Take The Test...
Are You *Certified©?
"Are You Certified" is accurate. - Deborah Rigaud, Director of Business and Legal Affairs, Koch/E1
What is *Certified©? By definition, *Certified© means that your contribution to Hip Hop music as an artist and an entertainer is noteworthy, impressive, professional, and respectable…
Certified Hip Hop www.stlhiphop.com 314-485-2928 firstname.lastname@example.org
Koch Madness Winner Nite Owl
We do a lot of talking in St. Louis about the who's who of Hip Hop. We debate, we have beef, we have haters, we have assumptions, and we have a lot of "rappers" who are uneducated about what it means to be an independent artist. Many are uninformed, and ignorance seems to repeatedly get in the way of growth-individual growth and the growth of our industry. What is *Certified©? By definition, *Certified© means that your contribution to Hip Hop music as an artist and an entertainer is noteworthy, impressive, professional, and respectable. It means you have accomplished the basics, met a number of goals, paved the way for others, established relevancy, maintained longevity, been knocked down, and then got back up, and continued to achieve. It means you understand the music industry, at minimum, on a basic level--both independently and contractually through labels. It means that you record and distribute music, you perform regularly, and you have a fanbase. Being *Certified© has nothing to do with whether or not your music is "good". This is not subjective matter. It's about facts. Take the *Certified© Test, to find out where you stand. Be honest with yourself when you take the test. Use it for your own accountability, to grow as an artist, and to set new goals for yourself and your music career. If you turn out to be Not *Certified©, don't blame the test or the creator of the test. Look in the mirror for answers to all of your questions or frustrations, and then work hard to educate yourself and achieve more. You are either going to be... 1. *Certified© 2. Almost *Certified© 3. Not *Certified© 1
*CertifiedÂŠ Test 1) Have you signed a contract to record/distribute music with a nationally recognized label? 700 points 2) Do you have a minimum of 750 email addresses from individuals who have joined your fanlist, and do you regularly keep them updated about your music? 250 points 3) Have you been paid to perform, by check, made payable to your government name? 250 points 4) Do you have your own self-named website? 50 points 5) Have you opened for a National Act (without paying to perform)? 60 points 6) Do you have press written by reputable sources (ie. St. Louis American, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Riverfront Times)? 60 points 7) Have you performed in a Loop Underground Show at The Pageant (your own set, not someone else's)? 30 points 8) Have you released an album with original production (a hard copy, with artwork) 75 points 9) Do you have an album(s) on iTunes? 50 points 10) Have you been paid for the digital sales of your music? 60 points 11) Do you currently, or have you had music on the shelf for sale at Vintage Vinyl? 50 points 12) Do you attend sound check when you are booked to perform at a local venue? 40 points 13) Have you had a song played on HOT 104.1 Home Jamz? 30 points 14) Have you been paid cash to perform? 30 points 15) Have you performed outside of St. Louis? 40 points Ruka Puff 16) Do you have over 1000 Facebook Friends? 0 points 17) Have you been recognized with a local award? 30 points 18) Do you perform at open-mic events? 0 points 19) Do you perform over instrumental tracks when you are on stage (with NO vocals on the track)? 50 points 20) Does your daily or weekly schedule include rehearsal of your music? 40 points 21) Has the music you distribute been mixed and mastered? 30 points 22) Do you have your own DJ who performs with you at your shows? 50 points 23) Do you blame Nelly, Murphy Lee, or any of the St. Lunatics or Derrty Ent. for the reason why you haven't been signed or "blown up" yet? 0 points 24) Are your songs registered with BMI or ASCAP? 30 points 25) Have you registered a song with BDS? 20 points 26) Do you have more than 500 twitter followers? 0 points 2
27) Have you been recognized by your stage name, by a stranger in public, who complimented your music? 30 points 28) Do you have a press package/electronic press kit? 40 points 29) Have you recorded a music video? 30 points 30) Have you been recording and performing music consistently for more than 5 years? 75 points 31) Have you recorded and distributed a mixtape? 0 points 32) Do you have enough in your catalog to perform a 1-hour set (if you were called to perform 2 days from now)? 60 points 33) Do you have a producer who specifically produces music for you, to compliment your sound and style? 50 points ________________________________________________________________________________________ Add up your score and see where you land..... *Certified© Artists should email email@example.com with their score and answers to the test for verification and consideration for promotional and feature opportunities on stlhiphop.com. A list of *Certified© Artists will then be maintained on file for www.stlhiphop.com for additional opportunities. 700 points and above: Congratulations! If you scored 700 or more points, you are *Certified©! This means that your name is probably in regular circulation in the Hip Hop Music Scene in your city. You are determined, passionate, and you have clearly made your music the top priority in your life. You know the foundation for building an independent music career and have built upon it for years. You should be commended and respected for your efforts. But don't stop here. Continue to work hard to achieve your goals and to be a noteworthy artist and entertainer. 500-699 points: If you scored between 500 and 699 points you are Almost *Certified©. However, you are clearly on the right track. You may be very passionate about your music, but likely still need to learn more about the business aspects of being an independent artist. You may need to recruit some new members on your team, who can contribute in the areas that you lack expertise. You should observe artists who are *Certified© so that you can learn new ways to increase your score. And you should stay focused and patient. 0-499 points: Unfortunately, you are Not *Certified©. You are well meaning, but you may just simply lack years of experience. Or, it's possible that your music may be more of a hobby than a career. You may be focusing too much of your attention on the wrong priorities. You may have some misinformation, or been guided by individuals who have steered you in the wrong direction. You might also be waiting to get signed instead of taking your music career into your own hands. And finally, you may have not yet realized that the music is only about 7% of the equation. There is much more work to be done. And since you took the time to take this test, you now have a blueprint for growth. *Certified© Artists should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their score and answers to the test for verification and consideration for promotional and feature opportunities on stlhiphop.com. A list of *Certified© Artists will then be maintained on file for www.stlhiphop.com for additional opportunities. CREDITS This test was developed by MiMi Brown, ©2010 For permission to use this test, email email@example.com 3