The SpekkTrumn guide to what Zim Hip-Hop needs
Having been a Zim Hip-Hop loyalist for over a decade now I have had to listen to the numerous insults poured upon this genre over the years. As 2018 starts I think if we heed the following advice it will take us far, actually it will take us where we should be. What makes me an expert? Well, check my credentials and put some reSPEKKT on the name.
- To Stop Being Cry Babies
This is paramount to progress. Year in, year out people are always quick to talk about how they are unappreciated (slept on) and how the world owes them everything. First things first life is NOT fair. If you did not know that now you do. Instead of being cry babies why don't we start creating movements that lift up the culture.No external party is going to come and bail us out. We have to do it ourselves.
2. To Put Some Money On It
Zim Hip-Hop needs to understand that you cannot make a career or an industry off of free things. Nothing really is for free because one or the other someone is paying for it. That blog article you throw a fit over, someone's paying the internet bill every month to make it happen. How are they getting their money back? All too often we expect donations under the guise of "doing it for the culture".
What am I saying? Value should be paid back with value. This can be a favour for a favour, which the lesser party may have to part money with for. I'm not talking about payola either, radio DJs ALREADY get payed to play music. I'm talking about the guys with no salaries that have to hustle to make ends meet every month.
Investment is key, you can't reap where you haven't invested. Contrary to popular belief you will not be miraculously located. Let's start being serious about branding, because that's were all the money is at. People don't buy merch or music but they buy a BRAND. How much value does your brand have?
3. To Start Being Professional
C'mon we can't still be having people randomly adding people to groups without their consent. Just because you have someone's number it is not a invitation to add them to YOUR group without their consent.
Each platform has its own rules and regulations. If you can't follow them look for a platform that does, simple. The level of entitlement needs to be reduced in 2018. Let's learn to separate rights and privileges. The stage we are currently are everyone is running their own race and no one really has time to be holding another person's hand.
Sending a blank e-mail with an mp3 attachment and expecting miracles is not going to cut it. When e-mailing there are four things you should NOT forget to include (i.e. your artist bio, your press release and your social media links).
I'd say more on this but you would have to pay me for it, seriously.
4. To Know Who Your Fans Are
The media is not your fanbase. Once we get that out of the way we can move on. Don't do things to impress the media. Identify who your fans are and foster them. Best believe your first 100 fans could very well come from just 10 people. Let's not be having 100 likes online and a turn up of only 10 people. Balancing online and offline presence is key.
I refuse to believe that there is no Hip-Hop culture in Zimbabwe. Even the way most Zim Dancehall artists dress is inspired by Hip-Hop.
5. To Promote Unity
As cliche as it may sound we need unity in Zim Hip-Hop above the board. Too many unnecessary beefs and shunning going on. We can't still be having the Harare vs. The Rest of Zim debate. If you're in Dotito the honus is on you to make Zim Hip-Hop big in Dotito. Believe me other areas will start noticing. Charity does begin at home. Not everyone has the privilege to be in the capital but we can make a unified effort in our respective areas to build Zim Hip-Hop.
This is my opinion. If you do, feel free to disagree in the comments section.