How Certain Music “Showcases” Can Devalue Your Rap Career

16 May

Leave it to me right?

No harm, no foul.

What I have to say can only assist you.

Now look around in your city. Tell me what you see as far as “hip hop artists”. Its a lot of them right? Well imagine this. This huge record label is looking to fill this spot for a HUGE record deal. They want nothing but the best artist to fill this slot.

There is a BIG BUS with a sign on it that reads “GET SIGNED HERE”. You see lots of other artists in your city getting on the bus with their demos in hand. All of them are headed to the same INTERVIEW. Who do you think is going to get the slot? Tough question right? I knooooow. Trust me I KNOW.

Have you ever taken a group of your homeboys with you looking for a job? Have all of you ever walked into Foot Locker and handed  your application in to the same manager? What happened? Nothing right?

SAME SH+T different scenario. Now listen. There are right and wrong ways to go about showcasing your talent.

Lets be clear. We KNOW the idea showcases are aiming for but the fact is, there is no quality boundaries. You’ve been going hard with this rap stuff for years. Sharing a stage with someone who started rapping yesterday could somewhat affect how your audience sees you. It’s not saying that you believe you are better, but it means you actually value a “growing brand”. It means you do not want your career to lay there in its dormant state, and be surpassed with people who havent been going half as long as you have.

Q: Chakara, some of these guys rapping are my “n*ggaz”, we go way back. I can’t knock what they have going on and assume I’m too good.

A. I’ll be damned. NEVER EVER EVER devalue your own talent or plight to being successful to save ANYONE’s feelings. I’m so serious, because this could be the dagger that kills your progress. Hard work should never go unnoticed, even by the person who has put in the hard work; YOU. Just because you will not jump on stage with a “new to the game” indie rapper, does not mean that you are disrespecting his talent. Don’t give people perceptions THAT much power over you. I don’t care if you’ve known them since birth. Dreams come to those who they are intended for. If you’re going to go for your dreams, then go for them 100%. Even if it means separating business and friendships.

Q. Chakara, my homies are the promoters. I look out for my homies. So how can I say no to a promoter whose trying to look out for me, by letting me perform?

A. “Hey breh, thanks for the look out. I’m more focused on growing my brand, getting product into these streets, and managing my network to better myself as an artist than performing in showcases right now. I appreciate the offer, but I’mma have to sit this one out.” <— If he can’t respect anything REMOTELY close to this, he is NOT your homie. Again. Do not wear friendships in place of the respect you have for your music career’s come up. If you want to succeed in something, you have to put it FIRST (before friends, sometimes family, and all other crowd participants you feel an urge to please). 

Now let me explain some sh+t to you about “promoter friends”. These guys have ROLES and agendas as well. What’s the goal of a promoter? To make money right? So, explain to me how you can be fooled into thinking that a “promoter who invites you to perform” is doing you a favor, without doing themselves one? I’ll wait. Now of course if they’re your FRIEND, they probably do want you to be great and perform on stage, BUT intentionally music showcase invites also invite people who will pay at the door. Duh. I’m sure you figured this out.

Now I want to stress “SOME MUSIC SHOWCASING” will hurt careers, not all. Jumping on stage without an ounce of product spinning in the streets/web, is thirstily yelling “I WANT FAME BEFORE THE CAREER”. Its like when I write a chapter of a book I’m extremely excited about, I CRAVE for people to read it. I just want praise; it’s a human desire. I just want someone to tell me “I’m going in the right direction”, but the truth is that draft is “unfinished”. By sending it out too early, I risk having my fan base look at me differently because of quality. Same thing! Same concept!

Work on making your work quality, and getting finished product into the streets FIRST or music showcasing could kill your career. When a prospective agents asks you for numbers, you cannot go and pull promoter door payer numbers and say “100 people came to see me perform on May 7th.” That’s not what they want to hear. They’re talking products sold in the streets, downloads on the web, etc. You can’t be focused on creating those if all you do is “showcase perform” with local artists. You want to flood your city and surrounding cities/states with your product and have your fans CRAVE a concert. It should never be the other way around. Do not FORCE  your performance on a crowd of people who are not familiar with your music. School talent shows for amateurs do this. Do NOT consider yourself an amateur because you are independent; unsigned. Walk , talk, and make decisions like an artist. You are exactly what you believe you are.

You will remain at a local state when you continue to walk, talk, and act local.

No one will believe you are “mainstream artist” worthy if you do not show progress in how you move with your music.

You continue to mix friendships with your plight to music, you will become overwhelmed with trying to meet the feelings of people who will be over it in a day or two.

Take my advice if you will or will not. I do not care. I just know that my state has hella potential, and I don’t want to see careers lie dormant when they really could be soaring toward the stars; with a little more management organization, clearer goal paths, and patience.

Be patient. Your chance to perform in front of large numbers will come. PUT IN WORK NOW — CROWD BUILDINGS LATER.

-bye xoxo

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One Response to “How Certain Music “Showcases” Can Devalue Your Rap Career”

  1. TheRealCharlieO May 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    This is very intelligent!!!!

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