Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His newest project War Machine 2 was released on June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.
Adam Murphy is the founder of Midwest Mixtapes. I talked to him about the many different roles he has played in the industry. We also discussed mixtape marketing and the importance of taking your plight to the streets while promoting your music.
Tef Poe: When did your career begin?
Adam Murphy: My professional career started December 2001 when I walked into VIP studios looking to do an internship. I want to thank SPUD for the opportunity. I bounced out in April 2002 because that's when I got with Lyrikal Warfare. I was ahead of my time in marketing music, and this business is shady. April 2003, I executively produced Lyrikal Warfare's Articles of War album.
When I'm on overseas websites and I see fans talking about this album like it came out yesterday...the feeling is amazing. It's on iTunes but I might press up some for the tenth anniversary. Lyrikal Warfare first appeared on Memphis own Kingpin Skinny Pimp's Back2daPlayazBall 2000 album.
I help develop artists on the business aspect of the music industry. The majority of the time, it's on the marketing aspect of it: Internet/viral, DJ circulation, street team, publications, retails and more. If anybody remembers your 50 St. Louis artists you should hear blog, I had 4 guys on that list (DerrtyBoi Montana, County Brown, Richie Stacks and Ray Goss). Besides their hard work and talent, I'm a major reason they are well known locally and outside the STL market. DerrtyBoi Montana; I executive produced three albums and two mixtapes. Chicago has a lot of love for him but he's not from there. County Brown, we've known each other since first grade. He has been slanging music since we were in high school. He is a major reason I knew I could do this too. Richie Stacks, you've seen him on the posters all over town with the endorsement from Royal Blunts. I helped him get the endorsement deal. Ray Goss, we met at a low budget showcase type event. He walked up on me saying, "I see everybody talking to you, you must be somebody." How many companies do you currently own/run at the current moment? Tell us about the struggles attached to promoting indie music, and changing with the market place as the music industry goes more viral and retail stores begin to close.
I own OutDaWoodworks Marketing & Promotions, LLC, OutDaWoodworks Radio (the longest running STL hip-hop show) and www.MidwestMixtapes.com. I have partners in Midwest Mixtapes; Mean Girlz Media, an old high school buddy, and Power God Allah (a.k.a. Ali of Nelly's crew St. Lunatics). The struggle has been more personal than anything. It sometimes takes away from family and friends. I've been getting on message boards since 1998. I've been making money from the net since 2003, but at the same time I still hunt out the CD stores. There are some still out there; the ones that are around adapted to the market. I still make money off the physical product. I own music websites and I still market with the thought in mind, there are more people in the streets than on the Internet.
What's next for you in this upcoming year, where are you going to take things in the future?
To be honest, Midwest Mixtapes is just going to keep growing. We recently teamed up with the new Independent Basketball Association St. Louis Trotters semi pro team. We are doing cross promotions with them. We plan on doing a scholarship with Nelly's EI school. Just attracting more and more DJs. I deal directly with the heads of several DJ crews throughout the Midwest. I have became really cool with quite a few good size blog sites.
How can indie artists go about submitting music to you?
They need to go to Midwest Mixtapes and all the info they need is on there to get placed on the site. As far as any marketing questions, just know I don't have time for any budgets less than $500. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Say something you've always wanted to say but never had a platform to speak on.
I want to say that if at 50% of these people who want to be in the music industry just went back to being fans, the industry would go back to normal.
Where can we find you or contact you?
You can find me every Sunday night on 89.5 FM the Wave from 8 p.m. to midnight. You can tune in from the radio if you live in the North County area or online at www.stlcc.edu/kcfv. You can follow me on Twitter