The Price of The Local Feature

Checking out Social Media and seen a post from Mr. WildStyle, a producer out of Indianapolis, in regards to local artist charging for features. He made it clear that he’s not knocking anyone’s hustle and his final thought was

Never  let ego or the need for acceptance drive your business model. – Mr. Wildstyle

My initial thought was the following.

I don’t think any artist should pay for a feature that doesn’t open them to a new audience that is BIGGER than their current audience. It’s just not a smart business move.

I know every artist is starving and trying to get a buck anyway they can, until they hit the booth. It makes sense in hindsight to charge for features, but there is actually a better business practice to get you farther in a shorter amount of time.

For instance. Any artist you genuinely like you could do the feature for free and you two go half on the track and  studio time instead. Split the cost as well as the revenue and everybody wins. If you are both registered with an entity like ASCAP and have the song in BDS system, all should be well.

Let’s be honest. The average local emcee, that would potentially try to charge you $250 or more for a feature, is unable to recoup you that cost, in a month from their “supportive, die-hard fanbase”. So with that said, how is that a smart investment for Artist A? How smart is that when singles on iTunes are 1.29?

For the charger and the chargé. Remember, you can look on iTunes and see what are the popular songs in your city and who has them. So, if you’re getting charged by a person who’s songs aren’t charting in the city or state they live in; I would suggest a better, cheaper understanding. Unless you are the undisputed star in your hood, you shouldn’t charge for features. You’ll know if you are the undisputed star in your hood, if you have a music revenue stream coming in.

ON THE FLIP: If someone want’s to pay you for your services, cash in. Fools and their money are soon parted.

Being active in the music game isn’t free and that’s always been understood. That’s why relationships, barter and trade are so powerful; Especially with Platinum and Gold Plaques being the new unicorns of today’s industry. I know, you heard Meek getting 80K and 2 Chainz getting 100K for a verse and you know you’re better than them. Ask yourself this question though. You think Meek was charging Drake before the fall out? You think 2 Chainz charges Kanye West? How much bread do you really think Rick Ross is breaking for a Jay Z or Wayne feature? Sometimes the best way to do business, is to see the benefits of the end result verses the current moment in time.

Business Right, Money Right.

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