Why Is Promoting Local Rap Shows So Difficult?
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: H-Kane
This Week's Subject: Promoting local shows locally
Ask A Rapper: So you're promoting this SUC show at House of Blues October 14th with Z-Ro, Big Pokey, Lil' Keke and Lil' O. It seems like that's the type of thing that'd promote itself. What are some of the unexpected difficulties you've run into thus far promoting a big local show for local guys with local fans?
H-Kane: There hasn't been a big issue, but I know the one issue my staff will have problems with is local artists and their entourages. Everybody wants the star treatment, even if he just went to school with the rapper. [laughs]
AAR: Have you been surprised at Houstonians' apprehension to support Houston rappers lately? It seems like it's harder to get a Houstonian to listen to a Houston rapper than a foreigner. Is that about right?
HK: It was that way before this whole Frontline movement I have going on, that's why I'm focused on making a lane again for independent music. The Frontline Tour concerts are getting people back in the habit of looking for the star before he/she blows up. But we have a long ways to go. Most of the powers that be won't let go and let us young entrepreneurs bring new ideas into this forever changing music industry.
AAR: When you book a show with Z-Ro, what type of crazy pre-show requests is he making? We like to imagine that he asks for ice chests full of kitten legs and battery acid to be in his dressing room.
HK [laughs]: Nah, Z-Ro hasn't had any requests that were crazy to me. I'm more surprised at how they let me do me and listened to the way I wanted to do the show. I have a newfound respect for these guys now. [They're] real professionals.
AAR: How many times did you make a "Back, Back" joke when you were booking Lil' O for this show? Like, did you keep telling him to give you 50 feet whenever you all were bargaining his show rate?
HK: Ha! I did hit a little, "Boy, we're gonna make the haters 'Back, Back' with this one" [laughs].
HK: Damn right. Every show, party, event that I am a part of is a chess move leading to a big move five plays later. I planned this four months after I dropped The Curfew. And I promise you, concerts are apples and oranges from promoting and marketing a typical club night. If I decide to run with promoting events, I would like for them to be happy hours and concerts, that's it. And that's even a chess move.
AAR: Lastly, how many tickets are you going to give us to hand out as prizes this week?
HK: I just dropped off 20 pair to 97.9 KBXX to give away on all mix shows leading up to the concert. I think that's all I will give away. This is one show I think anyone wouldn't mind paying to see. If you were born and raised in Houston, listen [to] and respect the late DJ Screw, and you are not at this show, burn your birth certificate. History in the making.