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7 Things You Must Know to Get Media Coverage

Category: 
Music 101

Everytime I personally attend a music conferences or speak on a panel I get a flood of independent artists telling me why we "need" to put them on the cover of Makin' It Magazine. While press coverage is a crucial ingredient for a successful career, how you approach media outlets will often be the differnce between your EPK turning into a front page story or ending up in the recycle bin. Here are 7 great tips every independent artist should implement for more successful media requests courtesy of @MsRivercity.

8 Mixtape Mistakes to Avoid!

Category: 
Music 101

You spend months, even years, recording material for your mixtape – don’t throw it all away with poor planning and rookie mistakes. This article mostly applies to artist mixtapes, not DJ compilations. But DJs can take some advice from this as well. Make sure to leave your opinions and additional suggestions in the comments and/or Tweet me: @MsRivercity.

The Heist: How White Boys Stole Rap!

Category: 
Features

“How the F*** did Macklemore just win an AMA for BEST Hip Hop Album over Jay-Z & Kendrick Lamar? #WTF”

Is Reality TV Hip Hop's New Hustle?

Category: 
Features

“Hell... I would walk to Brooklyn for some cheesecake if it meant a record deal. I’ve walked longer than that at events selling my CD and there wasn’t a contract waiting in my hotel room.” -Kelby Cannick (The Rapper), 2002

I think we can all remember that infamous scenario when hip hop and reality TV first officially collided. Diddy’s Making The Band 2, showed us just how far some rappers were willing to go for the validation of a record deal. I too was one of those artists, as you can tell from the opening quote, but as that first season played out, I quickly began to see that Reality TV and Hip Hop didn’t mix. It was too up close; too personal; too intrusive into the lives and shortcomings of the cast. It magnified their character flaws to an extent that it overshadowed their talents. The artists quickly became too ordinary, too commonplace, too REAL. This observation would later be proven with the eventual failure and disbanding of the Da Band.

Why Wack Artists Get Deals!

Category: 
Music 101

Every month I find myself in a barbershop, record store, or club parking lot listening to artists complain that record labels will sign just about anybody. I hear them complaints about radio stations not playing independent music. I also hear them talk about the lack of opportunities for artists with real talent to get heard. I've listened to so many different versions of these same arguments for more than five years as an artist, a manager, a studio owner, and a consultant. These complaints were the exact reason that we put together our OnTheGrindMixtape.com. The goal of this site was to establish a level playing field where artists could submit music to DJs and A&Rs, with the best records receiving a serious promo push including placement on 5,000 Mixtapes distributed in Atlanta. Ironically, when I mentioned this program most artists would be all ears until i told them there was a $20 submission fee. I've had artists tell me everything from "You need to put me on there for free..." to "You should be paying me to submit music." I laugh it off because these are the same artists that sit around complaining about their situation, which brings me to the title of this article, "Why Wack Artists Get Deals!"

Is Your Favorite Rapper Gay?

Category: 
Features

There’s no denying the relationship between hip hop and basketball and no matter how many changes they make to the dress code, the culture is still going to bleed on to the court. In between the fact that every rapper thinks he could’ve went to the NBA and every basketball player thinks he can spit a hot sixteen, I don’t see this relationship coming to an end any time soon. Go to any basketball game and you’re likely to hear MIMS, Jay-Z, or Nelly playing throughout the arena. Turn on MTV or BET and you might just catch a story about Jay-z or Nelly buying a team. So when John Ameachi outed himself, becoming the first openly gay man to have played in the NBA, I had to turn my head toward the hip hop world and wonder... Which one of our favorite rappers is living a life on the Down Low?

How the South Killed Hip Hop!

Category: 
Features

Who killed hip-hop? I've heard some say that D4L killed hip hop. I've heard others say it was Dem Franchize Boys, Lil Jon, Three-Six Mafia and even Young Jeezy. Right now we are on the verge of an East Coast/Down South feud that I am sure the media will sensationalize until we loose even more of our talented young men and women in a hail of bullets and bullsh*t. Everybody's talking about who killed hip-hop, but the last time I checked you don't investigate a homicide without a body. With Three-Six Mafia just winning an Academy Award and T.I. nominated for multiple Grammies, hip hop is looking very much alive to me. It seems the more important question on everybody's mind should be, "Who in the hell said hip hop was dead?" Before we turn this into an East Coast vs. The Dirty South beef lets remember that Smoke of Field Mob, just this past summer was quoted having said, "...hip hop is dead and D4L killed it."