One of the basics of making it as a rapper is making your music accessible.
When I started out, we were uploading our tracks on ReverbNation and SoundCloud. Then we got wind of African Hip-hop Blog, Big Eye, Urban Hype, The Tribe UG Blog – now website. And now there are even more blogs springing up on the internet with every passing day.
What that provides is numerous channels to upload and share your music and hopefully get a review.
I have been asked what it takes to get your music on The Tribe UG. And why some artistes’ music is not featured when submitted, and this has been perceived as discriminatory. I think it is important that we all understand that these blogs have a criteria they follow when deciding which tracks or artistes are going to be featured. It is just not possible to feature every single track that is submitted. There is so much music and a lot of it doesn’t meet the criteria.
The following are a few things that are considered;
The track uploaded MUST include all relevant details, like clear, eligible artwork. Submitting artwork done using a 2MP phone camera, with illegible title detailing, comes off as very bad start. Often we judge books by their covers that’s why it’s important to invest in good and appealing photography and artwork. It sells the song even before you listen to it. If you can’t do it yourself, get a professional to do it.
The track must include
a) Title of Song/Album
c) Press Release
d) Social media platforms of the artiste
The Press Release is a summary of who the artiste is, and what the song is about.
Believe it or not, WhatsApp audio files will not be uploaded.
The quality is compromised and that’s why submissions are done only through email.
Still on quality, a lot of the songs that are submitted get overlooked because they are not up to par with the level of hip hop we want to sell to the rest of Africa.
Substandard production, Flow and delivery problems, and honestly some songs are just wack, for lack of a better word. Don’t take it badly, just do better.
Personally, a couple of years ago, I submitted music to African Hip-hop Blog and Naija Review, on two occasions and I never ever got featured. I didn’t ever claim they were discriminating against me, EVER! I just decided to do better. There is a need for quality control and not everybody is going to get that feature on every single blog.
On the issue of getting your song reviewed,not every song may get a detailed review, if we reviewed everything submitted on the site, then there would be a lot of negative reviews which doesn’t sit well many rappers. A lot of these songs also get left out.
Finally, if you don’t actually submit your track, then it won’t be featured. A lot of artistes post their work on their pages and think that bloggers are going to chase after them asking for songs. You got it backwards. If you want a spot, make the effort, it doesn’t matter if you started rapping yesterday or 20years ago, or if you’re upcoming on the underground scene or a hot shot in the mainstream. It makes everything easier if we meet halfway.