Creating a good weed song 101
Up until a few months ago, I’ve never been in a music studio. Within 8 months, all of the sessions added up to 120 hours so far. During Kush High Life Vol.1, I learned the in’s and outs of creating music, from scratch to the distribution. If anyone ever thought hard drugs were addictive, wait till you start making weed songs. Its a thrill like no other when your working with a team of amazing musicians, rappers, singers, and producers.
Kush High Life sought out the musical mercenaries, Dead Rebel Society to find and recruit the talent to complete the album. On my end, I was responsible for making sure the concepts were clear, the music matched the vibe of message KHL wanted to get across, the artwork for the LP and single. The first 10 hours of the project, I was completely disappointed in the progress that we made. What I had in mind was “ Hey, we are just going to go in, drop these bars, get this music and we are off to the races.” Boy was I wrong. Just as an artists starts with a sketch, the bones are the 1st thing that happens when creating music. Its like paint over a canvas, little did I know, you build up from there.
The overall experience was great. I enjoyed that you could have an idea, a concept and it comes to life over a different artistic medium. Music is a world in its own right and the people who occupy it abide by her rules. Now that I think about it, there were warnings going into the musical relm and rather to push back, I lit up and went with the flow. The top 5 of the best memories while learning how and creating music were kush and alligator, the “forever bowl”, breakout jam sessions, and just the jelling of minds for one purpose. I Didn’t realize how dope everyone was until the mixing and mastering were complete. The 1st time I heard it all the way thru, my heart skipped beats, or an edible just kicked in, either way, it was magical.
Check List for creating good weed songs 101
As Kush High Life gets ready for Volume 2, there were some musical hurdles we had to overcome and going back in the next few months, I’ve created a pipeline to keep the ball rolling that I will use on the next project, Hope this helps.
For Kush High Life volume one. We stayed in our lane, weed. At the time of conception, the cannabis industry were being picked on by authorities and nothing was being done. In the same breathe, states began creating and enforcing its own legislature that protected both the caregiver and the patient. KHL wanted to address the problems surrounding weed culture as well as create weed songs for the culture itself.
We stuck with what we knew and recruited people who were educated on the topics. It made the project ( from what I hear ) fun to write to.
Get a concept
Wow, just thinking, about how silly I was going in. Anyways, You have to have a concept. As Hugo said “ The music has to say something.” When told that, I went and began sketching storyboards and thinking about how many weed songs were needed to tell this story. Keeping the time in mind, we laid everything out, we tweaked the concept and decided that with the topics we choose, the project needed to be 2 albums 1 indica the other sativa.
We could of saved 3 hours if the concept was strong before the sessions began. Going into it, I just wanted dope music you could smoke to. With a solid concept behind the music, we got the sound we were looking and the theme was solid.
Assemble the right team
As I have stated before, “Music is a world in its own right and the people who occupy it abide by her rules.” 8 Months ago, I hung with only illustrators, painters and other visual artists. Musicians are different. Hugo, head of DRS was accurate at hand picking people all over the city to help. There we were some who didn’t fit and there were some who did. Chemistry needs to be magic, you can tell it in the air and there is nothing better than multiple musicians vibing out.
Make sure everyone is on the same page. Everyone does not prefer the same methods of communication so, whoever is the hub needs to communicate accordingly. Due to the musicians other engagements, make sure to give the artists plenty of time to schedule you in. If there are to many missed studio sessions, rescheduling can get costly.
Non Disclosure Agreements
the first few sessions were wide open. Some ideas and concepts that should of been under wraps until the finalization of the LP. There were tweets, snaps and Facebook statuses with live video and music streaming. Also there was an instance where a musician took one of our concepts and ran with it. Not cool. Make sure you cover yourselves when in the studio. Lock those intellectual properties down.
Have your music
It takes longer to create music and buy music. On average it took about 2 hours per beat to be created from scratch, this is with adding live instruments and all that jazz. Later we purchased beats and just tweaked them. It saved us on time and also gave our artist a bit longer to work on their bars.
If you have to create your music, schedule a block of time for just that. Things will go a lot smoother and you have something to give your artist before next session. This is definitely a time saver.
This has to be one of the most overlooked asset in creating music. Weather you are producing music or an artist on the track you need to be registered with BMI or Ascap. You can’t do both but these guys are responsible for paying our royalties for placements and spins. Going in, not to many people had this information and it ultimately held up the release. BMI is completely free and takes about 3 days to get your information. Ascap, is a one time fee and have more perks in my opinion. Don’t start a project with out working on your split sheets first.
Know your costs
There are many factors in creating an album. Cost of beats, Work for hires, mixing, mastering, and studio time. No matter where we looked these were consistent gears that we kept encountering on this 8 month journey. When you know the cost, you have in mind what your spending, this can help you budget as well as keep true to your original concept.
Stick to the deadline
One of the worst things you can do to a product is have it delayed when you stated it would be released on a certain day. It turns your product and name into mud. Keep your word to yourself and the people who are supporting you no matter what. Have a weed song or two in the barrel just incase one of the artist or producer can’t make it
Exclusive and Non Exclusive contracts
These are pretty self explanatory. Exclusive contract you sell the buyer complete rights to use the music however they please. While Non- Exclusive agreements the producer or artist gets a cut of the action.
Taboo! There are many ways to market your music depending on what you want. Record labels, if discovered can sometimes buy out your whole library and contract you our for a certain amount of albums ( in a nutshell ). Royalties, come every couple of months depending on if you signed an exclusive or non – exclusive contract. Here are a few sites that you can look at to help you decide your direction.
Get your Data
Make sure you have enough time at the end of the session to get your music emailed over to you. If you have recorded music at one place and finishing up at another, your going to need your track outs. Track outs split your music up into layers to be manipulated later. An MP3 is a flat file you cant really edit.
I hope these help in the journey to make killer weed songs or any music like that. Are we missing any steps, we would love to hear in the comments below.