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  • Tell someone if they are wack, instead of telling them to pay for sample clearance and copyrights.

    I am a bit tired of everyone, especially the academic types who like to speak on panels, needing to hear themselves say technically correct things in front of their department heads and other esteemed guests. Stop telling all these young artists trying to come up the same thing like, "You need to get your business plans set, and have your house in order." No they don't, not yet anyway. Find out who they are first, and if they have skills. Trust me- you can't assume they do. That's like telling someone in elementary school, who is thinking about going to law school someday that you really need to work on your suit game now because lawyers have to look officially ready for business. Stop lying; tell them to first be a good student. This is the swag era where everyone believes they are the next big thing, so stop feeding into it and telling them to get their paperwork game up - that only leads them on.

    Kids who fail math every year that want to be rocket scientists need to be told to work on their times tables, not to make sure their multivariate calc skills are where they should be. So please panel folks and conference trolls, tell them if they are helplessly devoted to the wrong craft instead of all the text book mumbo jumbo. All the business planning, and accountants you have on staff, lawyers you have checked with and retained, sample clearance you have gotten, assistant managers, personal managers, agents, business managers, publishing info, and press kits you have amassed won't help either. Nor will the "paid for hits" twitter and youtube pages, social media presence, or soundcloud audio won't do you any good if you are awful. So panel people, stop making yourself feel good by just telling them the default crap about "business" and be honest and tell them the truth. All the business skills in the world won't help them, unless they decide to come up off that side of the mic or camera that they are on and use those skills to BE part of the business side - not the ARTIST side. Not now, not yet, maybe never as an artist - it is OK to tell them and not go all Simon Cowell when you do.

    But if you must be extra nice nice, just tell these artists you have never really heard (because your ears are most definitely not to the street) to go in the booth and record something over someone else's music (yeah I said it). Better yet, why not ask them to flow for you live? If they have skills then you can read them the riot act you learned from Donald Passman books or through countless blogs and sites about how artists get jerked when they don't have their i's dotted. If they are dope however, the business folks will likely start to find them and they will soon know they need to get their house in order. If that is the case then the biggest thing they need is ONE PERSON who they really can trust - yes a hard thing to find. But finding the person they can trust is probably a lot easier than figuring out all the other crazy stuff from music industry 101. But please if you haven't even heard these folks rhyme/sing or whatever...don't tell them to pay sample clearance for anything; why would they want to when their music won't get played anywhere? 

    So young artists who aren't sure if you are ready...again, don't pay anyone for anything but the engineer to record you professionally so that others can hear what you’re doing and evaluate it (and not have to blame the performance on poor production or mics). If your wack (which you likely don't know yet), or if your just below average at best, don't pay a penny to sample clear anything, to copyright anything, to publish anything, because it NEVER will be played anywhere that matters 999999 out of 999999 times. Sure I know once in a while someone gets huge dancing around like a horse or whatnot via Youtube, but that business plan is about as logical as sending out people to buy scratch tickets to get rich quickly.

    I wrote this in like 9 minutes, sorry for any horridly written stuff, but you get my point I hope.