Most of us have said or heard, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense”. Same is true when you’re spending your money. Most people don’t like to waste money. Most people can’t afford to get robbed.
When you are an independent artist, you get robbed all the time. As much as we try to avoid this, people lose money all the time because there are people who will do or say anything just to make a few dollars. Here’s the SAD TRUTH…. these plots don’t impact the people who could recover from loosing $25 easily (not that ANYONE deserves to get robbed). These blood suckers take it from YOU. The struggling artist with a dream, scraping up your last to put your music out. They are aware of this. That’s why you are their target. You’re more likley to get mad and then just go away.
Some of the most common schemes in the underground music community:
- Mix tape Slots- There’s no MXTP. You pay pal a stranger $10-$25 and they BANK on you not ever suing them. Why would you? It’ll cost you more to track them down and take them to court. (Do this to 4 people X $25 you made $100)
- Promotion- Their followers, views, etc aren’t real. They’re bought. Then you pay $50 for tweets to fake people.
- The “Showcase”- Unless you personally know what the A & R reps at each record label look like (and you should, it’s on the internet most of the time) stop spending your money. You are paying to perform in front of other rappers in the same boat as you. If you don’t bring a crowd, your crowd is other rappers. 9 x out of 10 there is no prize, nobody gets the prize, and the “Showcase” is someone who worked at a radio station, has hook-ups at local clubs, and then charges you to perform in front of other people that paid to perform.
- “Tours”- The state to state tours. You again are paying to perform in front of other artists that paid to be there. Who do you know that was signed from a tour or a showcase? Seriously.
- “Verbal Contract” Anything done verbally is dangerous. Yes you can go to court with it, but you better have good supporting evidence (phone records, emails, receipts). Everything should be in writing. Keep a paper trail.
Don’t be stupid. Do your homework before you pay people to do something.
A real business person values their reputation and will provide you with an invoice detailing what you’re paying for. Nobody can promise you the moon, you can invest $10k into music promotion and if the music is bad, it is what it is and is the luck of the draw just like it is for everyone else. The best that you can hope for & do for yourself on a limited budget is find people who will give you what you pay for.