Music producers, whether you’re starting off or you been here for a few years, I am pretty certain that you’ve already heard of something called a beat tape. Now, what is a beat tape? Beat tapes can be many different things for a music producer, generally their combinations of music put together that play the purpose of basically being a representation of an idea or a concept. In other words, they’re the album versions for producers. So, such as a rapper may have a concept that they are putting together, that they tailor together with the right production, the right song concepts. A producer uses their instrumentals and they string along a certain theme or certain message that they wanna put out there, by putting it together on a beat tape. Beat tapes are generally between, I’ve seen some from 10 beats all the way up to 25-30 beats. Sometimes, they’re snippets, some of the folks that have obviously paved the way are J-Dilla for this, Mad Libs, another one that has paved the way. But basically, what I wanted to speak with you today are 4 benefits in 2017 for doing a beat tape, cause I know producers are probably like why would I wanna put a beat tape, where I put my beats on this project and then what about rappers who can steal it? Well, let me express to you why it’s worked for me and why I feel like it could work for you.
Benefit number 1, they get your name out there, now this is pretty much an obvious one. Anytime that you put your name attached to something that moves or whatever amount of people it moves around, it’s gonna get your name out there. But with the beat tape it’s a little bit more unique in that because you’re presenting the world you know, you gotta think of producers, producers are, they tend to be sort of recluse, they tend to be sort of the quiet people, when it comes to this particular industry. At least, that’s what it’s been in the past. So, when you’re presenting a beat tape, you get to show people what your world is all about. You get to express to them what it is that your brand stands for, even better than your brand, what is your reputation about? What is it that you like in terms of your particular aesthetics, what kind of sounds do you lean on? What kind of unpredictability do you like within your music? These are all opportunities for you to get your name out there, putting together a project will be excellent especially if you’re just now getting into the leasing business and you’re trying to figure out, well, you know, how do I get my name out there, having a beat tape is an excellent opportunity to spread your name out there.
The second benefit, when you put out a beat tape, you have the opportunity to show not just potential rappers and potential singers that may wanna work with you and your versatility, you get to show the world your versatility. Sometimes you get artists that come to you for a very specific sound, maybe you’ve done something with another artist and it actually was really successful but that wasn’t really your style or beat, it was just something that you could do. Having a beat tape gives you the opportunity to say look, I don’t just make trap beats, I also make these very experimental you know flying lotus type beats, or I also make you know, beats that can tell a story. I can make hip hop beats. This is your opportunity to showcase what it is that you want the world to understand for you as a producer. Not all producers wanna be put inside of a box, but unfortunately that’s the nature of this business and the more successful you become, that becomes your particular circumstances if you’re not calling your ow shots in that, once you’re known for this, this is literally feeding you to produce this same sound over and over and over and over again. You know, many people don’t know that Lex Loger is a really great sample producer because most of the time they wanted him to do BMF all over again, they wanted him to do all those songs that he did for Waka and for Wiz Khalifa, they wanted him to continue the same success over and over and over again. Not allowing him to really show them his versatility. So, with doing a beat tape, you can show whatever you want, cause it’s yours.
The third benefit, and this may not sound like a benefit initially because you probably are looking at this as a worry, like well, Curtiss, I’m bout to put 10-15 free beats on a project and let these rappers just steal them from me? You gotta change your mind set about that. I actually reframed that whole situation. You are putting 15 beats with the allusion that these beats are for free. What you gotta understand is that when you put your music up for distribution, you have added benefits and added security once you do that. Now, if you getting your music up there for distribution, you have to understand that if you have you know tune core for instance, they will go search out any music that is being used on YouTube, Facebook or pretty much any social media, without your permission and give you the option to either have it removed or to get paid off of it. So, imagine a rapper has come through and they decided to take the beat from you and you know, they didn’t get permission from you, but they got the beats say, maybe they got it illegally. Whatever the case may be. Say they decide they wanna rap over that beat and put it on their YouTube channel? Guess what happens? The moment that they try to upload that to the YouTube channel, as many views as they get, comments, engagement, you have the opportunity now to monetize that and make money as well. Let them rap on it, let them go ahead and do that even though they had no permission to do it. It may be irritating, their raps may not be that tight, but guess what? You have the opportunity to still make your money and also too, you still wanna apply you know your tags, of course you wanna apply it in a way that’s not classless, you wanna definitely make sure that the music is first on the beat tape, because a beat tape is not just a bunch of beats stuck together. You really wanna approach this, 05:35 not a good one. A good beat tape to me is one that really finds a producer in a particular space or particular time where they are making a certain type of sound and they really were experimenting and they were kind of going deep and deep into it. You really wanna have a beat tape capture where you’re at, you know and who you are as a human being is already dynamic, there’s many different faces of who you are, so that being said, you have the opportunity by putting these beats out there to show the illusion of free beats so then of course a rapper’s gonna wanna buy it or stream it on you know the apple stream, or the apple music or the Spotify, because they have an opportunity to gain ideas off of it, and if they start writing to it, guess what, they’re still running 06:16 the same process that they would have to if they chose to buy from. Now, if they buy from you, now they’re gonna know what the process it, they’re gonna know how easy it is to write to your beats. They’re gonna know how great they sound over your beats. So, it poses as another opportunity to be sort of a demonstration ro a free sample of what you could do if you were producing for one of these artists.
Last but not least, number 4 benefit. When you join the ranks of producers who have put out beat tapes and they put it out there for distribution, one amazing thing that occurs, is that because you’re one of the rare producers who 06:54 go out there and do it, cause still I feel like even in this day and age, there’s not enough producers who are putting it out there with the intentions of selling or at least getting streaming money off of it. You have the opportunity to now show up in different places as a similar artist to some of your favorite producers. Now, 07:11 I had an opportunity where, I put out a beat tape and one of my beats actually came up on the 07:15 Pandora station. Now, can you imagine how many you know rappers are listening to that who are already fans of that particular producer? Or even producers who are fans of that producer will now listen and be like yo, this dude Curtiss King got beats and then when they share that with their audience, who do think their audience is assuming is primarily made up of? Rappers and singers, because they’re trying to sell their beats as well. So, you wanna use this as an opportunity to really get your name out there and attach yourself to somebody who has already had leverage, already had success, and then you have an opportunity to have your name aligned with that as somebody who’s along the same vein, not the same exact vein, but the same vein and now because of that you have now found another benefit to releasing a beat tape.
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