Okay, I know what you’re always thinking when hard work is talked about, “Don’t work hard, work smart.” Well that’s kind of true but do you even know what that may mean? I mean working harder might actually be what working smart is.
Well everyone in a certain industry who is serious about winning does exert quite a lot of considerable effort to become acceptable or play above entry level. This kind of hard work keeps them winning or earning decently. I mean even many writers are neither good nor bad. They not bad-ass writers however. They work hard. Winners work harder however.
If in basic practice per day for everyone else does 5hours of work winners will take one extra hour. Winners will do 6 hours. In 6 days that extra hour is 6 hours and in 24 days they have had 24 more hours than their competition. Imagine how many extra days of practice they have in 2 years, 3yrs and so forth. In reality by the time your competition tries to catch up with you it will be too late.
This is because people try to catch up with talent when it has already done it. When it has already matured but by the time they actually notice it that talent will be miles away.
I grew up seeing Ernest Mackina take a snapshot of every living thing that inspired him, graduating from 2-mega-pixel phone lenses when we couldn’t afford Nikon’s to the complex lenses he now uses to live an appealing existence. Corporate gigs and globe trotting to Hong Kong.
Not bragging on his behalf but practical examples matter. Otherwise what I am saying may as well be an opinion.
I am not talking about an artistes branding here or the other superficial additives we add on to them after they make the cut. I am speaking of the raw talent you find in Ahsayn Beatmaker, the prowess in Cashbid’s delivery patterns. The mastery of Sharky performances was not built in one day.
When your former favourite rappers fell asleep on a page, he was still writing. Tearing pages, rescripting. Chucking whole rhyme pads into trashcans because average doesn’t cut it if your ambition is winning.
Notice people only kick in to want to brand that talent when it has proven it is worth branding. You can only be an example in this website if you are an example in life. No tea company just takes a leaf and puts it in a pack, pays for printing, packaging and advertising before that leaf is proven to be the tea that will sell in it’s raw state.
By the time you notice these people they are that good… It is already too late. Only underdogs who practice as much or more can catch up. I know there are many examples out there, unmentioned underdogs. Writing, tearing pages, practicing and picking up.
But here are my calls to action.
Stop working in the average lane. An hour maybe a lot depending what you do but add an extra 10 minutes, even 5 minutes to your daily hardwork. If you already work hard. I am not talking about people who don’t work or practice at all here.
Continue working smart too but realize that working hard is also working smart. If there is extra knowledge you must get to make your job easier get as much of it. Just like the hourly rule, go the extra mile.
Here is one big DON’T –
Don’t do drugs or substance abuse to kick it at that level. You would rather be average than gain the world on drugs.
Everyone is good. People do okay because they work hard, but winners work harder.
Family members, parents, partners and friends play a great role in influencing your life choices. They usually wish you nothing but good but sometimes they over-stretch that role and prescribe what your life should be like without consulting you on how you feel. This can land both you and them frustrated.
They will be stressed out because you have declined their advice, whilst you will be stressed out by the pressure they are giving.
You know what they say, “You can lead a horse to the water, but sometimes it wants to drink at The Volt.”
That’s obviously a twist of the famous “You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t force it to drink,” but why lead it to the water before consulting with it?
See, close people in your life want to make decisions sometimes without consulting with you or even learning what your main plans are. Somebody may want to be a programmer for instance, then his father decides to enroll him for mechanic because, “Everyone in the family is a mechanic.”
Deeply routed in every , “We know what’s best for you” decision is a selfish decision made out of self interest. If it were not selfish you would be consulted and your interests would be taken into consideration. See, your partner, parent, aunt, sister and uncle’s public image is affected by how you look in the public eye.
That’s why you will realize that when you refuse to take their prescribed actions they hit with statements like, “You’ll embarrass ME” because it is really about them. The main reason they want you to be portrayed as something they love whether you like it or not is their self interest. It is for their ego and they will likely disown you (if they can : e.g your partner) if they are not biologically connected to you.
While some of their advice may be good, they should allow you the right to make your own bad decisions or at least open their minds to hear what your plans are. In fact if they really care that much they should help you fulfill your chosen plans if they are not at all evil, unethical or illegal (in their paradigm).
Never feel obliged to do something you are not into because of close people but learn to speak out without being disrespectful and tell them why you feel a certain way. In as much as you expect them to listen to your side of the story you may also want to listen to their perspective.
You’ll never know maybe it will be such a good idea to abandon your ideas, and drink at their well. I’m just saying it has to be … your own choice.
Feel free to follow me on twitter @Mcpotar and share some of your best ideas.
When you’re coming up as a music artiste sometimes you may reach out to people who inspire you because you feel you have ideas that would move faster if they helped out. However your “idols” may think otherwise, at times they may not respond to your message at all.
It has happened to all of us at one time. Going for that audition only to be told you weren’t picked, but let’s face it we get rejected more times than we see a day, except that we are bad at taking the verbal rejection.
There is no need to start hating your role model for not taking your offer. You can already imagine how many other people are trying to engage him into their ideas. It is much like when a young man proposes to a girl, he may get a ‘NO!” but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with him. After-all the girl can only date one guy at a time and no matter how she chooses there will always be a guy who will cry foul.
She may actually have a hard time choosing between Tinashe and Tyrone but in the end she must be one man’s girl and if she chooses Tinashe she is not saying that Tyrone is less of a man than Tinashe. In fact if she respects both of them she will have to choose one. The same applies in music.
There are many factors that may cause your favourite rapper not to choose your beats, or agree to feature, spit at your event or post your banner advert. Most artistes accept anything which is in unison with their core mission and purpose. It may be also to do with personal values or simply the workload they already have.
Many blogs have invited me to write for them monthly but if you read through this site you will realize that I already don’t post daily on my own blog. This is an indication that if I took up a blogging job for a different blog I would eventually disappoint them by not posting. So when I decline the offer it’s not them, it’s me.
Yeah, you’ve heard that statement from that person whom you loved but they didn’t love you back but it’s true. It wasn’t you, it was them.
What I advise is no matter how much rejection you get keep moving. An airtime vendor in Harare gets ignored a day by more people than those that finally stop to buy a juicecard (airtime credit voucher) which gives him 2cents profit. From that pool of people he re-orders airtime for the next day and pays rent and transport. There are even cases of people who have bought cars off this.
Maximize on the people that do respond and if the ones who reject specify why they said no, improve on it. At times people reject a product they don’t need yet. Remember you may pass by a certain shop daily that has a sign post that reads, “We Repair Phones” but their sign post wont matter to you till your phone dies at a time you don’t have enough money on you to buy a brand new one.
The good thing about marketing to people is that one day when they decide to look for the product for whatever reason, you may be first to mind if you were persistent.
Therefore artistes should keep sending material to radio, have their booking information easily accessible on social media accounts and websites. Occassionally advertise what you do on Facebook. Do not spend too much time worrying, hating on or arguing with people who are not interested and be blessed.
Please keep supporting this blog and follow me on @Mcpotar on twitter. If you have ideas you want me touch on or article contributions email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are living in the digital age where your exceptional effort can be converted in a pdf, mp4 or mp3 file and go for free online. Some call it the free-conomy, but it has the whole music industry running around to look for solutions at a global scale.
In the western world streaming services have come to the rescue but where I’m from the connection may sometimes take ages to poke a Facebook friend.
Until Zimbabwe is digitized, i-tunes and spotify may not be the best idea if you want your Zimbabwean fans to listen. Years ago Olova Music created an app but I doubt many people consume music via it.
KYN Records decided to go to Star FM in early February so that Jnr Brown could kick a track called Tongogara which fans naturally expected to have a free mp3 link the next day. See, prior to this they had managed to raise our attention to Jnr Brown who had been quiet for a long time by freely dropping “We Run It”, a war like track which received mixed emotions from the crowd.
It was perceived to be a diss to Cal_Vin and Noble Stylz and since got replied by Jungle Kid and Cal_Vin. The attention on Jnr Brown’s return has been established.
This week instead of a free link, Begotten Sun (Kudakwashe Musasiwa), Alex 2.1 (@Zezururockstar) and Atenno (Innocent Tafangepasi) went online to advertise a pre-order which is reportedly floating above 3000 orders. This is information from the label and though unverifiable, even lizards under a rock will tell you Jnr Brown is trending. After digitization there will be more Wi-Fi under rocks.
How does this work?
Look if Jnr Brown had tried to sell his new single and Whatsapp it immediately, then the first buyer would forward it to groups and they would miss a number of sales.
A pre-order allows them to sale the mp3 before anyone gets a hold of it and unless somebody leaks it they will make a lot from it because what we sell in music is not really the CD or the MP3. It is the experience.
The Freemium Model
Dropping We Run It for free and the Star FM freestyle was meant to make the staunche fans hunger for me and confirm Jnr Brown’s competence was still intact.
Free-mium is made up of two words, Free and Premium.
So after the free stuff the premium value is the song we are waiting for on the 12th of February. It will be sent at one go to all who requested it and twitter will roar again.
I’m not sure who to credit for thinking this but I’ll say Jnr Brown and his team have been working hard.
The job situation in Zimbabwe has been terrible for a while, but complaining will not put salaries in our accounts. The best solution against darkness is never to rant, it’s to light a candle. So here we are, all grown up as a nation, our graduates seem to have few places to go, but what could be the solution.
Farming will never run out of relevance in any Economy. As long as the continent is starving it means there is a huge unmet demand of agricultural produce. Agriculture has always been one of the best ways money is raised. If you have land, no matter what degree you did don’t hesitate to inest time or labour into farm produce you can sell. Perishables like tomatoes, carrots and onions are bought daily. farming is not only for white haired people. If you have access to land, do it.
Selling ZESA Pre-paid Electricity
Yes we know ZESA is consumed slowly nowadays, but you can never under-estimate the power of any amount you get. Strategically plant yourself in an area were the next place Cashpower credits are bought and cash in. There is always someone who needs to top up and if people are making a living off Ecocash already, why not. Electricity, like farm produce is a commodity. It never goes wrong.
If you are already good at photography, try it out commercially. Those who want to learn may learn to. In the ever changing Zimbabwe, more and more people want to capture their best moment using high-end camera’s. You may take pictures of weddings, strategically plant yourself in tourist resorts or take corporate events. I have a friend who bought a Mercedes Benz, renovated his moms crib and travels around the globe off this thing.
Sell Energy Products
The absense of electricity brings about the opportunity to sell energy products. Research on what’s new consistently so that you can sell it. People are prepared to pay money for products that can help them ease off the ZESA problem. Solar Panels, Generators, Power banks and so forth. In Zimbabwe it doesn’t matter who’s doing it already.
You can make lots of money by writing high end content and placing it on websites such as this. There is a program known as Google Adsense and if you invest in the right strategies you can earn a lot f money per month and live on it. To get consultancy on this one you can contact me on +263774448619. I charge for consultancy on this and have actual case studies.
Some will ask, how all this is viable since it needs money. I will say however, if you raised money in the same environment for 4 years to make every semester possible. You can invest in money to make your chosen business possible.
Follow me on @Mcpotar on twitter.
Plot Mhako is one of the most influential figures in Hip-hop, Dance and Zim Dancehall. His authority in the arts sector cannot be disputed as he has brought up many a platform such as Jibilika, which is a dancing platform. Mhako has also travelled abroad in places like USA to create art.
In a Facebook post the icon yesterday challenged Zim Dancehall artistes to switch from the monotonous theme about haters and address issues. Plot said this will give their careers a short lifespan as fans now need something new.
A message that connects with them in areas of their lives other than having songs about “haters” throughout the year.
” Who is hating on you? Who is trying to block you? Who are you competing with?
ZimDancehall artists should stop
being paranoid and singing cheap
rhetoric if they want to stay relevant. Put that energy on sound lyrics and good branding.
Today there are three Radio stations that have at least 18hours a week dedicated to your music genre. Thementality on the scene needs to change soon before the glory dies.
Producers give us quality not half-
baked sounding the same riddims.
Have some quality control.
# Blog Coming Soon!” – He said
In my opinion Dancehall has a high airplay rate as my brother Plot mentioned but perhaps the frustration of the bulk of those artistes is that one can really count the ones that do get airplay. So in as much as dancehall is succesful, popularity lies in a few and those few each have distinct sounds.
The bulk of unsuccesful Dancehall artistes are sometimes carbon-copies of the big guys. However after living in Karoi for a while I also realized dancehall artistes from small towns such as Karoi have an alternative sound.
One artiste I have particularly paid mind to is Jatton C. I have also come accross several Chinhoyi based acts with a different message. At the end of the day all these artistes face limitations attributed to location. Perhaps the new Radio Stations across the country can save them.
Indeed quality control is a must. I hope Plot Mhako brings sanity to the Zim Dancehall scene.
For more updates on the go please follow @Mcpotar on twitter.
1. Tagging to many people every-time they post a photo – Tagging is a good way to harness interaction. I tend to do it a lot as well, but some individuals can get out of hand and tag people to more than 9 updates a day. On twitter it is worse, where people tag 9 popular people to the post such that u cant see the message. To much clutter.
2. Posting song links on peoples posts – Unless somebody asked for song links on a post I think only a moron would place his link on a post which is talking about Magaya. Even though the post may have exceeded 100 comments it’s stupid to think people debating about Magaya will all of a sudden click an unrelated link. The only links logical to post under a debate are those that have to do with the subject matter.
3. Posting Links To New People With No Hie – Posting links to people you who just added you to their friendlist without getting to know them is rude. If you are the type that engages in this behaviour I hope you get ignored a lot.
4. Being Cry Babies – If radio, TV, newspapers or any medium wont let you in, find out methods to beat the system in your own way. Radio is the best medium to be heard by a wide audience in Zim, but radio broadcasts to even people who wont like your song anyway. The fact that 1000 people are tuned in doesn’t mean 1,000 care. On the other hand, targeted traffic to Hip-hop listeners on an online station for Hip-hop means 100% of the listeners already like Hip-hop (or they wouldn’t subscribe to a Hip-hop radio station).
5. Thinking CD Sales Are The Only Revenue Stream -Music or CD sales are no longer the only means through which artistes can make money. There are a lot of other things like sale of merchandise, endorsements, royalties for movies, shows , adverts and so forth. But you can’t get some of these if you didn’t pitch the proposal…. Even a child with 15 points can fail to get a Scholarship if he doesn’t apply.
6. TYPING TO BLOGGERS/JOURNALISTS IN CAPITAL LETTERS – WHO ARE YOU YELLING AT? Calm the f*** down, that’s way to much clutter. Type emails to people in sentence case it looks more professional and usually include details in a PDF or Docx File rather than a press release in the body of the email.
7. Feeling Like The World Owes Them – No one owes you attention. people will give attention to the highest bidder. When your career is not doing too well do not blame it on ZiFM, Star FM, Power FM or blogs. Do not blame it on fans. Blame it on yourself…. We owe you nothing. Getting anyones ears and attention is a priviledge not a right. My ears, my choice, my drive space, my choice, my opinion, my choice.
One of the players in the Zimbabwean Hip-hop industry, 8L (Blessed Zikhali) has taken to Facebook to air his views about how bloggers may be stimulating beef and hatred amongst fellow artistes. Zikhali has said that it may seem that bloggers are thirsty to see a fight amongst artistes and producers in the game, which is regressive to the movement.
“WORD ON THE STREETS: ZimHipHop Bloggers are NOT uniting HipHop. While l dont subscribe to the ratcheting that happens in HipHop, I have seen bloggers so THIRSTY to see a fight brew among artists. Yall know l never encourage beefing altho its part of the Art, but the moment you see a blogger surfacing its coz they picked some “AROMA” that maybe maybe maybe maybe someone is Thinking of STARTING to BEGIN to START something closer to BEEF. This last statement seek to emphasize how SMALL that element is but BLOGGERS will use that TELESCOPE to SEE IT and then use atomic elements to magnify IT. I am no authority but I will be happy to see bloggers put out music, interview artists, profile artists and built fortitude to the community about the Good part of the music industry. I know controversy attracts attention BUT are you going to wait for a kid to misbehave to write about HipHop? Artists have to resort to CONTROVESY inorder to get coverage and that is no good at all! We sometimes need unity of purpose to push this genre. Zimhiphop awards are coming, l expect bloggers to put highlights of this event, offer insights to support and benefit this biggest event, give coverage to outside Harare artists. People are watching us, corporates, stakeholders, players etc but when we give rhythm to this ratcheting we are not going anywhere, it will HURT me if you are the 1st to start writing that Zim hiphop community gat nothing to offer. WE NEED YOU BLOGGERS PLEASE. This is my appraisal not an ATTACK to our important stakeholder. I aint saying DO NOT publish the ills however also put out work and do not wait for us to misbehave to write about us, I wuld have said leave that to HMetro and fortunately HMetro has published a LOT OF GOOD abt artists. My name is 8L.
PS: I DONT HAVE BEEF WITH YOU, shout to McPotar for being with us.”
Note that 8L has not attacked this platform before proceeding. The information that follows is for your general knowledge and to clear some misconceptions.
The Issue Of Reach
I think to a certain extent this may seem true depending how we look at it. In reality, Spekk’s blog for example writes new content on artistes almost daily and so does this blog. Meaning there are hundreds of positive articles written daily but not shares as much as the few that actually talk about beef. An estimated 6% of articles touches on beef, but the 94% that talks about new talent fails to get as much visits, reach and shares. Only the member of Zim Hip-hop community can improve these metrics by sharing and reading stuff about other people.
Examples: Check The reach on the artiste review then check the reach on the Beef Review
The Issue Of Cliques
I have again also observed that a lot of people do not read an article about someone new, or someone they have never heard of. Regardless, I have personally introduced a lot of new artistes, this month Pmula, Dopeboy, Chukwi among others, but I struggled to get them, visits or even anyone to comment. The norm is people read and share about someone affilliated with them. If Chukwi doesn’t have a label, he struggles to share his link alone. It’s really sad.
The Issue Of Quality
This blog receives more international visits than Zimbabwean and we always want to present them Zim’s quality content. We can no longer leave that to chance and review someone who is not serius about his or her craft just so that he feels good. When an American clicks that link and hears some of the stuff sent to me they may never return to my blog again and will unfollow me on twitter. The only discrimination against anyone is “wack-ism”.
Issue of Respect, Quantity vs. Newsworthy Topics
Whilst you may have sent a track 3 weeks ago and your review is being made, a track like Marques – Who Got Next is something that’s going to fade if we let it go. So we pick up on it while we work on yours. This week I postponed Dopeboys review to Saturday because I knew that Ventilation article would overshadow him. Postponing his review worked in his best interests otherwie he would have gotten zero reads.
However when Dopeboy felt as if I had forgotten him he decided to attack me in a Facebook post which I untagged myself from. I was very disappointed. Thanks to my girl, I still managed to upload his post anyway as I had planned. Other people who have attacked me whilst I was in the middle of their reviews are K.O, Raheem King (on behalf of The Slayer) and even Brythreesixty.
I appeal to all members of Hip-hop to share any post on any artiste even if the person is not in their team. My only payment for doing this is seeing a readership.
Like Blessed has preached, Let’s be united. Bloggers let’s keep pushing. Follow me @Mcpotar
On May 17 Hiphop lost yet another soldier to a murder. Coke Boyz rapper Chinx was shot dead and two suspects have since been apprehended. It is really a sorry sight for hiphop.
Some years ago we lost Proof, Biggie Smalls and 2 Pac Shakur amongst other fallen soldiers.I personally think the disease is fuelled by the themes in rap lyrics themselves despite the fact that America has already set black people to end up laying in a pool of blood. Hiphop music has been known to glorify violence and killings of enemies but somehow when shit hits the fiend rappers are all over twitter denouncing and discouraging the violence which is self contradictory. Their lyrics speak a different story.
Meek Mill was hurt on twitter and talking about how the hood should stop glorifying killers yet his music largely contains lyrics about about guns abd drugs. So does music by Rick Ross, 50 Cent and other rappers.
If they only ever spoke of the gun violence that happens in their blocks then it wouldnt be a problem. That would be a narrative of reality. However their lyrics mostly boast about how they can take your life if you are an enemy.
Why do they all of a sudden see how bad it is when one of their own dies. This is the same street they have raised and Hiphop is an influencial art. Hiphop raises kids because it spreads ideas. The number one place the idea of gangsterism is pushed is through both mainstream and underground hiphop. Whether you listen to Immortal Technique, Nas or Rick Ross there is always that song in the album about the artiste killing his enemies and feeling no remorse for it.
How do we stop the disease by propagating the ideas of vengeance, robbery and unlawful punishment in our music.
Rest in Peace to Chinx.
Follow me on http://twitter.com/mcpotar and feel free to challenge me on any opinion. I will answer to the best of my ability.