interview Dubcnn Blog - Dollars and Sense (By Eric Engelwood)

      Dubcnn is always looking to expand its writing staff to include some of the best writers online and with this new Blog we are delighted to have lined up Eric Engelwood to present this series of articles that will fall under the newly formed Dollars and Sense Blog. Eric runs a consulting firm and Lyay.net in his spare time.

Whether it be a weekly dissection of the latest news and events or his historical glances at events gone by you are guaranteed to be entertained, informed and taken on a journey of thought that is sure to provoke discussion.


July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008


July 2008


Dollars and Sense: Third Edition (Friday July 4th, 2008)

Donít Cry, Dry Your Eyes
By Eric Engelwood

So everybody and their sister thinks the West Coast is hurting. Message boards, interviews, everywhere you look, there seems to be a general sense of pessimism surrounding the West Coast. Things couldnít be farther from the truth. Thereís a vibrant and quality music scene on the West Coast and itís just a matter of time before we get our turn. Record Labels are taking notice and itís only bound to get better.

On the new artist side, weíve got Jay Rock, Ya Boy, Roccett, Bishop Lamont, PacDiv, Young De, Taje, Dubb, Young Maylay, G Malone, Roscoe Umali, Clyde Carson, K Dot, Damani, Bangloose, Bad Lucc, and Problem. Iím sure there are others I missed, but those were just the artists that came to mind when I made a quick list. Weíve got a wide variety of artists complimenting a large spectrum of hip-hop. Gangsta, swagger, punchline, hipster, and backpack rappers, the West Coast has it all.

On the new producer side weíve got Infra Red, Terrace Martin, Dae One, THX, FOC, Disko, Dem Jointz, Focus,and a bunch of others Iím sure I missed. These producers have consistently put out quality work and can do beats from hardcore to G-Funk to RnB.

The talent is there. The record labels seem to be taking notice. Both Problem and PacDiv recently signed deals with Universal Records. G Malone is going getting a big push from Cash Money. Westurn Union is putting their debut album out through Koch and of course Bishop Lamont is over at Aftermath.

When you hear people talking about how the West Coast is dead until Detox drops, just shrug it off because itís simply not true. Take the time to listen to some new artists and Iím sure thereís something there that youíll like. The West isnít dead, in fact Iím gonna go out on a limb and say weíre about to enter a very good era thatís gonna rival the good old days fans so fondly remember. You heard it here first.


June 2008


Dollars and Sense: Second Edition (Friday June 13th, 2008)

People like free, but will it translate into sales?
By Eric Engelwood

So I had my iTunes on shuffle trying to come up with something to write about when it dawned on me: The West Coast is at the forefront of marketing in the music industry. iTunes played me Crooked Iís Hip-hop Weekly #19. That track was followed up by Bishop Lamontís City Lights, which was followed up by Problemís Iím toe up remix. The West Coast is putting out quality music for free, so how will artists make money? Will this tactic of "free music" pan out or will we see another generation of angry West Coast rappers shunned by the industry?

Think about it for a second: Crooked I put out 52 weeks of free music. Thatís nearly four albums worth of free music. Bishop Lamont has put out three album quality mixtapes in a little over a year. Artists regularly put fully mixed and mastered tracks on Dubcnn, Lyay.net and countless other media outlets for free. This is a brand new way of marketing and itís time for artists to take advantage of this new model. Welcome to music 2.0.

Artists are building grassroots fanbases , but are they utilizing them accordingly? In order to succeed, touring, direct to fan sales, and other revenue streams should be examined. For every artist that puts out a track for free, there should a plan to make money behind it. Will that track get that gets the club jumping translate into touring money? Can you license that song about your favorite booze to the booze company for a commercial?

For the New West artists reading this - Imagine for a second that you NEVER made a cent from selling a physical CD or a track online. How would you make money from your music? If you can list three things off the top of your head then youíre in good shape. If not, get brainstorming. Like I said in my last blog post: Throw some sh*t at a wall and see what sticks. Think about different ways of monetizing your music in other ways than just selling tracks or CDís.

The music industry is going through a sea change, but with the right angle the West Coast can come out ahead. The sooner artists realize the way of making money in the music industry has changed, the sooner they can come up with new ways to get their paper.


May 2008


Dollars and Sense: First Edition (Friday May 30th, 2008)

Attention New West: GET YOUR PAPER
By Eric Engelwood

Iíve said it over and over, the music industry is changing. No longer can artists put out a hot track, get signed to a major label, and live fat. Youíve gotta put a total package together. Youtube, ringtones, endorsing products, blogging, iTunes and twitter. These are all different areas West Coast artists should be looking into and attacking aggressively.

Itís been clear over the past 6 years that major labels arenít giving the West Coast a shot, so what to do? Whine and complain or sack up and start creating an independent fan base on your own?

Put thought into your promotion. Posting the same MySpace bulletin 15 times over the space of an hour isnít doing anything but pissing people off. Your time would be MUCH better spent contributing to the discussion at Dubcc or Sohh. People will pay attention to you if they know you're posting on the same site they are. It's a quick and easy way to gain fans and see feedback on your product. Sure there will be haters, but fuck them. They donít buy music anyways.

Didnít get a track on the new Madden game? Sponsor a Madden 08 tournament or player. Sure itís nerdy, but you can bet youíll create ďDie HardsĒ and youíll get your music out to a WHOLE new market. Look for a local beer or product and include it in one of your songs. I donít want to tell you to ďthink outside the boxĒ because that quote is trash. Whatís happened with the internet is that the box has become so big, ideas that you think wouldnít have a chance in hell, work splendidly.

Stay ahead of the curve, but not so far ahead that people donít understand what youíre trying to do. Try and identify upcoming trends and catch them early. With the internet, there are a LOT of different avenues to make money off your music and personality. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to reach new fans. The hardest OG in Compton and a 12 year old French boy can both be your fans thanks to the Internet, so market accordingly. Sure some of these ideas might be hot trash, but if I've even got you thinking about marketing yourself in different areas this post has done it's job.

Remember: There is no rule saying how you can market yourself, so throw some sh-t at the wall and see what sticks. Whatís the worst that could happen?




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