Killer Mike’s Guide to the Grind
So you want to get into the game? Quit while you ahead and go to college! That’s the advice I’d give to anybody starting out right now, get a degree in contract law and go ahead on the business side. But, if you’re stubborn like me, and determined to fulfill your artistic vision, you need to condition yourself to start an independent grind.
Step 1: Set Up Shop
Set up an LLC and sign yourself to your company.
Step 2: Build a Studio
Figure out the cheapest way to build a studio, I’d suggest a mac, pro tools and reason or logic. I’d invest in a good mic. You also need to get one of the homeys or get yourself the proper training to know how to record. If you can’t do these things professionaly, you gotta intern somewhere and find somebody to teach you.
Step 3: Step into the Arena
Get to the business of making music! Figure out how to brand your music, Dip Set got “Dip Set Bird Gang,” G-Unit got “G-G-G-Unit,” Grind Time is “Grind time rap gang, bang bang bang,” Figure out who you want to be and start building that.
Step 4: Connect with Your Audience
I don’t like to say the word buzz, a buzz is something can be gone. I’m really talking about building a relationship with your audience. That’s what Jay Z did. That’s a little different than a buzz. A buzz involves radio payoffs and writer favors. Soulja Boy had a relationship with his audience. The people that bought his record felt like they were supporting someone they knew, so they bought it.
You need to build your brand visually using a viral campaign, through Myspace and Facebook, but it’s all for naught if people don’t connect with you. People are only gonna connect through musical energy. That part has to come from you.
Step 5: Promoting Your Music
Contingent on the type of music you can do there’s a lot of ways to market yourself. If you’re doing snap music you need a high school dance type thing. If you’re doing what I do, you’re pushing at the blue collar working class brother, to be honest, cats that sell dope and college students. You just gotta figure out what your thing is and how to get it exposed to people.
I am a proponent of stickers, flyers and posters. I’ve found that they’re most effective in the hood. Stickers are probably the best, but they can get you in trouble.
If you can get radio to play your music, then go for radio, but if not you go around radio through myspace and internet radio.