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The Noisey Guide to Starting a Hip-Hop Collective

By Ryan Bassil

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Hip-hop collectives have taken off in the past few years. Groups like Odd Future and A$AP Mob have muscled their way into the hip-hop heavyweight leagues via multitudes of swagged out videos and well thought out online "promotions" through social networks, hashtags, and a constant stream of music. Basically, they wear their online presence like they wear their chains: HEAVY. 

The best part, though, is that almost anyone can become part of one. You don't even need to be that good at music—as proved by the reams of collectives populating the internetz. You’ll need to find a group of friends who look kinda like you, but also don’t, so that you can fit into every single persona that every single kid on Tumblr can relate to. Collectives in 2012 use social media to their advantage and drizzle the Internet with their own "creativity." Here are a couple of steps to bear in mind.

Start A Tumblr

First things first, you’re going to want to start a Tumblr page. These little web 2.0 treasure chests are the musical ovaries of 2012. Treat this Internet cubbyhole as your creative ejaculate and penetrate the HTML with as much audio and visual spunk as you can. A man releases something like 500 million sperm each time he gets excited, so drizzle out as much of that creative juice as possible. It doesn’t all have to be good; remember, it only takes one lucky sperm to make a baby, and it only takes one ballsy song to make a hype band.

Find Bloggably Attractive Friends

So, you’ve made your Tumblr and you’ve plastered it with disposable prints of your collective sitting around doing sweet FA. If your reblogs and page views are looking a little like the upper lip of a 15-year-old's Movember effort (in other words, barer than a student’s cupboard in post-exam week), then your friends are not aesthetically pleasing enough. Get some new ones. The friends you need won’t just be dripping swagoo, they’ll have been born out of a stream of dopeness.

These guys can make sitting around in a parking lot bloggable, which is what it’s all about, baby—it’s all about the blogjamins. If all else fails and the only people you can find are more Rizzle Kicks than Rakim, remember: facial features are dead in 2012. With that in mind, Instagram the saturation out of everything until your friends' faces resemble a beaming, bloggable lightbulb.

Get Funny Names For Yourself

Off the top of my head, the only collective that rolled around using their real names was Blazin Squad. However, I just looked into it and it seems as though my brain was lying. Little Kenzie, Strider, Melo-D (clever!) Reepa, and their boyfriends all had some alter-ego personality namesake AND they scored a number one single, proving that the public buys into witty names and awful pop covers. You’ll want to be careful choosing your name here as it’ll probably stick with you for the rest of your life—as in, you’ll be rolling around in your zimmer frame and people will still refer to you as “Shorty Shitstain.”

Tweet About EVERY Thing That You Do

God created the world in six days, and on the seventh, he tweeted about it. Twitter was created with the sole purpose of squeezing little nuggets of shit out of your ass-brain one 140 character post at a time, then, sitting back to watch as it spreads around the toilet bowl of the Internet like a retweeting equivalent of a beeriod bowel blast. For reals, though, these tweets can be as awful as you want, kids’ll still lap the wordplay up like they’re in 2 girls 1 cup, seemingly not paying attention to the shit that they’re passing on. Grammar doesn’t exist on Twitter, so instead, focus on telling your followers things like “Fuck I Am A Motherfucking Table FUCK Last Night Was Dope.” You’ll need to have some sort of consistent sign off though, which brings us to our next point.

Create A #Tagline

Unless you’re promoting some philosophical mantra (#YOLO!), you can pretty much kiss your social media career goodbye. In 2012, kids need something to believe in. They don’t want phrases to tatt between their knuckles; they want derivative acronyms preceded by a hashtag. They spread this shit like literal shit, over statuses, pictures, text messages, clothing wear, until it becomes a hate-worthy viral meme. It’s important to remember here that being hated on is the equivalent of receiving a "best track of the week" accolade. As in, the badge-wearing name sucks, but you’ll be blog famous. Besides, what do rappers say to haters? They say "fuck the haters" whilst simultaneously waving spreadsheets of page views and showing off their hashtag emblazoned grillz. Nothing spells success more than a retweet from a white kid in Ohio, so sort your #hashtag out and ash it all over the internet.

Create Some Music Or Something

Yep, create some music. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be released like the world wants to hear every single thing you’ve ever made. They don’t. But, just like school, it’s always nice to play pretend.

Create Your Own Videos

The only things that lavish directorial music videos are good for are making artists like Grimes look good, and making Grimes look good. You’ll have already proven that you and your gang can look cool in featureless JPEGS, so simply transfer this look to moving image form. Alternatively, if you couldn’t find any virally pleasing friends, fill the video with disgusting gag worthy scenarios and film it all on your mom's VHS camera. Kids will guzzle this down like the "refillable" coke at Chipotle, plus, you’ll have showed the world what kind of gnarly fuckers you are.

Make All Your Own Artwork

Hopefully, by the time you’re releasing your first EP, you’ll already be semi-famous via the dope pictures that you’ll have filled your Tumblr page with (See Point 2: bloggably attractive friends, for reference). If that’s the case, this one is super-duper easy. Pick the most desaturated photo, drop a little font swag over the top, and boombap, you’ll have your rap artwork.

Start Hanging Out With Bigger Rappers

No one’s going to care about a lanky black dude from Ladera wearing a Supreme hat anymore. It’s not enough to make a track with an incessant chorus of “Swag! Swag! Swag!” and replace every S letter with a $. If you want to do this for real, you’re going to need some celebrity endorsement. Break into the back area of Coachella and try and snap a picture of yourself with Pharrell Williams or something. 

 

@RyanBassil

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