Friday, October 8, 2010


I’ve had a lot of artists ask me about other DJs charging for slots on mixtapes and it’s a question no artist should be ashamed to ask. I personally have never charged any artist for a slot on a mixtape, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t consider doing that in the future. I do charge artists for a full mixtape package, but that’s for a complete mixtape (not just one or 2 tracks) and it includes the mix, hosting, artwork, press release, and most importantly – promotion of the mixtape. As far as paying a DJ for a slot or two on a mixtape, do your homework and determine the value of your money.

If you are considering paying for a slot the first thing you should do is check out the DJ’s previous mixtapes. If you’re paying for the DJ’s service they should not be offended when you ask where you can find their previous mixtapes and see the number of hits on the tapes. Look at their catalog of mixtapes over the last year and eliminate any that were done as collaborations with other DJs since the mixtape you’re paying to get on is most likely not going to include any other DJs (and therefore will not include any of those other DJs’ promotion and publicity). Now that you’ve narrowed it down to the DJs solo mixtapes, get your pen and pad and write down the number of hits that DJ’s solo tapes have done. Once you’ve done that you should be able to determine the value at a glance. But I’ll try to break it down even more so you can really see the value of your money.

Let’s say the DJ’s average number of hits is 3,500 and they are asking for $35 per slot. That’s really just 1 penny per hit. Not a bad deal at all. Assuming the DJ has at least 15 tracks on the tape, the DJ is going to make more than $500 – but that has no bearing on the value of your $35 spent on that slot. The most important thing to you should be the value of your money spent. Is it worth it to you to pay a penny per hit?

Once you’ve looked at the DJ’s numbers on previous solo mixtapes and you feel the price matches the value, hit play on a couple of those mixtapes and check out the DJ’s talent. Is the DJ wack with no blend/mix skills and just sliding the fader from one song to the next with a grip of sound effects or screaming all over the music? If you rock with a wack DJ you run the risk of that DJ getting aired out by real DJs which will effectively bury the mixtape you just paid to get a slot on.

I’m glad I took the time to respond to this question. I dropped 29 mixtapes so far in 2010 and have eclipsed 2 million hits. If you just look at my numbers from alone and only consider my 22 solo tapes, I’m averaging 26,325 hits per tape. If I charged $35 per slot on a tape that would translate to just over 1/10th of a penny per hit. Would you pay a tenth of a penny per hit? Shit…let me know! I might have to start rolling out some of these pay-per-slot tapes too. Thank you for bringing this question to me!

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