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Dissapointing Business Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 6th August 2008
  #1
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Dissapointing Business

Man, I have to tell you in the last couple months, I have gotten completely disillusioned with the idea of doing music anymore. I do it mainly as a hobby, however, I still put in alot of time writing and producing my own music.

I really believe the **** I am putting out is good. I know I am not at the level of a Jay Z or Nas but dam man, I think what I have recorded is some good **** for the underground hip hop realm.

I have two albums out and the last album ran press releases and did some shows and promoted the hell out of it. I even have a dedicated professional looking website with a nice ass myspace page. I have done everything I can within my financial means to promote my music and it just isn't working.

Usually I would say, ok my **** sucks, but man I honestly don't think my music sucks. Again, I think its not top 10 but its good in my opinion. After the year or so of promotion and dedication, I only get about 50 to 80 hits a day on my web page and a whopping total of 120 downloads for the album (its ****ing free)! My singles get downloaded but they don't get that many downloads.

I live in South Florida and have tried everything I can to promote my music and at least build a little interest. Doing shows is tough because the clubs don't want you unless you have a name and I am not a "hood" rapper so I don't have the hood connects you need to get on some of the labels. I work a white collar 9 to 5 job. I used to live in the hood and had some of those connects 10 years ago, but I have progressed out of that neighborhood.

I just find hip hop hard to promote because of the lack of venue's to do shows especially given the economy and the lack of nightlife and people going out these days. If I don't come up with any ideas of can't build any interest this year, I am seriously just thinking about throwing in the towel selling my **** and moving on.

I feel like I am waisting time when I can dedicate to other areas when I can be making more money or setting up a better college fund for my daughter. I know its my first love but I also feel like its being selfish as well to always think you are going to go somewhere in the music thing when other people are depending on you to provide for them.

Sorry for the rant but man I need ideas from someone or I think I am walkign away from this **** like Terminator X did. I mean the dude owns an alpacca ranch. He had mad connections and he threw in the towel. What makes me think I can go any further than that man!
Old 6th August 2008
  #2
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarthy945 View Post
Man, I have to tell you in the last couple months, I have gotten completely disillusioned with the idea of doing music anymore. I do it mainly as a hobby, however, I still put in alot of time writing and producing my own music.

I really believe the **** I am putting out is good. I know I am not at the level of a Jay Z or Nas but dam man, I think what I have recorded is some good **** for the underground hip hop realm.

I have two albums out and the last album ran press releases and did some shows and promoted the hell out of it. I even have a dedicated professional looking website with a nice ass myspace page. I have done everything I can within my financial means to promote my music and it just isn't working.

Usually I would say, ok my **** sucks, but man I honestly don't think my music sucks. Again, I think its not top 10 but its good in my opinion. After the year or so of promotion and dedication, I only get about 50 to 80 hits a day on my web page and a whopping total of 120 downloads for the album (its ****ing free)! My singles get downloaded but they don't get that many downloads.

I live in South Florida and have tried everything I can to promote my music and at least build a little interest. Doing shows is tough because the clubs don't want you unless you have a name and I am not a "hood" rapper so I don't have the hood connects you need to get on some of the labels. I work a white collar 9 to 5 job. I used to live in the hood and had some of those connects 10 years ago, but I have progressed out of that neighborhood.

I just find hip hop hard to promote because of the lack of venue's to do shows especially given the economy and the lack of nightlife and people going out these days. If I don't come up with any ideas of can't build any interest this year, I am seriously just thinking about throwing in the towel selling my **** and moving on.

I feel like I am waisting time when I can dedicate to other areas when I can be making more money or setting up a better college fund for my daughter. I know its my first love but I also feel like its being selfish as well to always think you are going to go somewhere in the music thing when other people are depending on you to provide for them.

Sorry for the rant but man I need ideas from someone or I think I am walkign away from this **** like Terminator X did. I mean the dude owns an alpacca ranch. He had mad connections and he threw in the towel. What makes me think I can go any further than that man!
This biz aint for the faint of heart.
You just have to perservere and just when you think its over,something or someone comes along with a plan that can change your life.
I know thats its cliche, but just keep on pushing because it shows that you are not just some overnight sensation or a flavor of the week and because of that, you just might have the ticket for longevity in this biz.
Old 6th August 2008
  #3
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cynic one's Avatar
 

like philly said i figure if your music is good enough and you persist long enough people will take notice.

that, or maybe your music is "good", but doesn't have an edge. edge meaning, what separates you from the pack of underground rappers out there? are you really doing something unique or noteworthy?

i go through the same thought process with my **** all the time. be your own worst critic. my **** is acceptable but honestly i keep pushing and trying to drive myself to find that edge that breaks the mold while still tipping the cap to what's musically acceptable.

maybe people in your area think hip hop shows are boring? i find most underground shows a snore. it's the same in every city really........think about what you can do that makes your live show make people get involved. what will bring people out? get them moving, hyped, excited to be there?

......i'm in your same boat. keep pushing, keep making the music cause you love it.

now, this isn't related to music - but it is related to marketing. i just finished off a book called 'purple cow' that speaks to the marketing aspects i touched on earlier.

check it out, it might change your perspective on how you approach music and business in general.

Amazon.com: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable: Seth Godin: Books
Old 6th August 2008
  #4
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tonymission's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynic View Post
like philly said i figure if your music is good enough and you persist long enough people will take notice.

that, or maybe your music is "good", but doesn't have an edge. edge meaning, what separates you from the pack of underground rappers out there? are you really doing something unique or noteworthy?

i go through the same thought process with my **** all the time. be your own worst critic. my **** is acceptable but honestly i keep pushing and trying to drive myself to find that edge that breaks the mold while still tipping the cap to what's musically acceptable.

maybe people in your area think hip hop shows are boring? i find most underground shows a snore. it's the same in every city really........think about what you can do that makes your live show make people get involved. what will bring people out? get them moving, hyped, excited to be there?

......i'm in your same boat. keep pushing, keep making the music cause you love it.

now, this isn't related to music - but it is related to marketing. i just finished off a book called 'purple cow' that speaks to the marketing aspects i touched on earlier.

check it out, it might change your perspective on how you approach music and business in general.

Amazon.com: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable: Seth Godin: Books
Great book!

Isn't that the one where the talk about "re-remarkabalizing yourself"?

I used to run a great meeting on that during my leadership training days ... I've recommended that book to a lot of people.

And as far as the thread goes ... man, I can't tell you how many times I've had my head in my hands, wondering wtf I was doing.

They say 90%+ of failure occurs because people don't know how close they were when they gave up.

Like that woman who swam from LA to that island off the coast ... she couldn't make it when it was foggy but had no problem when the sky was clear.

You have to be able to see your destination ... or better yet, be able to define your destination.

As an underground MC, I can imagine your goals are a lot less clear than some of the artists coming up. Their goals are chains, grammy's, platinums, ringtones, hoes, cars, top 8 at 8 etc, etc, etc...

Underground, I mean ... how do you quantify success? What are *your* clear and distinct goals?

The chances of jumping in a car and ending up on the beach are pretty slim. Everyone needs a road map to get where they're going. It sounds like you aren't happy with where you are at, but it also seems that you have no idea where you really want to be thumbsup
Old 6th August 2008
  #5
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DirtyDreadz's Avatar
 

Talking

Man i feel your pain I'm going through the same thing.The only thing that makes keep at it is the fact T-pain got signed right b4 he was gonna give up doing music.over the past 8 years i have put so much in this game its really stressful but we gonna make it stay on ur grind homie. See at the Top baby LETS GET IT!!!!!!!
Old 6th August 2008
  #6
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confooshus's Avatar
 

I'm definitely not an authority on the underground hip-hop scene, but in general, if you've got a 9 to 5 job and a daughter, I'd say there's no way you're gonna "make" it. In fact, I'd say it's selfish and irresponsible of you to try. It would be totally unfair to your daughter to make the sacrifices it takes.

What's your reason for wanting to "make it" anyway? Fame? Money? If it's either of those, forget about it. But if you feel like you have something to say (which to me is the main thing about underground hip-hop - having a message), then what's wrong with doing it on the side?
Old 6th August 2008
  #7
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

You know what the problem is smccarthy? There are who knows how many other people trying to do the same thing your're doing. "Trying to be rappers" are a dime a dozen. How are people suppose to distinguish you from one of them?

If you have aspirations for becoming a popular rapper, it will take more than just making good music. Infact, your music can be decent at best and still be suffient enough to get you where you need to go. What you need, like Cynic mentioned earlier is an edge. The mistake most "trying to be rappers" make is thinking that the edge needs to be in their music.... heeeeellll no!!! tutt The edge you need is one that you can only find within yourself!

You gotta have the right attitude to make it big anywhere in life. You have to man up and pursue what you want, and approach different tasks and people you meet with an attitude and swagger that shows them you mean business... or even better, that you ARE business. What a lot of people look for in a rap artist, or any artist by that matter is their personality. If people are just easily attracted to you and what you do, you wont even have to try too hard to get the right attention. Another way to describe this would be "The Cool Factor". You either have it or you don't; alternatively you can fake it.

I can't blame you for feeling the way you do, but you gotta get tougher than that, and be more confident about your ambitions. You also have to find people who believe and/or share in your ambitions. Those people will help you make it to the top by helping to boost your confidence. You definitely can't do it by yourself.

Overall it seems to me like you are just making music and expecting people to flock over to you just because the music sounds professional. Many guys have professional sounding music floating around and are struggling just the same. The ones I have seen that made the commitment, made the music, made the connections, and got on up all had certain things in common. One of those things, which i consider the most important, was a very attractive personality; Girls are crazy for them; Dudes respect and wish they can be more like them; They have that spark when people look into their eyes that tells them that this is no ordinary person.

Being a great artist these days is about being able to deliver most or all of what we would consider to be the full package. If you don't already have some of the above going on for yourself, you gotta get to work on improving your personality and confidence, then get your ass back out there. You should already have a street team out there building up your local buzz and reinforcing your rep amongst the locals. Its time to get to work and show people what a great person you want them to think you are, and give them a reason to pay attention to what you have to say.
Old 6th August 2008
  #8
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
I'm definitely not an authority on the underground hip-hop scene, but in general, if you've got a 9 to 5 job and a daughter, I'd say there's no way you're gonna "make" it. In fact, I'd say it's selfish and irresponsible of you to try. It would be totally unfair to your daughter to make the sacrifices it takes.

What's your reason for wanting to "make it" anyway? Fame? Money? If it's either of those, forget about it. But if you feel like you have something to say (which to me is the main thing about underground hip-hop - having a message), then what's wrong with doing it on the side?
Who are you to say whether or not someone with a 9-5 job and a daughter will make?

Is it selfish to wan't to go out there and strive for something more, so that you can provide things for your children that you never had?

I think it would be totally unfair to his daughter if he didn't go out there and try his best; if instead he decided to settle for less than what he desired and gave up on wanting more than just some 9-5 job where people live their lives from pay check to pay check, and have to save up just to enjoy life.
Old 6th August 2008
  #9
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confooshus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
Who are you to say whether or not someone with a 9-5 job and a daughter will make?

Is it selfish to wan't to go out there and strive for something more, so that you can provide things for your children that you never had?

I think it would be totally unfair to his daughter if he didn't go out there and try his best; if instead he decided to settle for less than what he desired and gave up on wanting more than just some 9-5 job where people live their lives from pay check to pay check, and have to save up just to enjoy life.
Wait, is the OP the guy from 8 Mile?!!

I already said I'm no authority on the genre. Let's be real though - how many successful rappers used to work at Allstate or wherever the guy works? He's got little mouths depending on him, and he's already making a living. Not sure if you have kids, but I do, and I can tell you that it changes the level of acceptable risk. Like you said, there are TONS of people doing the same thing he's doing, who can sacrifice more than he can, and are hungrier (because they don't have a 9 - 5).

I'm not trying to crush anyone's dreams, but he asked for advice.
Old 6th August 2008
  #10
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confooshus's Avatar
 

Let me elaborate a little more...

I think the majority of people in this business, deep down, are driven by vanity. People just wanna be famous and rich. And music is the easiest way to do that. The funny thing is, fame these days is usually very short-lived, and as for getting rich.... Good luck. Like I said earlier, if your true goal is to reach people, you can do that on your own. You got something to say, say it. If it's good, if it resonates with people, it will spread.
Old 6th August 2008
  #11
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DirtyDreadz's Avatar
 

aaaaaaahhh my four children r my biggest fanz and that motivates me,and i also work a regular 9-5
Old 6th August 2008
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarthy945 View Post
Man, I have to tell you in the last couple months, I have gotten completely disillusioned with the idea of doing music anymore. I do it mainly as a hobby, however, I still put in alot of time writing and producing my own music.

I really believe the **** I am putting out is good. I know I am not at the level of a Jay Z or Nas but dam man, I think what I have recorded is some good **** for the underground hip hop realm.

I have two albums out and the last album ran press releases and did some shows and promoted the hell out of it. I even have a dedicated professional looking website with a nice ass myspace page. I have done everything I can within my financial means to promote my music and it just isn't working.

Usually I would say, ok my **** sucks, but man I honestly don't think my music sucks. Again, I think its not top 10 but its good in my opinion. After the year or so of promotion and dedication, I only get about 50 to 80 hits a day on my web page and a whopping total of 120 downloads for the album (its ****ing free)! My singles get downloaded but they don't get that many downloads.

I live in South Florida and have tried everything I can to promote my music and at least build a little interest. Doing shows is tough because the clubs don't want you unless you have a name and I am not a "hood" rapper so I don't have the hood connects you need to get on some of the labels. I work a white collar 9 to 5 job. I used to live in the hood and had some of those connects 10 years ago, but I have progressed out of that neighborhood.

I just find hip hop hard to promote because of the lack of venue's to do shows especially given the economy and the lack of nightlife and people going out these days. If I don't come up with any ideas of can't build any interest this year, I am seriously just thinking about throwing in the towel selling my **** and moving on.

I feel like I am waisting time when I can dedicate to other areas when I can be making more money or setting up a better college fund for my daughter. I know its my first love but I also feel like its being selfish as well to always think you are going to go somewhere in the music thing when other people are depending on you to provide for them.

Sorry for the rant but man I need ideas from someone or I think I am walkign away from this **** like Terminator X did. I mean the dude owns an alpacca ranch. He had mad connections and he threw in the towel. What makes me think I can go any further than that man!

I just had an argument with my friend who told me he doesnt think his music is worth a million dollars, but that he thinks it should bring him in 40,000 dollars a year...I mean, why not just say, 'i suck, but people should pay me anyway.'

If you dont think you have the potential to be THE NEXT BIG tHING, then seriously, why try? I CANT STAND people that compare themselves to the ****tiest artists and think because THOSE guys got lucky, then you should too. When you feel a FIRE like the world NEEDS to see your vision, THEN go for it, and even then maybe the farthest you'l get is the third verse on a Lil scrappy track. If you get LUCKY, maybe you'll go beyond that. I mean, your up against guys that think they are the next coming of Christ, and you think your gonna win with the 'i dont suck' mindframe?

I'm not bashing on you at all, i've never heard you rap.. just sayin, how is anyone gonna believe in you if you dont believe in yourself???
Old 6th August 2008
  #13
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
Wait, is the OP the guy from 8 Mile?!!

I already said I'm no authority on the genre. Let's be real though - how many successful rappers used to work at Allstate or wherever the guy works? He's got little mouths depending on him, and he's already making a living. Not sure if you have kids, but I do, and I can tell you that it changes the level of acceptable risk. Like you said, there are TONS of people doing the same thing he's doing, who can sacrifice more than he can, and are hungrier (because they don't have a 9 - 5).

I'm not trying to crush anyone's dreams, but he asked for advice.
lol, I don't know homie, I guess it depends on whether or not he wants to be that dude.

And I am being real, I like to keep things very logical and realistic. I can't speak for every successful rapper, but a lot of successful rappers who have came, gone, and who are still here made something big of themselves at a point where they were almost at the end of their rope. For a lot of guys, becoming a rapper saved their life; becoming a rapper fed their children. But those are cases where rapping and music was not just a part of their life, but was there life. Sometimes that can be the difference of making it somewhere and not. Its about who wants it more. If dude wants it bad enough, he can have it, and nothing you or I suggest can change that. Just because TONS of cats are doing the same thing, doesn't disqualify him from having a chance. It just means he has to work harder to stand out.
Old 6th August 2008
  #14
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok View Post
I just had an argument with my friend who told me he doesnt think his music is worth a million dollars, but that he thinks it should bring him in 40,000 dollars a year...I mean, why not just say, 'i suck, but people should pay me anyway.'

If you dont think you have the potential to be THE NEXT BIG tHING, then seriously, why try? I CANT STAND people that compare themselves to the ****tiest artists and think because THOSE guys got lucky, then you should too. When you feel a FIRE like the world NEEDS to see your vision, THEN go for it, and even then maybe the farthest you'l get is the third verse on a Lil scrappy track. If you get LUCKY, maybe you'll go beyond that. I mean, your up against guys that think they are the next coming of Christ, and you think your gonna win with the 'i dont suck' mindframe?

I'm not bashing on you at all, i've never heard you rap.. just sayin, how is anyone gonna believe in you if you dont believe in yourself???
Here is an example of the right type of mindset to have. Being realistic without being p****. Pursing music on a bigger scale is not impossible, but it takes the right type of attitude and approach. A lot of times, how much you really want it (for the right type of reasons) will determine how far you get. The way I observe some of you guys chatting, I hope for your sakes you get an attitude change, or sell off some gear and keep making music around as a cheaper hobby
Old 6th August 2008
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
Wait, is the OP the guy from 8 Mile?!!

I already said I'm no authority on the genre. Let's be real though - how many successful rappers used to work at Allstate or wherever the guy works? He's got little mouths depending on him, and he's already making a living. Not sure if you have kids, but I do, and I can tell you that it changes the level of acceptable risk. Like you said, there are TONS of people doing the same thing he's doing, who can sacrifice more than he can, and are hungrier (because they don't have a 9 - 5).

I'm not trying to crush anyone's dreams, but he asked for advice.
Sean Garrett was a 9 to 5 mortgage broker in SC with a kid to feed UNTIL. He quit his job moved to ATL took a job in a hotel kitchen and busted his azz until he made the necessary connections to blow up. Five years later and 12 number one hits in three years later he has enough cash and capital to feed a small nation. My point is most of the people with weight in this bizz had the same road blocks in their path as everyone else if not more. You can't win big in this industry if you don't go all in. To be successful in this industry making it has to be your reality. You have to have a drive and determination that is second to none. I've been through hell just to get my foot in the door in this game and I know I have only begun the struggle. Once you get in the struggle becomes staying in and WORKING on a regular basis. Once you are making a living the struggle becomes landing bigger and better projects. Its a never ending cycle. I'm sure as big as Ken Lewis is he still has goals he is grindin to reach. For the truly successful it only gets harder because the goals get bigger as you get bigger. OP if this is what you want keep grindin. Petty Cash said it best develop your swag. As an artist people have to want to BE YOU! Thats the key. There is no right way to make it, but your effort has to be better than you best. It almost has to be non-human. You will sleep less, eat less, grind more, sacrifice more. Everyday you must push yourself to out do what you did the previous day. Study your self and realize what is wack about you and CHANGE it!thumbsup
Old 6th August 2008
  #16
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tonymission's Avatar
 

I went from a 120k a year leadership development job, suit and tie 80 hours a week "life-suck", to eating rice every day and essentially being homeless ...

Figured there was no way I could keep ****ing up opportunities because of my work schedule and I couldn't scale it back ... I knew what I was capable of if I could dedicate myself and took a huge risk ... my parents thought I was ********, girls stopped calling back for a little bit there ...

Lots of hungry days where I thought I did the wrong thing by walking away from a business that I owned.

I don't have any kids ... I have a big pit, though ... and she's gotta eat.

I would do it all over again given recent news for me and my team over the last couple weeks ... I'm finally getting real confirmation that I did the right thing and I've only reached the brink of what's about to happen.

For me, though. There really is no other option. I have to do this. I got nothin' else left ... making big music is the only thing I can concern myself with.

I got too much pride to fail.



And I hate everything else too much to revisit it. I make music. This is what I live for.
Old 6th August 2008
  #17
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
Sean Garrett was a 9 to 5 mortgage broker in SC with a kid to feed UNTIL. He quit his job moved to ATL took a job in a hotel kitchen and busted his azz until he made the necessary connections to blow up. Five years later and 12 number one hits in three years later he has enough cash and capital to feed a small nation. My point is most of the people with weight in this bizz had the same road blocks in their path as everyone else if not more. You can't win big in this industry if you don't go all in. To be successful in this industry making it has to be your reality. You have to have a drive and determination that is second to none. I've been through hell just to get my foot in the door in this game and I know I have only begun the struggle. Once you get in the struggle becomes staying in and WORKING on a regular basis. Once you are making a living the struggle becomes landing bigger and better projects. Its a never ending cycle. I'm sure as big as Ken Lewis is he still has goals he is grindin to reach. For the truly successful it only gets harder because the goals get bigger as you get bigger. OP if this is what you want keep grindin. Petty Cash said it best develop your swag. As an artist people have to want to BE YOU! Thats the key. There is no right way to make it, but your effort has to be better than you best. It almost has to be non-human. You will sleep less, eat less, grind more, sacrifice more. Everyday you must push yourself to out do what you did the previous day. Study your self and realize what is wack about you and CHANGE it!thumbsup
Nice to get a mention in this thread. As i sit here at 2:30am. been awake since 8am. went to sleep at 5am last night. wont sleep tonight, finishing up some work for Jeezy. Got a meeting at Motown at Noon tomorrow. still got work on a track to pitch before my meeting. finished a mix for Jive yesterday. Doing a mix for Jive tomorrow. got a solid month of work on my plate as of right now and the phone wont stop ringin. i dont plan to sleep much this month at all, AND i'm hoping to find some time to watch the olympics. I'm 38 years old. Been grindin like this since i was a youngster. I had life saving open heart surgery last year (probably caused in part by overwork, stress, lack of sleep for 15 years). and i have ALOT more to accomplish in my career. ALOT.

i chose my path and ran down it like a freight train comin down a mountain, and in my chosen field, i am very successful. might have almost cost me my life. there's no half way to success in this business. maybe for a chosen few truly lucky lazy people, sure there are always exceptions. But like that Shawn Garret story, your actions speak louder than anything.

SMccarthy945.... the reality is if you want success, you might just need to find a way to work twice or three times as hard for it, or come to the realization that it aint in the cards for you to put in that kinda work, and hang it up. Music will always be there for you as a hobby, but man, if i got discouraged like you with all the road blocks put up in front of me in my career, nobody would have ever known my name. -Ken Lewis
Old 6th August 2008
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
Nice to get a mention in this thread. As i sit here at 2:30am. been awake since 8am. went to sleep at 5am last night. wont sleep tonight, finishing up some work for Jeezy. Got a meeting at Motown at Noon tomorrow. still got work on a track to pitch before my meeting. finished a mix for Jive yesterday. Doing a mix for Jive tomorrow. got a solid month of work on my plate as of right now and the phone wont stop ringin. i dont plan to sleep much this month at all, AND i'm hoping to find some time to watch the olympics. I'm 38 years old. Been grindin like this since i was a youngster. I had life saving open heart surgery last year (probably caused in part by overwork, stress, lack of sleep for 15 years). and i have ALOT more to accomplish in my career. ALOT.

i chose my path and ran down it like a freight train comin down a mountain, and in my chosen field, i am very successful. might have almost cost me my life. there's no half way to success in this business. maybe for a chosen few truly lucky lazy people, sure there are always exceptions. But like that Shawn Garret story, your actions speak louder than anything.

SMccarthy945.... the reality is if you want success, you might just need to find a way to work twice or three times as hard for it, or come to the realization that it aint in the cards for you to put in that kinda work, and hang it up. Music will always be there for you as a hobby, but man, if i got discouraged like you with all the road blocks put up in front of me in my career, nobody would have ever known my name. -Ken Lewis

Thats whats up. I am on my ninth day straight averaging just over 12hrs a day and STILL am worried I am not working hard enough. I strive everyday to one day be as busy as you Ken. Your work ethic should serve as an example for those questioning what it takes to make it to the top of this industry. Your post have always given me an accurate picture of the reality of success in this industry. It really has to be a labor of love because the sacrifice is extreme. Thanks Ken for always being so open.
Old 6th August 2008
  #19
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Darm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarthy945 View Post
Man, I have to tell you in the last couple months, I have gotten completely disillusioned with the idea of doing music anymore. I do it mainly as a hobby, however, I still put in alot of time writing and producing my own music.

I really believe the **** I am putting out is good. I know I am not at the level of a Jay Z or Nas but dam man, I think what I have recorded is some good **** for the underground hip hop realm.

I have two albums out and the last album ran press releases and did some shows and promoted the hell out of it. I even have a dedicated professional looking website with a nice ass myspace page. I have done everything I can within my financial means to promote my music and it just isn't working.

Usually I would say, ok my **** sucks, but man I honestly don't think my music sucks. Again, I think its not top 10 but its good in my opinion. After the year or so of promotion and dedication, I only get about 50 to 80 hits a day on my web page and a whopping total of 120 downloads for the album (its ****ing free)! My singles get downloaded but they don't get that many downloads.

I live in South Florida and have tried everything I can to promote my music and at least build a little interest. Doing shows is tough because the clubs don't want you unless you have a name and I am not a "hood" rapper so I don't have the hood connects you need to get on some of the labels. I work a white collar 9 to 5 job. I used to live in the hood and had some of those connects 10 years ago, but I have progressed out of that neighborhood.

I just find hip hop hard to promote because of the lack of venue's to do shows especially given the economy and the lack of nightlife and people going out these days. If I don't come up with any ideas of can't build any interest this year, I am seriously just thinking about throwing in the towel selling my **** and moving on.

I feel like I am waisting time when I can dedicate to other areas when I can be making more money or setting up a better college fund for my daughter. I know its my first love but I also feel like its being selfish as well to always think you are going to go somewhere in the music thing when other people are depending on you to provide for them.

Sorry for the rant but man I need ideas from someone or I think I am walkign away from this **** like Terminator X did. I mean the dude owns an alpacca ranch. He had mad connections and he threw in the towel. What makes me think I can go any further than that man!
Hey, why don't you post a link to your webpage here? Or add as your signature on this forum, like a lot of people do? I would love to hear your music
Old 6th August 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymission View Post
I went from a 120k a year leadership development job, suit and tie 80 hours a week "life-suck", to eating rice every day and essentially being homeless ...

Figured there was no way I could keep ****ing up opportunities because of my work schedule and I couldn't scale it back ... I knew what I was capable of if I could dedicate myself and took a huge risk ... my parents thought I was ********, girls stopped calling back for a little bit there ...

Lots of hungry days where I thought I did the wrong thing by walking away from a business that I owned.

I don't have any kids ... I have a big pit, though ... and she's gotta eat.

I would do it all over again given recent news for me and my team over the last couple weeks ... I'm finally getting real confirmation that I did the right thing and I've only reached the brink of what's about to happen.

For me, though. There really is no other option. I have to do this. I got nothin' else left ... making big music is the only thing I can concern myself with.

I got too much pride to fail.



And I hate everything else too much to revisit it. I make music. This is what I live for.
When I first decided to make the neccessary sacrifices for pursuing music full time, I experienced a lot more downs than ups as well. But focusing on those good times is what gave me the strength to keep going. Its definitely nothing short of a serious, life changing decision. The best thing you can do for yourself is to try and keep people around you who have the same goals and same mindset you do. A lot of times even your own family will sometimes bring you down if they have a lack of faith in what you are trying to pursue.

The best advice I can give to anyone, especially the OP is don't let people around you decide who you should be, and what you can and cannot do. Screw that! Follow your desires and intuition, and forget the rest. Those same nay-sayers and disbelievers will be the same people who will flock behind you once you make it big and pretend they had your back the whole time.
Old 6th August 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 
tonymission's Avatar
 

My schedule the last few days ...

Left Playaz Circle studio at 9:30 am ... got there at 6pm
Woke up at 1pm ... had a session at Treesound from 3 to 11
Got to PC at Midnight. Left at 7am.
Beats at home. Went to bed at 10am.
Woke up at 1. Another 3pm session ...
Stopped by my partners spot, made a few beats til 1am...
Back at PC right now... bout to head home.
Probably got to bed early tonight ... got a noon session tomorrow.

My throat hurts, Im fighting back a cold from no rest... keep drinking these vitamin water defenses and lots of orange juice.
Old 6th August 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jimmydeluxe's Avatar
I would say, find a few people that you know won't b.s. you--posting a link up here would be just that! If they/we tell you you are hot, then you just have to find an angle--the "edge," that they're talking about--what is you and only you, and exploit the hell out of that. Next, maybe you should move to Atlanta--there are lots of places to showcase weekly--open mics that are full of whack sh-*, but always 1 or 2 that aren't, and they REALLY stand out! Go get fans, then put on full shows. People are easy to meet here, and there are lots of small or mid-size indie labels that could help you. Also, tons of hungry little studios that are giving away beats and studio time. You could start networking before even moving, on craiglist, and maybe make a few profitable trips.

But, look at this way, is Talib past struggling? Mos Def, Common, maybe, but that's mostly b/c they've gone to movies! Lupe? Like he said, people want him to, "dumb it down." I think Nas is doing okay, because he's a mason. I don't know how deep your material is, but if want to make a living doing intelligent stuff, the south may not be your strongest market--no offense to anyone else down here. Doing intelligent hip hop in the south maybe akin to doing metal in nashville.

For years, I tried to be creative--ahead of the curve. I realized (actually someone told me, I was previously in denial) that people don't necessarily want that in this industry, at least when you're getting in--they want more of the same, 'til you get on, then you can do what you want (read more of the same that they liked in the first place to the point of oversaturation). Thank god I'm not jaded! heh

Hang in there!
Old 6th August 2008
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Let us hear some

I dont know about you´ll but smccarthy i´d like to hear something.
Upload a track and let us see what you working with

One
!B
Old 6th August 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
Nice to get a mention in this thread. As i sit here at 2:30am. been awake since 8am. went to sleep at 5am last night. wont sleep tonight, finishing up some work for Jeezy. Got a meeting at Motown at Noon tomorrow. still got work on a track to pitch before my meeting. finished a mix for Jive yesterday. Doing a mix for Jive tomorrow. got a solid month of work on my plate as of right now and the phone wont stop ringin. i dont plan to sleep much this month at all, AND i'm hoping to find some time to watch the olympics. I'm 38 years old. Been grindin like this since i was a youngster. I had life saving open heart surgery last year (probably caused in part by overwork, stress, lack of sleep for 15 years). and i have ALOT more to accomplish in my career. ALOT.

i chose my path and ran down it like a freight train comin down a mountain, and in my chosen field, i am very successful. might have almost cost me my life. there's no half way to success in this business. maybe for a chosen few truly lucky lazy people, sure there are always exceptions. But like that Shawn Garret story, your actions speak louder than anything.

SMccarthy945.... the reality is if you want success, you might just need to find a way to work twice or three times as hard for it, or come to the realization that it aint in the cards for you to put in that kinda work, and hang it up. Music will always be there for you as a hobby, but man, if i got discouraged like you with all the road blocks put up in front of me in my career, nobody would have ever known my name. -Ken Lewis
Ken,
I also had life saving open heart surgery back in 2002,so I can relate.
We are both members of "the zipper club"(smile)
However, the circumstance may have been different, but thank God the end result was a good result.
Old 6th August 2008
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

@OP
Last couple of months? It takes years, cuz. Some people are in it for 10-15 years before they "make it big". Probably better too than rising in a couple of months.
Old 6th August 2008
  #26
Gear Addict
 
rkwyent's Avatar
 

Post Respectful Advice.

First off smccarthy945. Please do not take this as an attack. I am a realist and i like to be very critical of situations. The best way to solve an issue is with clarity.

I live in South Florida (South Beach to be exact).

I took the time to do a google search and see who you are and who your team is and listened to 10 of your tracks.

Who am I?

I m just a regular felow who started a record label in 1998 (in Miami) had some small success here and there. Out of necessity i ended up calling myself an engineer. I promote/invest in local artist. I also do flat rates mixes for cheap for many local Miami rappers.

There is money to be made out here (in South Florida). It is just that many are fighting for it and many don't know how to get it or don't fall into the right cirlce to do so.

My label is myself and a business partner had one artist and we collectively sold about 4000 albums hand to hand mostly on South Beach.
It can be done. Myself and my artist did not work for a whole year and the bills were payed and able to party damn near everynight and ate well.

Selling Cds on the streets is one of the fastest ways to get a decent return on your investent. It is not the easiest. You have to be very good dealing with people and have personality and all the chops of a great sales person. If that is not you then you have to find another route that works for you.

Selling CDs on the street does'nt just make you money. It puts you in a position to meet 10 times more people you would normally meet every day. You never know who you will meet and where they will take you.

When people see that you are not waiting on a 'deal' they start to take notice and will support your cause. It only goes uphill from there.

Now to you.

I listened to your music and i thought the productions and the beats were tight. The vocals on the mixes could be more powerful.

The one thing i heard that was consistent in your content is that all your songs sound like a rant on how the music, the industry suck. You live in the south and you diss southern music.

You do speak about your personal struggles but in a way that is extremly selfish and takes away from the artistic value of the music.

I think your situations are taking a toll on the general mood of your music.

I think a change of pace may be in order.

Other than that i still like what you are doing. The Black Irish theme is a bit weird for the mainstream to grasp IMHO but there is still an underground market that you can create.

Your website is very professional and your press releases are great also. You have a vision and seem to know how to communicate it marketing wise. I commend your team on that.

I would like to add more but....

Im at my 9-5 at the moment. LOL

Peace stay up.
Old 6th August 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwyent View Post
First off smccarthy945. Please do not take this as an attack. I am a realist and i like to be very critical of situations. The best way to solve an issue is with clarity.

I live in South Florida (South Beach to be exact).

I took the time to do a google search and see who you are and who your team is and listened to 10 of your tracks.

Who am I?

I m just a regular felow who started a record label in 1998 (in Miami) had some small success here and there. Out of necessity i ended up calling myself an engineer. I promote/invest in local artist. I also do flat rates mixes for cheap for many local Miami rappers.

There is money to be made out here (in South Florida). It is just that many are fighting for it and many don't know how to get it or don't fall into the right cirlce to do so.

My label is myself and a business partner had one artist and we collectively sold about 4000 albums hand to hand mostly on South Beach.
It can be done. Myself and my artist did not work for a whole year and the bills were payed and able to party damn near everynight and ate well.

Selling Cds on the streets is one of the fastest ways to get a decent return on your investent. It is not the easiest. You have to be very good dealing with people and have personality and all the chops of a great sales person. If that is not you then you have to find another route that works for you.

Selling CDs on the street does'nt just make you money. It puts you in a position to meet 10 times more people you would normally meet every day. You never know who you will meet and where they will take you.

When people see that you are not waiting on a 'deal' they start to take notice and will support your cause. It only goes uphill from there.
DUde guys like you are the most important element to the biz. SELLING THE DAMN MUSIC TO THE CONSUMER is by FAR the HARDEST and MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do... 4,000 cds is insane. In a year you said??
Old 6th August 2008
  #28
Gear Addict
 
rkwyent's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok View Post
DUde guys like you are the most important element to the biz. SELLING THE DAMN MUSIC TO THE CONSUMER is by FAR the HARDEST and MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do... 4,000 cds is insane. In a year you said??
8 months in 2006. Sometimes people just saw you and respect your hustle and buy your whole lot.

We had a guy buy a case of 100 CDs at a private party. He was some big shot that didn't deal with music but this was the only way he knew to help.

To be honest the artist did most of the selling. There is something about the artist being passionate enough to do this that makes some people not able to pass it up.

I provided support in many ways. i did go out selling with him most of the time.
Old 6th August 2008
  #29
Gear Addict
 
confooshus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
Sean Garrett was a 9 to 5 mortgage broker in SC with a kid to feed UNTIL. He quit his job moved to ATL took a job in a hotel kitchen and busted his azz until he made the necessary connections to blow up. Five years later and 12 number one hits in three years later he has enough cash and capital to feed a small nation.
I stand corrected.

Ken, how do you balance family life with that schedule? This is NOT a callout (after seeing how that guy was treated in the Fletcher thread, I wanna make sure there are no misunderstandings). Man that's an insane lifestyle, but obviously it's payed off for you. Surely this is just a busy season, no way you can keep that up all year round.... Right?!
Old 6th August 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Man O Man, If you don't like making music then quit making music. If the only reason you are making music is for money then your hearts not really in it.

Produce music because you were inspired.. because you want to put out some new ****.. because your tired of listening to all those same old tired tracks on the radio... to get stuff off your chest...

I use music as an out... don't give me a dollar and I'm still gonna make tracks regardless and come out tough...

Music is a way to record emotion... If you can't get money with your music get money somewhere else.

I can promise where a person applies there knowledge, time, and effort... dues will be paid.. If you think you know everything about this music thing, you don't... Go pick up a book and learn something.

J CraQ
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