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THE DAY REPORT: Haters Everywhere We Go

wendyday

I started Rap Coalition

with my own money in 1992 because I got tired of hearing about my favorite

artists getting jerked by greedy labels, unsavory production companies, and

unknowledgeable managers.  I came to rap

as a fan—started listening to rap in Philadelphia in 1980. 

Many of you weren’t even born yet.

 

I didn’t get into the

industry to f**k rappers, or attend parties, or walk red carpets, or get free

CDs, or to get interviewed on BET…and therefore, almost 17 years later, I still

don’t do any of that shit.  That industry glamor s**t is fake to me.  I care about

the deals, the rappers, producers, and DJs getting paid, and enjoying the music

(I am still a fan).  And here’s the

important part: MY ACTIONS MATCH MY WORDS!! 

 

So those folks in this

industry who are here to:

·        

Solely

get a check (especially those with the bullshit seminars, conferences, showcases,

and award shows that are ripping folks off; or the labels and managers who are

barely more than just a business card), and/or to

·         Rub

elbows with rappers (I see the same muthaphukkas carrying a camera everywhere

wishing they worked for a real magazine, but where do those photos end up besides

on their bedroom wall or their Blog that no one reads?), and/or to

·        

Dis

folks actually building something and making things happen in this industry (yes,

some folks are an angry bi-polar waste of space that no one listens to, and to

explain that to them, one would actually have to see value in picking up a

phone and calling them—which they are not deserving of…you see, they are so

irrelevant that they don’t matter enough), and/or to

·        

F**k

rappers (men and women)

Won’t last very long.  I’ve watched many folks come and go over the

years and most are just a tiny blip on the radar screen of this industry.  Some of these losers are even a joke for

those in the industry with a real career and a track record of success (“let’s

see what this idiot does next since she can’t get clients, and totally fucked

up her bullshit award show destroying a bunch of brands along the way”).  Yes, I’ve really heard people talk that way

behind their backs, and some folks even have conference calls to discuss

destroying and blackballing the real idiots in this industry. 

 

While I have always taken

the road of letting karma deal with the idiots who are useless in the industry,

my powerful counterparts take aggressive action to throw blocks their way.  For some people, the only noise they can

attempt to make in this industry is by calling out someone who matters, or

sending an angry email blast, or sneak dissing them in a blog or an e-newsletter.  Fortunately, most of these wanna-bes would

actually have to be enough of a force to be reckoned with for folks to read

their angry rants, and they are not.  Of

course, they could always land a column at AllHipHop and take shots….but they’d

have to have something tangible to offer, or some real track record of success,

to actually do that. 

 

These folks who dis, rant,

and complain publicly about others are commonly referred to as HATERS.  The one quality they seem to have in common

is that they are irrelevant, trying to gain some relevance, not through

success, but through attacking folks publicly who are good at what they do and

who do have something to offer the industry. 

Personally, my haters have another quality in common–they are mentally

unstable, and it very quickly shows itself when I try to confront them.  Additionally, most of them are female.

 

I’m hated by many of the

folks who are bad at their jobs because I actually talk about it and name names—usually

in private, one on one.  I am very vocal

about the wack contracts I break for artists for free, and have no trouble

shielding others from going down the same painful road.  But every now and again I will use a column

to grind an ax about someone’s ineptitude, or stupidity– usually when I hear

many people complaining about the same detractors.  I am very careful to be honest and back up

everything with fact, lest I be a hater myself.

 

I may clown someone on

stage at their own event when I get the mic…but everything I say will be true–

whether they want to hear it or not is something totally different.  If you suck at what you do, be prepared to be

told instead of making that come up that you figured you would.  Those who are looking to hit a quick lick in

this industry instead of putting in time and hard work are treated as such.

 

With all the backstabbing,

the hating, the bad deals, the ripping folks off, the black versus white

bullshit (I love you Nutt!), and the unqualified idiots trying to get a quick

check (UPS is hiring!)…it comes down to one thing: Most of us who are making a

REAL difference in this industry are here because we love the music.  What really matters most isn’t what anyone

thinks or says, but the rappers, the producers, and the DJs, who ARE truly the

backbone of this industry.  Sadly, they

are usually the last ones to get paid, but the ones who are most deserving of

payment.

 

Maybe those in the

spotlight get tired of the same “hater” bullshit that the rest of us do.  And they must get it 100 times harder,

because they ARE in the spotlight.  I am

just a tiny blip in their worlds, standing way behind them.  I can’t imagine how much it must suck to be

in the spotlight and constantly in the line of fire, just because they want to

rhyme.  B.O.B. sure was right, there are

haters everywhere, while T.I. and Maino are embracing theirs and using that

power to move forward and excel….”Hi Hater!” 

But how sad that haterism

(don’t hate because I made up a word) is so pervasive that they actually had to

devote songs to the subject.

 

I wanted to write an

article about “How To Deal With The Haters,” because it seems like there is so

much of it going on these days.  Part of

me didn’t want to give any attention to the haters, because none of them really

have any success, and as I made a list and spoke to the folks in this industry

who matter, I realized NONE of the main Haters were even a viable asset to this

industry.  So rather than give them

anymore light (lest they keep it up to get attention), I will write about

something really helpful to rappers (who actually matter in this

industry).  Let me wrap up my hater rant,

however, by saying that if someone hates on you, punch them in the mother

fucking mouth.  Then maybe haters will

think twice about saying some bullshit to get attention (since they obviously can’t

get it by being good at what they do)…

 

Rapping is a job, if you

want to actually make music for a living. 

I know that’s kind of obvious, but some artists really need to

understand this concept.  If you want to

quit your day job, and make enough money as a rapper to survive (and maybe take

care of a family), your music will need to have value to a consumer who is

willing to buy your songs or CDs.

 

The way you get them to

buy your music is to build awareness through promotions (on the streets, at

shows, and on the internet).  The goal is

to build a word of mouth buzz about you, and either you can do this yourself or

sign to a record label who will do it along with you.  But the key here is that no one will do it

FOR you.  They may finance it (but more

often they do not), but they won’t work harder than you do.

 

So, here is your job

description as a rapper:

 

You must make music that

you believe in, that others will purchase. 

You must build a movement around yourself.  You need to give fans a reason to attract to

you (your image, your subject matter, your “swag,” whatever).  And it must be believable and relevant.  You must believe in yourself and have some

degree of talent.  If your lyrical skills

are lacking, you need to make up for that in other ways.

 

You need to find the best

beats and music to rap over.  If you suck

at picking beats, get someone on your team that excels at that.  Tupac used to openly admit that he wasn’t the

best at picking beats, but towards the end of his career he had folks on deck

to help him choose some real bangers! 

You need to talk about subjects that your fans (your niche market) will

find interesting and topical.  If your

fans are intelligent college students, talking only about street shit will

limit your market and sales severely. 

And vice versa.  Fans of the real

gutter street shit don’t want to hear raps about the Pythagorean Theorem.

 

You have to find a way to

support yourself until the royalty checks and show money start to come in (if

you don’t sell 350,000 or more CDs and you are signed to a Major label, forget

about the royalty checks—they ain’t coming). 

If you are signed to an indie label, there is NOT enough money to

support you and promote you, so get a job and opt for the budget to be spent on

promotions.  If you are entrepreneurial

at all (and be real with yourself when you decide this one), find an investor

rather than signing to a label.  Control

and ownership is a wonderful thing when it impacts YOUR career.

 

Work really hard.  We all hear that word “grind” as frequently

as we hear “haters” these days.  Grind

means to work harder than anyone else, and then when you feel you can’t

possibly do one more thing, do one more thing. 

Work the streets: hang posters, blitz flyers in places where no one else

is, work industry events networking, befriend DJs and radio personalities in

markets working outwards from your hometown, go to every event and be visible,

meet and talk to everyone, and get up the next day and do it all over

again.  Work the internet by appearing in

chat rooms and on the social networking sites (there are MANY of them now, and

they all matter when you are building a career).

 

As a rapper, it is your

job to make the music and make your career happen, whether you can afford to or

not.  No one will ever work as hard for

your career as you will.  But as you

start getting that all important buzz, others will flock to you.  And then it becomes your job to choose the

right people to be part of your team. 

You are only as strong as the weakest person on your team.  The bottom feeders come first (because they

are the ones with the spare time to look for new talent to rape) so be very

careful.  Find legitimate, well

connected, respected, experienced people to add to your team.  If not, your career will be over before it

starts.  And keep building your fan base,

one potential consumer at a time.

 

And when the haters come,

and they will, just know that for some reason it’s part of the territory in

urban music.  As long as people are

insecure and weak minded (haters), they will always try to pull down the next

person instead of building up themselves. 

Sometimes, it’s all they CAN do because they suck at what they are

trying to accomplish.  If you focus on

them, or the anger or the hate, it will bring more of the same into your world

due to the laws of attraction.  If you

ignore them and keep it moving, you will frustrate the haters by not giving

them what they want (which is for you to be as unhappy as they are, and to call

public attention to them so they can use your fame to try and get a voice).  Just know that the more successful you get,

the less you will have to deal with the haters—fortunately, they can’t reach

very high up the ladder…

 

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