I judge wisely as if nothing ever surprised me, so when I heard there was an opportunity to open for Killah Priest without having to pay out of pocket I said "Cool, I can sell 40 tickets", and I did.
I saw it as an opportunity to add something big on my resume so I didn't mind putting in the leg work, but let me be quite honest ... I believe I shouldn't have to.
Not because I'm a better artist than everyone, not because I rip every microphone I see to shreds, not even because I stand head and shoulder above pretty much every other MC in Toronto, none of that has anything to do with why I shouldn't be selling tickets to an event I am performing.
Heres why : CUZ I'M A RAPPER NOT A PROMOTER
Would you ask a dentist to cut your hair or a barber to fill your cavity. No you wouldn't and if you did that dentist would loose credibility as a dentist and the barber as a barber. Stop doing this to artist. Let us create and be artist. Promoter need to fill these places based on the sole fact the audience is going to see a good show. Artists can not be responsible for bring crowds because who that artist brings only has vested interest in the artist they came with.
If I were living in NYC - or any other self respecting city that isn't named Toronto, the Killah Priest show would be sold out before they even put my name on the bill as an opening act. But its a little different here in the Big Smoke we show support to our talent a little differntly here.
Do not take this entry out of context ! I respect I Respect Music because they put in work and make things happen. They have talented artists and a CEO who's business accumen and work ethic is incredible. The IRM Movement to me is one of the more established, successful and unique organizations within the Hip Hop community in T.O. which is why I jumped at the opportunity to work with them, but I don't agree with any form of Pay to Play because it makes the artist vulnerable. But I did it because I have to. They set it up this way because they have to. Things just work differently here.
In my opinion the artist should be sought out, not only as the main event but also as the opener. Otherwise you have a situation where there will be less talented artists performing at shows where they really have no right to be performing because they can pay to play They may suck but because they can sell 40 tickets or pay 500 bucks they're in the show.
Promoters, Hosts, Record Labels etc do your self a favour and seek out truly talented artists that deserve to be in shows based on their talent not what they are willing to do. Invest in these artist not yourselves and you will see a greater return I promise you because your shows won't suck. I am guilty of being an artist who was willing to pay to play (or willing to sell tickets in this case, cuz when they asked me to open for Freeway for like $500 bucks I said Hell No) because I needed to be in a show of this magnitude. That was my only option because I live in Skrewface Capital and we have no one who is willing to put themselves on the line so someone else can shine.
Problem Number 2 is - if the first opening act brought 25 people and they leave when the first act is done and the second act brings 35 and they leave when the second act is done and this pattern continues until the main event then how many people will be let in the venue when that time comes. Its sad. Especially when those acts aren't really good to begin with.
I am not going to say this is what happened at the Killah Priest show, but I am also not going to say this didn't happen at the Killah Priest show. All I am saying is when you rely on artist to do your promotion it can be a good thing and a bad thing. Its just a thing - a thing that needs to be scrutinized and reevaluted if we want Hip Hop to benefit everyone.