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#HipHop101 Mixtape Etiquette for the new artist

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted in the HipHop101 section, but what I’m going to talk about is really going to be able to help some people who listen. Although I am an artist, my first love in music has always been the business side as far as marketing, management, and promotion. One of my favorite things to do behind the scenes is organize collaborative Mixtape or Album projects which requires you to work with and organize a lot of different people that do a lot of different things. You have artists, producers, DJ’s, record labels, managers, graphic artists, bloggers, promoters, etc who can all be involved with this kind of project. It can be extremely difficult sometimes when you are dealing with so many different people and personalities but no matter how difficult it can be, I personally find that the finished project always ends up being worth it and whatever or whoever the difficulty was, you learn from it and move forward so that you can make each project better than the next.

With that being said, what I want to address is the Etiquette of Artists. I am very aware that we live in a day and age of social media and we are living in a generation of selfish people. Be that as it may, I am going to explain to you the honorable way to conduct yourself and you can choose to ignore it or pay attention. I am going to tell you the truth about somethings and it might hurt your feelings, but you will be alright if you can get out of your emotions and listen to the logic because this is after all business regardless of what you see portrayed on television or social media.

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  • YOU ARE NOT FAMOUS. Unless you are cashing million dollar checks, have hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements, have gold or platinum records, or have been recognized as one of the greats for your well seasoned and decorated music contributions? SIT DOWN. Relax. you don’t deserve to be disrespected, but you better stay humble. If you are unreasonably a jerk, nobody is going to want to work with you and eventually you will end up biting every hand that tried to help you get fed and burn down all the bridges extended to you. Unless you are an outstanding artist, producer, graphic artist, DJ, blogger, promoter, manager, and record label all in one? You will eventually need the help of other people so it’s best to conduct yourself as a professional. In my opinion I don’t understand how people can say they want music to be their full-time job so they don’t have to do anything else but they’ll behave like professionals for their job at the gas station and act like they have no manners or common sense when it comes to conducting themselves as an entrepreneur (which is technically what you are as an independent artist).
  • Value an invitation. There is a lot of work that goes into a collaborative project. Far too many times people undervalue the time and work that’s put in to a collaborative project especially if all they did was submit a song. This is no way means the creative process and recording is under valued, but the point I am trying to make is a collaborative release has many components to it and if you are invited onto a collaborative project (especially one being presented by an artist, group, or label that holds weight under their name or brand) there are a few things you can easily do that show you appreciate the opportunity of exposure and free promotion.  The LEAST you can do is share the project and support it especially if you were invited on. Even if you pay for a slot, what was the point of purchasing your exposure opportunity if you don’t even support it? If you are invited onto a project, turn in your music in a timely manner. Nobody should have to chase you down to give you an opportunity. If you want to be taken serious as an artist? Be professional. Nobody is going to keep calling, texting, inboxing, or emailing you in order to put your music on a project that’s overall cost isn’t coming out of your budget. What all of us as artists need to remember is that there are millions of us. Sometimes it’s not even natural talent that help people move forward in this very competitive business, it’s things like honoring your word, professionalism, and integrity.  For me personally? I will help a less talented artist who is a good person ten times over breaking my neck for someone who is super talented but a headache to work with.
  • Label your tracks properly.  When you are submitting a song, nine times out of ten whoever is collecting the music is slammed with emails. Make sure you do your part to cut down on the instance of error and costly mistakes. Your email should come with the MP3 of the song, Artist name, track name, and producer name. One thing that happens far too often is people do not label their tracks properly and then expect everyone to stop what they’re doing to correct spelling errors, add something or delete something. Once things like promotion is started or track lists have been designed and released it is far too time consuming and costly to make changes and frankly, unless the error was a track by a heavy hitter? Chances are you’re going to have to deal with the error and move on. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another and nobody died because of it.

 

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For those of you who may be very new, there is a difference between a Mixtape and Collaborative Album.  A Mixtape can be done by an individual (normally a collection of their music they are putting out for free in order to generate a buzz before an album comes out, a free project an individual releases in order to start building a fan base, a free collaborative project from a group/label/ DJ that showcases a collection of artists / producers. The key word though is FREE. The only time there is ever a charge for a Mixtape is if hard copies are pressed up then you are paying for the actual hard disk and shipping, not the actual music. Artists can be invited on by a DJ/Group/ Label or slots are sometimes available for a fee. Purchasing a slot would be something you charge to your promotional budget and you should only purchase slots on Mixtapes that target the fan base you want, and or are hosted/produced by a reputable organization/DJ/Label/Group. I say that because I can’t even count the number of times a no-name brand or group has slid in my inbox trying to sell me a Mixtape slot for hundreds of dollars. No thanks. If you are debating on purchasing a slot, google the other Mixtapes they’ve done. Combine all the numbers from all of the sites you see it posted on and decide if the slot fee is worth that investment for the level of exposure you find. ( Side note: Any slot fee over $100-$150 you should look for downloads and plays of ten thousand or more but BE CAREFUL…. some of those “downloads” aren’t organic, meaning they could have been purchased. So the best way to make sure it’s legit is see if the project comes up on multiple sites and check all of the stats before making your decision.

A Collaborative Album is actually for sale. Normally a collab album will have one producer and feature many artists on their beats, or put out by a label/group and showcasing their artists and producers. On this kind of album purchase you can expect all original tracks.

I hope some if not all of this was helpful or enlightening. One more helpful tip until the next time… if you are an artist and consider the music industry your ideal profession? Do some research about the “business” you say you’re in. There’s a lot of “artists” that don’t even own the name they’re making beats or recording songs with, and there’s a lot of producers selling beats they don’t technically own although they made them.

That’s all for now! Be blessed –

Q

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Happy New Year 2018

There are two things that everyone has. #Purpose and #Potential. It’s those same two things far too many people leave this earth without ever tapping in to or maximizing. Laziness, pity parties, lack of motivation, sense of entitlement, and distorted views of work ethic play a major part in that but at the end of the day? YOU and YOU alone are the only person responsible for what you do with your purpose and potential. Many people wait on the big things they know #God is capable of blessing them with but how can He entrust you with a business if you can’t manage a budget? Why do you deserve millions and you can’t manage a tax return? How do you deserve to be a “boss” and you don’t even show up on time? So instead of “New Year, New Me” how about this year, you maximize what you’ve been sitting on this entire time?

#QTPQuote #QueenTheProphet #TuesdayMotivation #HappyNewYear #SoulFood

People of God: Hold your position 

This has been in my heart to speak for a few days.  

People of God: 

Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Hold your position, it’s coming. 

May the grace of of lord and savior Jesus Christ be with you always. Amen. 

Are you still standing? 

It’s not over for you. If you are still standing? Whatever attempted to take you out failed and it failed because you’re not finished. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, feels like, or what any doctor has reported. If God be for you? Who then can be against you? The testing & trails of God’s people is to help everyone else see the difference between the wheat and the weeds. Pay attention.  How you act during a non ideal circumstance speaks volumes to onlookers. 

Wu-Tang Affiliate @heavenrazah launches new label @heavenrazahmusi 


*** Heaven Razah Music, Inc PSA***
Heaven Razah Music, Inc. Is a premier record label founded by legendary Wu-Tang Clan/ Sunz of Man member Chron “Hell Razah” Smith who formally adopted the alternate name Heaven Razah in 2009. 
In 2004, Chron’s record label Hell Razah Music, Inc was established and by 2013 his label and G.H.E.T.T.O. G.O.V.T (Go Hear Emmanuel Teach the Others God’s Only Victorious Truth) movement established chapters, community service projects, & music all over the globe. 
In 2017, Heaven Razah Music, Inc. was established in order to provide a Christ centered outlet for spiritually conscious musicians also referred to as “Street Prophets”. It is the vision of Heaven Razah Music, Inc. to shed the light of the Lord in darkest corners of the world through hip-hop music. (John 3:17) 

Chairman/Founder : 

Chron “Heaven Razah” Smith

Heaven Razah Music, Inc. President: 

Rachel “Queen the Prophet” Lombardozzi 

Twitter: @queentheprophet 

Heaven Razah Music, Inc. Vice President:

Aaron “Messenger/ Sneak Vandel” Warner

Twitter: @raiderzemcee 

Contact Information: 

ARTIST & BEAT SUBMISSION: 

heavenrazahmusicinc@gmail.com 

-Artists: Please send formal EPK or music links as well as social media handles. Mp3 files will not be considered. 

-Producers: Please write “beats” in the subject line 

God is present in your struggle #MondayMotivation

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Despite what it LOOKS like, despite what it FEELS like, #God is as present in your struggle as He is in the blessings. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

The boys & girls who cry wolf

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If YOU are the common denominator in all your problems? Chances are, you’re the problem. Beware of those who always “cry wolf”. Sometimes the one who’s always crying is actually the wolf.

Restoration, transformation

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You can’t always be politically correct and biblically correct. I chose to be biblically correct. Started saying no to things that offend God and started loosing “friends”, started saying no to opportunities that contradict God and started loosing  money. Then my soul began to prosper. See but the way the kingdom of God is set up, He ALWAYS gives you double for your trouble & anything you give up for His sake, He returns with interest on your investment. Restoration, transformation.

A letter from our readers

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Greetings Daughter Of Zion & your anointed team.  I’m a 23 year old son from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Before I say anything, I just need to tell you guys how much I love you. Thank you for always striving for the Truth to prevail & God’s Purpose to be fulfilled. You put your lives into it. Back to the Advisory session, I’m a young aspiring MC & Producer. I go by the name Black Angel. I need to be in close contact with the ins and outs of the industry. I’m dedicated to living and fulfilling God’s Purpose in my life. Can I testify? There’s been a lot of instances in my life where the devil tried to take my life away, but failed because of God’s protection in my life. I pray you read this message & find it in your heart to help me achieve the Dream. My upbringing was really hard here in South Africa, but I know God has tons of things he kept me here to do. This may be asking for a bit much, but I would really really love to meet Queen The Prophet, Hell Razah (El Raziel) & the whole Ghetto Government Officialz Movement. Now when that happens, you guys will be planting a seed in my brain, which I will cultivate and nurture to grow and eliminate all the evil. I need all the knowledge and wisdom you guys possess. I’m so passionate about this, but at the same time I’m a bit afraid that some of the things you guys will reveal to me may scare me. Having said that, I truly believe that you have to be brave and find that inner strength in your Soul to discover what is really what on this Earth. Thank you so much for taking your time to digest my words. Please tell El Raziel that I love him and everybody. You guys is the Truth- S. Ngcobo, South Africa 

Thank you so much for your kind words. It is always a humbling moment when someone let’s you know that what God has enabled you to do has touched the life of someone else. Your testimony is encouraging and you will be in my prayers that God continues to move in your life and bless your walk with Christ. Stay in His word because those are the seeds that will keep you firmly rooted. 

Wish you much success on your music path and if you check this blog regularly, the “Hip-Hop 101” tab offers a lot of free information and resources for independent musicians. If any shows from the GGO family are coming up in South Africa in the future, I’ll be sure to let you know. 
-QTP

Are you failing at being Single?

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Believe it or not, most people absolutely fail at being single.  Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and a ton of people who are not coupled off took to social media to cry their woes. Being single is a topic most people actually desire more helpful information about but nobody will ask for it, because nobody wants to talk about it. For some reason society has painted us a picture of the ideal time to be engaged, get married, buy a house, have children, etc. and when we don’t live up to “social norms” we somehow have allowed this to make us feel “less than” in the area of relationships. This is especially true for folks who are living for the Lord. Soon as you make the decision to follow Christ and realize that pre-martial sex isn’t a part of the bargain, like clockwork the first thought that passes through most people’s minds is ” I gotta hurry up and get married”. Now before I continue, this blog piece is going to be more of an introduction summary. Reason being is that I actually have a book I’ve been finishing up on this very subject and by the grace of God will be available for purchase early 2017.

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The very basis for my book encompasses answers and strategies for this very problem, most people fail at being single. Did you know that 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce? It is my belief that much of this directly relates to them failing at being single. If you fail at being single, you’re going to make a mess or fail altogether at commitment. “Relationship hopping” is one giant red flag you’re failing at being single. No matter how tough or strong willed you think that you are, anytime you are in a relationship with another person (especially if it becomes sexual) you are exchanging thoughts, time, emotions, experiences, and creating a soul tie. ( and the two shall become one flesh-Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8) There is a spiritual component inside the scope of relationships that generally most people ignore. We are 3-part beings, we have a physical body, we have a spirit, and we have a soul. Your soul is your emotions, it’s the part of you that remembers your experiences both good and bad and it is the part of you that shapes your reality. The more women a man sleeps with, the more lost he is. Every time the man “releases” he is depositing a part of himself into his partner. The more men a woman sleeps with, the more lost she is. Every time a woman sleeps with a man she receives a deposit from her partner. Reckless behavior with the very intimate beauty of who you were created to be by God Himself can pollute every ounce of your being and make you feel disconnected, drained, hopeless, used, tired, heavy, and cynical. Then what happens? Most people never heal, never let God rid them of the spiritual baggage they’ve inherited and instead they hop from relationship to relationship with every single hurt, pain, and disappointment they’ve ever experienced and even if a new relationship seems like a happy one at first? Eventually those feelings of hurt, pain, rejection, and disappointment reappear. Unfortunately we live in a society that caters to your ego and does not teach self-responsibility and pretty much just tells you “leave if you’re not happy” and instead of ever getting healed people hop from relationship to relationship with outrageous and unrealistic expectations that another person is somehow ultimately responsible for their happiness.

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Most people fail at being single because they don’t have a clue what is is that they need. Everyone has a long list of what they want, but rarely do we ever take the time to include God and ask Him what it is that we NEED. This can’t be successfully found if we are hopping from relationship to relationship and never taking the time to get rid of all the baggage we have picked up over the years physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many people will pray for a husband or wife but never take the time out to be single and ask God to prepare them to be a husband or a wife. Marriage, relationships, and commitment are a job and a responsibility, real ones anyway. Your happiness is your responsibility, not another person’s. Before committing to another person, if we want the best chances of having a successful commitment we need to learn how to be “whole” by ourselves. Two half people don’t make one whole person but two whole people that come together form a bond that is not easily broken. We have got to seek God and make an effort to have our lives whole before bringing someone else in the picture. If you don’t have regular time you spend with God as a single person don’t expect it to magically appear because you get in a relationship. If you don’t know how to productively occupy free time as a single person, you’re setting yourself up to be absolutely miserable when you find out your partner is incapable of entertaining you every second of everyday. Being single isn’t a disease. It’s far better to be alone then in the wrong relationship.

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We live in a time where everything that flies through our media time lines or television is completely sexualized. Don’t make the mistake of confusing sexualization with committed love because they are two entirely different things. Committed love is not based on a feeling, it is a decision. One of the most important decisions you can make is a decision to not prematurely involve yourself in a relationship until you’re really ready and don’t let what other people are doing or what it appears like everyone else is doing be the standard you adapt for your own relational happiness. For those of you who have experienced a significant trauma (i.e. rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse) it is absolutely necessary for your own peace of mind and your future relationships that you get help and take the proper time to heal before you find yourself in a situation that you’re emotionally unable to handle. If you want to build a strong relationship that will stand the test of time, you have to first make sure that whatever you’re building is on a strong foundation or the house won’t stand. You are the foundation so make sure that you take the time to make sure you are sifted, mixed well, and formed before you start laying down bricks.

Keep a look-out for the full book “Living Successfully Single” by Queen the Prophet in 2017!