Hey, hedz. The landscape’s already hostile. No sense making it any more so. Here are a few tips for smoothing your way.
Have a stage show planned Please don’t just stand there with sunglasses on. And practise!
Eat properly before the show
Respect everyone at the show Remember: the soundman controls your impact, the bartender controls your audience’s intoxication experience, the bouncer controls your audience’s attitude and the club owner controls a piece of your career.
Show professionalism If you don’t connect with the crowd, or the stage monitor cuts off, or even if the venue gets shut down by the fire marshal for being over-capacity because you were too awesome to contain, approach the situation positively and responsibly.
Prepare for glitches Bring extra copies of your disc/vinyl. If technical errors mess up the flow, have a backup plan. Know a couple of jokes, be ready to spit some a cappellas – whatever it takes to keep it moving.
Do your research Find out who does what where before you call for media support or try to book a gig.
Prepare your promo materials That means bios, photos, CDs, a website.
Respond to media inquiries If somebody wants to talk to you return their damn phone call! Now.
Stick to the contract And be efficient.
Have fun It’s a wonderful job if you can get it. And you can if you want it badly enough.
Show up late I know, you have to leave your crib early, which cuts into valuable weed-smoking time. But until you’re Jay-Z status and have the world adjusting to your every movement, treat every show like it’s a privilege.
Leave without getting contacts Every show is also about networking, so make sure you take advantage.
Fight Nothing ruins a party more than an unnecessary display of caveman testosterone. Join the UFC if you want to scrap; leave the music to the serious musicians.
Disrespect women There’s no good reason to do this. Your image is important, and “groupie” is a horrible word to call a people person.
Bring 50 dudes onstage If they’re not rapping with you and your name’s not Mobb Deep, then leave the posse out of sight.
Spend all your time backstage Just because the show’s over doesn’t mean your job is done. Go talk to your fans and friends.
Hire your best friend as your manager Unless they’re totally qualified, of course.
Expect the deal before you earn it
Forget to include contact info Everything you send out should include your name and number.
Forget who got you to where you are The people you see on the way to the top are the same people you see on your way to the bottom.