Ask A Rapper: The CD Hand-Out Hustle
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -- lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good -- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we were leaving the recent 50 Cent show this past weekend we were handed promo CDs by three different rappers. Two of them sucked. One of them was good. Knesecary is that one.
This Week's Rapper: Knesecary
This Week's Subject(s): Why you shouldn't hate the guys that shove CDs into your hands when you're out at a show or a club.
AAR: Is it hard to be out there handing CDs out after a more prominent act's show? Does it humble you at all to know how far you have to go? Or is more of an encouraging type of thing?
Knesecary: No, it's not really hard at all. I feel like it's all part the hustle for an up-and-coming artist. I have no problem passing my CD out, especially after opening for an act like 50. I like building a rapport with the people. It's both encouraging and humbling. As long as I'm moving towards the right direction, I'm good.
AAR: What exactly constitutes a successful night of handing out free CDs to people? Like, what's the barometer for deciphering whether or not you just wasted a little bit of your time and money?
K: What constitutes that for me is when I get a call from someone I just gave a CD to and they telling me how much they love the CD or when they look me up on the net and find me on Twitter or Facebook and show love because I know they will spread the word to a friend. Word of mouth is great. I don't feel it's a waste of time at all because even if they don't intake the product you give them they see you. And if they see you again somewhere else or in some other media form then that's facial recognition and that gives off the impression to them that you're doing something. So they eventually will become interested.
AAR: What goes through your head when you hand someone a CD, only to see them toss it aside moments later? That has to happen occasionally, right? We mean, people are assholes like that.
K: When they, or if they, toss my CD aside if, I'm around to see it I just go pick my CD up and hand it to someone who is willing to listen. No biggie. To me it is all good. [laughs]
AAR: Is there an event where it is inexcusable to hand out CDs or promote yourself? If you were at Biggie's funeral, would it have been okay to hand out stuff then? All the big name industry guys would be there, yaknow. Seems like it'd be an opportune time.
K: Yea there are times when you shouldn't be handing CDs out and a funeral is definitely one of those. Like, that's an unfortunate event and we are there at the funeral to pay respects and honor the life of that person... so I'll just wait 'til after.
Hear Knesecary online at http://www.myspace.com/knes and follow him on Twitter at Knesecary83.
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