Mannie Fresh Says That Record Labels Will Be Gone in 20 Years [video]

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 29-04-2013

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This is real talk from producer Mannie Fresh. I agree with him wholeheartedly except for that fact that I think it will happen sooner. This is nothing new to hip hop though. Heads were selling their shit out of the car trunk for years because labels thought that hip hop was a fad. Now with the help of the internet you don’t need a label unless they’re giving you some kind of tour support. And even that can’t guarantee you a fanbase. Artists are finding out that you only need to win over a few hundred loyal fans to build some momentum. No one truly knows what the future will hold, but everything is here for you to blaze a new path to success in a way that has never been done before.

Immortal Technique and Tech N9ne Talk About Independent Hip Hop

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 22-04-2013

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The two Techs talk about being hip hop and independent. Check it out. What do you think about being independent? Would you rather have a record deal? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

3 Things Artists Need to Know About Downloading Free Hip Hop Beats

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 10-04-2013

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Making Beats


Many rap artists download free hip hop beats. Trinidad James said that his hit song was made by using one he got without paying. But this can cause you a heap of trouble in the future if you haven’t taken proper precautions. I touched on a similar topic in an earlier article. Here are 3 things you want to put on your checklist


1. Don’t make assumptions

If you didn’t get the instrumental directly from the music producer’s website or from the producer himself, that beat is not free for you to use.

2. Free doesn’t always mean free

If the instrumental comes from a website, read the policy or terms of agreement. The creator or beatmaker is always the default copyright owner of it. Just because you didn’t have to pay an Read the rest of this entry »

Hip Hop Artists: Are You Neglecting the Importance of Your Live Performance?

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 02-04-2013

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Some time ago I did a post on 3 tips that would improve your stage performance. This can be considered a follow up of that post.

Now more than ever, an artists’ live performance is becoming the most important part of sustaining a career in music. Touring and performing are becoming the most largest sources of income for artists. But too many artists neglect this part of the game. No time is spent planning the flow of the show.

This is the time for artists to make believers out of the non-believers. Some rappers act like their just performing for themselves; no interaction with the audience, bad delivery, and no eye contact.

Rehearsal and practice is a must. Record video of yourself and be critical about how your come off. Get your endurance up. You’re Read the rest of this entry »

[Guest Post] The Hip Hop Biz: Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up System

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 06-03-2013

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It’s pretty evident at this point that the music industry is in chaos. Major labels have tried to restrict innovation and have sued countless music listeners for pirating. Market consolidation has led to fewer people at fewer companies making the decisions on what music America will hear. Majors were slow to adapt to the digital music era, but still dominate the music world for the most part. All the problems we can identify with commercial music in the U.S. are tied to the major record companies. So why do we even need them?

Sure, the majors have the funding to promote certain artists on a huge scale, but this only benefits the 0.1 % of musicians who they decide to invest in. The media uses Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, and Drake to reinforce the illusion of music superstardom (i.e. Drake’s “Started from the Bottom”), but the reality is much more harsh for the other 99.9 % of music makers. Being talented and dedicated to your craft simply isn’t enough to guarantee a million dollar contract nowadays. There’s just so much music being made and so many platforms to Read the rest of this entry »

Buckshot Discusses the Business of Independent Hip Hop

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 04-02-2013

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Duck Down’s Buckshot has paid his dues in the hip hop game and continues to be a trailblazer as an independent hip hop artists. In this video, he drops some serious knowledge for those getting into the hip hop game.

“You must learn” – KRS ONE Read the rest of this entry »

Mixtape Malpractice: A New Problem for Hip Hop Artists

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 07-09-2012

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There used to be a time when a rapper could put out a mixtape using popular beats. And as long as that artist wasn’t selling it, he didn’t have to worry much about the beatmaker coming after him for any sort of copyright infringement. Well those days are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Some independent hip hop artists are now building successful careers off of buzzes created by these free mixtapes. And now the beatmakers are starting to feel used and abused. A popular mixtape, for an artists, can lead to well paid shows and even a major label deal. Producers and beatmakers are Read the rest of this entry »

How to Not Get Screwed By the Music Industry – Wendy Day (@rapcoalition)

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 24-01-2012

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Wendy Day is an advocate for indie hip hop artists and has prevented a large number of artists from getting screwed by negotiating their deals. Google her. I had the pleasure of interviewing her a short time ago when she first released her current book.

In this short video clip, Wendy explains that not all deals are bad when you’re educated about music business. But more importantly, she goes on the explain why hip hop artist these days are better off staying independent.

Do yourself a solid and follow her on Twitter @RapCoalition. Wendy is also on our “must follow” list in our Indie Hip Hop Directory, which should already be one of the tools in your grind right now . Read the rest of this entry »

Wendy Day – “How To Get A Record Deal” ( @RapCoalition )

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 04-11-2011

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Wendy Day has negotiated hip hop deals for over twenty years.  She’s been a champion and advocate for the fair treatment of hip hop artists during her career and has been responsible for some of the biggest deals in hip hop history. Before she stepped on the landscape, no artist in the genre had ever walked away from closing a label deal with the amount of payment, rights, and ownership that she was able to secure for her artists. One of the most monumental deals was the 30 million dollar label agreement she got for Cash Money Records. A deal that also awarded them ownership of their master recordings, which was close to unheard of in hip hop at the time.
Here are just a few of Wendy’s former clients: Cash Money Records (Juvenile, BG, Lil Wayne, Hot Boyz, Big Tymers, Baby aka Birdman), Read the rest of this entry »

Indie Rapper, MC Lars, Finds Opportunity in Industry Misfortune

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 31-05-2011

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Not much commentary to add to this video other than the fact that I like finding stories of other indie hip hop artists doing it themselves and making it happen. You can do your own shit, march to your own drummer, and find an audience that’s feels you. Be inspired! Read the rest of this entry »

15, Must Follow, Music Biz Giants on Twitter

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 08-04-2011

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This is my super duper dope list of 15 Twitter grinders that always stay on top of the latest music business info. Follow this 15 and you’ll be way ahead of the game and educated on some of the most important aspects of this ever evolving music industry. But in order to get this list, I ask that you do something for me first.  Tweet this out to your followers on Twitter with the button below, and you’ll get a free download of this list.

Hip Hop Artists: SoundExchange May Have Money For You

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 21-03-2011

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SoundExchange collects royalties when sound your music is played on satellite radi0, Internet radio, on cable TV music channels, and other streaming services. SoundExchange covers ground and ASCAP an BMI doesn’t,  so many artists have unclaimed money waiting for them that they’re totally unaware of. SoundExchange is free to join. Check out the vid to find out more about their service. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Things That Are Working For Hip Hop Artists

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 10-03-2011



1. Social Networking

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and even Youtube, when used correctly, are proving to be the most effective ways to build your fan base and keep them updated. Make it a point to follow other successful artists to see how they are using these tools to their advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

When Does an Artist Need a Lawyer?

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 10-02-2011

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I’ve seen some artists sign some fucked up contacts in my day. Whether it was with a record company, management, or production company. These contracts were almost always signed without a lawyer involved. Most of the time artists only seek counsel when they’re trying to get out of a bad agreement. Bad agreements can stagnate and ruin any chances you have of living out your dream of having a career in music.  Music attorney Ed Fair in this video clip expresses the importance of knowing when seek legal help.

Read the rest of this entry »

Artist Deals and Recoupment Explained

Filed Under (Music Business) by FuNkwoRm on 16-12-2010

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In this video clip, Michele Singer, Director of Legal and Business Affairs for jazz and classical, breaks down some of the finer points of the recoupment process between artists and their labels.