• Clement S. Sealy, Jr.

7 WAYS PRODUCERS CAN SPOT A THIEF INSTANTLY

There are good people in the music business and there are bad people. Unfortunately, when you're starting out or trying to reach your goals, most likely the bad people will come looking for you.


1. THE CONTRACT

As I have stated previously in my blogs your layer will protect you. SPEND THE MONEY!  I’ve seen an extremely talented producer down on his luck, his wife and kids left him, he was almost homeless, and severely in debt. a management company found out and signed him with a $20,000 advancement.  He got a lot of work and realized he wasn’t making any headway in his finances. Well, he didn’t read his contract. He sent an accountant to audit his books and the management firms books, he found out that the management company was being reimbursed not only for the advancement but the food, travel, and sleeping arrangements that they were providing for him on those jobs. As well and their initial management fee. 


2. INSTANT HOMIE

These people are opportunistically savage. This is that person who is only out to exploit you. They just meet and you are best buds; no history, no mutual friends, no acquaintance but you just click and vibe. This is because you have what he needs. Most likely this person has the resources but not the skill.  They will try to create a partnership with you but won’t share the resources. You will end up with nothing.


3. COMPILATION MIXTAPE/CD

This is the hottest scam on the planet. MANY struggling producer become victims. This is how it works: Some con artist says that they are making a mixtape with known and popular artists and is giving you an opportunity for placement and to get your music heard. Here’s the catch.  you have to buy 100 cd on your own at $10 a pop. 

Yea, that $1,000.  Money that could’ve been spent on your promotion, marketing, or creating a better quality product.


Moving on. What they do is find an artist who known and pays them to host few bars your track for less than you paid for submission.  To add more insult to injury, producers and beat makers are the only paying for the CDs. The scam artists just past the song on the mixtape torrent sites for FREE


4. NAME SAYERS

"I know somebody that knows somebody that knows this artist". These are the type of people who are looking to break into the industry but have no talent to do so.  I call them the coat-tail drifters. They need to impress someone who is valuable to them but not you. They will use your talents to get into the business as some type of executive.  They want the corporate title with no work involved. The best way to get rid of this type of person is to make them show and prove. Have them set up a meeting with the artist or superstar. Most likely it will end in a big fail.


4. THOSE ARTISTS

As producers and beat makers you get a lot of requests for free beats. Sometimes these requests come from known artists. Oh, you will or have heard these sorry sales pitches:


1. I’m on Spotify if you give me a track exclusive for free, I’ll rap or sing on it and you’ll get exposure.

This may sound good but remember they’re getting paid and your not.


2.  I’m got a deal with an independent and I need beats. 

Know the independent hustle.  If an artist is signed that artist has to promote the album.  That means tours, sound bites for advertisements, streaming, and the like.  Also, most likely the artist has signed a publishing deal the record label has signed on as well.  So now, everyone is getting paid from your music but you. 


3. I’ll buy one beat, you give me 2 free and discount the price in the future.

Hey,  if you want to run a discount store so-be-it. To each is there own.  Think about this, how much money did you spend on your equipment? How much time did you take to learn the skill to create the products that you have? 


6. THE A&R SCAM

If you are able to get a placement at a record company you first have to go through the A&R.  they don’t make the decision if you will get placement but they will fight and sell the song to the decision maker.

Like many in the music industry, they are not above getting an extra check.  If your song is going to be approved the A&R knows before you and will try to capitalize on that. You will be approached about your publishing.  A&Rs know that publishing is key and they want to be your publisher.   Understand publishing is a tedious task and time-consuming task that shouldn’t be down by someone who is sitting in another job for ten to twelve hours a day.  Be aware of who does what and how it is to be done in the music industry. 


7. SUPER STAR’S FAMILY

There are a couple of superstars who have family members in their everyday business practices. There are many stories floating around and some may be true. I say this because I personally was present when this scam was pitched. 

An outstanding, superstar producer was looking for beats. A close family member who was the producer's employee decided to benefit from this quest.  This family member would tell up and coming beat makers and producers to put the song on an iPad and send it to an address that he handed to them. WOW!


MY CONCLUSION:

Always read your contract and follow through. Never ever, ever, forget what I am about going to say: If you come across a thief: RUN AS HUMANLY FAST AS POSSIBLE AWAY UNTIL YOUR FEET START TO BLEED: TAKE A REST HEAL AND KEEP MOVING!

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