Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another DJ's Rant

I hear artists complain about DJs all the time when DJs require payment for slots on a mixtape, among other things, but they all (radio spins/mixtapes/club spins) apply here I think. For the sake of this rant I will strictly focus on my most recent mixtape "Slap That Mix 5" which dropped yesterday.

There are a total of 21 artists on the mixtape with a mixture of indies and majors. I have hit 16 of those artists for drops, but only received drops from two: Roxx Ruger and Naturboy Rowe (I already had the Rick Ross drop).

I took the time to be sure every artist's twitter was added to the blast and hit every artist individually on twitter with the mixtape promo tweet with their name and song title included in the tweet (along with the mixtape title and link to the mixtape). It should have been a breeze for every one of them to (at the very least) simply click on "retweet". How many of the 21 artists did that? Two: Roxx Ruger and Naturboy Rowe.

Maybe all of them were busy all day Saturday and Sunday, but I look at their timelines and they're all tweeting actively so they have enough time to hit a retweet. Maybe they all didn't have the foresight to buy a cheap desktop microphone so they could record drops right at home using the free Microsoft Sound Recorder that is included and installed automatically with every sing PC/laptop purchase. But if you're an artist and actively trying to promote your music and get spins on radio or in the club or get mixtape placements - MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BUYING A $12 MIC FROM WALMART SO YOU CAN RECORD DROPS FOR THE DJS THAT CONTROL YOUR TARGET PLACEMENTS!

I gathered the tracks, mixed (and I mean actually MIXED the mixtape #realdjshit-check it out for yourself) the mixtape, knocked out the cover art, split the tracks, tagged each one, etc on Friday night. Saturday was my birthday, but I still took the time to upload the mixtape to 10 separate mixtape websites. For those that don't know, this can be time consuming and irritating as hell at times. Then I went out and bought a new washer and dryer, a new laptop, some games for the Xbox and Wii, a new ring for my babygirl, and some clothes. Had a great day with my family and an awesome dinner celebrating my birthday! Even with all that done and all of the running around shopping, I still managed to get in some promotion for the mixtape and get it posted up on another 27 websites. Of course twitter and facebook as well, but I don't even count that. I do that constantly. Oh yeah, and I also had a radio show Saturday night, which again I'll remind you was my birthday.

If I put in all that work, regardless of how busy I might be with my life, and the artists can't even click "retweet"? Why should I continue to run their music in my mixes? Why not just focus on majors only and keep it moving? I would love some promotion or at least some tweets from majors, but that's fairly rare. But an indie artist who's trying to get on? Hell yes I expect drops and tweets promoting a mixtape I included their music in. I checked the numbers today (24 hours since the mixtape release) and the mixtape is currently at 8,994 hits across a total of 37 different websites. And every artist in the mix got that exposure and promotion for free. Although Naturboy Rowe was good enough to hit my "Thank You DJ" link and buy me a 12-pack of Pepsi (thank you fam!) not one single artist had to pay for a slot or was even asked to pay for a slot. That's going to most likely change now. This is why DJs say "FUCK YOU PAY ME".

A DJ puts in work, regardless of the medium (mixtapes, radio, clubs), and our brand and reputation and future earning potential is on the line every single time. If an artist can't drive listeners to a radio station, hits to a mixtape, or paying customers through the club doors - why should a DJ support them? For FREE? How does it benefit the DJ to support indie music from artists that don't promote and don't pay?

Think about that the next time you open your mouth or tap your fingers across a keyboard to complain about DJs. Remember this entire rant the next time you ask me or any other DJ to spin your music on our radio shows, or bump your music in the club, or slide your music into a mixtape.


Thank you to Natureboy Rowe and Roxx Ruger for the drops and the promotion of the mixtape - Real DJ Shit

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