“This is Probably a Mistake, But”

Posted by Justin Boland on Apr 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

If you don't recognize this you need to watch the 2010 Takeshi Kitano film Outrage.

Audible Hype began as just another music marketing blog, but it evolved into a much deeper dive. Along the way, it documented a lot of independent hip hop history, too.

It’s about time to bring it all back.

Since 2014, I’ve been mostly living in the woods. Highly recommend it. What I have not been doing is having much involvement with the music business. Yet in 2023 I find myself, somehow, back in the booth, stacking tracks, and plotting out a two year plan. Things are about to get very stupid indeed.

Any music career is a juggling act with 10,000 details. I know from the last time this website was cooking, being transparent about these boring & arcane subjects is valuable to other indie artists. And I know from my own past decade of adult life that transparency is valuable to me because it keeps me accountable. The third arc of this virtuous circle is the fact Audible Hype was branching into straight-up, bloggin’-ass music coverage, so that’s coming back, too.

In 2023, old men on Twitter are talking a lot about “The Blog Era,” something everyone understands and nobody can agree on a definition for. There was a brief, beautiful explosion of new life online, then it got snuffed out. That scene ain’t what it used to be, and most of those websites shut down shop for a very good reason: the only money in it is the kind that kills the culture. Dudes are pouring their hearts into five thousand word essays & interviews for companies that only exist to serve advertisements on top of their work. It’s a living.

So why resurrect a failed business model? Because it’s a loss leader for my actual business, which is making and selling music.

Things are not going great at the moment: I have very few tangible assets and made less than $50 of income so far this year, despite running up well over a thousand dollars of expenses. I currently have no active mailing list, a domain without a website, and my LLC has been inactive for years now. That’s nothing impressive, but it’s also nothing unusual. So this is a perfect time to start documenting the journey.

Selling music is a viable business model. It’s important to start there, because it gets proven every day by thousands of independent artists. That said, in a country with a population measured in the hundreds of millions, “thousands” is a very small club indeed. So the question of who they are is very bit as important as how they make money selling music. They are, almost all of them, talented, organized and driven. And they have great teams.

My foremost asset is my talent, but that’s only because it comes so easily for me. My biggest asset, without question, is my team: my friends, my connections, my family. I could not be pursuing this without a supportive wife who, thank Christ, loves my raps. All of the music I am making is thanks to one of my best friends, Matt Scott, being a world class audio engineer, session musician, and natural born Executive Producer.

I am equally blessed to be working with a fantastic circle of producers. Just between SKYWISE and Iceberg Theory, I basically have Infinite Dope Beats For Life. So while I’m technically starting over, I’m doing it with exponentially more resources than I ever had back when Soundclick, DatPiff and Myspace ruled the jungle.

There’s a ton to get into, but, later. I’m going to organize and streamline it first. This is just a friendly nod as I quietly open up shop on the music coverage, a “soft launch” as the MBA striver class puts it.

In terms of what to expect here on Audible Hype in 2023: not very much of this personal journal shit, for starters. I will be focusing on other artists, with interviews & case studies. My rap life is just not that interesting at this point, since nearly all of my work in 2023 will be about preparing for 2024. Independent hip hop is an embarrassment of riches these days, and there are still far too few platforms for that fire.

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Music by Justin Boland