How long has HITP been in existence?
I had the idea of Hard In The Paint back in the fall of 2010, but I didn’t launch it until April 2011. With a little over three years, the blog has gone through a lot of changes.
I notice that you show a lot of love to indie artists. What is your policy for music submissions?
Definitely, I take great pride in supporting indie artists. The submission policy is fairly simple. It can be done through email. I just ask that artists submit their music in a similar format that is laid out in the contact section. In order to really review an artists’ work, I think that it’s important that they provide enough information about whatever their submitting.
For example, if they send in a single, I like to have everything from the artwork to the producer to the project that it will appear on. Plus, it’s always nice to have a little background information on what inspired the song. With all of this, I can review the submission efficiently as well as have enough information to write a quality post. Not to mention, the more personalized the email, the better.
Your hip-hop blog caters to _________?
HITP caters to fans of hip-hop of all levels. When I first started the blog, I focused solely on independent artists and spot lighting unknown talent. In a lot of cases, these artists had never been covered on any blogs before. They were really in the beginning stages of their career.
A majority of them were actually people that I knew and felt deserved attention. After a few months of building up the site, I started to add more established talent and artists that I like. Right now, you’ll find a mix of talent of all levels. There are artists that are just launching their careers and then there are guys like Kendrick Lamar, who are house hold names. I think this combination is perfect.
It allows me to spotlight new talent and also share music from my favorite artists. The great thing about this is that when someone comes to the site to check out a new Drake song, there is a great chance they will come across music from an artist they never heard of, listen to their material and actually become a fan.
The tide of hip-hop blogging is changing. The artists that drive traffic get posted and the artists without a following fight for scraps. What advice can you provide for up and coming hip-hop artists?
Traffic isn’t my top priority. Yes, it’s nice to get a bunch of hits, but I’m more concerned with the content. As far as advice, I would tell up and coming artists to be patient. They need to realize that everyone has to start from the bottom at some point.
Unless they have a big co-sign, most artists have to fight in the early stages of their career. But, that fight isn’t that bad when you look at the big picture.
A lot of artists think just because they have talent that they should get posted on this blog or that blog. Having talent and quality material is a good start, but there is a lot more that goes into getting on platforms such as relationships. Any artist that I work with, I always tell them to build a relationship with a blogger or writer first before you start trying to get your music posted on their site.
Focus on the relationship and not the blog post. Blog posts come and go, but relationships can be more valuable and last forever. If you build a relationship with blogs, they will be more than happy to support you as opposed to you just reaching out solely to get your music posted. I know that is especially true with me. Personally, if you build a relationship with me and support my site, I have no problem posting your music as long as I think its quality material. The artist-blogger relationship goes both ways. A lot lose sight of that.
I would also tell artists to have a strategic approach when it comes to submitting music to blogs. Don’t be so quick to try to get on some of the bigger blogs in the beginning. Instead, find blogs that post material similar to yours and focus on them. Reaching out to blogs based in your area is also good. The big blogs will eventually notice after you start getting posted on a bunch of the smaller sites.
Lastly, don’t take it personal if your music isn’t posted. A lot of us bloggers have regular jobs and a life to live and can’t listen to and post everything.