Hum Hip Hop An Open Letter : Loopholes between Hip Hop Investors, Organisers and Performers

The Hum Hip Hop Project – Promo 2 Presented by The Humming Tree & DesiHipHop

the hum hip hop project edition 4 promo 2

Dear Hip Hop investor, performer, organiser and audience

The 4th Edition of the Hum Hip Hop Project (HHHP) took place on Diwali day. It all started off with fireworks that we never organised for, what a beautiful sight that was. Keeping crackers aside, this edition taught me a lot in terms of organiser – performer relationships. For a long time, i’ve been a performer myself and been angry or frustrated with organisers for various things. Only when you step in those shoes do you see the sangria this is. The truth is, its never easy as a independent organiser, a large effort goes into putting together a show which includes promotion both physical and digital, figuring payment for artists, bringing synergy between venues and sponsors, focusing minds of performers before the performance etc. Most of these things go behind the scene and artists come into picture much later. Such objectives are not difficult to achieve but their “difficulty” largely depends on artist co-operation. With regret, I have seen performers who had drank so much before the show that they could not even mumble, let alone rhyme. In multiple occasions, i’ve had artists ask for “women” and “crowd”. These are essentially very relative, if you are good at what you do, you will get both, the bad performers only brag about it.

How do we improve this relationship? Its simple really. Money. When an organiser pays an artist enough, the artist does not have any room to worry about crowd or women. He needs to fulfil expectations and pull a good show. However, this is easier said than done. Due to the lack of proper funding, Hip Hop properties and events fail to make the impact that they actually can. Although Hip Hop is the largest listened to genre, and has time and again proven to sell to more people across the world including India, investors are skeptical. Why? Visibility. The audience never sees enough of whats happening, bearing in mind that investors are audience as well. Brands render support only in terms of providing merchandise or “promotion” (which is nothing), but never really aid financially. With proper funding, venues will believe in the property and smooth running will be possible. With sites like visibility can be achieved, merchandise can be sold, but all of this is possible only if, artists and organisers stop thinking that they will get cheated or go under loss and actually take risk and invest time and effort.

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I do not make these statements with frustration but wish to highlight the thin line between investors, performers and organisers. Many festivals do not feel Hip Hop has a justifiable stance to gain a solo stage. Why? This is predominantly because of reasons stated above. We are forgetting that we can only be performers if we love Hip Hop and do it for Hip Hop and not for what comes in-between. The 4th Edition of HHHP featured G’nie, Big Deal, Bijju and DJ Sahil Madaan, the night just took care of itself. The artists never asked for women or for a crowd. With one of the most average audiences at the HHHP, we had one of its best shows. It is important to realise the effort put by team members for the love of Hip Hop, namely Bishmen, Arjun, Sandeep, Hardik and Suvan. The blood and sweat each member puts into HHHP is immense and knowing all these limitations, one has to feel blessed to have such a team.