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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by letterlbeats

Hello Hip Hop.

Young General, Mikkey Halsted, Twone Gabz & Lee England Jr. NEW Chicago anthem “White Sox Fitted” droppin Oct. 1st!

My blog today is for my fellow producers. This is an excerpt from a post on which was taken from the Dynamic Producer website. I thought it to be pertinent, relevant, yet sobering information from a very reliable source:

This was posted in the Dynamic Producer forum by JaayPeso who’s one of the heads of the site, after people were complaining about “not getting their money’s worth”. This is a good read for DP or PMP subscribers as well as anyone looking to get major placements. This is what your up against. It goes a lot deeper than just getting your music heard.


The placement chase is an vicious numbers game. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this exact post before like a year ago, but I’ll revisit it again here. A lot of you already know most of this, but here’s a quick crash course for anyone who doesn’t.

Basically, its an ugly numbers game from jump street. First off, there is a drastic decline in the total number of albums that labels are releasing period. Which means less placement opportunities overall for producers in general. Adding to that, label budgets are down, so there is less money to expend on projects, and obviously producers without strong resume’s are going to feel that directly because the production advances will be lower. People are constantly getting laid off, and budgets are smaller, so people are willing to take less risks. Album sales are down so pub checks are smaller, etc. Now that alone, makes for a tougher environment to get placements, but that’s just the beginning.

If an artist drops an album (lets say the album has 14 slots). 75%-100% on most albums of those slots are going to go to name producers or the producers that have a strong long term relationship with the artist. If 100% aren’t taken up by that category, that last quarter of the album is likely to be taken up by producers that have a relationship with the A&R of the project (i.e. the A&R manages them, or likes their work), or a producer who has a relationship with somebody in that camp (be it a songwriter, manager, DJ, etc.). Most albums are gonna be completely filled with producers in the those 2 categories.

But there is slight hope, for the producer with minimal or no credits. Some of these same avenues (artist-direct, A&R, manager, DJ, songwriter) are available to producers with no credits if you get the right beat to the right person at the right time (which is a bit of a crap shoot in itself). You lessen your odds considerable if you just randomly submit whatever beat to an email. Because if you don’t know the direction of the album, or what stage the album is in, you may be submitting music that doesn’t at all fit what they’re looking for. The better the relationship you have with the contact the more they will be willing to give you details of the project.

So, say you know what they are looking for and you have THE record (doesn’t everybody) and you have a solid contact to the artist…..AND all the gatekeepers AND the artist all like the record. Now the artist 2 tracks to your song to see how it feels the feel of the album. Now your song is amongst a group of at least 30 or 40 plus records that have been recorded for the album. And you have to make it into the top 13-17. Your competition has name, track record, relationships, etc. which give them an edge. Pharrell, for example, has filled many an album in the last few years with average records…..but when he has the hook, and the incredible track record, and the in-studio charisma to sell it…..(plus the amount that was paid for it)….he’s gonna be on the album.

Now say, after making the right record, and getting it to the right artist at the right time, and the 2 track comes out dope enough to get in the preliminary track listing for the album. Now you have to hope the artist doesn’t get pushed back, or go to jail (TI/Wayne), have a PR disaster (Chris Brown) or change the direction of the album… which could lead to your track getting scrapped.

In addition to that, your phenomenal track needs to not get leaked prematurely which could jeopardize your spot on the album (not always, but sometimes). You also have to hope that if you don’t make the cut on the album that your artist doesn’t decide to throw your song on their pre-album mixtape and ruin any shot you had of selling the record in the future.

And after you have manage to dodge all these potential pitfalls, you now have 1 placement that will get you a few thousand on the advance, and if it isn’t a huge single isn’t gonna necessarily lead to your phone blowing off the hook. So now what… get to play the crap shoot all over again.

This is why having great relationships with the artist ideally (or at least some gatekeepers that are high in the food chain (manager,DJ, songwriter, engineers, and certain A&R’s…definitely not all) can limit some of the bs. you’ll be able to stay in the loop on what they are looking for, and also get tracks closer to the artists ear. Know as much as you can about who found the beats on the last album the artist released because that’s who you need to connect with to have a good shot at getting placed on the next album. Some people are just titleholder A&R’s and even if you get them your music, the artist may not even go to them for music.

Another way to increase your odds is have your music coming from all directions. If you can’t get it straight to the artist….Have it going to the A&R…..send it to the engineer, the manager, the DJ. Send it through someone who has better relationships than you do and work yourself to raise the odds that the artist actually hears it.

And lastly, have good music. Because a TON of people, the direction won’t fit the artist….the song structure isn’t good…..mix is mediocre, or something of that nature. Then, even if you do all have to actual take it in a creative direction that the artist is vibing with.

In the midst of that, you have snakes in the grass who steal beats, mixtape your music, steal ideas, don’t give credit, bully up and coming producers out of publishing, and lie to producers as they deem necessary.

I always say, DP is just one avenue. We go hard to establish and continue relationships all over the industry but even with DP subs, but you not only have to have good enough music to send to the artist or contact… have to be better than DP’s best, and be better than the other hundred of producers getting music to that same contact/artist as us. Then you have to beat out the producers you look up to in some instances to make an albums and all the other hungry cats grinding.

Outside of DP, you have to explore ALL avenues and grind on your own as well to make things happen. Just relying on ANY one method is not a good way to hustle. So make incredible well-mixed musical masterpieces and be ready to go after placements from a ton of angles to try to get your music heard. Then you will actual give yourself a legit shot at a placement. Until then……you’re fooling yourself.

Don’t do this for the money kids (cause this isn’t 2001 with those label budgets…its definitely 2010). The ratio of placement money to hours spent working on music, mixing, grinding to get the music out there, making sounds, buying equipment, attending conferences, etc. isn’t close to what the average good job pays you in 2010 (starting to sound like your wife or parents huh). And be aware of what your up against so that you can properly plan how to give yourself even a realistic shot of making these albums. By the way, don’t sign anything without having a lawyer look at it, be sure to DO YOUR SPLIT SHEETS or your pub could magically disappear. So on, and so forth. Cause you don’t wanna get through the placement jungle and then get a punk ass few G’s advance on a big single because you didn’t have a split sheet, or solid representation to ensure the back end.

Got some good stories, but anybody who’s still reading at this point is probably tired w/a migraine from my rambling. Maybe another time. Peace fam…..keep buildin and grindin.

– JaayPeso of