Monday, June 4, 2007

Don't Knock the Hustle #2 (Independent Promotion)

Ok, you guys may remember the last post of the same name and the hustles that were seen on the Subway, well we're riding that train again boys and girls...next stop... Independent Promotors.

I was riding the train minding my business when a young lady walked through the car, stopped in the middle and began her announcement..."Good evening everybody, my name is --- and I have a new R&B cd out...if you like neo-soul styles like, Jill Scott, Musiq, Lauren Hill and Common, then I'm sure you'll love my music...it's possitive and there's no cursing, so even the young people can enjoy it...I have copies here for only $5"

Now, I sat there annoyed as I am by most of the people selling stuff on the train, but I thought about this young lady as a talented artist; these train hustlers can be so unnerving you just drown them ALL out. But, then all these questions ran through my head; is she really doing herself a service with this form or marketing?...how serious will she be taken?...is this a serious and legitimate way to handle your business or just another fly by hustle?

I thought about the other artist seeking to get into the entertainment business...will they see this as a quick and easy mode of promotion and decide to follow suit. Now, I know there were different opinions on this subject before and I'm sure this post will be no different or will it? When it comes down to serious business should it be handled in a serious manner or is this hustle method serious enough?

20 comments:

Opinionated Diva said...

I too get annoyed by train hustles, but I can't knock the sista for trying to push her CD...she should have given people a sample and sang something though dammit!

The train isn't the best place to hustle your music, but it's a start. You never know where you'll be 'discovered'.

mark said...

JMW as an former independent songwriter who worked with and was around several independent artist.


Although I would have been annoyed by the lady trying to sale me her CD on the train. But remember this is the type of hustling that Master P had to eventually get airplay and then become a mogul.

Also she may have spent all of her money having the CD produce and mixed and now she needs to see some of that CASH back.

JustMeWriting said...

op.d: LOL... you said give a show huh...hahahah...yeah, I think people would have REALLY shelled out then.

mark: yeah I know sometimes you've got to do what you can, but back with master p...what 20 years ago...lol things were different, and I'd even say harder.

I think more is needed if you want to be taken seriously...I didn't think about that, but just like op.d said...SHOW US WHAT CHU GOT LIL MAMA...LOL. She could have set up a table in a major hub playing her music and solicited that way...the train hustlers aren't taken seriously and my fear was that would impede upon her progress.

Sojourner G said...

Good question. On the one hand, it may be that people are forced to do what they can do to get their message out there. Not everyone has the knowledge, experience or resources to do it "the right way." I'm told that Mary J. Blige, was "discovered" by singing in one of those mall recording booths. Listening to NPR last week, they profiled a guy who is now very successful that used to play on those trains for dollars and coins.

If you're passionate about what you do and where you want to go, I say you exhaust all means. Ray Kroc, filed for bankruptcy twice before he hit it big with McDonalds.

Good thought starter.

anonymousnupe said...

That kinda thing doesn't happen much at all here in D.C. I actually wish it would. Maybe then folks would lighten up a little...or maybe not. Metro cops are always hassling and ticketing the few street minstrels who set up too close to a subway entrance trying to make a few bucks. (There's this one black violinist or violist who's so good I'm dying to axe him, "So, slim, what in the world are you doin' workin' for handouts?!) I remember once this mother and daughter boarded my train car and proceeded to peddle M&M's (Peanut) in support of the child's somethin-or-other. As a parent myself, I admired the mom's willingness to basically endure whatever embarrassment required in support of her child. She stepped on, made a very articulate and friendly plea to the entire car, and then she and her daughter moved through the aisle collecting funds and distributing candies. I was definitely feelin' her. (I gave a dollar, but did not accept the candy from the daughter.) Uh, so what was your question again?

CapCity said...

In NYC train hustling is truly an art! I zone out on the droning voices, but the entertainers - i'll pay w/ no problem! If u can wake up & captivate sleepy tired workers then u are ALRIGHT with me! I've seen some AMAZINGLY talented people in the NYC system & wish them all well!
Also, several NYC train hustlers DO take it to other levels. I know tht Alicia Keys used a group of street performing break-dancers (& yes, I've seen brother break dance ON the subway train - flips & all = amazing!).

JustMeWriting said...

I'm not even going to seperate my reply's out because I agree with all you guys...and that's what I'm saying...you've got to make an impact and the train hustler are just that for the most part, but if you've got a talent or a serious business you've got to come in many DIFFERENT ways...and ones that will bring you notice...you can't hustle they way others do, because if people have grown accustomed to ignoring all the other trainee's you don't want to be put in the same bag.

Bklyn Diva said...

hmmm well she might want to try cdbaby.. cause hustling your music on the block isn't getting you no true income and won't get your certified anything!

more "artists" need to understand the truth behind self distribution.. she never knows who may discover her

dc_speaks said...

I love the hustle mentality. I would rather her promote herself than sell burned cd's of someone else, get busted and then go to jail.

Look how MC Hammer started out. Not that he is the only one that saw some sucess from it, but he rose to stardom out of his trunk. Master P marketed out of his trunk to at one time.

I love the drive. It it offends someone on the train...move on to someone else.

good post, JMW.

Sheletha said...

never seen that type of hustlin before...I would be in total awe...I respect her gangsta tho!

Ms. Behaving said...

Nowadays, I'm all for the subway hustle. Hailing from New York, I've seen a little bit of everything and have even gotten my fair share of some pretty entertaining stuff.

Once a person doesn't have to resort to robbing and stealing--I'm all for it.

That doesnt mean you can expect me to be shelling out dollars like it's going outta style LOL each and every time but...I'm saying--they gotta do what must be done in order to get by. I certainly can't knock the next man/womans hustle.

Nic said...

I always hear bad things about producers gagging artist for money. I guess it's cool, if she's just trying to make a few dollars. I don't know if anyone could make it big that way though.

JustMeWriting said...

bklyn: yeah, that's what I'm talking about too, is this mode really going to give her what she wants?

dc: I think selling bootleg cd's is one thing (just a hustle), but trying to promote yourself as a serious artist on the train is another.

sheletha: yeah...it's so much going on in Philly trains...LOL.

ms. b: hahaha...I know what you mean, because I was surely entertained by that Thong guy from the last hustle post...lol, but I just think home girl might be cheating her talent, but hopefully she's got other ways of putting herself out there.

nic: yeah and that's a good point...these artist might be trying to get away from that aspect of the business.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Well Dollbably, I am gonna have to agree with you on this one. Hustling -by-intrusion is not the best way of getting fans. And it tends to limit distribution. Around these parts you see numerous people who set up in a corner of a gas station. Get the table and the sign out and go to work. Some even string clothes line and hang rugs (big ones too). A table and a boom box with free (to the ear) samples would work much better on me.

JustMeWriting said...

2nd68: IT'S ABOUT TIME (you agree with me) LOL... (smiling), but yeah, I think that's work so much better to show your work.

K.unwrapped said...

I wouldn't have taken that chick seriously. As soon as I heard her voice I would've automatically tuned her out b/c I'd have assumed she was asking for money. She would've been better off picking a spot in the subway station and singing...if she can blow people definitely stop and listen.

JustMeWriting said...

YES...that's what I'm saying, thanks K. I really think she sold herself short by doing what others do so badly...LOL.

LADY5C0RPII0 said...

LOL. I feel you on this. I am constantly seeing this every now and then. I just ignore them, because I feel like their not even WORTH my time...WHY BOTHER? LOL.. Love the blog..! =)

JustMeWriting said...

hey lady...lol, YES... that's what i'm talking about I ignore them all the time too, and that's why I was like dag...if this lady has talent she's really messing herself up by this form of 'promotion'. thanks for the compliment and the visit, please do come again.

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