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TwoCent-bigOver the last few weeks I’ve been accused of trying to “knock artists down” and undermine artist confidence by my blog posts and statuses across various social media. I’m not always the most tactful or comforting person. To be honest, it’s hard for me to tolerate a lot of aspiring artists, and it’s even harder for me to try and support their music.

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I consider myself a realist. I’m not a big fan of the make-believe rappers with all of the fake friends, followers & views online. I don’t like the fake gangsta/thug/drug dealers with the fake jewelry and knockoff designer clothing. Rap is just entertainment, but to me a lot of it isn’t entertaining. A lot of it is trash.

The biggest problem I have with a large portion of the new music is the ignorance of the artists. Ignorance means the “lack of knowledge”, it doesn’t mean stupidity or being dumb. Ignorance means that a person hasn’t taken the time to learn.

Technology has made it super-simple for anyone to become a rapper/singer/producer, etc. – and with the flood of new artists comes a tidal wave of misconceptions about the music industry. When I say that everybody can’t be successful in this industry – I’m called a hater. When I tell artists to stop wack promo or stop spam they say I’m hating. When I tell artists that I don’t listen to music, I listen for artists with a buzz, they say I’m trying to stop their shine. But the truth is that I don’t even have to respond to these artists. I don’t owe any artists anything and this is yet another misconception flourishing among new artists: the false belief that we are ‘supposed’ to listen to them. Wrong!

 unc twitters rapper say yall sleep

The harsh reality about the majority of new music is that it’s just not that good. There is some music dropping from new artists that’s amazing. Those artists need to LEARN how the industry works to maximize their chances for success. Unfortunately, for every great song I hear, there are hundreds that waste my time and make my ears bleed. I’m not speaking on my personal opinion here; the majority of new artist’s music just isn’t recorded or mixed properly. Distorted sounds and muffled vocals = trash song (no matter how lyrical you are – no matter how dope the track is).

Another challenge most new artists refuse to address is: HOW will they get heard and spread the word about their music. Instead of looking at HOW their favorite artist built a fanbase, most artists ASSUME. They then do what “seems” right and end up failing miserably.

There is nothing wrong with failure….when you use it as a lesson and continue on your path to success, avoiding what made you fail the last time. Most of today’s new artists don’t learn from the past. Most new artists just post their music online all day and night praying they’ll be discovered (annoying their friends & followers on social media and establishing a reputation as a spammer in the process). Needless to say their big break doesn’t come, because this isn’t the way the it works.

When you LEARN what makes the music industry tick, you realize that you need a viable PLAN to ensure you get heard. Very few rappers today have a plan in place. Your plan is your GPS or map – it guides you directly to your destination. Without a plan, you’re guessing which way to go and may never accomplish your goals or see your dreams come true.

Many artists find themselves lost in the wilderness of music industry politics, scams & fcukery. An artist can spend years in pursuit of their dreams while traveling in circles, caught up in doing what “appears” to work for someone else or supposedly “has worked” for someone else. A VIABLE PLAN will ensure your efforts aren’t wasted as you pursue your dreams. A VIABLE PLAN will ensure you don’t get scammed.

Wendy Day’s music industry 101 for success consists of 5 steps:

1) LEARN how the industry works

2) Make a viable PLAN for yourself

3) Find a BUDGET or investor

4) FOLLOW your plan

5) OUTWORK everyone else

My next entry will be about the requirement very few people feel is necessary: MONEY.

After we speak about money, I’ll touch on the the last 2 components: Actually following your plan; and working harder than everybody else.

The music industry is a whole lot different than most people perceive it to be. Making a living as an artist requires more than talent. Success requires knowledge. So start to LEARN & PLAN for your future. Next time we’ll discuss the purpose money serves, and how having a proper budget can mean all the difference in your career.

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy Throat.
A Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of music industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.

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  1. I have been doing this for a long time and Kevin Black said that years ago. You are right on point with you article. Thank you for the post.

    DJ Outlaw

  2. I love how no matter how frustrated you get, you never stop teaching. Thank you Tony, I swear somebody, if not a few, will get it!

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