Great music, but somehow not marketable?

Imagine this: You’re a music artist who has fought tooth and nail to become great at what you do. You have spent an incredible amount of time over the years perfecting your skills, even defending them in competition against others. You have pushed yourself mercilessly to be the absolute best you could.

Imagine that your music has gained the attention of fans around the world. You’ve attained thousands of listeners and followers on social networking, supporting your music, your work, and everything you attempt. You work for years to create an album that consumes tremendous amounts of your own money, time, and effort. It sells.

A lot.

Pre-orders start mounting up. Thousands of copies are sold, with sales numbers climbing each day on Amazon and iTunes. The album is professionally crafted. From the amazing artwork to the musical production and engineering, the album has the same quality as what you would find from mainstream artists; better in many cases.

Now imagine that for all you’ve done, for all that you’ve achieved, when you take your music to radio DJs who love what they are hearing from you, they refuse to play it. Surely, there must be a great reason for this. Something huge must be preventing them from playing something that they clearly enjoyed.

“It can’t be marketed.” That’s the magic answer. You dig the music, but you refuse putting it in rotation because you claim it can’t be marketed.

Eigh8t The Chosen One is an independent underground rapper. He has pumped out a lot of music over the years, including battle tracks that scare away the competition. With several years of experience under his belt, he has developed an incredible skill that is light years beyond what you’ll hear on the radio.

When an indie artist puts out an album, it’s rare that you have well known artists featured on it. Eigh8t’s latest album The Rap Apocalypse, features several notable artists, including two of my all time favorites. With Canibus on one track and Chino XL on another, to say I was impressed is an understatement. These are two guys who have been in my musical collection since the late 90s. They pack shows, tour the world, and crush cats left and right. To see people of their caliber show up on an indie album is already worthy of your attention.

To see them show up on an Eigh8t The Chosen One album is a perfect match.

A loyal following for good reason

With 5,000+ Youtube subscribers, 2200+ Facebook followers, and 300+ Twitter followers, Eigh8t has a following. He has sold thousands of copies of The Rap Apocalypse. He is clearly someone who people will buy music from and follow. So, when DJs are saying that they won’t play him because he isn’t marketable, I have trouble understanding how they’ve come to that conclusion.

This guy has proven that people will listen to him but you refuse to play his music because you don’t think it’s marketable? He’s obviously marketable you stupid fucks! He’s marketing himself pretty successfully as an indie artist with his own money. All you need to do is put his music into your rotation. How fucking hard is that? It’s not difficult to drop in an extra song or two in the mix, especially if you’ve been playing the same stupid shit for the last month or so.

As I said to Eigh8t on Facebook, if I was a station manager, I would look at it like this:

He has a following of several thousand people. Those several thousand people likely are not listeners to my station. However, they will be once he mentions to them that I’m playing his music on my station. Trading out a few minutes of time to fit his songs into the rotation in exchange for potentially thousands of new listeners sounds like a good business move to me. No one loses in this deal. In fact, both of you have the potential to gain from it. You will get immediate advertising of your station to followers of an artist who has earned and deserves your attention.

A valid reason

After thinking about it further, I think the problem could be that they don’t want to mix their shitty artists with someone who has stepped up, done everything without a label, and is backhanding them in the skull with verses that feature him spitting in the face of A&R’s and glamour rappers. I can see how they would have reservations about that because they would basically be bringing the warlord into the village of idiots to pillage and rape them mercilessly. That might annoy the artists who they currently feature.

Let me be honest (as if that’s something new). I’m a fan of Eigh8t. I somehow ran across his music back around 2008 and have never been let down since. This man pushes out some amazing tracks. He can spit battle lyrics to tear through an army of Soulja Boys (get it) and Lil Wayne’s, but at the same time can take a controversial topic, dissect and punch you in the face with it. There is a reason Eigh8t is one of my favorite rappers, and it’s easy to understand if you simply listen to his music.

Hell, I’ve even mentioned him in my own music:

Instead I flip the net on for the cats who have become
the only ones that I can listen to when my stereo thumps
Eigh8t The Chosen One, Rypa, Nexodus and Axe
there’s a couple more but these cats truly know how to rap

The dude is awesome at what he does, and inspires me to kick my shit into gear and get better. So, when I mention him as “one of the only ones that I can listen to”, and “a cat who truly knows how to rap”, I’m not just putting him in that track to fill space or name drop. I actually mean what I’m saying.

The radio, both traditional and internet, seems to be a big political game. Most stations have no desire to step outside of their comfort zone or spend any time giving a chance to someone who isn’t represented by the industry it’s been sucking off for years.

Fans of Eigh8t understand how much this guy works for his music, what he puts into it, and know that he’s not going to stop just because you assbags don’t want to play him. The guy is pretty damn determined, and I’m sure that if he had the money to do it, he’d start his own station just to spite you fuckers. Maybe one day he will have that kind of money, because the music he makes is only going to get better.

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