Promoting Hip Hop vs. other types of music

  • I wrote records and toured with a punk band for about 10 years and I've been working on hip hop for the past year or two. What I've found is that promoting hip hop records locally and regionally is way harder than the other music I've created. When people hear the word mixtape, unless they themselves are an artist, they shut down and get dismissive of the potential artistic content. Anyone else experience this when they started promoting their lane of hip hop or subgenres?

  • @solomonk This is mad true, I've been playing in rock bands for seven years playing longer,and when my bands would open up for shows, we may not be payed much,but we would get free drinks or food. Very minimum gas money, but for rap music in the south, club promoters make you pay to perform. Very strange to me, $500 for five minutes $1,000 for 10 minute sets.

  • @OllieAri yeah I'm in Alabama and the lanes for actually promoting yourself, like the infrastructure, just isn't here and the few people that do have it keep a vice grip on it. Very hard to come up. In bands you can rent out spaces to do shows, most places won't rent spaces to hip hop artists.

  • @solomonk i'm in the NJ/NYC area where evvvvverybody and their mother, father, brother raps so theres an abundance of outlets you can get your music to HOWEVER its 100% about relationships out here. there have been times i was so frustrated with not booking local shows or getting music featured where i wanted it to that i started doing research where the "cool" parties in BK where. i'd show up, have a few drinks and talk to people. 3 out of 4 times you're meeting someone that has a friend that interns at blah blah blah or is best friends with a Hot97 dj's cousin or gets there haircut at the same place that shapes Joey Badass up. But yeah - venues are super apprehensive with booking straight rap shows these days. its butt.

  • It definitely feels like relationships are more important than actual content. Being outspoken about not enjoying someone's music is normalized in Hip Hop, so people can openly hate on or dismiss you no matter how on point the music is. They need to know your face, know you're a righteous trustworthy dude or lady before they'll fuck with you. It really just comes back to social branding and how to spread the word in a quantifiable way.

    I'm working on everything every day, but sometimes it feels like I'm looking at a club that doesnt want any new members. I love music so I'll never stop creating, but it is discouraging.

  • @solomonk the craft of creating hip hop or music is about twenty percent of being an artist. The other portion is creating mobility for your brand.

  • What do you guys mean by creating a brand with your music? Drop some links to your music, interested in hearing it.

  • Man, hip hop is so entirely over saturated these days that people dismiss you as soon as they learn you rap. People also assume that you're just out to get rich or be "popping" when you claim to be a rapper, disregarding any notion of artistry in your craft. It's a real shame because as rough around the edges as my shit might be, I, like most of you I assume, put a lot into what I do and try to achieve. It sucks that rappers get lumped into a box like that. I hope this message didn't sound too uppity lol but that shit's frustrating.

    And for @OllieAri and anyone else interested in checking out some of our stuff:

  • Here's a track I was working on last night.

    Listen to Fruity Pebble(prod. by Solo Monk) ft. Dylan Sloan, Krooked Spines, and Frank Bone$ by Solo Monk #np on #SoundCloud

  • Branding is essentially your social narrative that people identify with you as an artist. Its usually why people buy your records.

  • There's definitely resistance to all things rap. I get it. I've been on the other end, and even being an artist myself you want to give someone a chance, but some "aspiring artists" have the worst approach. We all know how over-saturated the indie field is, credit technology for that. Some are doing it for different reasons, and you just don't get that genuine feel about their passion or motives. You wear the black eye given to the "rapper" title by all of those who do it the wrong way.

    It's a steep mountain to gain an ear, and talent alone is no longer the clincher. I'll always say that skill/talent is key, but nowadays the general audience wants to see your work ethic and your branding. All this open access to information has made everyone somewhat "insiders". How you channel your hunger can make or break you. Handing someone a CD and then telling them you need $5 for that ain't it. You might get some get out my face money, maybe. Rappers like that, the link spammers, etc those are what people think of instantly when approached by a rapper.

  • @OllieAri said in Promoting Hip Hop vs. other types of music:

    What do you guys mean by creating a brand with your music? Drop some links to your music, interested in hearing it.

  • @Jsar My approach is having everything readily available digitally(because that's how I consume music living below the poverty line) and handing out "business cards" with links included. I try to make my moves, keep producing quality stuff, and working with new people monthly. I use to have a firm grip on the way to push a release, but it's a wash now. All I know to do is to create quality art and keep the continuity up between my brand, my work, and my personality.

    there's no clear lane and you need resources to create a lane.

  • @solomonk indeed. I'm with you a 100 on that. My approach is very much similar to yours. Business cards tend to go in pocket, flyers tend to go to the ground. Everything is relationship based, even with potential fans/supporters.

  • I think you're either looking in the wrong places or talking to the wrong people if this is the case. The internet gives us a shot to go straight to the fans, you can perform at house parties every weeks, you can even stream shows on Twitch. If you show up saying you can bring "x" amount of ppl in I'm sure they will at least consider you. But just like any job you have to build a portfolio, and the trick to that is CONSISTENCY. We might not all be rich, but we can make a living guys!

  • @solomonk that sounds like a dope idea man

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