My Thoughts on Business Part 2 – Day 20


These daily posts are often inspired by commentary I’ve been making on a previous day. Yesterday an emcee shared a post about Kendrick Lamar being sued for a “free” mixtape. I’ve written about my opinion on free mixtapes here. I added more to the dialogue yesterday and then this post above was born. Here are my thoughts from yesterday:

I can’t count how many times I’ve told artists not to use samples. I’ve said it so much, I have stopped talking music with people. I’ve said from day one treat your career like you’re already in the biz. Stop giving away everything and use all the tools of monetizing. If you don’t own it, don’t use it.

If you get popular and attain some level of success and that FREE mixtape attracted a lot of attention it could be argued that your success was predicated on the music used. That isn’t the point though. The point is people treat their art like it’s disposable. If you make something your goal should be to earn, I don’t give a damn how much you are about the art. I’m going to say this one more time, why give away your art when if it’s made the correct way, free and clear, you can add it to your website, monetize your site with ads, put it on YouTube, monetize it with ads, if you don’t want to charge, and then put the music release through Tunecore or CD baby so people can stream it for free and you can still earn stream revenue. If you don’t want to charge you can still earn something if you treat the art like a business from day one instead of dumping all of it for free on soundcloud and reverbnation thinking that because it’s free you’re protected.

I’ve done videos talking about this:


My point has always been sell your stuff. If you can’t sell it find a way to monetize. Continuously giving away music in the hopes that you will make it is crazy. I don’t care how many people you think you know who “blew” up giving away music. With this Kendrick Lamar thing, it opens the door for a very serious situation for musicians. We all can hope that there aren’t a run of lawsuits in the pipeline, but this is America and we are a litigious society.

Notes: if you have questions about what KENP is for writers, click here.