Gee Wunder’s Jewels Vol. 4: Promoting hip-hop in Canada [Blog]
Toronto, ON – What up world. Gee Wunder’s Jewels is back to explore pertinent issues in the Canadian hip-hop industry. Hopefully you find the information and opinions insightful.
Promoting hip-hop in Canada is difficult for many reasons. Here are a few;
- Being a newer genre in Canada definitely works as a disadvantage to one of the planets most popular art forms.
- The sheer size of Canada is another intimidating factor. Reaching fans in far off places like Nunavut, N.W.T. and P.E.I. can be challenging to large multi-national corporations… nevermind an independent artist.
- Institutional racism may also play a part in the lack of industry support for the genre. Here in Canada racism is alive and well…. albeit more subtle. Even un or sub-consciously, many daily business decisions are made based on previous biases. This is changing, though, as old dinosaurs are replaced by global minded young bucks in the workforce.
- Lack of commercial radio support; Although many Toronto artists are quick to claim a lack of support (prolly cuz dey tracks is wack haha) we are still the most fortunate in Canada, because sadly we have the only TRULY urban radio station (Flow 93.5), in Canada, to look to for support. There ARE glimmers of hope shining through though. A few pop stations, i.e. Chum 104.5 and Virgin Radio here in the T-Dot, have realized their listnership has GROWN UP on urban music and are now peppering their playlists with old and new urban tracks. Shout-out to the Bounce in Edmonton, TheBeat in Vancouver and StreetzFM in Winnipeg, who also has a completely urban format and play mad CanCon!
On the label side of the argument some in the industry argue that there are too many examples of thousand dollar budgets gone to waste on failed Canadian hip-hop projects. Which is sad, but unfortunately, true. But, at the same time, pertinent questions always need to be asked; Where was the money spent on promotion? Did the label help to set up the artist with a booking agent? Were there individuals within the label heavily supporting the project? Was the right artist A&R’d in the first place?
With shows being few and far between for MOST Canadian hip-hop artists? (not ALL artists though… shouts-out to Classified for killing the Canadian circuit) most artists are faced with booking or throwing their own shows/events. It is common knowledge that an artist’s success is closely linked to their show schedule. Many newer artists may even find themselves performing for free…an idea that I’m not big on seeing as revenue streams available to the artist are severely limited these days. But do what u gotta do to get to the next level still…
Luckily there has never been a better time for an artist to take advantage of technology… at every level of the music business… especially on the promotion side of things. Online networks like Facebook, Twitter and yes… even MySpace (although it appears to be on it’s last leg) are invaluable tools for the independent artist. Artists should also follow AND take advantage of blog sites such as http://CityOnMyBack.com, http://TOFLO.com, http://TorontoRappers.com, http://MegaCityHipHop.com and of course http://HipHopCanada.com or any other pertinent web portals in ur area.
With the interweb in mind, it’s gives me the perfect segue to let y’all know about the recently launched http://GeeWunder.com, your one stop destination for everything Gee Wunder related including Music, Videos, Photos and Beats. All Items on the site are available for purchase or download.
Catch me on tour with Das Efx this October: October 13 – Hamilton, ON The Casbah 306 King St W, October 14 – Barrie, ON Mansion Nightclub 34 Dunlop St E, October 15 – Oshawa, ON Karma Nightclub 394 Simcoe St S. Come out to the shows, cop a CD and say waddup!
Until the next episode in the words of Mike Jones “If you don’t grind, you don’t shine!!!”
Check out http://youtube.com/livemotivators Gee Wunder – “For The People” (Street Album III) FREE DOWNLOAD at http://urbnet.com/geewunder “Up_Down” – Gee Wunder (Prod. by Tha Tzar) VIDEO and SINGLE out NOW. Go to http://itunes.com/geewunder and Cop dat!!!
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