Monday, July 20, 2015



  Some of my favorite Hip Hop songs of all time are actually not by one single artist. I’m a huge fan of collaborations and features on songs. As much as I can like any one artist, I’m almost always guaranteed to like the collaboration an artist did with another artist I also like far more than their stand-alone single. That single will make them famous, but when they drop that dope remix featuring one or two more hot MCs it almost always turns out better. In Hip Hop the collaboration is often the key to success.

  I could name example after example of this from past to present, but then naming individual songs like that, I’m bound to leave out some. Then I’ll get all kinds of “how you forget that or this” comments. So instead of naming songs I will focus this blog on why collaborations are so important, especially to INDIE artists. There really is no value to put on what could happen when you work with another artist and make a great song. It could literally be the game changer that propels you to stardom, if that’s what you seek.

  Consider first the glaringly obvious reason that all indie artist should collaborate with other artist as much as possible: growing your fan base. It’s so simple yet so effective that for the life of me I can’t see why this isn’t a goal of every person that makes music. But then again, when I thought about why I don’t see much of it in the underground, the answer to that was obvious: EGOS. The same egos that make artists who don’t have a fan base think they are doing ME a favor by letting ME interview THEM on my platform for FREE. That is why we don’t do many interviews on our platform.

  The collaboration is probably the cheapest and easiest way an artist can literally double their fan base with one song. To put it plainly, if you do a really dope collaboration with another artist, common sense tells you that their fan base can easily become a part of yours. How many times in Hip Hop have we seen this happen? I wonder how many new Texas fans Jay-Z got from “Big Pimpin” with UGK? Sure he was already known, but UGK in Texas, well that’s like Jay-Z in New York. In turn, how many people in New York all of the sudden realized UGK was dope from that same song?

  That example is on a HUGE scale but the effects are the same at every level. People from each region, each city all the way down to each hood already have their picks of who is the shit. It just seems so much easier to work with who they think is the shit already, as opposed to trying to convince them that YOU are better then who they already like. Unless you really have some sort of personal beef with another artist, it would behoove you as an indie to try and find out who is hot where and try to hit the studio with them. But a lot of Indie artist won’t do this. Because they probably on that “my clique is all I need” train of thought. Good luck to you and you’re probably wack ass clique.

  Bottom line, unless you and your “crew” is on some Wu-Tang shit, (and when was the last time that happened since the Wu-Tang) you need to collaborate with other “crews” and artist. I didn’t tell you to go hang out with them and pop bottles with them in the club. Problem with a lot of you so called artists is that you take “keeping it street” too damn far and it hinders your business. Working with another artist to grow your fan base has nothing to do with if you like that side of town, or if you used to trap with them back when you had dope boy ambitions. Truth is, you don’t even have to like their style of music that much for a collaboration to work. The good thing about collaborating is having those different styles on one song. Those are the hardest to pull off, but when they are put together right, it can be a game changer.

  At this point in the blog I’m really glad I didn’t get all off into naming dope collaborative efforts like the Red & Meth project or “Money Aint A Thang”, “Roza Parks”, “Scenario”, “Two Of Amerikas Most Wanted”, “I DO” and so on. I would have been here all damn day! I just wanted to reiterate how IMPORTANT it is for all artists to collaborate with other artist. I can’t even begin to fathom the list of Hip Hop and R&B artist collaborations that changed the careers of so many. That list itself would probably trump the rap collaborations list now that I think about it. Hooking up with a dope R&B artist is beyond important for both parties on every level, just multiply everything I’ve said so far times one hundred on that note.

  So, hopefully after you read this blog some of you Indies will stop acting like you a damn star already and reach out to another artist you clearly see is dope, has a movement, and is willing to work with you. This blog is already long, but a few rules of the road to consider when reaching out to another artist:

1) If neither of you are getting paid shows, shut the f**k up about getting paid to collaborate!

2) Whoever reaches out needs to provide the facility and time to record the song!

3) Both parties need to feel comfortable on the track, so picking a good track is key, it may not be ya homeboy who does all your beats, you may have to actually spend money on a track for once!

4) Handle your business, make sure all publishing and mechanical situations are discussed and paperwork is signed off top. Make sure it’s clear who owns what on the work.

5) If it’s your song, you are technically the main one who should have the promotional budget in place, but hopefully if its hot the other party involved will and should give it a push too, that’s kind of the point right?

  OK so I’m off this one, now go hit like on that song that other guy did that you know is hot that a lot of people already like. Go re-tweet that one joint by that one artists you can see making a song together with. Show them a little support, contact them and then try to make their fans, your fans too!

-BLIZM (Program Director, K-100 Radio)

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