Thursday, June 9, 2011

ATTENTION: Hip Hop Artists & Producers, Stop Chasing Record Deals Part I

*DISCLAIMER: I'M NOT SAYING THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU, BUT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHERE YOU ARE, AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. THEN TAKE WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE FROM THIS AND TRY IT OUT*(BASIC 101 STUFF, BUT STILL A GOOD REFRESHER FOR YOU INDUSTRY LIFERS)

Alright, I get it. We live in a digital age where "blowing up" on the internet has artists buying the latest Twitter, Facebook, and ReverbNation automation bots to climb up the social networking charts and snatch a record deal overnight. And you think that's just what these labels ordered...FUCK NO. Now I'm not knocking your hustle, or your "marketing plan" to become a "star", but realize there are still some major, MAJOR components offline that you need to have in place before you submit your "press kit" to Max Gousse, Kawan Prather, or Dallas Martin(they should be contacting you anyway). The beauty about
it? You can get the offline stuff done by using online tactics(READ ON)...

Now I'm not here to babysit or give you a "foolproof" guide on how to make MILLIONS in this game, but from the knowledge I have soaked up by being affiliated with, commissioned to break artists' and producers' projects, and getting some placements myself, these were the necessary steps I witnessed happen(of course these are sprinkled with my own innovations as well):

Step 1

Who the fuck are you? No, seriously. For example, when I was working with a producer who was doing tracks for Yelawolf before he blew up to this level(still produces for him), Yela straight up transformed. Not saying that he wasn't always a good artist, but his presence alone made me realize what a "star" is and how the expression "if you got it, you got!" is true shit. Find yourself first. Once you do; eat, sleep, breathe and shit that persona until you can't anymore. The guys I knew "before the fame" that did it, sacrificed EVERYTHING(or close to it). You may not be in a position where you have to, and I'm not going to put anybody out there, but a lot of people you see shining now...Trust me they paid their dues. So unbuckle that harness that the rest of the world calls "reality", and start living out your own.

Step 2

STOP TRYING TO FIND MANAGEMENT. Oh my goodness. This is one of my biggest pet peeves when I run into artists. You're trying to give your cookie away before you even touch the fucking dough. But there is an exception, and I'll get to that later. Ok, so they tell me they are looking for management, and they ask me to give them a reference, then I'll ask "Well can I get a copy of your project first?". And I don't mean a single; I mean a mixtape, EP, or an album. Something that is COMPLETE because the people I know want to hear what the artist is capable of in an all-around fashion, not JUST a single. Understand that when you pick up management it is more than just a friendship, these are going to be people who you put in place to control your destiny. Now there are good management teams who can spot that diamond in the rough and take a chance. Be realistic and look at a primary factor in the market at 2011 though. That factor is a still failing economy. Do you know what their question is going to be after I "pitch" you to them? Manager, "Well, what's their budget?". Big shit poppin, little shit stoppin for the most part. Odd Future didn't have management when they took off to the races, but you know what they did have? A fanbase, a ton of local shows under their belt, and a dedicated squad. Do the math. 

Step 3:

DO TRY AND FIND: AN INVESTOR. There are so many resources online on how to start a business, that there is no excuse as to why you can't find someone to put money into your project. (www.kickstarter.com) Then Artist asked: "But I need a proposal don't I?" Hello and welcome to what I like to call OUTSOURCING. There are many people online who will NOT charge you an arm and a leg to get it done. Sources? www.freelancer.com www.elance.com  (for the slow people, here is a rough, thrown together process)

A. Make an outline of what you want to get done(you can outsource this too if you're too thick)
B. Hit up one of the outsourcing sites I listed above, pay whatever to get it done(you might outsource this to 2 or 3 different people and compare or mesh them together. Whatever works for you)
C. Get it styled, designed, and re-edited.
4. Go to www.kickstarter.com (just one of the main "invest in my shit" sites, and collect money)

Rinse and repeat until something shakes.

Now I know you have your World of Warcraft to play, Bang Bros to look at, or job to do(thank God I don't have one of those) so I'll leave you with just part I. I may do part 2 sometime this week or next week, but look at YOURSELF and focus building YOURSELF AS A PRODUCT. Because at the end of the day YOU = PRODUCT. Now how marketable are you as a product?

Regards.

1 comment:

  1. Good article, very real and upfront. I dig it.
    -Chris "MayDay" Rucks

    ReplyDelete