Hustle Harder: Third Party Endorsements

By Donny Goines  |  05/16/2008

Donny GoinesHow many of you artists out there run up on people and say things like "I'm the hottest in the game..." and "I'm the future..." or one of my personal favorites "This is a movement...?" This is a HUGE mistake many artists make and it does nothing to help your cause. Learn to let others do the talking for you.

I remember when I went out to Palm Springs, California for this conference back in 06. The entire event was a great learning experience for me, but one of those moments sticks out in particular. During an Ice Cube listening session, there was a popular DJ in the room (I knew this because they had announced it during the party) and once I saw him standing by himself, I approached him. The very first thing I told him was "Yo, you gotta play this song 'cause I'm hot" or something to that effect. He stopped me mid-sentence and then proceeded to lecture me on why my approach was so off. He told me that you should NEVER approach people like that because A) they hear the same thing all the time, B) mostly likely people won't pay attention to you after you make these sorts of statements, and C) your opinion is biased because it's your own music and of course you are going to speak highly of yourself. I listened to him talk for about a good half hour during this party and really understood where he was coming from. I never approached anyone else again in the same manner.

Most artists have serious ego issues. They really tend to believe their own hype and it happens to the best of us. You may be a great artist, you might have some of the best music in the world, but trust me when I tell you this, coming from your own mouth it holds no real validity. People are ALWAYS going to make themselves out to look their best because it's a part of human nature. It's just common sense. This is why many people think I'm crazy at times because I tell people things whether it looks good for me or not, but I just don't give a f*** half the time, haha. I'm just like that as a person and it translates to my music, but for the average artist this might be something they can't do.

In regards to your music though, you need to let OTHERS speak on your behalf. Whether good or bad, at the end of the day people will either take you seriously because of it, or disregard your music and you have to expect both reactions. It's unrealistic to think that everyone is going to like everything you do. It's just not possible and your music will not always be the "hottest" or the "dopest." The sooner you realize this, the better. Now that you know that, you can also see the logic in what I'm saying. Think about it in your own personal life. When an artist comes up to you trying to promote his music or whatever and they're speaking as if they're the next best thing since sliced bread, I bet most of you ignore them. Now let someone else come up to you that have nothing to do with the said artist tell you the same thing, and you might look at them differently.

The truth is third party endorsements are always best. I'm not talking about your manager, publicist, promotion team or label either. I'm talking about the kid who goes to school, the co-workers at grocery store, people in another city or town, etc. People who have no vested interest in your success because it's at that point you can see this person really is making an impact. When someone who is not getting paid praises your work, that is the BEST form of promotion you could ever get. You won't have to say these things now, others will do it for you.

At the end of the day, you have to realize that people are not going to take you seriously when you approach them with these cliché slogans. Saying it yourself doesn't make it true, other saying it does. Remember that.

For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at