Press Your Music
Funny story: I was in Las Vegas last December with some people covering some end of the year concerts. I remember my friends telling me a story about how a group of about 5 local rappers came up to them and in a matter of seconds they were stuck buying $5 mixtapes. Them knowing the hussel, helped them out and bought a couple of them. I took a look at the CD’s and they were some crappy-ass Memorex CD’s that were written on with Sharpie stuck in a white clear sleeve. Honestly, no one dared to throw any of those CD’s into the player. We weren’t ready for what might be on those things. We made an assumption that because the CD’s presentation was terrible, the music on it would fall nothing short of that.
Moral of the story: Presentation is everything.
It’s just like buying a book. We’re told not to all the time, but fuck, judging by the cover is human nature. Everyone does it, and everyone will do it, every single time they get handed a CD, and every single time they are presented with new music.
Look, chances are people will actually listen to your music if what you hand them looks nice, clean, and professional. Even myself, when an artist hands me a CD that was copied on their laptop and written on with marker, I’m not even going to bother. On the other hand, if an artist hands me a CD with a dope ass cover, that is either in a jewel box or nice printed sleeve, and the CD has a professional thermal printing on it, I will definitely give the CD a chance and at least listen to the first couple tracks. I’ll scan the box/sleeve on the front and back, read a couple track names, and maybe even follow the dude on Twitter. See, the whole point is that you need to give people something.
CD Duplication Is An Investment In Itself
Underground Hip-Hop is an investment. No doubt about it. So as a local independent artist, it is your sole duty and objective to hussel and get the bread to go and get yourself some nice product. Save anywhere from $100-$300, and invest in professional CD duplication. Get a nice front and back cover designed for your sleeves, and have your artist name and social network links put on the disc with a one-color thermal print. This will give you a nice, established look as an independent artist. The whole blank-cd-copying-write-on-it-with-sharpie thing will just not cut it. It will if you’re handing it to a DJ before a show or you’re giving it to your grandma (if she can even figure out how to use a damn CD Player). I pray to the Lord of Above that the next time someone hands me a CD to listen to, it will be a nice professional pressed CD, because otherwise it is straight up going in the trash!
Wanna know how I filter out a devoted artist from one who’s just messing around? Usually the first thing they hand over to me will tell me a lot about them, which is usually a CD. First impression is everything people! Make sure it’s good!
Where Should You Go For CD Duplication?
If you’re in Phoenix, Arizona or the surrounding area, the go-to guy in the state since tapes is Moon Valley Media Engine. This is the top-notch CD Duplication company in the state. They have a quick turnaround and their products fall nowhere short of quality. You can also place orders online and have it shipped to you if you’re not in the state.
Another service you can hit-up is ZoneMixtapes. They offer some pretty good mixtape packages as well as other artist resources like banners and more. This is another Arizona service which is reliable and might be a better choice if your financial department isn’t looking too good.
RapBroker’s Online Promotion Guide for Local Artists: The Series
This is the second part to our new series of articles which will provide resourceful information to help local artists improve their career. Read the first part here: RapBroker’s Online Promotion Guide For Local Artists: Facebook & Twitter Tips. Remember, please share this article!