Make yourself/abilities/brand in demand. Make it so that people will realize they took you for granted when you leave. “People don’t know what they have until it’s gone”. As BNICE from “SHUT EM DOWN RADIO” on Thursdays says “Take advantage of this s*** while it’s free”. There is a reason that people go to the mall and don’t buy EVERYTHING…it’s because there is some stuff that is not what people want…Until the whole world is wanting it..then they all want it, because this generation has been taught to copy off of everyone else’s paper in school..not much thinking for themselves.
A feature should easily allow you to make that money back…or it should give you the equivalent feeling of purchasing a record by that artist..i.e. if Jay-Z charges $1,000 a verse, THAT is a fair price, for the typical GRINDING ARTIST, because you can make a single and recoup that money, as well as make sure it’s a bangin’ single that you can listen to over and over, and feel that you got your moneys worth…if MC NotThatAwesome charges $1,000, what does that give you?? not a guarantee of recognition, or two sided promotion, because their people might not dig what you do, and people do anything for money..so it can be FALSE ART. At the end of the day most are NOT going to help promote the song they were paid to feature on…they are basically selling you an expensive hammer, and leaving you to do the work, because time is rough these days, everyone has their own thing going, and they want you to jump on their ship to help them. Reciprocation is a missing page in rap, money makes it appear tho…correction..big money makes it appear. One must truly take into consideration when people say they don’t have time…
this is how time can be spent, regardless of what fools say they are doing, because only results can show you what a person is doing, or not.
“No Time” can mean the following:
Playing video games
Watching cable TV
Spending time with a significant other
Secret activities with women/men/or shims, who knows?
Recording their own stuff
Mixing (takes the most time)
Working (9-5) Drains the unmotivated individual
Spending time with family
Hosting a radio show
Going to school
Low key attending to health issues
Other drugs done that they don’t want anyone to know about
Partying with friends
Look at the above, and see where writing and recording a verse/hook for for the not so big rapper comes into play…Playing Devils Advocate, but if the requested artist doesn’t have the luxury like “THE DRODIANS” to record at any moment in their own studio, or simply for the enjoyment of the combined sounds. If they have to book studio time, write, master, and then drive to a recording studio to record, then they are sacrificing one of the above in the list. It’s true that rapping…sorry “GOOD” Rapping is an art…and fools are trying to turn songs into Picasso’s, but truth, and honesty…you can only get a Picasso from someone like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, KRS ONE, Rakim, The Whole WU-TANG, Redman, Xzibit, DJ Quik, Kurupt, and I only say LiL Wayne because he has built himself so big that people will give his stuff a listen just because..Plus he wrote “A Milli”. Ultimately, Rappers want the big bucks that the big EXECUTIVES dish to many, in order to sell out…you won’t get those big bucks from a dude grinding JUST LIKE YOU…it’s kind of like going to the poorest sectors of Los Angeles, marketing and opening up cash only Ferrari Dealerships, and expecting the people to afford it…but know that the white people in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Beverly Hills can easily afford that (if you go on Netflix and search for a show called Laguna Beach, you will know what I’m talking about). Hence the reason, if you go to Compton, Watts, or rougher sides of Long Beach and Hawthorne, Ca. you will see a lot of affordable means..i.e. Tommy Burgers, fast food, Many Liquor Stores, Dollar Markets, cheap housing, and basically things that are fairly feasible for people to purchase. If there is a Barneys-like Clothing Store in the poor sectors, who’s gonna buy it? Not many, because it’s meant for those that can afford it, and wanted by those that can’t. Ultimately, the Rappers are trying to get the money of the Rich and Upper Class investors, and individuals running the record labels. If you’re not balling enough to drop $3,000 to have one of the dudes in The Neptunes, other than Pharrell feature on your stuff…you’re best to just work with your own people, and “supposedly” those looking to collaborate for the love of it all. In my opinion, rap has created it’s own economic hierarchy levels..
“TOP SHELF UNTOUCHABLE ARTISTS” ($5000-infinite) for a verse
(Jay-Z,Eminem,Kanye West,Rihanna,Diddy,LiLWayne,Justin Bieber,50 Cent(Not IRIE2012), Beyonce, Dr. Dre, NAS, KRS-ONE, OUTKAST, Pharrell, etc..)
“HIGHLY SUCCESSFULLY KNOWN ARTISTS” ($3000-$5000) for a verse
(Game,Drake,Nicki Minaj,Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, DJ Quik, 2 Chain, T.I., Q-Tip, Xzibit, The Liks, Wu-Tang, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa,DMX, etc…
“IN THE GAME ARTISTS” ($500-$3000) for a verse
(Spice 1, Ras Kass, E-40, Canibus, Jadakiss, Young Jeezy, Mac Miller,Asap Rocky, Nipsey Hussle, Macklemore, J-Cole,Problem, Pete Rock,Mike Jones,D-12,G-Unit,The Roc Artists, Eric Sermon. Dumbfoundead
“GRINDING ARTIST” ($0-$100) for a verse
Drodians/KILLAHRONH, Rough City, MisterCR, Tree Post Collective Artists, Crooked Apples Artists, Dirty Salow, Bnice, Lovey Elise, Phil Phree, Bing Bing, Imani Akil, EhWhenKeem, etc…Everyone that is doing shows, consistently making music, and STEADY MAKIN’ MOVES to build up themselves, and their brand.
It’s safe to say, that one can only network with another in a tier immediately one step above them. I.e., a NOBODY can network with a GRINDING ARTIST, a GRINDING ARTIST can network with an ARTIST IN THE GAME, an ARTIST IN THE GAME, can network with a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ARTIST, and a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ARTIST, can network with a TOP SHELF RAPPER. The two factors that allow this are MONEY..and WHO YOU KNOW…
If a feature was the same amount as buying a CD, there would be awesome music out now..and there would be less saturation, because the best would shine, and the best would be seen on more projects. If I had my way and features were way cheap, My GUMBO mixtape would be of the most elite because of the artist I would get…and most of the artists would not be names that you see on the charts, and the music would be sick..
In conclusion, this is all my opinion. Features are something that can help an artist move up and better there brand..looking at the tiers, EVERY rapper was a Nobody at some point…the ones that worked hard, moved up to each tier, and the ones that had money bumped up fast. I look at features like a Floyd Mayweather fight. Whoever fights in the ring with Mayweather, it’s getting paid big time, and get’s to showcase his talent against the best, to the whole world, thus creating a raised brow from those that see the ability, which in turns creates better opportunities.