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EXECUTION Producing, Marketing and Releasing My First Hip-Hop/Rap Album (Music Production, Building Fanbase, Diversifying Income Streams)

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 19, 2020
North Carolina
Greetings All.

I'm starting this progress thread to keep myself accountable and document my experience for other aspiring musical artists/ music professionals on the forum.

I'm in my late 20's. I've been rapping for 15 years and producing/engineering for the last 3. It's always been a passion for me, but I'm at a cross roads:

Is music something that I am going to pursue as a serious business? or chalk it up as a hobby and focus primarily on my other (less exciting) business?

Biggest external problem: Saturation. Finding a niche with less competition.
Biggest internal problem: Lack of inspiration.
Secondary internal problem: Keeping focus / postponing music ideas for unrelated activities that offer more immediate financial gain.

I've released projects in the past with promising feedback. The content of my music tends to lead to higher engagement (encouraging emails, messages, comments) suggesting that I'm hitting on something somewhat niche. Early on I made a push and realized the messages in my music were being negated by poor audio quality so I went back to the lab, learned how to make my own beats and how to mix. I know music is largely "subjective" but like any industry there are standards of quality that are ubiquitous. I'm confident that my music has gone from clearly amateur in quality to professional.

The wannabe musician stereotype is a well known, and well dated one. You perform at an open mic, everyone fawns over your amazing skills, the women fall to their knees and a manager from a big label signs you to a million dollar record deal. I'm embarrassed to say that this paradigm wasn't too far off from my mindset about 5 years ago. Obviously, it doesn't work like that anymore... And even if it did, it's not a viable business model, it's a lottery.

I believe my experiences as a young, ignorant musician who failed and subsequently started an unrelated e-commerce business has actually positioned me well to be successful in music this time around. I've murdered my ego and accepted the fact that music and the musician are simply products. The music is just one of many vehicles used to transact with an audience. Hence the reason so many "Celebrities" end up moonlighting as musical artists...Have you heard Vin Diesel's new song? I apologize in advance :happy:

With that being said, armed with my upgraded skill-set and business experience I'm going to give it one more go...

The Opportunity:
After sorting through all my observations and gaps in the market I believe I've targeted several audiences/ niches that I'd like to test:

  • Hip-Hop lovers that are entrepreneurs or interested in entrepreneurship
  • DIY Hip-hop artists
  • Financial Literacy/ Education for Hip-Hop artists
Action Plan:

Produce and release an album/EP (aiming for 6 full songs)
  • Produce/ Release 1 Song each month for the next 6 months
  • Create an extra piece of target-audience related content to release with each song (production tutorial, blog post, helpful info graphic, etc.)
  • Complete website and launch mailing list
In the next 6 months my goals are too:
  • Have a fully completed album that can be given a formal marketing campaign.
  • Collect feedback from listeners to have a better idea of who's listening and why
  • Decide whether or not I've enjoyed the process and make a decision to continue building out a career in music or focus solely on other endeavors.
I have several different ideas on how to monetize the music and process. The reason I'm starting with the execution of creating this album is to garner momentum, awareness, and have a reference point where I can direct fans, potential clients, and just for self-motivation.

I will continue to update this thread weekly with my progress and realizations. Thanks for your time and any insight.


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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 1, 2017
honestly man, if you really want to level up, I would release a full mixtape every few months.
That's what you are competing with at the moment and thats how a lot of young dudes get hype around them.

I can understand where you are coming from, i have produced music as a hobby for the last 10 years.

Send me some tunes if you want i will check it out ;)

James Klymus

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 28, 2018
Chicago, Illinois
First off I wanna wish you luck in your ventures.

Second, I have no experience in the music industry, But I have a friend who managed to become pretty popular in the dubstep community. Playing shows in front of thousands of people, being friends with all of the biggest artists in the niche hes in (And those people are connected to bigger names in the industry (like skrillex, 12th planet, porter robinson etc).

I can tell you that it wasn't about him being the best at his craft, DJing or producing the best music. It's about him being friends with big names in the industry, and the clout that comes with it. He was always reaching out to people and it worked.

What i personally see in the music industry (again take it for what it's worth) It's a popularity contest with being exceptional at your craft coming second. What i'm saying is you should probably focus on making connections and friends with people in the industry who can get you noticed.

I think that if you make it big in music with the business knowledge that MJ teaches, then you're miles ahead of all these other fly by night rappers. You probably won't be screwed by people who want to take advantage of you, and blow all of your record deal money.

Whatever you do, dive into it. Don't be one of these guys who's in his 40's still trying to make it in music while working at chilis. Good luck bro.

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