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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Selling The Dream! Are promoters of Hip Hop showcases taking advantage of MC's?

I came across this ad on Craigslist and was really bothered by it. So much so, I decided to blog about it.

"If you are a real rapper a real singer a real comedian and real poet.come to the sultana lounge located in williamsburg brooklyn on 160 n.4 street bedford ave.event hosted by chocolate by dj perform is $ come and enjoy the show $15.for more info call"

I understand the get money mentality and all that. I understand brothers are out here grinding and hustling and what not. Some things just aren't what's up though. I kind of feel like the guy from "Shame on you" in writing this but the truth of the matter is that these showcase promoters have gotten out of control. I can understand an Open mic, you pay your little $5 or $10, get on stage and do your little 1,2 thing. It's gotten kind of crazy with the showcases though, I mean I've seen promoters charging dudes up to $500 dollars to perform at a showcase. Sometimes they'll pay some old washed up rapper like Tracy Lee of "It's party time" fame to host the show. Like he can do something for your career they'll try to charge you because he's there.They say things like, A&Rs will be there with ink in their pens and, "if you're serious about your career" to G you out of your hard earned money. Sometimes they'll give you tickets you can sell and make your money back from, sometimes not even that is done. In the event that the artists are given tickets, most of the time the tickets go to friends and family that have already seen them perform a million times. They end up paying $500 to perform in front of their friends and family and a club full of other rappers with their friends and family. The promoters like to call that exposure. I beg to differ, a lot of times the people that come with the artist aren't fans of music like that. They're there to support a friend or family member. A artist can perform live on 42nd street and come off better than rocking at these showcases. Most of these promoters don't promote to music fans because they feel it's a waste of time. They believe everyone is trying to be an artist so their aim is to capitalize off of that, which is but isn't cool. If I put up an ad that read, "Come rap for a room full of rappers" how many niggahs would reply to that? Beyond that, the showcases are garbage. The promoters will book any act that has the money to pay to perform. That usually leads to a line up of garbage acts who have money but no talent. In the event that a Hip Hop fan pops up at one of these shows, they're usually thoroughly disappointed, then when they're invited to the next show they think it's going to be trash and don't show up. I can agree with a lot of promoters on the note that a lot of artists are lazy and don't promote. These artists will just show up, perform, and go home. At the same time they're promoters, their job is to promote. The artists job is to perform and give a good show. Since the promoters are the ones seeing 100% of the profits, what's the incentive for the artist to promote?

A note to artists out there, DON'T DO IT!, don't support these promoters. Spend your money where it matters and that's not on these showcases, trust me, you'll thank me in the long run.


1 comment:

Ailene Joyce said...

In Eugene, OR promoters are charging local talent, opening acts, to open up for bigger names! They charge $100 for each opening act, and give them 10 tickets and tell them to make their money back that way. I thought the promoters job was to promote the show and that ultimately they work for the artist. Things are getting wack out west.