One of the greatest things about being an artist or producer here in the year 2006 is that music and recording equipment has never been as hi-tech and low priced as it is right now.
Everyone has the ability to purchase recording equipment and lace up a high quality sounding demo. UNFORTUNATELY, the one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is that hmost artists have no clue where to start or what to do with their music after they record it. Most artists make the CLASSIC MISTAKE of immediately pressing up an entire album’s worth of material, sending copies of it to their local radio stations, and placing it on consignment in their local retail stores, just to watch it sit there for months and months collecting dust. People, I’m here to tell you that is NOT the way to go.
If you’re a local hip-hop artist, you need to keep in mind that it ALWAYS starts with the DJ. The DJ is the absolute foundation of hip-hop music, so the first thing you need to do is focus on making a HIT SINGLE that every DJ in your city is gonna wanna play. Don’t be so concerned with recording an entire album from the jump. Every hip-hop album you see on the top of the charts is based upon a HIT SINGLE, so that’s where you need to start. After you feel like you’ve created that UNDENIABLE HIT SINGLE, then you need to find out if all of the DJs feel the same way that you do about the song. Distribute that one single to all of the DJs in your area… and not just the ones that are on the radio and in the hottest club in your city. Make sure you hit off every DJ that you can find, no matter how big or small they are in your market. If the overall consensus is that your song sucks, then you need to take heed and go back to the drawing board. If the consensus is that you’ve laced up a hot joint that the majority of the DJs are gonna wanna play, then your new goal in life should be to push that single (and only that single) as hard as you can (for as long as you need to) in order to gain maximum air-play and exposure in the streets.
Only after you get the support (club and street play) of the majority of the DJs in your market, you should pursue actual radio air-play from your local stations. Now that you’ve created a buzz in your market by getting the streets behind you, it would make sense for you to pursue air-play from local radio because you now have a real story under your belt, as opposed to being one of a thousand other local artists who have nothing more than a demo that’s collecting dust in the local retail shops. Keep in mind… the radio business is very political and it still may be difficult for you to get your song on the air, but at least you’re now at a point where it would actually make logical sense to try and talk a program director into giving you some air-play.
Always remember, the DJ is, and has always been, the foundation of hip-hop music. If you try to bypass the DJ and go straight to radio, there is a 99.9 % chance that you will fail and fall flat on your face. Good luck to all of my aspiring hip-hop artists out there, and keep crankin’ out the HITS!!!
By: DJ Wolf-D
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