Music appreciation is in a weird place in 2017, and it's made for some strange adaptations in the way artists promote themselves and others. With streaming services outperforming traditional sales and radio continually falling by the wayside, artists are finding more unconventional ways of getting their music into the ears of listeners but not all of them are great.
Rather than selectively offering his platform—which boasts 119k followers—to artists he truly believes in, Maco sees his following as an opportunity to make money off fellow artists in the name of good will. Of course, he's not the only artist who has established this practice. XXXTentacion offers a similar service and to put it bluntly, it's all bullshit.
In fact, here are three reasons why.
First, Maco’s defense for this questionable move is that he watches blogs “literally ignore actual talent,” which in many cases is absolutely true. There are definitely blogs out there forsaking true artistry in favor of paid submissions. And it's that very wackness-promoting tactic that’s turned terrestrial radio into a 12-song playlist of whoever has the biggest wallet behind them.
If Maco is against blogs ignoring talent and denying originality by charging artists for a placement on their pages, what sense does it make to turn around and practice the same behavior? It's not just Maco that's in the wrong here, it's the entire idea of making money off artists for promotion and losing all credibility of taste or discernment in the process. If you're serious about giving artists a platform so they don't have to wait on blogs, do it because you support their music and not their PayPal balance.
Secondly, moves like this are almost always a bunk deal for the artists paying to be promoted. A SoundCloud repost in no way guarantees that people are going to listen to or like your music and even if they do, converting those listens into fans is an entirely different beast.
There's allure to racking up thousands of streams, sure, but if you're earning them through non-organic methods the ultimate return on those listens is going to be minimal.
Lastly, this entire transaction has a major impact on the fans. Co-signs are supposed to mean something in hip-hop, it's a passing of the torch that (usually) supersedes label politics and bullshit. If an artist is pushing the music of others solely for monetary gain, co-signs become effectively meaningless and tastes are, once again, being influenced by cash and not talent or a genuine desire to spread awareness of good music.
I'm not usually one to knock a hustle—get your money, artists—but in an industry that's been picked damn near bone-dry by dubious interests, it would be nice to see more sound ethics.
Artists, please look for more impactful and organic ways to promote your music. Your capital is literally the fuel for your passion, and it could be far better spent on engaging, original and ORGANIC marketing.