- Nowadays in Hip Hop the money isn’t in the sales of records especially when records are becoming obsolete. The way to be profitable in the music industry is by selling your brand! Most Hip Hop artist today make profits off of touring, endorsements and investments. I personally feel that you need all three. Here’s the break down: If you record an album with good production and good promotion @ $10 a unit you would need to sell 100,000 copies to make a $1Million but to sell that many units can take an average artist with a major deal 6 months to a full year to achieve that milestone. Why do you think it was such a big deal for an artist to go gold (500,000 copies sold) you just made your label $5Million and if your album goes platinum (1 Million copies sold) you have just made your label $10Million. But selling numbers like these isn’t easy… it takes an average artist with a major deal to go on tour in order to achieve this. The real reason why some of your favorite artist has gotten pushed back is strictly because of sales. Yes the new album is done but the label hasn’t hit its goal from the last album. When you drop a real album, you should only need to release 2-3 singles max and only 2 videos. That’s the standard formula but in the pass we’ve seen artist release up to 5 singles on an album and shoot over 4 videos…. that’s called milking the record. This method can kill your buzz and frustrate your artist and the fans.
Now it’s a new day…. Some of the biggest artist with a major deal are giving some of their best music away for free, to be honest some artist mixtapes sound better than their major album. Here’s the breakdown to that… while your label is figuring how to drain everything they can out of one record an artist can start getting rusty setting on the shelf. Free mixtapes is way to connect to your fans and improve your skills… hey you didn’t like that song or concept? Hey it was free, I will try something else. But on the flip side of this experiment you might stumble on something good that can spark a major buzz. Yes nowadays having a major buzz is bigger than having a major deal. Most labels groom their artist and have to spend money on the artist to create a buzz hoping that it gains momentum.
Now with that buzz… you cut out the middle man of trying to get Dj’s and the radio to play your record. Take your career by the hands and take it on the road. If you’re getting booked for a show at $10k and you do just one show a week… you have grossed $40k that month! Can you sell 4,000 units in one month? Going at this rate and keeping your buzz going for a whole year will net you $480,000 but you didn’t have to sell 48,000 units @ $10.
+ YOU DON’T NEED A MAJOR DEAL… YOU NEED A MAJOR GAME PLAN!
- Start small… take over your town hard! Perform at every open mic you can in your city. If you’re from the Eastside, go do shows on the Westside…. expand your range! One key thing is being scared to let people hear your music. Stop holding them classics in your phone, that won’t help you get on. When you feel like you go a banger share it… im not talking about on social media which is a good marking tool but it isn’t a marketing strategy… it’s the digital age! When I made my first CD in Vegas I put it on everybody phone! If you came to my crib and I was by my computer Vol. 1 was going on your phone. If I couldn’t give you the whole album I would bluetooth a song or two. This will also helps out at your performance, so the people from your crew that come and support they will already know your material.
+ INVEST… INVEST… INVEST:
- Your not spending thousands on a traditional career so don’t take a traditional approach. The money you save up should be invested into you. The first investment is your image… not the flashy side of things, Im talking about the presentation of you. Whats better: one person in your crew with Trues on and a chain? Or your whole cream in the same T-shirts promoting your project? Im telling you people will come to the club and support you harder when you got free shirts for them trust me I know. That’s for the person who says I don’t have nothing to wear…. Good put this on and come on… you wasn’t going to get any females anyway! I watched my cousin who was the CEO of Cut Throat Entertainment in Detroit pay to get 15 people in the club… why because these are the people he told to come and support no matter what. So that was $200 at the door including to get the young dogs in… but when Young Blo took the stage, the crowd behind him was major… yes 25 people on stage and only one person is performing.
You don’t have to buy the whole club a drink but you should take care of key people at the club. These are key people that should have drinks in their hand courtesy of your label: Owner/Manager of Club, DJ that’s does your set, any industry people that seems interested in your music or your movement. Key note if you’re tipsy or on cloud 9 don’t do a meeting in the club. Have a drink together to get the introduction and connection out of the way… then set things up for first thing in the morning. Each performance you do should be a live commercial to what you can do while on stage. Even if you’re not performing you should go around shake hands and let people know who you are and what you represent.
+ WHO ARE YOU?:
- I never could forget when I took a rapper that I was managing to a networking event with Millionaires present. When I introduced her to someone, the gentleman asked her what did she do? She replied with “I do housekeeping.” She was taken back when the gentleman asked her “Well, how much would it cost to have you come to house and be my house keeper?” With a puzzled look on her face she rebutted: “I never cleaned anyone house before…” he came back with “I never had a personal housekeeper before and I saw an opportunity.” You see the gentleman wasn’t in the wrong he wasn’t being funny, he was serious. The point of this story is to keep you in the mind frame of always remember who you are. If she would’ve presented herself as an artist, she would’ve gotten introduced to the music executives in the room that the gentleman had connections with.
These are just some key points that I wanted to share about the music biz from an independent mogul standpoint. Keep going hard and stay on your biz. If you find anything in this article helpful to your career, you have an obligation to share it with the people who deserves it.
+ MUSIC BIZ INDY TIPS
COLLECTION #1 | VOLUME #1