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How much should I sell a beat to a well known independent underground artist?
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Guy Gabriel
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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How much should I sell a beat to a well known independent underground artist?

Lets say a producer who doesn't have major placements (yet) and a well known independent artist wants a beat from him, how much should he ask for?
I'm pretty new to the US industry in these cases. I don't expect you guys to give me an exact price but what's the ballpark for these cases?

Thanks
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12th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel View Post
Lets say a producer who doesn't have major placements (yet and a well known independent artist wants a beat from him, how much should I ask for, I'm pretty new to the US industry in these cases. I don't expect you guys to give me an exact price but what's the ballpark for these cases?

Thanks
About $200k plus points give or take.
Get a mgr and have him/her do it though.
If you find that they have a bigger budget, charge your normal full price. There have been some "underground" labels that clock more loot than many would suspect.

Tax em.

Last edited by jrides; 17th May 2012 at 03:31 AM.. Reason: Why not add another zero since people seem not to be able to read my subsequnt posts lol. Just for the hell of it.
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12th May 2012
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Give it to him for free
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12th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel View Post
Lets say a producer who doesn't have major placements (yet and a well known independent artist wants a beat from him, how much should I ask for, I'm pretty new to the US industry in these cases. I don't expect you guys to give me an exact price but what's the ballpark for these cases?
They are going to give you a number and you will have to decide if you want to take it or not. It's gonna be low. No one is paying much for beats nowadays. Especially indy cats. Even the big boys have taken cuts. Just make sure you get your credit when they do any press and any retail release/mixtape.
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12th May 2012
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Wow, such opposite answers on this question, which one of you guys speak from your experiences and which one just assumes what he says is right?
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12th May 2012
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For years EMI has been doing indy type deals with established artists like Lloyd Banks, Fat Joe, Raekwon. Raekwon's EMI recording fund for Cuban Lynx II album was $100k. If you give a brand new producer with no credits $20k that means you are giving established producers at least $40-$50k. He has a lot of songs on the album but lets say it's the normal 14-15. Now you have to pay for features, studio time, mixing, mastering, any travel, hotels for the entire crew that needs to be done to complete album. Do the math.

They are going to offer you something in the sub $1500 range. If you can squeeze more consider yourself lucky. Brand new, no credited producers on Major label projects are getting around $5k.
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Raekwon's EMI recording fund for Cuban Lynx II album was $100k.
****ing christ dude. That's the budget for like 5 minutes of a cheap TV show. This industry is ****ed.
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by yosemitesam View Post
****ing christ dude. That's the budget for like 5 minutes of a cheap TV show. This industry is ****ed.
Remember it's indy. Koch/E1 recording funds are usually half that. The more you take the deeper the hole you have to dig out of. The first royalty check Raekwon got from EMI after the release was high six figures. He recouped instantly upon release. Some artists fit the bill themselves and start getting paid from record one like Lloyd Banks did.
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12th May 2012
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There have been Koch budgets for $100k and up. You might also be surprised what is going on over at Rhymesaysers and a few others.

I overlooked the part where the OP said he had no credits thlough. So thats my bad. I do not imagine the OP will get anything close to $20K. $1.5k is a joke though. Sad really. A mofo would have to place like 100 tracks a year in this b*tch.. hahaha. WTF?
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12th May 2012
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There have been Koch budgets for $100k and up. You might also be surprised what is going on over at Rhymesaysers and a few others.

I overlooked the part where the OP said he had no credits thlough. So thats my bad. I do not imagine the OP will get anything close to $20K. $1.5k is a joke though. Sad really. A mofo would have to place like 100 tracks a year in this b*tch.. hahaha. WTF?
Rhymesayers is in partnership with Warner Bros. They are not indy. I know Ant and Slug from way back when we used to sell them mixtapes at the record store. No way they are paying $20k for a beat lol! I did contracted promo work for Koch for a few years. The only bigger than $50k rap budgets then was Dipset related and Khalid.

$1500 for a beat on an indy project is just a start. By the time you sell your third beat your numbers will move up. May jump up higher if one of your earlier joints hit hard. The problem is that the ceiling for the top guys has been lowered greatly.

My current label is distributed by one of the majors and there are only a few A+ rap producers commanding $20k+ a track throughout the entire building. The recording funds today cannot sustain a Dr Dre beat unless it comes in at a cut rate.
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2000$ if u lucky
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Even if its close to nothing do it because u have to crawl before u walk
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Let him have it, get your songwriting credits, and hope he makes it a smash.
I always hand out free beats if i think the artist got potential.
And if they don't, would you want them on your beat anyway?
Only way to make sure it hits off, is to have a (skilled) hand in the entire process.
But these days, fileswapping recording sessions is quite normal.
And my guess is you're gonna keep making beats no matter the outcome.
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Rhymesayers is in partnership with Warner Bros. They are not indy. I know Ant and Slug from way back when we used to sell them mixtapes at the record store. No way they are paying $20k for a beat lol! I did contracted promo work for Koch for a few years. The only bigger than $50k rap budgets then was Dipset related and Khalid.

$1500 for a beat on an indy project is just a start. By the time you sell your third beat your numbers will move up. May jump up higher if one of your earlier joints hit hard. The problem is that the ceiling for the top guys has been lowered greatly.

My current label is distributed by one of the majors and there are only a few A+ rap producers commanding $20k+ a track throughout the entire building. The recording funds today cannot sustain a Dr Dre beat unless it comes in at a cut rate.
I guess it sucks to be new. D@mn that ish sounds horrible. The OP might wanna keep a regular gig and do this ish on the side.


To the rest of yall talkin that free beat ish... Man cut that ish out. Being all super goofy eager is how you get played quick in this industry. If you dont act like your work has worth, people will treat you like you are worthless. Perhaps I may not have the perspective of Popular D. (which I am happy about) However, I would still say, you have to establish some value for your work. If you get "stuck" having to make a decision to let one go, thats one thing. I wouldn't step to the table talkin that free ish from the gate though. I got paid for the very first track I did... ever. LOL. Why? Because I attached a cost to my work. The artist paid and so goes the story....

Im not saying go all super ego, or whatever but.... damn dont you at least want to be able to cop the next synth / sampler, buy a crate of records, hell at least get a new USB cable? Floppy disks aint free Ghat D@mmit! Neither are blank CD's. Can a mofo get a triple A battery out of the deal? Mannn... lol. Seriously... Even at age 15 I knew better.
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12th May 2012
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I think new and unsigned producers get paid less for their beats due to other producers desperate for exposure... selling their beats at crack head prices.. for two dollars (exaggerated but you know what I mean). When Kanye was getting started, he made $5,000 off one of his beats to Jermaine Dupri back in the late 90's. Nowadays, its seems it's all about timing, budget and who you know...
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by jrides View Post
I guess it sucks to be new. D@mn that ish sounds horrible. The OP might wanna keep a regular gig and do this ish on the side.

To the rest of yall talkin that free beat ish... Man cut that ish out. Being all super goofy eager is how you get played quick in this industry. If you dont act like your work has worth, people will treat you like you are worthless.
Not necessarily. Dudes like Cardiak, Jahlil Beats, Lex Luger, and others gave their beats away for free for use on mixtapes and radio releases until they made a dent. They even did free beat mixtapes for people to use. They parlayed that into success and they are still growing in the industry.

The laws of supply and demand in an over saturated beat market.

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Originally Posted by ccarlton View Post
When Kanye was getting started, he made $5,000 off one of his beats to Jermaine Dupri back in the late 90's. Nowadays, its seems it's all about timing, budget and who you know...
Kanye was already in the game by then. He was a known ghost producer and he parlayed that. Let's really go back to when Kanye first started and was selling beats for $50 to local rappers. You have to start somewhere. If it was good enough for Kanye...
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Not necessarily. Dudes like Cardiak, Jahlil Beats, Lex Luger, and others gave their beats away for free for use on mixtapes and radio releases until they made a dent. They even did free beat mixtapes for people to use. They parlayed that into success and they are still growing in the industry.

The laws of supply and demand in an over saturated beat market.


Kanye was already in the game by then. He was a known ghost producer and he parlayed that. Let's really go back to when Kanye first started and was selling beats for $50 to local rappers. You have to start somewhere. If it was good enough for Kanye...
I feel what you're saying about giving away free beats to make a dent, but how long does a producer need to do that for? If you giving it away, how could others come to appreciate the value of it?
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12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by jbrown1music View Post
2000$ if u lucky
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12th May 2012
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There have been Koch budgets for $100k and up. You might also be surprised what is going on over at Rhymesaysers and a few others.

I overlooked the part where the OP said he had no credits thlough. So thats my bad. I do not imagine the OP will get anything close to $20K. $1.5k is a joke though. Sad really. A mofo would have to place like 100 tracks a year in this b*tch.. hahaha. WTF?
$1.5k ain't a joke my dude....

that's fair money in todays world..you can sell a beat a week and make more than the average degree holder in the world.
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12th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Not necessarily. Dudes like Cardiak, Jahlil Beats, Lex Luger, and others gave their beats away for free for use on mixtapes and radio releases until they made a dent. They even did free beat mixtapes for people to use. They parlayed that into success and they are still growing in the industry.

The laws of supply and demand in an over saturated beat market.
A free beat mixtape is entirely different. The OP has a rapper who
1. I would imagine has a budget,
2. who reached out to him, and
3. hasn't asked for a handout "yet."
That is what I am referring to specifically. If they have reached out to you for a beat.. at least see what they are talking about before you get into all that pro bono ish. That is my advice to the OP. Eff'd up makert for newjacks or not.
If he reached out to you.. and that mofo cant even by your @ss a slice of pizza or a single Pabst Blue Ribbon
.... well... lol Its up to you to decide at that point if you still wanto to work with dude. You might find it to be a vauable opportunity and roll with it.


My uncle once told me about talking to the ladies when I was a shorty, "If you don't shoot, you will never score." I have applied that advice to many things over the years. I can only think of a hand full of people I would "apprach with the premise of" giving them free beats to. And that would be moreso charity for anything, because im tired of hearing them rhyme over wack sh#t.

Now keep in mind, that if you have another source of income, then its not as critical, to establish "some" worth. You can just be the free beatz dude. No big deal.... Howver, if you have dependents.,or a mortgage, or any adult obligations... it would be wise to at least attempt to get some bread first. If the artist was thinking of cutting you 3 stacks and you jumped first on some free ish... well thats your loss, and you deserve to lose.

But.. this is why mgrs exists. Let them duke it out, and you can maintain a good relationship with the artist.
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14th May 2012
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Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post

They are going to offer you something in the sub $1500 range. If you can squeeze more consider yourself lucky. Brand new, no credited producers on Major label projects are getting around $5k.
This is correct. Everything else in this thread is pretty much fluff. No offense intended.
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14th May 2012
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Not sure who said 20k DAMN! Please PM me your managers name :D. Seriously though..I would make sure you get the credit as priority - Following that a couple of grand would be a good win!

God Bless and good luck
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$1500 sounds like good money starting off to me. I mean i get less than that for mixing tracks and it takes me a lot longer to mix a track then make a beat.
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Mike Clark charges $7k-10k. $1500 is OK if its original. If it sounds llike half the rediculous wannabe Beats on soundclick then its to much.

There are 2 artists on soundclick who charge $100 for exclusive beats who should charge $1000, who have some decent credits, so $1500 in my opinion better still be amazing.

If its not a real drum kit, guitar, analogue synth etc then charge $100, if it is the real deal then $1500-$5k is reasonable.

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15th May 2012
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The #'s Popular Demand are taking are very accurate. Believe what you want though...
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17th May 2012
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$20k??? For unknown?? April fools. 9th Wonder gets 25, and he's deep in the game, not a "club banger" producer, but not a new comer either. 2-3 grand sounds pretty good for starting out.
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17th May 2012
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1-2k.

Furthermore if are stunned that recording budgets aren't 100k anymore, I have to question your experience in the current market. Top Tier underground metal labels are paying production budgets of 18-20k for an entire record. Thats a TON more studio time and work then beatmaking, which can be done without any studio time booked until vocal recording and mixdown/master.
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#28
18th May 2012
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Let's hear the beat then we can come to a more accurate assessment

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18th May 2012
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Some keep posting to give it away for free, that is the worst thing you can do. You have to get something for your work and if you don't value your work, no one will.
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18th May 2012
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Are we talking 8 measures? WOW "beats" are not cheep.
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