The Economy of Mixtapes: How Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Big K.R.I.T. Figured It Out
Link to full story via Billboard
Artists, you have to treat your mixtapes like albums. I highly recommend reading this article whose link I posted above ^. The days of putting out some freestyles and rapping over popular beats are not the standard anymore. Artists such as Drake and Wiz Khalifa are evidence of this as their respective mixtapes ‘So Far Gone’ and ‘Kush & OJ’ are arguably classic records despite the fact that they were not official albums. The name of the game is putting out as much free music for free promotion in order to build a loyal fan base. Don’t focus on your crossover appeal at all. Focus on your niche market. Build a stronghold that can’t be fucked with. Fans who simply are there for you. This takes time. You want shortcuts? You want to make it to the big time with the glitz n’ glamour ASAP? Well, at best, enjoy a 1-2 year career b/c that’s what you’ll be setting yourself up for.
We live in an era where music is disposable. As a fan, why should I pay you when you have NOT proven me you’re worth my money. You want my money, prove to me that you’re the shit; that you’re talented; make me feel some kind of emotion when I listen to you. Trust me, it’s a grueling process. Takes some years. You have to put in your 10,000 hours if you want to make it in this game. Wiz was working his tail off for mad years before he finally blew up. You do remember his hit single “Say Yeah” in 2008? Even that didn’t catapult him to superstardom. It was ‘Kush & OJ’ that really pushed him over the top. Machine Gun Kelly is yet another example of how churning out free music has helped build himself a legion of fans. Trust me, though, if you stick to this plan, fans will have your back. The money will then start trickling in as they buy tickets to your shows, merchandise, and even albums.