has changed this narrative for me by asserting himself into the community and recently being named one of the top 5 hip hop journalists over the past years. Hip Hop is a genre that involves so many elements, and not many can understand that like Miller. I connect with the genre by relating with lyrics that rappers write, studying the dance styles of hip hop, and now witnessing as Brian Miller not only dives deeper into the music, but the story of the artist as well.
Brian “B.Dot” Miller is has held many titles, including New York-based hip hop journalist, broadcaster, and producer among many others. Over the years, Brian ‘B.Dot’ Miller quickly became the public's “go to guy for authentic and real Hip Hop journalism.” He transformed the respect the people had for hip hop journalists and challenged the extent to which music journalists could go to get to know artists and understand their music. By using multiple variations of outreach, Miller has been able to interview and build relationships with some of Hip Hop’s biggest artists, such as Jay Z, Nipsey Hussle, and Kanye West. His public relations and media outreach practices include:
Conducting podcasts with producers, lyricists, and artists
Blog and news article releases
The creation of a game show/talk show focused on interviewing and challenging the minds of hip hop artists
These practices contributed to Miller's reputation and established credibility which has gained the respect of his peers. Respect and credibility are big things, not only in the world of journalism but in hip hop as well. His ideas and innovative practices paved the way for upcoming music journalists to break barriers and challenge themselves with their abilities.
From Magazines to Big Screens
In his college days, Miller was freelancing and interning at an underground magazine company called "Don Diva." Working at a publication that understood the elements of hip hop and communicated that in a way that brought the community together helped him explore the hip hop world as a whole. Miller's extensive career began at the well established magazine publication XXL magazines, where he had a small position but an effective voice. He worked to gain the respect of a small public, which is way more impactful than having a big title in his field. This job placed him around greatness and gave him the opportunity to
actively network and learn from those around him.
After working freelancing there for two years he was unfortunately laid off in 2008. During his time off, he was reconnected with his prior boss to discuss working for a website he wanted to start. This website grew to become "Rap Radar," a credible and respected podcast and premiere blog whose opinion mattered to the public. Miller and his partner, Elliot Wilson, grew to become names known in the Hip Hop world and sparked change for those who used Hip Hop as an outlet.
Evolving Hip Hop Journalism
Miller had a bigger plan when it came to the heights he wanted to reach. After breaking off from Rap Radar, he worked for televised programs like MTV news, XXL music editing, Spotify sponsored podcasts and more. He was able to showcase his many talents and skill sets. He has continuously broken barriers and challenged himself to explore Hip Hop and its culture. Miller has proven that it is possible to master everything that interests you and create a balance. He challenges anyone who supports him to go after what they want.
We never realize when something is history-in-the-making until after someone has made their mark, but Miller is trailblazing in his field and on his way to the top. Being multi-talented and interested in many outlets is something that I have struggled with balancing. I think in a way, he has inspired me to always stick with what I’m passionate about because in the end, that is where I will make my mark and serve a purpose in the world.
“B.Dot is just a man that is trying to influence and make a difference in the world. Someone that’s caring, willing to listen, willing to learn, just a friend and good guy.” Miller said, in an interview.
If we learn anything from seeing Miller succeed at his passions, it’s that we can do it too.
About the Author
Jordyn Johnson is an up and coming public relations student in Denton, TX. She is currently studying journalism at the University of North Texas, and is working to graduate in August of 2022 with her bachelors degree in Public Relations with a minor in sociology.