The Come Up | Rap Game Essentials

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Music Business is Crazy!

Hey yall,

long time no post. Sorry, this year has been crazy so far. I haven't had a second to slow down. Until I get a second to give you a proper post, check out this article I recently did for Ezene Articles Dot Com. Here it is.

The Formula: How to get a Record Deal
by Matty G

Actually, anybody that tells you there is an exact formula you can follow to get signed is lying. The truth is, there is no exact formula that will land you a record deal, period. This may be disappointing for some to hear: I know I was disappointed when I first heard the truth.

Although a record deal can sometimes come about just by being in the right place at the right time, there are several things you can do to maximize the possibility of attracting a major label or production company to get them interested in signing you.

First and foremost, be ready! Make sure your skills are developed to the point that they can compete with the best the industry has to offer. A&R, managers, and the like are subject to hearing some pretty awful stuff. If you can offer something that sounds amazing, it should greatly increase your chances of getting signed. Remember if your stuff is not as good or better than what’s already out there, the only thing your demo will have a good shot at is the office garbage can.

If you have to spend money somewhere, spend it on production and mixing. This can’t be stressed enough. It all boils down to having good product. You can do everything in your power to attract attention to your music, but If it sucks nobody is going to care. Although some label A&R claim they can hear talent through low budget production, in my experience it pays to have the best sounding product you can. Because it is sometimes extremely difficult to get heard at all, it makes sense not to blow it when you finally do get a chance by delivering the musical equivalent of nails on a chalk board.

Now that you’ve got the skills and a tight product, you should be doing everything in your power to create a buzz for yourself. In order to do this you’re going to need a plan and a team to help you carry it out. You should be doing shows, selling CD’s, trying to get some radio support (even if it’s just college radio), and doing anything and everything else you can to get some kind of following.

It helps to have an established following, a good street team, and some strong independent sales when seeking a record deal. The more you do on your own, the less the label has to do, and ultimately the happier they are. In fact, A&R will often seek you out (eg. come to your show to hear what all the fuss is about) if you've done a really good job of promoting yourself.

Next you are going to need a manager. Now you might be thinking you want to manage yourself. Think again. Your buddy that follows you around to all your shows, again, bad choice. At this point, you should be seriously considering seeking out a professional manager. The right manager will make all the difference when it comes to getting signed. What I mean by the right manager is one who digs your music and will really hustle to get you put on. This manager should also have some pretty good industry connections; otherwise the help he can offer you will be limited.

As well as a personal manager, you’ll need a good entertainment attorney to negotiate all your contracts (including the one with your manager) so you don’t get screwed. Also, a good entertainment lawyer (one that actually has industry connections) will be able to help get your music into the right hands as well. Make sure the lawyer you retain is working for you, not the label or your manager!

Ok, so let’s recap. You’ve honed your skills, produced a tight product, created a strong buzz, and got yourself a good personal manager and lawyer. Now what? Well, from this point on your manager will basically put a plan of action together for you and together you will carry it out. You should now be well on your way to your first record deal. This can be a long road, so it’s important to keep a positive mental attitude. Make sure everyone around you (your team) also stays positive. The music business isn’t for the faint of heart! Good Luck!

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Don't waste your time with A&R!

Alright Yall. Today I'm going to divulge a juicy secret as a special new years gift. A lot of people in the business are gonna hate me for telling you this, but I gotta do it. You know those A&R "hook up" services and lists everybody is peddling? Unless you like filling garbage cans with paper and CD's for no apparent reason, don't waste your time and money. Contrary to popular belief, if you are shopping for a record deal or trying to sell your beats, sending your stuff to A&R is probably the least productive way to go.

A&R are constantly bombarded with so much shit that they prefer more and more to receive material from trusted sources. In particular, entertainment attorneys. They seem to think that the lawyers have already weeded out the crap. This isn't always correct, but it remains a common belief in the industry none thee less.

If you want to have a hope in hell of getting heard you should attempt to find an interested attorney to help the cause. Not only can your attorney help find you a deal, but your attorney also has the ability to understand and negotiate complex and sophisticated contracts, which can have massive financial and professional ramifications for you.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

To your success in the music biz!

Hey Yall, hope everybody had a good holiday. I'm cookin' up a good post for yall right now, in the meantime I want to congratulate the following Music Powers clients on their success.

DJ Miguel - who landed a deal working with Kieaun and BME.

Ying Yang Twins and Mr. Collipark (Smurf) -Nominated for a Grammy - who were one of our first clients.

Phillip Hawkins- CEO of Flattime Music Publishing - who now has a deal with Sony Music

OD Hunte - Placed a song on the EA Sports Game Fight Night 2006 (Slic One), Time Magazine Europe feature on the group Blakstone, place various songs/tracks on MTV shows including Yo Mama, and films Ride With Funkmaster Flex & Dirty Pretty, and also meeting with G-Unit in New York.

Kieaun (The Goldn Child) - Now being looked at by 3 majors, including DTP and Universal.

Chris Jones - who is now working with some of the production team of India.Arie.

One & Red - who we have signed directly, and will be doing big things in 2006

Mr. Ball - who is now on tour with Ying Yang with his group

Rolando – who’s been opening up for many big name artists, including Mike Jones

Courtney Holmes - who has signed with D-Roc’s (Ying Yang) new production company.

Peace,
Matty G

BlogMad!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Record Deal Checklist



Ok, this is gonna be a quick post....got to head OT for Christmas. Here is a quick run down of some things to consider before pursuing a record deal.

Ok, No.1 - is your skill at a level that can compete with the best in the music business? If not you should consider sharpening those up a bit. Don't waste a shot at getting heard if your skills ain't on the level.

Next, is your demo or album produced, mixed, and mastered properly? If not, make sure you get that done.... every little bit helps. The more pro it sounds the better your chances of getting put on.

Have you created some kind of buzz for yourself? Do people (even on a local scale) know who you are? Have you done shows? Maybe produced tracks for an underground act? Sold any independent albums, etc... again every little bit helps. The more you've done on your own, the less the label has to do, and the happier they will be.

Do you have a good personal manager? If you don't, you should be looking for one. When I say good, I mean one that has good industry connections and is well respected within the industry. Unless you are a big shot within the industry, managing yourself is not really a good idea. If you don't have a good manager, at least find a good entertainment lawyer with good connects that can help you get put on. More and more these days, labels don't want to hear anything that hasn't been brought to them by a trusted source.

If you have all this stuff under control, you should be well on your way to getting your first record deal.

Anyway...hope this helps. gtg... I'll elaborate on this stuff in a post after Christmas

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Monday, December 19, 2005

So you think you know everything about the music business?

Well, I guess since no one has posted any comments, you guys must know all there is to know about the music business (smile). Ok, so maybe no one is reading this. I have considered that possibility since this a brand new blog on a specialized subject. That's ok, I'm gonna keep posting nothing but the best info here regardless whether anyone is reading this or not. If it helps even one person, I'll be happy. So here you go.

I've been getting a lot of questions through my music business information website The Record Deal Doctor about how to get put on. Especially coming from people who don't live in areas where there is any music industry to speak of. Well, unfortunately the answer they get ain't always what they wanna hear. Actually, I think some of them just wanna see If I can hook them up. This is understandable and all considering most people think it's no easy feat. The answer I usually give them is the same answer I was given many times over the years when asking people in the industry the same thing. Just stay on the grind, and focus on your material.

What I mean by this is, too many people tryna come up think it's all about having the right connections, and really that is a big part of it, but... A lot of people say "if I only knew the right people, I could get signed". These same people, and you might be one of them, I know I was, just don't have material that's good enough to get them signed even if they had the "right" connections.

It's far more important to have the right material, so when the right connection comes a long (and trust me it will when the time is right) you'll have something that will actually get you put on.

It's taken me years to get to the point where my stuff is really good enough to compete. Many times over the years I thought I was ready, but in retrospect I now know I wasn't.

I personally know people who have gone to great lengths to get their stuff heard only to deliver sub-standard material. In my experience, when the time is right, and you are ready as an artist, producer or whatever else you do, doors WILL open for you. Just be ready to walk through them. Other than that, just don't give up. With enough perserverance and some God given talent, you will get there

If you feel you are at this point, and still don't know where to turn, I strongly suggest that you get the Music Powers book, and follow it to a "T". Use the contacts in there, and with the right material...you will get put on. This is the best help you are going to get, period!

Until next time...
Peace

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rap Game 101




Ok since this is my first post Im gonna go ahead and get this part out of the way now. Although this is gonna be the best resource your gonna find on the web for up and coming Hip Hop artists, scratch that, all up and coming artists period, let's get something straight. I'm not just making this blog to entertain myself and give yall a bunch of free stuff and real info about the Rap Game and Getting Record Deals you ain't gonna find elsewhere. Although that is exactly what you are going to get! That's right, I'm not scared to say it, I got stuff to sell, but I'm going to be totally open and honest about it. Never will you read this blog and accuse me of tryna be sneaky about it like other bloggers. Besides that, anything I tell you to buy here is going to be the best value you're gonna find anywhere. You arn't gonna see me promoting just any old piece of crap, no not here.

For example I'm promoting a dope book right now and yeah, you should buy it! Why? Because it's the best help your gonna get from anyone, anywhere at any price... and it's on sale for 20 bucks! This book is written by a multi-platinum producer, with advice from some of today's top artists, producers, etc... made for up and coming Hip Hop/R&B Artists and producers, not Lawyers. You can actually understand the info in this book. This book can help you if you have the talent. But don't take my word for it, go to my website The Record Deal Doctor and see what people like Mr. Collipark have to say about it! Yeah I got Collipark on there, DJ Toomp, Ying Yang Twins, Debra killings, etc.... go see for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

Well, now that that's outta the way, we can get on with giving you tons of free info. Yes, it will help if you already have the book, but even if you don't you're still gonna get a lot out of this blog. I will be offering the best help I can. Ok, here's how I wanna do this. I want you to tell me what you need to know about the music game. Post your questions to this blog and I'll do my best to answer them for you. In the mean time, here's lesson #1. Listen to The Lox on Hot 97's Angie Martinez show talking about how shady the music industry really is. This interview has tons of good info on what not to do in this business, so really give this a good listen. This includes the vicious battle that ensued between The Lox and Puff over 10 years of alleged royalty theft when Puff called into the show. Don't let this be you! Peace!

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