Saturday, May 9, 2009

Protocol For The Out Of The Trunk Hustler

It's very rare that I go my local mall, but when I do its for some of that awesome teriyaki and orange chicken at the Chinese spot in there. I usually don't shop there because I know that if I buy some gear there will be a 90% chance that whatever I cop, there will be 10 other cats rocking the same outfit or kicks as me.

Now when I make my entry towards the food court I can spot them from a mile away. They are posted up outside with their tall tees with pants sagging, fake designer sunglasses, large fake diamond earrings and chains, and pacing around in their fake Jordan's. They are posted up like they have bundles to move. But its not dope they pushing, it's CD's, and they are about to try push it on me, a fiend for rap. Whatever should I do?

This not only happens at the mall but at gas stations, movie theatres, car washes, barber shops, clubs, and just about every location where you could possibly be out running an errand. They are the hustlers of music. Low budget rappers and producers who hopefully can not only make a profit off their minimal investment but get their music in the right hands that could lead to greater riches. One problem:

I'm Not Buying!
I'm not related to any super-producers nor am I an A & R for a major label. I have a middle class life so, really, for me taking a risk in this recession on an unproven talent and surrendering my hard earned cash to you is an extremely hard sell. But because I admire your hustle and due to the fact that it would benefit the world to see you make your dreams come true I will give you 5 easy steps to effectively get someone like me to buy your music.
1. Don't make it look like I'm doing you any favors!!
The word "favor" should never leave your mouth when trying to approach someone with your music. Friends do each other favors and my nigga, I don't know you! So whatever you do don't approach me with this line:
"Say mayne, can ya do ya boy a favor and buy my CD?"
No, I can't
2. If you see me or anybody else with kids, BACK OFF!!
I don't know if you got kids or not, but bringing children into a wide open location like the mall, filled with bright colors, toys, and people has the makings of a stressful situation for any parent. I nor any other parent don't need to be interrupted from focusing on our kids to hear your sales pitch. WE HAVE ENOUGH NOISE TO DEAL WITH!!!
3. If asked to describe your music, don't summarize it in one or two words!
Okay, lets say you are the lucky rapper who gets my attention and I hear your sales pitch. The questions I will ask you will sort of be a media 101 lesson. I will grill you like a writer for the N.Y. Times and I expect good quality answers. But if the convo goes like this:
Me: "How would you describe your music?"
You: "Its rap"
Me:"I know but what are you rhyming about?"
You: "Da Streets"
Me:"How are your beats?
You: "They tight"
Me: "I'm cool I'll pass" (walking away swiftly)
4. Don't ask to get in my whip and play your shit!!
How did you get to your current location? If you took public transportation I understand, but you mean to tell me that you want to hear how your music sounds in my car? Really? Are you F-ing serious? I don't want you in my car!! You are the rapper/salesman, have your joints ready to display prepared to entice me. That's like I sell vacuum cleaners and I tell you to come to my crib to see how it works. GTFOHN!!!
Just about anybody on the planet can upload music on iTunes, Emusic, rhapsody or any other online music service. get your hustle on and join us in the new millennium. Get off the corner!!
Hip-Hop's history is filled with the rags to riches stories of MC's who started just like you. Too Short, E-40, Master P, and Ludacris all made it slangin tapes and CD's out of the trunk. But just like Ice delivery, some things become extinct. Save yourself and the people who you want to enjoy your music the trouble and find other means to market your music.
I hear MySpace and Twitter are good places to start.

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