The Pros & Cons Of Tagging Your Music.

pros-and-cons

The last few weeks I’ve come across a few discussions online about whether or not you should tag your music when shopping it.  So I figured I’d throw in my two cents about the pros and cons of tagging your music & my general theories on it.  Here is a handy color coded guide for your reading pleasures… PRO & CON

For about 7 years,  I have used tags on my tracks.  Here is an example of how I do it.

Note: This is the EXACT same file that was played to Jim Jones before he bought this track…

[viddy f=’http://www.beabetterproducer.com/BE_A_BETTER_PRODUCER_FILES_MAIN/mp3s/Businessman.mp3′ t=’Businessman’ a=left r=’viddy_close’]

The main reason I tag my music is to discourage beat “jacking” (the unauthorized use of music for commercial and/or promotional purposes).  I try to strategically place my tags over key points in my tracks, generally the best parts or parts that repeat the least.   This way, someone may be able to chop up the track in pro tools and construct a version of my track, but it still wont be as good as the real thing. Tagging my music has undoubtedly protected some of my music from being jacked.  I know this because there are a few MC’s out there who even used my tracks straight off the beat CD’s with the tags still on them. And I’m not talking about some random ass soundclick/myspace artists, they are actually semi well known MC’s…  On the other hand, tagging has probably blocked some placements for me too.  Many artists like recording to tracks immediately & may be too lazy/hollywood/pissed off to have someone contact you immediately for the track.  If done properly, tagging your tracks can also help build your brand/name. There are a bunch of industry people & MC’s who can recite my tag when I see them & in the Jim Jones track.   On the Jim Jones track “Go With You” (Produced by Rony A), they actually liked the way his drop (“illathanmost”) sounded so much that they left it in anyway…

Many people believe “as long as your music is copyrighted, you will be OK”.  This is ridiculous.  Yes, if someone steals your music and puts it on a major album, it will definitely help you out in court.  But there are other ways someone can steal your music & essentially render it useless.  Today someone can jack one of your tracks & post it up on a popular music site & mixtape radio shows within minutes of recording it.  Once your music is in circulation publicly, it can completely ruin your chances of ever placing it with someone else.  I’ve had leaks/jacks like this happen to me 3 times so far  (it’s crazy how the timing on these things work out)…  Two of those times it completely turned the artists off of the track & ruined the placements for me.  For the “Bright Lights Big City” beat (above), someone jacked the beat and placed it on a couple of Hip Hop websites.  Of course some of Jim’s people heard it.  Word got back to him, but fortunately he either didn’t care or just liked the song enough to not worry about it.

I think that pretty much covers up all the Pros and Cons of beat tagging.  Just because you may be leaning one way or another, remember you can always use a combination of tagged and untagged beats.

This is the formula I have created to decide on whether to send someone tagged or untagged beats…

“If a jacked song from the artist or artists on the label you are sending tracks to will improve your discography,

then you should send them track with no drops.”

which means…

“If a jacked song from the artist or artists on the label you are sending tracks to will NOT improve your discography,

they need to cut a damn check before they see any music without drops.”

Just my opinion though…

About Jim Bond

Jim Bond is a good dude, veteran Hip Hop producer & has been helping producers out in one way or another for over 10 years. He is also the creative mastermind behind such illustrious sites as Kicksandsnares.com , SaturdayMorningSamples.com & Beabetterproducer.com!

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25 comments

  1. I know that some artists like 50 do not take beats with Drops in them. Only problem is most managers submit the same tracks to multiple artists. So if you have a beat CD with drops on it then you need a copy of the beat without the drops. Great Advice.

  2. GOOD INFO BUT IM ALWAYS GONNA HAVE 1 TAG ON MY BEATS CUZ ITS RARE THAT AN ARTIST WILL HELP PROMOTE YOU SO YOU GOTTA DO IT YOSELF….gs-ARCADE

  3. Great Advice, I feel that tagging is necessary when I post tracks online,but for official placement business, I take them off. If I’m gonna get beat jacked I would rather it be from a notable artist. They would be doing me a favor…..really.

  4. @Relavant Beats I think what jim is saying is make the beats not visible on pmp your submitting for track dumps that you don’t want to tag and the ones visible for listening purposes tag.

  5. I agree. Look up Drumma Boys beats. They all have the tag that says “Listen to this track bitch”. But here’s the catch, almost all the artists he produces leaves the tag in there bc it sounds so good. So I believe that answer to this question is if you DO tag you’r beats, then make it sound good so in case “50 Cent” hears a track, there may be a good possibility he won’t immediately say next. It’s all about getting the artist to actually “listen”. I’ve had 5 people give Tech N9ne a beat cd from (I’m from Kansas City) and he didn’t listen until someone told him they know a “hot producer” that he needs to meet. Beat cd’s in my opinion are good, but when you’re like me and live in the suburbs, you’re not gonna get much “business”, just “recognition”. It’s about working your way up the ladder and steady climbing. When you stop grinding, you miss out on opportunities. Trust me I’ve seen it happen to A LOt of rappers from KC. That’s why none of us are on the map. There’s good music out here, people just get discouraged. Grinding has ended me with producing from Tech N9ne at the age of 18…

    Check out my website and give me feedback and I’ll do the same for you.

  6. How long should your beats be when submitting them to artists? I’ve heard everything from 1 minute to the full 4-5 minute track.

    • That’s a good question man… I definitely need to do an article on that. There are pros and cons to that too. But nowadays, I think I’d have to recommend sending the full beats.

  7. im wondering what the jim jones drop is?

  8. I have a stupid question, is a drop like in A Milli when it starts out and its like Da Business? I have never put drops in a beat before ive probably been screwed.

    • Yep that would be one

      PS No such thing as stupid questions.

      • Hello Jim,

        I do not have a vocal tag in my tracks. I have, instead, a rhythmic and melodic tag (that sounds great) in each of my tracks. The idea is similar to Lex Lugar’s signature sound. I have also copywritten my signature sound.

        Please tell me if I have made a mistake or to keep on keepin on.

        Thanks for your input.

        • It’s definitely not a mistake. That sort of thing can definitely help you brand yourself as a producer. But I doubt it’s going to stop anyone from jacking your beat.

  9. What about just having the tag in the intro? I dont have it playing through out the entire song? Could I still be missing out on opps? Because its literally just my daughter saying “Claudio Audio”..

  10. i think a producers tag deserves to be on the beat.Even if the artist purchases the exclusive rights…but i dont know if that sounds contradictory lol

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