Monday, April 29, 2013

Check out my Guest Blog Post on ReverbNation "5 Tips For Preparing For Your Hip-Hop Mixtape Release"!

In this guest post, Kayla Calloway gives independent and up-and-coming hip-hop artists tips on how to effectively prepare a mixtape release.

Whether you are prepping for your first mixtape or this is your next go round, here are 5 tips for preparing for a successful mixtape release excerpted from “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Marketing & Publicity.” So in the words of Trinidad James “Lemme give you a checklist:”
1. Choose a DJ
When starting out, especially if it’s your first mixtape, choose a DJ who is on the come-up as well and who truly believes in your music. Or you can go the latest route used by emerging Atlanta hip-hop artist, Rich Homie Quan, and host your own mixtape.
2. Find a Studio
Find a studio that you are comfortable recording in, and once you have blocked time, make sure that you come prepared. Write your rhymes at home and be ready to go when you arrive to the studio.
3. Mix
Have your mixtape cleaned up and mixed by a professional engineer who knows what he is doing. Make sure that the sound is clear and crisp and that the sound levels are balanced throughout your mixtape.
4. Hire a Graphic Artist
When hiring a graphic artist for your mixtape cover, you need to make sure they understand your music and brand and that they can bring your ideas to life or that they can bring forth their own creative cover ideas that will represent you and your mixtape effectively. So, with that being said, here are three tips to consider when hiring a mixtape cover graphic artist:
  • Versatility: When selecting a graphic artist, make sure that they are versatile, creative, and have a range of design skills, because you want someone who can convey your individuality and the themes and messages of your music, not someone who has a one-size-fits-all approach to designing mixtape covers.
  • Track Record: Request to see work they’ve done in the past. Additionally, when you’re hiring for services, such as PR, marketing, or website design, check track records as well.
  • Professionalism: I know that the hip-hop industry can be a little casual, but business is business. Make sure you have a timeline for the work and ask that the graphic artist is being consistent with you and communicating effectively with you throughout the process.
5. Use Social Media to Gear Up for Your Mixtape Release
  • Engage: Follow other hip-hop artists, both up-and-coming and established, who have similar fan bases and followers. Additionally, follow DJs and other hip-hop influencers, such as hip-hop editors, bloggers, etc. Keep track of who’s mentioning you.
  • Get Fans to Promote for You: Constantly engage with your fans and include them on your journey. For example, you can ask fans for feedback regarding the title of your mixtape, which track to promote, mixtape cover art, etc. Join their conversations; don’t just always flood them with links pertaining to your music.
  • Plan: Plan a content strategy so you do not get distracted from the bottom line.
This list covers the basics. However, I would like to also mention the importance of working to build your fan base prior to releasing your mixtape. For more hip-hop marketing and publicity tips, visit Got any questions for me? Leave a comment below!
All the best with your mixtape release!

Kayla Calloway is a hip-hop enthusiast with over 5 years of PR experience, with specific concentrations in media relations and writing. Kayla has a strong rapport within the hip-hop editorial community and is the author of “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Marketing & Publicity”. She has secured media placements in XXL, The Source,, Creative Loafing, AJC and more. Kayla can be reached on Twitter and Facebook.

6 Key Tactics For Organic Success On Youtube From Hip-Hop Artist Rob Scott

Check out this cool article "6 Key Tactics For Organic Success On Youtube From Hip-Hop Artist Rob Scott" from                      Hypebot contributor Natalie Cheng:

Monday, April 15, 2013

8 Hip-Hop Blogs That You May Have Never Heard Of

I recently came across a site/service called Inkybee, which is a service that helps subscribers find the most popular bloggers in whichever niche that they are searching for. I recently took advantage of their free trial, which extends through April 30th, and performed a hip-hop search and came across several hip-hop blogs that I was not familiar with prior. So without further ado, here are 8 hip-hop blogs that you may not have ever heard of:

1. Passion Weiss
Description/Tagline: Interviews, Mixes & etc.

2. Mostly Junkfood
Description/Tagline: New Music, Reviews, Interviews & More

3. Tom Clements
Description/Tagline: Written by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. An Indie UK hip-hop blog

4. The Metropolitan Jolt
Description/Tagline: We're like you, we like good music.

5. This Song is Sick
Description/Tagline: A electronic & hip-hop music blog featuring only sick songs.

6. The Music Ninja
Description/Tagline: Discover Everyday Music

7. Rap Ruler
Description/Tagline: Your hip-hop measuring stick.

8. Fist in the Air
Description/Tagline: Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio music site.

De La Soul Adapt To The World Of Singles. But Who Is Truly Embracing Disruption?

Check out this interesting article: "De La Soul Adapt To The World Of Singles. But Who Is Truly Embracing Disruption?" by Hypebot contributor: Clyde Smith

Top 10 Ways Musicians Are Using Vine

Check out this interesting article: "Top 10 Ways Musicians Are Using Vine" by Hypebot contributor: Clyde Smith