If you are anything like me, which is an obsessive compulsive hustler that would rather sort through 500 business cards and procrastinate until the last day of a release to get anything done, I have prepared a little checklist for you to get ready to push your release, whether it be a video or a single or something else. Don’t worry: its gonna be okay.
1. Get a white board for your room and USE IT.
My entire life revolves around what I put on the white board. I pay parking tickets, call up my parents, record raps, promote online, all because the white board tells me to do it. It won’t do the work for you - but it will keep you on task. You can easily get one of these at a office depot and hang it up in your room.
It’ll say things like prepare artwork to send, upload zip, or drink coffee BEFORE 10 am.
Have all the important people, places and events written on there so you don’t dilly dally.
2. Make sure your people are paid
Don’t pay people to do nothing, but if you want the goodness you’ve got to pay for it. If you don’t care about quality and you’re okay with the stuff with seeds in it, you’ll get what you pay for. Any one who will competently put together blasts and handle follow ups while you handle more important phone calls deserves to get paid. I’ve used Diamond Media since 2009, and there are also amazing operations like Audible Treats, and there are also the big dogs like BIZ 3 , Terror Bird and Life or Death PR. The most important thing you will ever ask someone for is their TIME. Time stands for Things I Must Earn. How much are you willing to pay?
Most importantly - get yourself an assistant or assistants. Pay them on time too. Without all that, you are just asking people for favor after favor after favor, and we have all interned like 10 years ago and hated it then, so why are we doing favors for you now?
3. Give lead time, if you want real time
If you decide to release a project out in to the atmosphere and you are say… ASAP Rocky, XXL and Fader will probably pick it up immediately. But since you are probably not a younger black kid with grills in his mouth rapping about Purple stuff from the Sunny D commercials, you should give yourself lead time for contacting people about the album you have. It’ll take time to review, and if it is done properly, it will get reviewed. But, if you don’t provide the lead time, by the time someone gets around to reviewing it - your album could be stale news. We live in the internet age - and something released 3 weeks ago isn’t as relevant as something being released in 3 weeks. I recorded an LP with C Rayz Walz in 2007 and in 2008 we got it in SPIN Magazine. It was sent in and it needed 4 months of PR time. I’m not saying you need that much, but don’t release a free project the day of and expect someone to get back to you immediately. Since we are talking about the week before, I suggest you have 10 key people supporting your project written on your White Board.
4. A little extra is always better
This is why a little extra is better….
A little extra sleep, equals more energy the next day.
A little extra time, equals more for your project. 6 hours becomes 8 hours.
A little extra cash, equals more for your project. You thought it was $600 but now you’ve got $1000. Whats the difference? $400 to help out your career. You won’t die without the loot - it may take you to the next level. Plus - you are providing more jobs in the economy.
A little extra help, equals more productivity for your project. Friends, Family, interns, favors, assistants, publicists, drivers, store clerks, cashiers, etc…send us some support.
A little extra dinner, equals happier people, who are more willing to help your project. Mmmm..that tastes good…lets do business!
A little extra smile, equals more pleasant thoughts amongst peers. Your smile is golden. Did you ever wear braces?!?! No way me too!
A little extra enthusiasm, equals more positive attitude (and maybe some extra effort too). Telling your helpers “I really appreciate everything you do -” really helps out. Being a self-centered artist is natural, so work at being appreciative because you can’t do it ALL BY YOURSELF.
A little extra effort, equals more success for everyone. Keep up the good work guys! We are gonna make it!
A little extra merchandise, equals more giveaways and gifts. Why Thank you for the sweatpants kosher! Thank you for the shirt! The Cd! I know this is so kind of you!
5. Work Out
You might wonder what this has to do with your release? It has everything to do with it! Chances are you are going to be up all hours on your ground and lacking in your personal health and fitness just because the grind during a release is literally 24/7. You are thinking so much about who’s gonna do this and that and what needs to happen, you might as well lift your ass off or shoot takedowns on a wrestling mat and put your phone down for one or two hours. You’ll return to your phone as a sweaty mess and check all the amazing emails and google alerts.
I truly believe this is G-D saying take care of yourself. Either that, or you new strength Doesn’t really matter. Just work out!
6. Record creative Youtube video and promote the hell out of it
It’s exciting to know that people are excited. Did you ever see a picture of someone at a wedding that was sad?? If that happened everyone else would be sad too. If I record some videos of me jumping on cars saying my album is coming out next week and post it on twitter, that might go viral more than saying….yeah..the album is coming out next week. People will be pumped and maybe even jump on other cars to help you. If I record some homies going craybans over my latest track, you might get cray when you hear it too. Once these intricate videos are up and popular, have the link of the album/project in the video and people are more likely inclined to get down with you after your creative mind has been entertaining them.
7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
I know you didn’t get the response from the big dogs about the video premier on CMJ or the album stream on SPIN or the radio interview on BBC…but you got the links on audible hype and imsodecent.com and myblogisunknown.com Your ego might not be brushed from FADER and PItchfork but who gives a fuck really. You make music to make music for you, not for a blog.
If people don’t pick it up, but you will get it to tons of emails, clickers, smaller places and find other ways to get it out. No one basket ever birthed an entire class of world dominating chickens. I don’t think that analogy worked but you catch my drift.
7b. In closing
People are people and if your music is dope they’ll mess with it. If you keep hustling they’ll hear it. They’ll eventually have to listen. And they will. The people who didn’t mess with me 5 years ago are finally listening. It just took them longer to convince. Now that we have convinced them, make sure you keep them hooked. Don’t abandon what got you to where you are, but don’t rest on your laurels either. Reinvent, recommit and prepare like a professional so you don’t email out of frustration and panic at the last minute.
Ok its really 8 things to do…
8. Go out and enjoy yourself
Remember you should go out and enjoy yourself. My project was just released yesterday and I went to see my friends Shinobi Ninja last night. I also went and kicked it with Mickey avalon and met up with DJ Skane and got home at 4 am. Wrote this article and its 5 am. Then Im gonna get up and do it all over again - I’ve only got 2 weeks to promote my headlining show at Webster Hall in NYC on Thursday May 24th. I got to get flyers printed (because my white board is telling me to), I’ve got to pay my assistants to make sure that they activate my people, ask for a few favors, hit the gym and bust out some creative viral promo. Time is wasting - so I got to close this!