Justin Boland, aka Humpasaur Jones and the co-founder of World Around Records, recently shared his take on being a rapper while running a label. Boland tends to have a unique perspective on the rap game seeing it both from within and at a distance. His approach results in a view that mixes practicality with harsh reality while finding surprising bright spots along the way. I pulled a few tips for hip hop artists or anyone else working in a crowded, difficult market.
Patrick McNease, aka Praverb, interviewed Justin Boland who is co-founder of World Around Records. Boland is now playing the older, wiser and more patient card as both an artist and label owner resulting in some solid advice.
3 Tips For Musicians Struggling In A Difficult, Crowded Marketplace
"You always have more assets and options than you think."
"Always. Even though hip hop is a cut-throat, all-out war for dwindling resources, that doesn't change the fact that your most dangerous and important opponent is your own mind, every step of the way. Frustration will kill your project before you can even get started. Pessimists always prove their case; it's easy to fail when you don't do anything to succeed."
"The most poisonous lie we tell ourselves...is 'I've done everything I can.'
"In my own experience, this has never been remotely close to true. Master P started a successful record label from the trunk of his car while he was holding down a job, going to school, and trying to start a basketball career. I try to keep that in mind when I start feeling sorry for myself."
Have A Unique Selling Point
"In the nightmare factory that is marketing, one of the few useful concepts is the Unique Selling Point...the details that make you stand out. Strangely, a majority of the emails we get from artists take the opposite approach: they will laundry list the artists they sound like. 2 Chainz has the 2 Chainz market cornered. Grieves is already reaching the audience that wants Grieves."