Thursday, March 19, 2009


When was the last time you heard of anyone getting a deal from a mix tape given to an executive at an awards show? Don’t worry I’ll wait for the answer.


What makes you think that a mix tape will get you a major label deal? How crazy are people, or are they just that naive that they will believe anything. Creating a mix tape does not take the place of radio spins, cd sales, publicity on the artist, nor promotion & marketing of the product. But of course the new generation wants everything NOW without trying to create a positive foundation for themselves.

The Hip-Hop Awards are coming to Atlanta and I have been bombarded with email and other literature asking people to send your music and some money and we will put your tune on a mix tape that will get in the hands of some industry movers & shakers. This has got to be the most ridiculous promotional venture I have ever heard. If I or anyone that I know is at an awards show and you hand me a mix tape it will be tossed on the floor, left on a chair, given to a groupie or trashed before I leave that show. I will not carry it around like badges of honor letting everyone there see me “promoting “a mix tape.

Not once did I read or hear about publishing your tune, copyright protecting your tune or creating something entirely from your company that could become a promotional item. Just send me your tune and your money and you can get hooked up on this mix tape with other artists that are just as STUPID and talent less as you.

Mix tapes are not the only crazy item available for the Hip-Hop Awards show. There will be thousands of postcards, flyers, business cards and posters created just for this event and not ONE of the artists listed will get a major deal from any of it. Street teams will flood the area around the event and at each one of the clubs “pimpin” off of the Hip-Hop Awards event to plaster the parking lot, descend upon the club and bother the attendees both outside and inside of the venues. When did this become promotion, or better yet when did it STOP becoming promotion?

I guess as I get older I just see past ALL of the Toro Poo Poo and try to look at the heart of a situation. There is a thriving business in creating wild promotional campaigns for individuals and companies who don’t know the entertainment industry. Just make completely wild accusations, get the money and then tell the artist that if their record had been better they could have gotten a deal. This is going on at conferences, award shows, festivals and especially at the record pool / mix show level, where people are being told that they can get on-air if they follow a wild promotional campaign. Occasionally these promotional efforts work and a song does get on the radio. Once there the record label does not have the staffing or expertise to make significant sales happen based on the spins received. That leaves the label with airplay but no way to utilize it other than to hear their tune over the radio.

Major labels and most independent labels that aspire to major deals are looking for a track record on your tune. They want massive amounts of Internet play, a solid fan base that is constantly growing, retailers that want the product when the label approaches them and as many owner rights as they can take. No where in this equation does a label ask for a mix tape, postcard, flyer, etc.

Start creating a business for your music and not a gamblers dream. Remember that the music industry is at least 90% hard business work and 10% luck.