Turn the Radio Off or Up??
So Hip Hop has this gripe with FM. We say “Turn off the radio” but some still chase radio play. And some Emcees get spins which helps propel their sales, shows and fan base. Which makes the hesitant Emcees think, ‘Well, maybe some airplay wouldn’t be too bad.’
I think there’s more than one story here. The first is the gripe Hip Hop Artists (including myself) have with radio, we know what real Hip Hop is and when radio plays that watered down bubble gum RAP (not Hip Hop) and classifies it as Underground Hip Hop; that’s our first problem. Don’t claim to spin Street Hip Hop when it has some R&B singer doing the hook. Real Hip Hop would be Guru, KRS, Chino, Quasimoto, Juice, Jada, The Roots, Jeru, Crooked I, etc etc. And when was the last time you heard those Cats on the radio – 15 times a day? Exactly.
Now, there are some Emcees who balance on both sides of Hip Hop and radio play – maintaining their credentials. I’d say Jay-Z, Eminem, Biggie (R.I.P.), Common.
The next thing is recognizing that radio still is important (if not necessary) to help build your career and following. How you get on radio and navigate through those waters, is another subject and discussion for another time. A lot of politics with that but, we can talk about ‘how to’ get on radio. I think a lot of Cats don’t look at every avenue, they’re only thinking of the one or two local stations they hear everyday. There’s a lot more throughout the Country and the world.
Here’s some food for thought (and yes, this is digging into my bag of ‘resources’) – think about college radio, independent radio, online stations, blogs, website music reviews, THEN you can build your way up to the big FM stations. The other thing to remember, even some college radio pays royalties so you’re still entitled to publishing from that. And the stations that may not pay publishing, you’re still getting exposure which is one of many steps down this long road of the music industry.
OK, I’m done. Now it’s your turn. Post a comment below or leave a reply on facebook