Wake up! Videos and press clips are IMPORTANT!

God

Creator of the Universe
*** ill o.g. ***
This pisses me the fuck off more than anything, because it is SO fucking easy to make, and SO many people fuck this up, cheapening their value when they're shopping for a deal.

1. Videos
I DON'T mean videos like the shit you see on MTV. Videos where you lip-synch in front of an Escalade or trendy ride of the times with cuts to chicks in bikinis and you drinking champagne. These are music videos all right, but what people forget are the videos that show a LIVE performance, because if you're getting signed, a A&R will think you are the SHIT if you have a good video of your live performance.

A. "Live performance" doesn't mean shit performance with the nerd friend of yours "taping" your show on a digital camera where the sound is like SHIT because it's "miked" by the ambient mic on the camera.

B. "Live performance" IS usually a video shot in a warehouse or someplace where you can have repeated takes w/o neighbors bothering you. "Live performance" video MEANS having your video captured on a decent quality digital camera that is not ghetto-shaky as fuck, and your sound captured through a LIVE mixer onto a hard disk that is SEPERATE than the camera, so you can sync everything when you drop it into a REAL video program like Premiere.

You don't need "hi-tech" shit for the live performance, but you have to make sure that everything SOUNDS good. Do your SET and do it OVER and OVER so you capture the BEST live take. The key is:

1. An industry cat has to hear what you sound "live".
2. An industry cat has to see what kind of stage presence you command.
3. This is what a LIVE video does.

For the MTV-like videos, if you have the budget, do those too -- but you need to have a representation of your live show-- in rap sometimes it's deemed "unnecessary" by I think to the contrary -- this will only "wow" your audience (record reps) because you are doing shit the right way. You are essentially giving them a "video showcase" which saves them a lot of time and a lot of doubt on:

1. What you sound like live.
2. How you look live.

That's all that matters on these. THEN do fancy shit.

B. Press Packets

So many cats DO NOT know how to do this shit. I'm not even going to describe it to you. I am just going to link to a REAL fucking site that has available packets of REAL artists.

DO NOT HUSTLE THE COMPANY FOR YOUR DEMO. IN FACT -- THE COMPANY I AM REFERRING YOU TO ONLY WORKS WITH ROCK BANDS AMONG OTHER THINGS. DON'T FUCKING BOTHER THEM.

JUST GAIN THE KNOWLEDGE.
ALL PRESS KITS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME.[/B]

Link: http://www.bighassle.com/publicity/a_c_and_c.html

There you have it. That's a "pro" press kit. I have seen better, but it gives you an idea, since the band IS signed and you probably played their music on Guitar Hero.
 

Relic

Voice of Illmuzik Radio
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 83
Good Advice, I have been wanting to see what a good press kit is suppose to look like.
What if you dont have lots of cool gigs and a fall tour itinerary or lots and lots of records to reffer to?
I mean is a smaller version ok , or will someone just shit on it?
Id want to do it right..
 

God

Creator of the Universe
*** ill o.g. ***
Come on Relic, don't shit on me man... lol.... This is a signed band. Of course they have more shit than you. They're on the cover of magazines, you're not.

Yes, make it smaller. But be realistic -- you might have more "press" than you think you know of.

For example, are there reviews on Illmuzik about your music? Did Fade put your bio on here? Do you have stuff written about you on other sites that can be viewed as somewhat reputable? Where have you played shows? Have you been reviewed on the net?

Anything and everything that has been published about you should be considered. Did a venue you rapped at post something about you on their site? Include it. Include your show dates or clippings from the local equivalent of the "Village Voice." Grasp for anything and everything that is relevant and include it. A lot of people overlook shit.

Also -- if you have a cool life story -- where it has been published somewhere (not criminal shit) -- but something interesting, like you were an African child soldier and now became a rapper -- that'll get people interested.

Some cat I saw was an artist and had shit shown in some pretty reputable museums in NYC etc. That was relevant to the image he was creating for himself, but he also included a NARRATIVE of his "story" accompanied with the press kit. Think of the press kit as artistic evidence, but also include "supporting evidence" like other relevant publications to your musical image that helps "sell" you.

Learn how to make the press kit correlate with your "story" and "image" you want to portray.
 

Vice

9ine 2o 5ive Live
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 71
good advice man... I was thinking of making dvd's to hand out instead of just the same ol' demo cd. It cost the same and it's not that hard to make.
 

Relic

Voice of Illmuzik Radio
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 83
Come on Relic, don't shit on me man... lol.... This is a signed band. Of course they have more shit than you. They're on the cover of magazines, you're not.

.
I wasnt tryin to do that G I was trying to ask the general "Hey but Im not large what do I do?" type of question that would further help those that visit this thread in a search years from now! lol
That was all.
Thanks for breaking it down for us .
 

2GooD Productions

Its a fucking conspiracy!
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 183
B. "Live performance" IS usually a video shot in a warehouse or someplace where you can have repeated takes w/o neighbors bothering you. "Live performance" video MEANS having your video captured on a decent quality digital camera that is not ghetto-shaky as fuck, and your sound captured through a LIVE mixer onto a hard disk that is SEPERATE than the camera, so you can sync everything when you drop it into a REAL video program like Premiere.
Great advice for the up and coming mc. Hold a free party in a warehouse, invite as many heads as possible, and then tear that roof off, while recording the whole deal from the sound system. As long as you provide a decent amount of drink, and apply the simple bring a bottle rule, it should go well. Who would miss a free party?
Most people would love to be in a video shoot, I would think it wouldnt be too hard to pull off.
 

shadeed

Go Digital or Go Home
*** ill o.g. ***
Shadeed cosigns this powerful post. Press, and publicity in general is such a huge part of going in the right direction - I have met literally thousands of artists with the talent, but an infant's understanding of how that talent is packaged and marketed. A lot of this stuff you can do on your own as an artist - artists in general don't comprehend how powerful things like RSS feeds and the YouTube, Onsmashes, worldstarhiphop's are to the game right now.

Publicity, specifically the dynamic of press kits are changing these days to include more online efforts. Many publicists are now starting to have web locations where they store an artists' photos, interesting tidbits or 'one sheet', and links to music.

Journalists don't like to hop all around the internet to get the basic info about your musical movement - make it easy on them to "discover" you.
 

Vice

9ine 2o 5ive Live
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 71
Shyyt, why not to use this when submitting beats too? I mean showing the process of making a "complete" demo-song to shop cannot hurt right?
I would do some heavy editing on the video though... That's an open invitation for beat jacking to me. If you sent a dope beat to lets say dre, or someone from 50's camp, it just makes it that much easier to pick apart and steal.
 

woohff

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
I would do some heavy editing on the video though... That's an open invitation for beat jacking to me. If you sent a dope beat to lets say dre, or someone from 50's camp, it just makes it that much easier to pick apart and steal.
Hmmm.... might be. But let's say like u trying to get some good management, let's say like Sha Money. I know I'd like to see how the kid be working, like does he have anything else to offer than just making beats. And why not let them jack that one beat that u have sent to bunch of labels and managers, who's the fool then?
 

Vice

9ine 2o 5ive Live
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 71
I guess it's good, if all you're going to aim that one track at is for promoting yourself....
 

God

Creator of the Universe
*** ill o.g. ***
Great advice for the up and coming mc. Hold a free party in a warehouse, invite as many heads as possible, and then tear that roof off, while recording the whole deal from the sound system. As long as you provide a decent amount of drink, and apply the simple bring a bottle rule, it should go well. Who would miss a free party?
Most people would love to be in a video shoot, I would think it wouldnt be too hard to pull off.
2good:

DO NOT bring drunk fucks to your live performance video shoot where you are simply showing your live performance to the camera. You need to sound as good as possible and have your act TIGHT. Many times, these "live" videos of performances recorded only for a small group (like a showcase) or NO onlookers. Just you guys and the camera -- because you will do A SHITLOAD of takes because one of you WILL screw up. Having a group of people there getting progressively drunker is NOT good. These videos take an entire day just to record. The "crowd" will get bored.

If you're doing a standard "MTV" like video, then what you said is on point. You need a large crowd for "social proof" in your video? Throw a party and record them, play your music in the background -- tell them to dance. That's how it's done.

Journalists don't like to hop all around the internet to get the basic info about your musical movement - make it easy on them to "discover" you.
Sha is on point. Look, many of you don't know this, but I can personally vouch for this:
JOURNALISTS ARE LAZY BASTARDS

You have to have EVERYTHING laid out so they can write their article or report in the quickest manner possible. EVERY piece of "supporting evidence" has to be laid out. You can even write a press release and THEY WILL REWORD it because they are so lazy. Why are they lazy?

They're entertainment reporters. They get into every cool venue and party because of their status. They maximize party time and minimize actual writing time.

HAND FEED THEM your image, your bio, your press pack, how you want to be viewed. Hand feed them controversy that makes the article interesting.

If you can make their article interesting with the facts you bring up, it is MORE LIKELY that the EDITOR will approve their article.

"Damn... you wrote a piece on an ex-African child soldier who now raps about World Peace and that he's killed more people than 50 Cent ever did? That's pretty good... we can get
some traction out of this."

That's how editors think. HAND FEED the journalists on how to sell yourself.

HAND FEED bloggers with your music, narratives and press packs.

HAND FEED your local newspaper the same.

You get the point. See, in the real world, that's why there are PR firms. They do all this shit-- you don't have to. As an unsigned act, YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING.
 

shadeed

Go Digital or Go Home
*** ill o.g. ***
2good:

Sha is on point. Look, many of you don't know this, but I can personally vouch for this:
JOURNALISTS ARE LAZY BASTARDS

You have to have EVERYTHING laid out so they can write their article or report in the quickest manner possible. EVERY piece of "supporting evidence" has to be laid out. You can even write a press release and THEY WILL REWORD it because they are so lazy. Why are they lazy?

They're entertainment reporters. They get into every cool venue and party because of their status. They maximize party time and minimize actual writing time.

HAND FEED THEM your image, your bio, your press pack, how you want to be viewed. Hand feed them controversy that makes the article interesting.

If you can make their article interesting with the facts you bring up, it is MORE LIKELY that the EDITOR will approve their article.

"Damn... you wrote a piece on an ex-African child soldier who now raps about World Peace and that he's killed more people than 50 Cent ever did? That's pretty good... we can get
some traction out of this."

That's how editors think. HAND FEED the journalists on how to sell yourself.

HAND FEED bloggers with your music, narratives and press packs.

HAND FEED your local newspaper the same.

You get the point. See, in the real world, that's why there are PR firms. They do all this shit-- you don't have to. As an unsigned act, YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING.

Illmuzik readers/members: G.O.D. is basically telling you the keys to the game with amazing clarity and detail. It amazes me that people only skim through these posts, then again, I've had one artist tell me he printed out a Blowing Up From the Basement article and referenced it in a meeting with his partners, which tells me somebody is reading (lol) .

Lemme add on to all this great information - below was a post I made sometime last month about a similar subject on a local hip-hop site: It basically adds on to the point/statement that G.O.D. is making ----
====================== ===============================

From where I stand, I believe its actually a LOT easier for artists to break through than any other time in history

It is now easier than ever for an unknown artist to reach writers and the "new" media people (bloggers)- because they are actual "people" that you can reach out and touch (and they actually might return emails), and most importantly charm/sway/captivate with whatever tools of persuasion are appropriate.

One thing that people don't realize (since blogging is rather new) is that most average music bloggers (with high traffic) only re-run news clippings and add their own flavor to it. You become "great" in the blogosphere when you begin to land exclusive interviews and start creating your own news.
If I'm an artist, the FIRST place I would turn to is a blogger, in many cases you might be their first exclusive interview.

The problem is: the majority of artists are sending an artist/DJ/hypeman/groupie to do a publicist's job.

If I'm getting sued, I'm not gonna send a short-order cook to represent me in court. and that's what a lot of artists are doing in today's market.

Another thing is that a lot of artists are talented but they don't deserve coverage because they make writing an article about you turn into a damn research project. Help me help you is what a lot of writers tend to think -

To take it further - I'll share with you two major big secrets/character traits that 99% of music writers that I've ever encountered, employed, loved or hated have possessed.

Writers' Big Secret #1 - The majority (not all) of Music Writers are typically aspiring, retired, or failed (bitter) musicians, so yes, we like to shine too. The way we shine is by telling your story in a way that nobody has done it, kinda like flipping a sample. To do this, we need your help. We like to have all the info about you, the artist, at our fingertips. Organized websites with links to myspaces and clearly written bios, and photos available are big helps to getting you coverage.

Writers' Big Secret #2 - We don't have to necessarily like/be fans of your music to cover it or review it - sometimes we respect that you are trying to do your thing, so we'll help you out.

If I told you the number of writers that don't actually listen to the CD while they review it - you'd be amazed, so nope finding writers who like your style of music is not really the best approach - If I were in your shoes, I would make sure my presentation is so airtight - that a writer who is not FEELING you, would RESPECT what you're doing enough to get your foot in the door...... It's all in the presentation.

Bonus: Secret #3 - We are not trendsetters, or researchers. In fact, all we want to do is get in the parties and events for free (we LOVE our press pass) and live the life we always wanted to live as artists. Chances are whatever we receive in terms of the bio and whatever you have on myspace is what will appear in the article.
Oh - don't write titangraphs on myspace, we don't have time to read all that stuff on our Blackberry screen, break it down and use bullets whenever possible, see ya at the next party!!
 

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