Mixtape Marketing Podcast 010- Interview With Ali Shakur


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Mixtape Marketing Podcast Episode #010- Interview With Ali Shakur 

Artist Branding, Music Marketing, Why Rappers Shouldn’t Use Datpiff To Promote Their Mixtapes?   

Here is the latest episode of the Mixtape marketing podcast with a very special guest, Ali Shakur, an expert music marketer. With his 15 years of experience and knowledge in the music industry, digital marketing and social media marketing, here are the things you can learn from him about Mixtape marketing and how artists can promote their music to come up with a good product. His claim to fame is down to his work with Curtis 50 Cent Jackson.

Mixtape Marketing Podcast 010- Interview With Ali Shakur

Ali Shakur’s Links :
Follow Ali On Twitter: Follow @VibeHi

Subscribe To Ali’s Youtube Channel: Ali Shakur’s Youtube Channel
Check out his podcast on Itunes:  Hannibal is at the gate podcast
Website / Contacthannibalisatthegate.com

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Advice For Up And Coming Rap Artist’s 


1. When artists are trying to create a good product, such as hiphop beats production, mixing covers, etc., what kind of professionalism they should achieve before start investing in mixtape marketing?

I think the first thing they have to understand is who they’re talking to. When artists make music, sometimes they copy a lot from somebody else’s style.

I think the first thing to do is establish your unique style and who you wanna talk to, what’s the message behind your music and understanding that. Instead of promoting the entire mixtape, you have to focus on your hook. Get that one song that everybody likes and eventually launch a mixtape release.


2. You have a lot of videos on YouTube, but I just wanna talk about that video where you talked about DatPiff and not to use the site.

Music marketers see DatPiff as a stronghold for mixtapes, but you kinda discouraged everyone to use it. Can you elaborate a bit on that video? To me, DatPiff is a like a black hole. You’re like putting all your stuff there, but you don’t get much back. When you are talking about being an artist and galvanizing your fan base, DatPiff doesn’t give you analytics.

Also, it is a website that gets paid off of advertising. So every time you send somebody to their website, they’re making money and you’re not. And the whole point of being a musician or an artist is making money out of your music.

The producer got paid, the mixtape cover artist got paid, everybody gets paid but the artist. The cost that you pay for DatPiff is just not worth it.

DatPiff is gonna cost you to lose more money. It’s more beneficial for you to send people to your own website, or to a place where to can opt into your email list. Start building an email list today now if haven’t already. 

3. Do you think artists use websites like DatPiff and other resources because they are for free and that they think that they don’t need to set up a website anymore?

Do you think artists are afraid of setting up their own website because they don’t know how to do it or is it they are just not bothered to set up their own site? I think it definitely got to do with the free stuff. But I think there’s a lot of laziness on the part of the artist because it’s not that hard to set up a website.

Especially nowadays, you can set up a website for less than 10 bucks. If you find a GoDaddy coupon code online, you can get a domain for 3 bucks.

For the hosting, you gotta pay $50 a year. And there are a lot of hosting websites other than GoDaddy that offer competitive rates and bigger bandwidth. People think that setting up a website is daunting when it’s really not, you can go to WordPress.com and just upload your SoundCloud.


4. When I first started setting up my website, it was kinda difficult.

But free resources such as YouTube is one of the best free education you can get. It has a lot of great information and you can use them. What can you say about using YouTube? I can actually give somebody an effective solution when using YouTube.

You take your music, you can do it with an Android or iPhone, and record something that’s the length of your song. It could be anything, a record playing, you sitting there, or just something that happens visually. You can be creative if you want to.

5. How can artists start creating content around their music? Let’s say you have a good mixtape and you are trying to promote it.

How will you encourage people to promote your hip hop mixtapes? Let people see you in your natural habitat, working on your music.

Let them see things they can talk about you, instead of you talking about yourself. Rap Music Marketing is about telling a story. It is about telling your story. People wanna know how you feel as of the moment, about your past and your view about current events.

6. I’d like to talk about social media and branding, which you mentioned in your previous videos. You mentioned that Instagram can be used as a branding vehicle.

Can you elaborate on that matter? When we think about Twitter, it has to do with words. But since your subconscious is programmed really well with visuals and pictures.

So branding using Instagram is a good way of embedding yourself in people’s subconscious using visuals. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Plus, the engagement rate on Instagram is extremely high nowadays.

7. What do you think artists should be doing for 2015, something that can help them be original in their mixtape marketing?

You need to have a great amount of marketing budget. Hip Hop is a rich man’s game. You need to have a budget for you to run everything. Consider it as a business.

Your marketing budget should either be the same as or more than your operating budget. So, save your money. You need to have about $10,000 or a minimum of $3,000 or $5,000.


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