The Heretic’s Comment: While we were researching music topics for today’s post, we were struck by how many stories featured artist complaining about how difficult it has become to actually make any sort of living during Rap music. To state the obvious, we all know that almost every genre of music (including rap and hiphop) are taking negative hits toward record sells, but we found the comments instructive because of the complaints revolving around the increasing frustration with not being able to secure paying live shows (in other words, most of the complaints involved the frustration of having to do free shows or promo shows constantly with no hopes of ever getting paid gigs). In looking deeper at the frustration expressed by indie rap and/or hiphop artist, it is quite true (in defense of live performance venues and fans) that numerous shows have been performed by artist who have not taken the time to develop their live performance skills, or who are too high or too drunk to effectively deliver their lines and keep their flow locked on the beat, or who have so many people on stage it is hard to distinguish whether you are being forced to watch a bunch people standing around on stage or an actual live performance, or who are so caught up in set tripping and gang related mentally that they actually attack individuals in the audience or worst yet individuals in the audience attack them…we could go on and on concerning missteps indie rap and hiphop artists have made toward delivering quality live performances. One more observation on the above before moving forward, it is also true that Major Label Rap/Hiphop Stars are guilty of the same offenses described above, the difference, however, is that Major Label artists have PR machines that can clean things up (or cover things up) and also Major Rap/Hiphop Artist are more likely to have a base of fan support that will allow them to survive a negative incident. Most indie artist, unfortunately, do not possess the above luxuries. As a result, when a indie artist makes a mistake on stage…even one mistake…this mistake could have a devastating impact, because the mistake has now made him/her/them unmarketable for paying shows for the foreseeable future.
Despite the above, Indie Rap and HipHop are still both such critical genres for artists/producers/labels to pursue and live performance venues (as well as) Fans have to be willing to support indie Rap as well as HipHop by attending live shows (not just free shows, but paid shows as well).
Over the last several months, we at the Heretic have been exposed to a number of wonderful independent rap and hiphop projects that will be launched during 2011. We mention this to highlight the fact that there are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of artists, producers, songwriters, artist development companies and indie labels still risking everything in order to generate profits in the rap/hiphop game. In our minds, the key in figuring out whether forthcoming Rap/Hiphop projects will be profitable on the one hand or loss money on the other hand will be based on answering the following question…..will the project be able to generate paying live shows?
If time permits, please give us your thoughts and opinions regarding the above subject matter. Or we offbase? Do you disagree? What is your opinion?
As we stated at the beginning of the post, all genres of music are faced with challenging times (not just Rap and Hiphop). If your particular genre of music is also suffering from a lack of paid live performance opportunities please give us your feedback as well.
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