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Does a Feature for $$ Work?
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Does a Feature for $$ Work?

One of the ideas I had was to produce a track with a well known artist like Kool G Rap, Don Trip, Talib, etc. Most MC's charge between $600 to $1500 for a verse of a couple of verses on your track with you.

Since the economy is crap and the music business is falling apart, you can get a pretty good deal to have a feature with a major artist these days even if you are not well known or a nobody.

My question is whether anyone on the forum has paid for a feature (or gotten one for free if you are too embarrassed to admit you paid for one) and if you think it was worth the money in terms of helping your career or getting attention.

I know features are pretty common these days but my idea was to take a relatively unknown artist on my label and then pair them up with a feature of a well known hot artist or legend such as Kool G Rap to help promote the unknown artist.

I was thinking it would be easier to get the blogs to notice a track if it was Joe Doe MC featuring Kool G Rap, Don Trip, etc. I figured you would at least get $1500 worth of exposure this way as people would be excited to hear it, especially if it was a legend that people rarely hear from who is not overexposed.

I have to imagine if you came out with a track with someone like Doug E Fresh, it is going to get noticed regardless of how little known the John Doe MC is.

If you can let me know what you think and if anyone has done this and if anyone has had any success with this. I was thinking you could also produce your own album this way just by hiring hot MC's to rap on the album like Khalid does.

I am sure Khalid hires the producers and pays the MC's for their verses in most cases for people who are not on his label. I look forward to the feedback.
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Doing an album like that is my dream, but everyone I reached out to was taking about way more than $600 - 1500 for a feature. Independent/unsigned rappers, not household names. As a matter of fact, one artist (or should I say his manager) wanted $400 just to do a 15 second mixtape drop. Not trying to discourage you, just saying you might be a little off with your projected numbers. Anyway, good luck if you and your artist decide to pursue it.
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Well..

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyTheProducer ➑️
Doing an album like that is my dream, but everyone I reached out to was taking about way more than $600 - 1500 for a feature. Independent/unsigned rappers, not household names. As a matter of fact, one artist (or should I say his manager) wanted $400 just to do a 15 second mixtape drop. Not trying to discourage you, just saying you might be a little off with your projected numbers. Anyway, good luck if you and your artist decide to pursue it.
You might want to give it another shot because costs have come way down and these dudes are starving right now. A verse is typically only $1500 now.
Old 16th September 2012
  #4
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E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I wanna know this as well.
Old 16th September 2012
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Raj Smoove's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
that money could be better spent on promoting your project and building a fan base of your own. Features don't do much except say "hey, i'm not hot on my own so i need (insert hot rapper here) to get on my song to make it worthwhile."

collaborations on the other hand can be real dope and don't weaken your brand. meaning working with somebody that will enhance but not outshine your song.

Having a legendary MC on your project doesn't help if no one knows about it cause you don't have promotion money. Get you name and weight up and people will be paying you for features.

my 2 cents
Old 16th September 2012
  #6
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projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
you shouldn't do it if there is no personal connection. Killa C paid Tech N9ne $40k to do a couple things on his album "Tainted Flesh". Killa C is a well known underground artist but seriously isn't known enough for doing with with Tech N9ne. Bottom line if the artist doesn't turn around, make shout outs and basically promote you at all as an artist, their verse wont do much.

also artists charge based on talent. if they think you're good they wont charge that much. Best price I ever got offered was $333 a track with Zug Izland. I never did the collaboration, I should have but money was tight. Worst price I ever got was $2k from Esham.

you're money is best spent on marketing the release. you'd be better off paying a radio station to have you as a guest on their morning show. Facebook also has good advertising but it cost quite a bit if you want it to target the right crowd.

getting a collaboration is a luxury and won't guarantee you sales unless its a pop star.

Sent from my LG-P925
Old 16th September 2012
  #7
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jbrown1music's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Imo u should only pay for the features if the artist is relevant and can help ya project for instance kool g rap at this point in his career probably wouldnt be too much of an impact. But a kweli or a don trip would definately be good
Old 16th September 2012
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
I know a couple guys who did this, put rock, quan, krino, and esham on their album...They were legendary on their underground rap forumus, but, they never recouped.
Old 16th September 2012
  #9
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JanZoo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I worked with few artists that had features of famous MC's, very famous MC's, both for $ and FREE, and no, no, it doesn't work at all, it doesn't expand that artist fanbase, not in one single case I was involved...
Old 16th September 2012
  #10
Gear Nut
 
osomusicent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I say it's worth it if they're people you really want to work with. All the other posts have been on point. The features will get you some attention but def won't be career altering, that's why I say do it if it's an artist you've admired and always wanted to work with. On the other hand skip it if you're just choosing some artist because somebody knows somebody who knows somebody that can get you a decent price.
Old 16th September 2012
  #11
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There's three things to consider:

1). Is the release of the song with the feature relevant to the feature artist? In other words, if you get Talib Kweli on a track - is he putting something out soon? In a movie? In some way is the namesake bringing in extra attention? Timing will get you more mileage.

2). Is the artist relevant to the feature artist and vice versa? If the feature makes no sense then there's no cross promotion.

3). Are you expecting the namesake to do the work, or are you expecting to work the namesake? A feature is a good segway into gaining attention. "Well, do you like Talib Kweli? I did this record with him - check it out. You might just dig it, and if so, I have an EP of original material."



But on the grand list of expenses, I would say a feature is not top top priority. Making sure the music itself is top top quality, and that the promotion/publicizing is right needs to come first.
Old 16th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I've seen it work.

If I'm browsing for music, and Joe blow has a song, I usually overlook it. If it's Joe blow feat. (insert well known mc here) - I'm WAY more likely to check it out.

If you're actually nice, you may be able to outshine your feature and people may start checking for your music then. If you're wack and have a nice feature.... Well, you're just a wack rapper with a nice feature. In that case no, it won't work.

I've seen dudes start out paying other people for verses and now people (from the us, Spain, Germany, etc) are paying THEM for verses....

I know cassidy recently quoted a local cat around here a grand for 8 bars.
Old 16th September 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Features are lame. I don't like it when artists rely on features it's wack.

If an artist can't do an album 80% alone. I won't even bother listening to it.
Old 16th September 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you are not extremely good as an emcee (almost at the same level as your feature), and your beats are not extremely dope....
it will do more harm than good.

I remember when prices dropped and people started doing this. You would hear formerly great emcees on with some so so cats who probably thoguht they were the truth, and this is all they needed to get exposure.

To date I never purchased any of those albums and cant remember the names of any of the, songs or the porson whose ablum it was on. If you are not already generating a major buzz, and getting exposure, I dont this tactic sells you enough records to recoup. Even thought the prices are stupid low.

When Mos Def gets on a track with Immortal Technique or Jay Electronica you are like... man.. okay let me check this out. I have heard of that cat. When Kool G gets on with ???? it is not the same. Not even close.
Old 16th September 2012
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Freematik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Like everything in hip hop, there are a lot of different opinions on whether this is dope or wack.

I think personally, the view of "I don't need a feature, i can do it myself" is kind of an immature macho reaction, and just limits you for no reason.

Almost all mainstream artists use "features" on their albums, whether it's a hook, verse, or whatever. I love when I am listening to ANY rap album, whether it's underground or mainstream, and hear someone I know. It makes me feel at home, more connected, and just bottom line it's just more interesting to me.

There are also groups that NEVER have features, and are so creative and deep, it would throw their vibe off. That is cool too. The point is, neither way is better than the other, there is no "right way" to make hip hop.

I agree with DaKid, that when some artist I have heard of, but never listen to, posts a song up with a rapper I think is dope, I might actually listen to that song instead of once again passing the artist up. This is true of mainstream artists as well as no names, it just is a marketing aspect of an artistic process.
Old 16th September 2012
  #16
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E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
While most of the opinions are straight, you can't overlook the huge fanbase of 12-18 year olds with disposable income that for simply lack of knowing any better assume that because you have ______ on your song, you must be on that level. It's the reality of why alot of these kid artists are getting so big so fast. Mac Miller, Chief Keef, etc..
Old 16th September 2012
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Freematik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
BTW- PRO TIP: there are many big name artists that will do features for cheap if you find the right person to talk to, and also provide a "party atmosphere".

I will let y'all define "party atmosphere"
Old 17th September 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
It can work. If you feel the artist is ready then if he has talent someone will notice. So I suggest only spending the money if you think the artist can really go somewhere and they are ready. If not go back to artist development and make the investment when they are ready. Just know that most of the artists out there think they are ready, but are no where near. What kind of reaction do you get from their people? you need honest opinions from people ya'll dont know. Post the music in this thread.
Old 17th September 2012
  #19
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MIDIMobster's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I think it depends on several factors. Is the artist/artist's music good enough to stand on its own, without the big name feature attached to it? Can the artist parlay the buzz into something more than just a single hit song? There's plenty of examples of an artist having someone big on their song and making it a hit (say Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne on "Make It Rain" or Playaz Circle feauring Lil Wayne on "Duffle Bag Boy") but then there is nothing else on the album worth checking out, or that would really stick with you and make you say "This guy has got potential! I'm going to check out the rest of his work!"
Old 17th September 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Most of the artist I have see do this are not good enough to stand on their own. It does not work for them. No one is checking for them afterwards. Now im talking about features at the Kool G / Sadat level as well. I cant think of one artist that had one of those "under a stack" features that propelled them into any level of success.
Old 17th September 2012
  #21
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bgrotto's Avatar
I've engineered sessions for a number of clients who've hired-in features. They paid quite a bit for some of them, as I recall. And none of them yielded any tangible benefit in terms of raised awareness for my clients.

The closest any of my clients came to getting any notoriety from any of this was having one of the guys he paid to be a feature steal the song and post it on his own website before my client's album release date, all while excluding my client's verses from the clip, as well as his name, as well as the names of the beatmakers and producers who made the track.
Old 17th September 2012
  #22
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've seen it work successfully. But never just standing on it's own heels. There needs to be a plan in the works.

Part of this is because people view features as business transactions. Look for an artist that will compliment the song and bring something special to the table, and think outside the box in terms of how that artist is incorporated.

But again, if you have $5,000 to release an album - don't spend $1,000 on a verse from someone. Put your production and promotion first.

And actually, don't do a full length album, do an EP... but that's a topic for another thread....
Old 17th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
But again, if you have $5,000 to release an album - don't spend $1,000 on a verse from someone. Put your production and promotion first.

And actually, don't do a full length album, do an EP... but that's a topic for another thread....
This. x1,000,000.
Old 17th September 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Excellent topic started by the thread poster. What is your opinion if this was a producer and not an artist. What do you think about paying for a local aritst to rap on your song. I've actually been working at studio with two upcoming engineers and local musicians recently. I've learned so much. I was contacted by a local rapper and an he came to my session while I paid a college student who was a violinist. The rapper liked and looked impressed. But then said you pay me $500 to rhyme on that and I'll jump on it.
Old 17th September 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarthy945 ➑️
One of the ideas I had was to produce a track with a well known artist like Kool G Rap, Don Trip, Talib, etc. Most MC's charge between $600 to $1500 for a verse of a couple of verses on your track with you.

Since the economy is crap and the music business is falling apart, you can get a pretty good deal to have a feature with a major artist these days even if you are not well known or a nobody.

My question is whether anyone on the forum has paid for a feature (or gotten one for free if you are too embarrassed to admit you paid for one) and if you think it was worth the money in terms of helping your career or getting attention.

I know features are pretty common these days but my idea was to take a relatively unknown artist on my label and then pair them up with a feature of a well known hot artist or legend such as Kool G Rap to help promote the unknown artist.

I was thinking it would be easier to get the blogs to notice a track if it was Joe Doe MC featuring Kool G Rap, Don Trip, etc. I figured you would at least get $1500 worth of exposure this way as people would be excited to hear it, especially if it was a legend that people rarely hear from who is not overexposed.

I have to imagine if you came out with a track with someone like Doug E Fresh, it is going to get noticed regardless of how little known the John Doe MC is.

If you can let me know what you think and if anyone has done this and if anyone has had any success with this. I was thinking you could also produce your own album this way just by hiring hot MC's to rap on the album like Khalid does.

I am sure Khalid hires the producers and pays the MC's for their verses in most cases for people who are not on his label. I look forward to the feedback.
Are you going to hire other artists you think for your project?
Old 17th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sopre ➑️
Excellent topic started by the thread poster. What is your opinion if this was a producer and not an artist. What do you think about paying for a local aritst to rap on your song. I've actually been working at studio with two upcoming engineers and local musicians recently. I've learned so much. I was contacted by a local rapper and an he came to my session while I paid a college student who was a violinist. The rapper liked and looked impressed. But then said you pay me $500 to rhyme on that and I'll jump on it.
I'd of told him, other way around brotha. LOL
Old 17th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
LeoLeoLeo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Program directors of radio stations are more likely to play your song with a well known/hot feature than without if an upstart artist.

If you can be in studio at same time, video footage for video song trailers, showing interaction that the features fanbase looks for.

For modern revalance, $1500 is waaaaaaaaay low...
Old 17th September 2012
  #28
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Dayl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think we would know the answer if we took our gearslut/production hats off for a moment and wore our listener, fan of music hats.

What I mean is, I have heard tracks that made me wonder why said artist worked on this trashy production with sub calibre mc's or figured it was $$. On the flip, I have heard artists that I dig collab with artists I wasn't aware of and thought DOPE! ...

normal personal taste applies of course, but I do this almost everyday it seems.. and the answer to the OP question is clear.
Old 17th September 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Make sure if you pay money that you do something to certify the legitimacy and exclusivity of the verse(s).

Only pay if you attend the session, have the artist say your name in the verse, or have a legal document.

There are a number of scammers out there.

Please search "Shortyo" and notice how quickly "Shortyo scams" comes up... Follow that rabbit hole, learn and protect yourself.
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