Saturday, November 07, 2009

STOP, COLLABORATE and LISTEN: Email Tips for Rappers

Dear Rappers,

So, you want to be featured on someone's blog? That's cool. I know I can speak for others who have opened their inboxes and websites to your music ... you need a bit of guidance before hitting send.

Are the tips below the end all, be all to sending an email? Probably not. But you know what, it's a great start and some of you NEED this type of start because the emails you're sending out right now are hurting your chances of being heard and featured (well, at least at The Mad Bloggers). You want to be taken a bit more seriously and have a chance of being heard and featured? Here are five things to keep it mind:

1) Be humble - No one and I mean NO ONE wants to receive an email with, "Dis dat shit you been waiting for right here" or "Da realest and most anticipated n*gga in music" or "Da best shit you'll hear dis year" (especially if you're writing the email and it's your music). Why? Well, first of all, that shit is lame. Secondly, you've set one hell of an expectation for your music. I mean, how do you know what I've been waiting for and are you kidding by saying this is "da best shit" I'll hear this year? What happens when you say that, we'll listen to 3.5 seconds of your track and if it doesn't hit, we delete. Be confident but remember humility will take you much further. Let the listener decide if you are "the most anticipated" in music. Otherwise, you just look like a douchebag.

2) Mailing List - Rapper meet BCC, BCC meet Rapper. Yeah, I DONT want to see the 10,000 other emails addresses that you are sending this email to *scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, still scrolling* oh, there's the music. Listen, do one of two things, BCC (blind carbon copy for those just joining us from the back of the room) or set up a mailing list with those email addresses. Both are pretty basic and simple. Please note, because my email address is on my website doesn't mean I want to broadcast it in a mass email through you, nor do I want to scroll for 45 minutes to get to the body of the email. It looks messy, so just don't do that.

3) Short and Sweet - Keep it simple, ya dig? I don't need to read five paragraphs in the body of the email about who are and what you bring to the game. If a blogger wants to know more, we'll reach out to you or read the "about me section" on your website (oh, you better have an online presence). I'll be honest, if it's more than a paragraph most of us aren't reading it (truth be told, most of us aren't even reading the paragraph). Honestly, we just want to hear the music. So, make it simple -- "I'm blah blah blah out of blankedy blank and I'd appreciate if you give my music a listen. Find tracks attached and a link to my site. Peace" (NOTE: Rappers, feel free to copy/paste). It's simple, all you need is : Brief intro, photograph and playable attached music (NOTE: We don't want HUGE audio files either. If you can't figure this out, send a link to a download). BOOM, simplicity!

4) Don't abbrv. - Yeah, no need to abbreviate champ, okay? This isn't a text message or a tweet. PLEASE SPELL IT OUT. "U gon luv it" --- actually, I'm going to delete it. Don't assume that because you are submitting your music to a hip-hop or urban website, that there isn't an educated person on the other end of the computer who is mumbling, "this n*gga saving characters for what?" I know it's a recession but the other two letters in "you" don't need to be left out for "u" because they don't cost a dime (Sidebar: It's not at all creative to make up new spellings of words either, i.e. dis, waz, dat; so cut that out too).

5) Online Presence - You need to have a myspace, bandcamp, reverbnation or your own website or something. Send the links and make sure they actually work. It's 2009, almost 2010 and you're trying to push music without an online presence? I hope you're kidding. You need to have something, so I hope you do.

I'm not trying to be an asshole, I'm just trying to help. We get a lot of emails each day and it's frustrating to sift through bullshit. You can read these tips and say, "dat n*gga is a hater" (don't even get me started on this statement). If you feel that way, fine by me. Or you can read and say, "oh, thanks, I appreciate it. I'm just saying.

Good luck with your music.


-Q of the Mad Bloggers

PS: If you're a music artists in general, these tips can apply to you too.

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Check out more from The Mad Bloggers


  1. JC Poppe9:20 AM

    Good should do a media/press kit tutorial as well. Actually, don't...and delete your post immediately. Don't let these precious secrets out! Hahahahaha...

  2. Q, tht Rticl waz da SHIT son! Best I red N 2K9!

    LMFAO! Ok, just kidding about how I wrote that, but I loved that part about saving characters... IN AN EMAIL! Oh my god, that's so annoying!

    This article was definitely one of the best I've read, and you make a lot of great points that people just miss the point on. But hopefully some of these artists will take heed to your tips and execute! One thing you should also mention to them is DON'T SEND 10MB WAV files! You touched on working attached files, but I hate to see people trying to email 10, 20 even 30MB files and then wonder why they don't get any responses. Or they get a message from a very upset email administrator cursing their very existence!

    But again, Great job, thanks for keeping it real and giving them some tough love!

  3. Very true sir.

    I vote for NOT attaching your music. If you attach anything. . . make it be a free download for the blog readers to have.

    I say stick to sendspace or something of the like. Type a short paragraph and include links and a one sheet with facts about yourself.

    Stop annoying bloggers and journalists. You ruin it for good musicians.


  4. thank you for keeping it highly hilarious...

    catch you on twitter

    PEACE calm...

  5. Anonymous12:16 PM

    great post. i copied and linked here -

  6. Very interesting. I've never heard of bandcamp so that will definitely be something I'll be following up on. Do you have any tips for promotional tools aside from a demo that can be sent? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    -Deebo Da Iceman

  7. Anonymous2:30 PM

    c/s on all that...

    I had a nigga roll up on me at the flea market with a CD the other day. And not just a CD, a CD in a case that looked like it had been thru some SHIT. And tried to get me to buy it at that. An album I've never heard before and have no clue what it or you sound like? It's gotta be a better way in '09.

    Dudes like that DEFINITELY need to read this shit, then go out an get themselves a computer, and do all the things you listed here.


  8. One day, all music will be free. There won't be enough fans left to buy albums, nor time in a day to listen to new music. The number of hip-hop participants are outgrowing the supporters and the life expectancy of an album, is as long as its first hearing. This is a good article you've written and I'll look forward to your part 2.