Katt Williams in his comedy routine and Snoop Dogg in his music have created another definition for the word PIMPING. Their definition is more akin to being on top of your game, having knowledge and making a lot of money, while not doing a lot of work for it. Today’s Hip Hop, Neo Soul, Country and Rock markets are now seeing an additional redefinition of the word. Let me explain.
More and more people, businesses and hustlers are taking advantage of hard working entertainment artists, acts and companies by creating “do nothing, feel good” business models. A proliferation of these new models are showing themselves in almost every city, town and hamlet around the civilized world.
OPEN MIC NIGHT PIMP – a concept where an artist or act can perform with the express goal of having themselves “discovered” by a major entertainment company. Great theory but hardly a reality. Open Mic night now consists of greedy promoters using FREE talent to build weekly audiences. In some cases the talent must pay an additional fee to perform after having paid to get into the venue. I have been looking for the act that gets signed at one of these events for the past 10 years and have not found any yet.
PUBLICISTS PIMP - Here are people that have a vocation to increase awareness about an artist, act, product or service. They are the first line of promotion that should access new fans, clients and users of the people they publicize. Today’s new era publicist talk a good game but can not produce results for their clients after they have demanded money for their services. What I am finding is a long list of publicists that have massive email lists, but absolutely no knowledge of local & regional newspapers, local & regional television shows or connections at radio. What they tell you they have is direct email to thousands of individuals, what they don’t tell you is that their email opening is at times less than 2% and never over 10%. Recently I have heard of a publicist that took a substantial down payment against hourly work than sent the company they took money from a bill for research on local news outlets. The publicist has yet to write a press release, send an email or make a phone call to assist the company that hired them. Finally when is the last time you have seen a publicist that honestly wrote a press release that was legible and error free?
3. RADIO / CLUB PROMOTION PIMP – Dave Clark, the world’s first radio promotion man once said that “EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A STAR” and most entertainers feel that if their music is played on the radio they will have a “HIT”, make tons of money and become extremely popular. The reality is that any commercial radio station around the world is no longer playing more than 40 current songs a WEEK! Out of these 40 songs 40 of them are coming from major labels. There is an occasional independent label song either previewed (make it or break it) or played during a restrictive hour (local talent time) on some but not all radio stations. These local or independent songs do not get rotated into the main stream of the station and may only be heard once during an entire month. In comparison there are thousands of local and independent artists that still believe they can get their song onto the commercial radio station within their respective communities or they can go to another community in another country or state and get their music played. This entire perception is erroneous, but millions of dollars are spent every year by these dreamers in hiring RADIO PROMOTION PIMPS.
The best of these PIMPS will get a song added to a few smaller stations or at least to the reporting playlists but never deliver a full rotation on major stations. For this disservice RADIO PROMOTION PIMPS are getting 5 to 6 figure checks from unsuspecting artists. A short time ago I was at an event and a prominent radio promoter was attending and sitting at the same table. During our conversation this promoter said” Every year I get at least 4 suckers that want their music promoted. I charge a first & last month retainer in advance for I know that they are going to come up short when the record doesn’t perform as they expect.” One of the most frequent methods used by the RADIO PROMOTION PIMP is paying for an introduction to someone that has an established career within the entertainment industry. This past year I spoke with an independent label that paid $30,000 to meet a platinum selling producer. This company did not get a deal, get the producer to work with them or even an autograph, just a $30,000 meeting.
CHARTS - The days of music charts making a distinction for individual songs has past. The day of a true chart that really tells the popularity of a song has come & gone. When Billboard was the bible of the industry there were several executives that you could hire that would make sure that your song was listed on at least one of the Billboard charts. This too has changed dramatically. Now the new CHART PIMP is working the singles charts and placing songs on that have no validity or true sales. Once again acts, artists and companies are under the misunderstanding that having a song on the charts will get you fame , fortune and the ultimate major label deal. A recent phone conversation I had was on the legitimacy of a song that had charted in the top 4 of a major magazine’s singles chart. This song did not have major or independent distribution, there were no downloads available on any of the major downloadable sites and the record label did not have any company structure that would allow them to sell, market or track a single. When I said that this was a pure “pimp” game the label owner took offense and said I was “hating” on the company. CHART PIMPS are making mid 4 to 5 figure checks for basically lying about songs.
CONFERENCE PIMPS - This is probably the second largest pimp game available in the entertainment industry today. The music conference has become an art form in taking people’s money and not giving them any professional return on their dollars. This year alone in the South and Mid West there will be over 50 music conferences representing all types of music. Out of this 50 possibly 6 will be of significant value to an aspiring or professional artist, however the rest will be calculated to separate the artist, act or company from their cash. Several different methods are being used and they all have a ring of authenticity to them. Conference admission fees are typical, plus exhibitors or booth fees and the always present performance or showcase fee tops the list. Other fees are charged for advertising both online and in a conference book or handout and post conference shows at an outside venue. What is interesting to me is that every year there is a certain element of individual that will continuously fall for this type of scam.
If after reading this article you are angry at what I’ve written then please evaluate which one of the PIMPS you are closest to being or becoming. Please understand that these type PIMPIN games are being played around the world with numerous different styles of music and entertainment. So are you part of the PIMP GAME?