Today's underground hip hop scene is a constantly growing community of artists, fans and supporters of independent, non-commercial music and mixtapes.
Many underground rap artists are insanely talented, and highly regarded among fellow artists and fans locally, regionally or nationally. In fact, some of these artists are considered “underground” today, but once topped the Billboard charts at the heights of their careers.
There’s no denying that hip hop can be very profitable. And the underground hip hop scene is no exception. Today underground artists sell their songs online, earn money from YouTube views and book shows in various cities, all without a deal.
To propel their popularity, many underground artists seek out other popular rappers to provide a guest appearance or “feature” on their song. We see this all the time with famous artists. For example Beyonce' ft. Jay Z, Drunk In Love or Lil Wayne ft. Drake, She Will.
While celebrity hip hop artists have attorneys and record labels to negotiate the purchase and sale of features, underground artists don’t have the same streamlined systems in place. Currently in the underground hip hop scene, a feature is bought or sold for a deposit and a handshake. If the guest artist is popular enough, feature seeking artists will "step out on a limb" to conduct an exchange through email and a wire transfer. More often, artists shy away from this type of exchange, thus restricting most to only collaborate with other local artists they know and trust.
And that’s where Rapfeatures comes in.
RapFeatures.com creates a peer-to-peer, global marketplace (think of an Ebay for verses) where artists can buy and sell features in a secure, online environment. You don't worry about selling a verse across the country or across the globe and getting stiffed for your money or for your feature because RapFeatures.com allows users to:
• Negotiate the price for a feature.
• Fund the purchase of a feature through an escrow account – to protect both the buy and seller. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escrow
• Have direct contact with other artists and/or managers from around the world.
• View and agree on deliverable timelines.
• Be governed by a comprehensive Code of Conduct, to protect the integrity of the platform, and the business relationships established between artists. (i.e. Dispute process for recycled verses and more)
• Integration with Twitter and SoundCloud, to enhance promotion of features.
Now that we've demonstrated the need, is there really a market for this type of platform?
Each month, there are nearly 13k tweets from underground artist, managers and promoters, discussing the purchase and sale of features on Twitter. In addition, over 71k individual mixtape projects were released between December 2012 and December 2013 on Datpiff.
These numbers represent real artists and real managers that would benefit from a secure, online global marketplace like RapFeatures.com.
Let’s Get it Poppin’!
RapFeatures.com is raising funds to bring our platform to life. YOU can be a part of this revolution by contributing what you can. Whether it’s $5 or $5,000, your contribution will help globalize underground rap and make collaborating easier and more secure for artists around the world!