Music

MUST READ: On Blogs And Hip-Hop Promotion

by Winston "Stone" Ford

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We all know that the game has changed in the past few years. Instead of hustling demos and mixtapes on the street, we can do it digitally. Instead of hitting up DJs at your local radio station, you’re hitting up cats in Hong Kong.

In the past 10 years our lives have changed dramatically, and in actuality, I think that blogs, the Internet, and sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are a beautiful thing. It has allowed me to connect with readers from all over the world and find artists who would never even get noticed otherwise.

HOWEVER, there is a downside to Internet Marketing. Just like you get SPAM in your inbox, I and people in my position get hit up on the daily by hundreds of rappers looking for their big break.

Look, I can’t knock the hustle, but most of y’all are dong it wrong. DJ Eurok breaks it down oh so eloquently:

The funky rap promoter’s conventional wisdom at the end of this decade is to SPAM the announcement of a release, hope that the bloggers are going to wake up tomorrow and download a 140 MB ‘mixtape’, post a writeup by the afternoon, resulting in z-share hits going through the roof and every hip hop kid from Piscataway to Portland will friend them on MySpace and follow them on Twitter.

NEWSFLASH: THE GAME DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT!

A hip hop release doesn’t go viral becasue a ‘top blogger’ posts about it. There is no way to plan to go viral. Posting in the comments isn’t gonna help either.

Things go viral when there is a groundswell of activity and communication known as buzz that permeates everything around the object. It takes on a life of its own, through consistency in messaging, presentation, branding, presence, social network, originality, innovativeness and QUALITY.

A DRAKE or WALE LEVEL ARTIST GETS NEAR A MILLION VIEWS IN A MONTH OR TWO OFF BUZZ WHILE AMATEUR RAP CATS ARE SCRAMBLING AND SPAMMING TO GET A  THOUSAND PLAYS ON THEIR YOUTUBE VIDEO.

(Meanwhile Virginia’s newest rapper gets more hits that both of em…effortlessly going viral with local joke rap – discuss amongst yourselves)

Artists, if you want to be in the game, COME UP WITH A MARKETING PLAN. Create a strategy to not only build buzz locally, but to define yourself in the marketplace, and put out a quality product. The Kid Cudi’s, Wale’s, and Drakes that you want to imitate had a plan in place WAY before any digital ink was spilled on them.

Again, I respect the hustle, but the deeper I get into this game, the deeper I realize what separates the artists who succeed from the artists just making noise. What camp are you in?

Seriously, read Eurok’s post. It’s like Music Promotion 101.


  • Pingback: Blogs And Hip-Hop Promotion: One Man’s Opinion « Boardroom Gangster()

  • http://knowideasoriginal.blogspot.com/ Korey K

    The font for quality should be much larger. Success doesn’t come over night but a lot people didn’t notice Wale or Drake right away so they think that’s what it is. Drake was touring with Trey Songz and Lil Wayne and had several other connections. Wale was touring with Mark Ronson which opened many doors plus heavy radio play in the DC area.

  • http://www.purplemag.com PurpleZoe

    Excellent topic. It also helps to write a cover letter to your chosen bloggers rather than just add their emails to a list that you send unsolicited tracks to. Email boxes tend to brim with emails. Unsolicited messages will quickly find their way to the spam box 9 times out of 10. Plus, it’s rude. Introduce yourself. Be confident in your product and you won’t feel like you need a hook-up. Your product will speak for itself, as will the vibe around it.

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