Indie musicians trying to make it in hip-hop face an uphill battle. It’s a huge genre, and arguably over-saturated, so standing out is difficult. But, we have a few tips for those who feel the call of the beat!
Getting Ahead In Hip-Hop Today
1 – Keep spreading those mixtapes.
Seriously, a mixtape is still one of the best ways to get noticed, even if you’re not actually using tape any more. Having a mix fall into the hands of a producer is still possible in hip-hop, and the ranks of current hot artists are filled with those who first got noticed through a tape.
2 – Talk to terrestrial radio stations.
In the rush to put your materials online, don’t forget about terrestrial media! If there are still radio stations in your area doing their own programming, try to make some contacts with their DJs or program directors. A local radio hit is very often a stepping stone to a wider notice.
3 – Be Local and Personal
Hip-hop allows more opportunity for personal exploration of what life is like in a particular city. Entire “sounds” like Atlanta or Miami have started with a few artists telling stories about their lives there. The personal/local touch can go a long way here.
4 – Make friends.
Arguably, the most important word for getting noticed in music these days is “feat.” Get on good terms with other artists in your area, and always be ready for a collaboration… even if it’s unpaid.
Plus, of course, there’s no telling which indie musicians might “make it big” first. If the spinning wheel of fortune lands on one of your friends before you, they could become your own path to the big leagues. Look to tour with other artists, and don’t turn down opportunities to be an opening act if they come.
5 – Diversify your sound.
Arguably the biggest problem among indie musicians in hip-hop is how generic so many of their tapes are. However you do it, add some spice to your sound that distinguishes it from all the others.
What’s your favorite story of low-budget hip-hop success?