Zimbabwean hip-hop has grown much over the years and we have so much talent out there, I love it. What is lacking however in some artistes is respect and character building. See attitude can make or build a career. The way one approaches those he believes will take him from A to B determines the future of the artist.
Some artistes have always been cry babies. They are always waiting for other men to open doors for them. You give them a fishing rod, they want you to fish for them. In fact they want you to cook the fish and feed them, then flush the loo after they take a dump. Well that is not going to happen in Hip-hop. No it isn’t. Each and every individual has his own hussle and is going to work so hard that he deserves what he gets. Meaning if newspapers are going to talk about him, he worked hard on visibility, he deserves it. If blogs are going to be excited to seek an interview with him, he stood out amongst many and they saw him and complimented his efforts and showed a wider audience what he already has done for himself. He made himself newsworthy.
If the only reason you want to be in the paper is because you dropped an mp3, who didn’t? I mean thousands of artists drop new music daily. What’s special about yours that News Day should pick it up? Have you previously made crowds move? Do you have a video? Is it a milestone enough to fill a page of news? See that’s why some blogs now tend to write a tweet long blog-post on a given song. There’s nothing much to write about the song other than that it’s now available on hulkshare. If you follow hip-hop blogs, you can picture what I am talking about.
How can one expect other people to invest time and money into his work, when he has not done so himself. How can one expect me to review and tell the world what his song is about when he can’t even do a write up when he submits his work to tell me what it’s about himself. If he can’t explain his own tracks, then they really mean nothing and hold no significance. He should go back to the dojo and create something that means something. If one does not have money to send the radio cd’s that are well packaged then chances are he also did not spend enough on quality mastering of the product. With the hundreds of submissions they get I’m sure they will take the product whose package shows positive attitude by the artist.
Those are simple principles in life. We know this. Some women look at how you take care of your shoes before they entertain your proposal. Not the price of the shoe. It’s maintenance. To them it can prove much about who you are and how you might handle them. Those principles apply in business and networking. Respect is a major and being able to understand that humans are in charge of these things.
If you’re going to send your music to any blog, make sure you find out the method they prefer to receive it. You may assume everyone wants to receive music via Econet’s whatsapp bundles, but in certain parts of Zimbabwe, the connection may be poor. They may prefer to get it via email, for a later download. If any platform reveals how it wants to be reached, don’t decide your own manner of reaching it. Just reach it in the manner it prefers. You may assume everyone has enough WiFi to download your Mixtape because it’s out and you want a review as soon as possible but not every area in Zimbabwe has ADSL, Powertel or Africom.
If you know that you have an album or mixtape coming up and would like a write up of it on the day it’s released, perhaps consider communicating with blogs a month earlier and give them all the details so they don’t get writers blocks while trying to put together your piece. The same applies with newspapers. I’m sure even organized churches do not take announcements after a certain day, unless they are from the Pastor. Likewise no media outlet will review your song overnight unless you’re the President of the state it’s in.
It is absolutely stupid for someone to think they can register for Shoko Festival or HIFA and get accepted when they have missed the deadline and other requirements. So the main message I’m driving here is. Get your things in order and work hard on yourself. Nobody owes you anything.
Fans do not owe you listenership – You owe them good material to listen to.
Blogs do not owe you mentions – You owe them newsworthy material to write about (after-all many are self sponsored and do not charge anyone for PR)
DJ’s do not owe you plays – Yes, they don’t. You owe them material that they’ve discovered to raise their show ratings. You owe them a well packaged CD but no… Don’t bribe them. I’m talking about ethical DJ’s here. They do not owe every artist a spin. Think about it. The radio is a business that makes some of it’s money from ad revenue and here you are trying to give them something that the masses don’t vibe with? There’s a difference between being conscious and rapping irrelevant stuff that no one cares about even if it feels like social struggle. There is also a difference between being boring and being under-rated.
Our Promotional Song Today Comes From – Amiz- When Times Go Hard (Download it here or stream it below)