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What is up with hip hop vinyl?
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dense



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 911
Location: england
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august spies: have you got the acrid / left for dead split 12" that's shaped like a buzzsaw?.... that things fucking awesome.... sharp as fuck too!....
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:49 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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Location: privileged homeless
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Cramming more than 18 minutes on to one side of a 12" piece of vinyl results in SHITTY sound quality, especially in bass-heavy music. Trust me, if cats could put records out on single wax they would - don't you realize how much profit they're LOSING, having to pay the setup costs for TWO records and having to keep the price reasonable? It's sick to suggest people do that so they can charge more.

Also, here's why a punk band can put out more elaborate vinyl than a hip hop artist: THEY ARE A BAND. Typically like three to five people, right? Rap groups are EXTREMELY rare these days compared to "solo" artists, even producer/rapper teamups aren't that common. For the most part, a rapper gets a beat from a producer (sometimes paying for it, sometimes not) and then assumes the whole responsibility for issuing that song to the public.

I was about to put out a split 7" with Johnny Hardcore, but financially we couldn't quite manage it. The producers aren't part of the deal, even the guest MC on John's side wasn't expected to pitch in - we were going to do it completely ourselves, because they're our songs, but we don't have the dough right now.

(actually, I do, but I work a 9 to 5 so it's easier for me to keep my rap money separate and not use it to eat and live)

In Canada, for 1000 copies of a 7" with just a white sleeve and a one colour label, you'll pay around $1500. For the same thing with a colour jacket, it's like $2800. It's way more economical to print vinyl in massive quantities because although the set-up charges are enormous, the per-unit charge is pennies (well, dimes... which are American pennies), but when you start adding fun surprises in every one, well, you're dealing with 1000 times whatever the per unit cost is for each fun surprise... even if they were black and white photocopies, that's not a negligible expense.

Oh yeah, plus - bands tend to HAVE record labels. Rappers tend to BE record labels. You ever notice that? Bands have managers, agents... rappers tend to be about 1000 times as DIY as your average record-releasing punk group. It doesn't do them any good, but it's the way things are.

Forgive my bitter tone - I'm just like this because I WANT to have vinyl out.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 9:42 am
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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Random Sample: I run a record label, abeit a small one, so I have a good idea what this stuff costs... and the answer is not too much. If you are pressing a couple thousand records they should be no more than 3 a piece total. 2xLP 6 bucks. It is not very hard at all to make your money back on a vinyl release. To throw in an extra sticker or a nice insert would be a very marginal cost increase. What does it matter if you are making significant money on it? As a hip hop label you will be putting out both a cd and lp version anyway, right? you will be making virtually the same but putting out a nicer product. Plus these things still apply, in fact apply moreso, to the huge record labels

2. So do DJs really play LPs? All my dj friends use 12inchs. I mean, do you really play some f side song by an underground hip hop group at a club?

3. that is true, but... but they are so much cooler
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 9:42 am
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Random Sample



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Our group is not putting an lp out for our album. it is not cost efficient for us. We don't have the means to do it. Most people don't press up a couple thousand records though. They usually get a thousand or less. If you are an independent artist doing it yourself and you sell more than a thousand pieces of vynil then you are really good. most people only sell a couple hundred unless you get a distro deal.

Do dj's play lp's at clubs or somewhere else? I guess they do when I do a club if I have something that I have the whole lp of I am not going to buy a single when i got the shit on the lp. why buy shit twice. For the most parts I just spin at shows that I throw. so It is mostly underground/old school hip hop.

Jesse:
very true about having more people and more support for the rock bands. I got this place in the states that is pretty cheap. And I will find out, but my boy just did a full color sleeve vynil somewhere in toronto.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:07 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
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August Spies wrote:
Random Sample: I run a record label, abeit a small one, so I have a good idea what this stuff costs... and the answer is not too much. If you are pressing a couple thousand records they should be no more than 3 a piece total. 2xLP 6 bucks. It is not very hard at all to make your money back on a vinyl release. To throw in an extra sticker or a nice insert would be a very marginal cost increase. What does it matter if you are making significant money on it? As a hip hop label you will be putting out both a cd and lp version anyway, right? you will be making virtually the same but putting out a nicer product. Plus these things still apply, in fact apply moreso, to the huge record labels


You're ignoring a lot of factors. What do you do with your records once you've manufactured them? Do you sell them hand to hand? Do you sell them on consignment in local stores? In that situation, you probably wind up selling them at great prices.

But most wax isn't just manufactured and hand-delivered straight from the artist to the consumer - most wax is carried by a distributor and then sold in a store. That's two layers of markup right there that the artist has little to no control over. You put a label in there, some publicity, people have to get paid for their time and effort when the record is promoted. Free copies have to (well not HAVE to but it can be important) be sent to radio stations and magazines for review, that costs money as well as diminishing the supply from which one would be recouping.

If guy could get a thousand 7"s made for three bucks each and could sell a thousand hand to hand, then he could sell them for five bucks and win like crazy. But he can't, can he? He needs the machines, and the machines need grease.


Quote:

2. So do DJs really play LPs? All my dj friends use 12inchs. I mean, do you really play some f side song by an underground hip hop group at a club?


Different DJs do different things, of course. Obviously 12"s are more convenient for playing out, but on a more relaxed night one might play anything one feels like playing.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:16 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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random_sample wrote:
I have something that I have the whole lp of I am not going to buy a single when i got the shit on the lp. why buy shit twice.


Sometimes you need the radio edit, and the instrumental and a capella can be really nice to own. I guess the average listener and/or casual DJ doesn't have much need for both, but I sure like to have 'em.


Quote:

very true about having more people and more support for the rock bands. I got this place in the states that is pretty cheap. And I will find out, but my boy just did a full color sleeve vynil somewhere in toronto.


He probably did it with MMS (since they're pretty much the ONLY game for wax in Canada), and it probably cost him a TON. I hope he's got the market to make that dough back.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:19 am
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mortalthoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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singles actully make more sense for djing if you think about it
you can do more 'turntable trickery' with an acapella and an instrumental then you can with jus the track
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:23 am
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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Jesse:


Quote:

don't you realize how much profit they're LOSING, having to pay the setup costs for TWO records and having to keep the price reasonable? It's sick to suggest people do that so they can charge more.


no I don't realize how they could be losing money. The only way you would lose money by doing a vinyl release too is if you pressed a lot more than you could sell...

I can understand why some small newcomer group couldn't press a record, but this shouldnt' be an issue for Anticon or Def Jux (much less Bad Boy or Def jam) which is what I was talking about.


Quote:

Also, here's why a punk band can put out more elaborate vinyl than a hip hop artist: THEY ARE A BAND. Typically like three to five people, right?

Most punk bands don't release their own records. Most of them go through a record label... same with most hip hop acts.

Most punk record labels only sell a handful of copies (500-1000 for a small label) yet they can still do elaborate packaging. I don't understand why a label like Def Jux, that must be moving a shitload, can't do it.


Quote:

we were going to do it completely ourselves, because they're our songs, but we don't have the dough right now.

i'm sorry to hear that. That sucks. But really... how many copies would you expect to sell? You should be able to get 500 7inches done with packaging and everything for no more than a thousand. And if you shopped smart maybe 700 dollars.


Quote:

Oh yeah, plus - bands tend to HAVE record labels. Rappers tend to BE record labels. You ever notice that? Bands have managers, agents... rappers tend to be about 1000 times as DIY as your average record-releasing punk group.


no offense but that is one of the stupidest things i've ever heard. What are the big punk labels around? Level Plane (run by Greg from Hot Cross/Saetia), Crimethinc. (run by the catharsis guys), Magic Bullet (Brent from Waifle/Forensics) etc... Most punk/hardcore labels are run by kids in bands or poor ass kids like myself. The only exceptions to this is mall punk shit like Epitaph, but that shit more comparable to Rockafella records than some underground label.

Bands have managers? Agents? hahaa... I don't know a single band who has an agent. Every punk band I know books their own tours and do everything themselves. Yet when I set up shows I can't get any hip hop acts because I have to go through their booking agent and get all these gaurentees and shit. Hell I have seen big ass punk bands like pg.99 or Catharsis play inside of peoples basments. Do hip hop actr do house shows? ive never heard of one.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:27 am
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mortalthoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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Quote:

5. As much as I hate to say it, but vynil is dying slowly. And no one cares about it as much as they used to. Back in the day when you wanted to hear a song and you had to buy it on vynil. Now you just download it, you don't have to buy vynil now.






i disagree the 'dj culture' is blowing up
and producers well if they dont wanna sample shit thats been sampled 100000000000000000000000 times there gonna have to turn to vinyl simply because thats the only place there gonna find samples that havent been used a million times
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:28 am
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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Quote:

You're ignoring a lot of factors.

Jesse I run a label, I know what is involved in this. They should be able to get LPs completed for 3 bucks. Yes I realize that needs to be marked up a lot by the time it gets to the store. But my point is 3 bucks for a normal LP vs 3 bucks and 10 cents for a normal LP plus posters and inserts is really not going to affect sales very much at all...



and once again my complaint here is directed towards larger record labels, not some kid in canada trying to put out his first 7inch. Def Jux has plenty of cash, they could easily make great packaging.

EDIT: does anyone have any idea how many copies of a release DJ or Anticon sell?
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:32 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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Okay August, it looks like you and I had two different scales of release/artist in mind.

Also, I think maybe you and I are able to see finer print with respect to the different scenes we're more entrenched in. I'm basing this on an assumption that you're more deep in punk than rap, and I'm just the reverse. This means that I'm probably familiar with all kinds of rappers that wouldn't even really catch your attention, and you're probably familiar with all kinds of punk acts that I'll never hear. So from my point of view, rappers are more DIY and from yours punk acts are.

Either that or it's just me, depending on whether I've misread you.


Quote:

Do hip hop actr do house shows? ive never heard of one.


On our tour last year, we did. Just the one, but I'd do it again given the opportunity.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 11:12 am
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Random Sample



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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It does make sense to dj with singles, but if I go out and buy the lp why should I go buy the single unless I need the radio edit for the radio. I usually buy singles. I hardly ever buy an lp. People who do crazy shit with hip hop vynil is dumb. Just stick with the black vynil and make dj's happy. singles have come in colored vynil and it sucks for dj's. Personally I don't care what the hell it looks like. as long as the quality is good and it isn't warped. Plus colored vynil's quality is shit. the grooves seem to fry easily.

Yes I do think that the dj/producing culture is blowing up, but they are a small group. Vynil is getting bought by less and less of the masses. You just can't move a twelve inch like you used too. I was talking about new releases dying for vynil. Beat diggers will never die. Technology killed the vynil star.

If you press 500 or if you press 250 the price isn't that much different because of all of the setup costs. I think when I was looking for prices I found a place that would do 500 12" for $1100. and I think that 250 were going to be like $950. To sell vynil I think that it has to be cheap. so we sell ours for $4. so we make hardy anything on it.

Jesse:

he is getting it done somewhere for a rediculously cheap price. It is way cheaper than anything that we found in the states. I will ask him and find out what the place is. He is definitely not getting ripped off.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:13 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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Quote:

you're probably familiar with all kinds of punk acts that I'll never hear. So from my point of view, rappers are more DIY and from yours punk acts are.


Jesse: you are right that I know more about punk/hardcore than hip hop. And you probalby know lots of really underground hip hop acts. However, I still have a hard time believing hip hop acts are nearly as DIY as your average undergound punk/hardcore band. First off it seems like you are suggesting that a lot of unknown rap acts are diy... that seems like DIY out of necessity, whereas every punk/hardcore band in the scene (even the huge ones) are pretty darn DIY. Huge (relativly speaking) punk/hardcore bands like Catharsis or Tragedy still book their own tours and do their own artwork etc...

Or put it this way: Catharsis toured rabidly forging their way into new uncharted territory. They did one tour from NC to Brazil. They did a 6 month tour of europe with a long time spent in easter european countries.
Have any underground hip hop acts even come close to doing that?

And more on topic... my label hand cut all of our 10" packaging, Forensics (d.c. band) just made 600 copies of their first CD in insane packging involving forensic evidence containers, the legendary band Los Crudos made the packaging of their first LP out of dumpstered pizza boxes which they then hand spray painted and hand silk screened, waifles 7inch repress each came with a piece of someting from their tours, Lightening Bolts LPs are all hand silk screened with at least 4 layers of ink, Stop it!'s brand new LP has three layers of silk screened ink on each side etc... etc...

Maybe I am just out of the loop but I have never heard of a hip hop act doign something like that... and certainly not a relativly large band like Los Crudos or ligthening bolt.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 2:05 pm
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Random Sample



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
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no one in hip hop cares enough to do that. It is too much time and effort for something that isn't going to make you hardly any money. It is all about the dollar son.

All of that sounds like they are putting collector pieces together. hip hop vynil gets destroyed from scrathing and mixing and shit. Those records sound too nice to fuck up.
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 2:51 pm
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Nightlight



Joined: 11 Jul 2003
Posts: 44
Location: California
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How many punk vinyls come with an extra vinyl or 2 of instrumentals? I'd personally be way more interested in getting something like that with my purchase as opposed to some stickers. But then I've never bought a punk vinyl so...
Post Mon Aug 04, 2003 4:07 pm
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