I originally did this post a while back after an increasing frustration with aspiring artist basically spamming my inbox with a bunch of incoherent bullshit. No shots but some people need other people (people that know what they're doing) running their promotion. This is one of my favorite posts and as we churn through the first month of a new year and new decade, I figured it deserved a repost. I also reposted mostly because the same bullshit is finding itself into my inbox again without following these guidelines. Aspiring artist, take notice.
Dear Rappers (and other artists too),
So, you want to be featured on someone's blog? That's cool. I know I can speak for others who have opened their inboxes and websites to your music ... you need a bit of guidance before hitting send.
Are the tips below the end all, be all to sending an email? Probably not. But you know what, it's a great start and some of you NEED this type of start because the emails you're sending out right now are hurting your chances of being heard and featured (well, at least at The Mad Bloggers). You want to be taken a bit more seriously and have a chance of being heard and featured? Here are a few things to keep it mind:
1) Be humble - No one and I mean NO ONE wants to receive an email with, "Dis dat shit you been waiting for right here" or "Da realest and most anticipated n*gga in music" or "Da best shit you'll hear dis year" (especially if you're writing the email and it's your music). Why? Well, first of all, that shit is lame. Secondly, you've set one hell of an expectation for your music. I mean, how do you know what I've been waiting for and are you kidding by saying this is "da best shit I'll hear this year"? What happens when you say that, we'll listen to 3.5 seconds of your track and if it doesn't hit, we delete. Be confident but remember humility will take you much further. Let the listener decide if you are "the most anticipated" in music. Otherwise, you just look like a douchebag.
2) Mailing List - Rapper meet BCC, BCC meet Rapper. Yeah, I DONT want to see the 10,000 other emails addresses that you are sending this email to *scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, still scrolling* oh, there's the music. Listen, do one of two things, BCC (blind carbon copy for those just joining us from the back of the room) or set up a mailing list with those email addresses. Both are pretty basic and simple. Please note, because my email address is on my website doesn't mean I want to broadcast it in a mass email through you, nor do I want to scroll for 45 minutes to get to the body of the email. It looks messy, so just don't do that.
3) Short and Sweet - Keep it simple, ya dig? I don't need to read five paragraphs in the body of the email about who are and what you bring to the game. If a blogger wants to know more, we'll reach out to you or read the "about me section" on your website (oh, you better have an online presence). I'll be honest, if it's more than a paragraph most of us aren't reading it (truth be told, most of us aren't even reading the paragraph). Honestly, we just want to hear the music. So, make it simple -- "I'm blah blah blah out of blankedy blank and I'd appreciate if you give my music a listen. Find tracks attached and a link to my site. Peace" (NOTE: Artists, feel free to copy/paste). It's simple, all you need is : Brief intro, photograph and playable attached music (NOTE: We don't want HUGE audio files either. If you can't figure this out, send a link to a download). BOOM, simplicity!
4) Don't abbrv. - Yeah, no need to abbreviate champ, okay? This isn't a text message or a tweet. PLEASE SPELL IT OUT. "U gon luv it" --- actually, I'm going to delete it. Don't assume that because you are submitting your music to a hip-hop or urban website, that there isn't an educated person on the other end of the computer who is mumbling, "this n*gga saving characters for what?" I know it's a recession but the other two letters in "you" don't need to be left out for "u" because they don't cost a dime (Sidebar: It's not at all creative to make up new spellings of words either, i.e. dis, waz, dat; so cut that out too).
5) Online Presence - You need to have a myspace (not just a myspace tho), bandcamp, reverbnation or your own website or something. Send the links and make sure they actually work. It's 2010 and you're trying to push music without an online presence? I hope you're kidding. You need to have something, so I hope you do. It's also pretty cheap to set up a domain, so why not invest. I mean, you are serious about your music right? Make it look like it.
6) Get Your Files Right - Remember in tip 3 when I mentioned "playable attached music"? Yeah, well you also need to learn how to tag your music the right way or don't send that shit out. FOR REAL! Nothing more annoying that downloading an album, importing to iTunes and going on a scavenger hunt to find the album and realizing that it's somewhere hiding as "track 01" with no artist name or album name for that matter. Why the eff is your track being so mysterious for? I don't work for you, so why am I formating your music to fit into my iTunes. Why am I guessing the name of your tracks? Step your tech savvy game up. It's not that hard. If you think it is, go back to burning cds and good luck sharing.
7) The Remix to the Remix - As an example, Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" is a good track. Do I need to hear the fifty-leven remixes of it? Absolutely not. It's cool you made your own and I'm happy for you and all but sending it to me with, "Jay's was straight but this one really hits" is just a foolish set up. Not to say you can't rhyme or your version isn't better, originality goes a whole lot further. We get a lot of these emails all day long, stand out by being different. It' just a suggestion.
I'm not trying to be an asshole, I'm just trying to help. We get a lot of emails each day and it's frustrating to sift through bullshit. You can read these tips and say, "dat n*gga is a hater" (don't even get me started on this statement). If you feel that way, fine by me. Or you can read and say, "oh, thanks, I appreciate it." I'm just saying.
Good luck with your music.
-Q of the Mad Bloggers
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