I have always had huge plans for Basement Made or whatever I was calling it at the time. My original business plan for Basement Made was to incorporate a production studio, shop and club mix all in one building. This was in high school. I wanted to have a recording studio for radio and music and merch on the first floor. The others would’ve been dedicated to separate themed bars. My plan was to offer an all around experience in one location, and stay accessible to the local community.
That plan faded as the internet grew and my interests became more artistic and business related in my college years. My entertainment venue didn’t sound as fun. The next involved a blog and playlists. The site was to provide a platform for my stories and music, and for Madison, Wisconsin, the Midwest, and hip hop, with the eventual plan to bring in artists like a record label, shoot videos, promote, put on shows and all that jazz. I also thought, after living in the dorms and the frat, that bringing a group of diversified enough artists together in one house to run an operation, under one banner, could be a breakthrough for representing this area’s outspoken culture. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to produce, publish and distribute different forms of media, while also providing a space for those that take their craft seriously. My creations, the blog and playlists would still be a part of The Basement, but so would others that don’t necessarily make rap music or hail from the Midwest.
My most recent plan involves this idea where artists are recruited and paid in a non-profit network marketing format. So, I was thinking about Amway but for hip hop and local music. Patent. Trademark. You heard it here first. I had the thought when I was still involved with the company in the late 2000s but I never thought it out until people started reportedly getting paid more for their streams, with the onset of TIDAL and such, around 2015.
Artists would have their teams, so to speak, like imprint or “indie” (they’re almost certainly not indie) labels now at the majors, and their success would be tied to their own work and those “below them” – as it’s often said in multi-level-marketing conversation. Initial investments aren’t required but they help, as a cut of that money will go to your “upline” first, and the next, and so forth. Their success draws attention to the team, and their investment, whether in time, social or coin currency, to their own team, helps the initial investor.
If an artist can get their team to be sustainable, they can kick back and collect residuals, retire, etc. You want to get on the right team because they will have the workers but starting a new chain with someone, on a chance, can spell faster success. Being closer to “the top” doesn’t mean you’re getting a higher percentage. You’re just getting the same percentage, but from a larger total, so it’s a higher payment. Everyone gets paid the same, so to speak. Percentage amounts will be uniform, at least. The percentage that you pay from your sales be less than 10% for all sales, so no huge crazy differences between album, merch and show sales. From what I’ve learned about the American Music Industry, I know artists get shafted either by a high percentage or ownership of their productions. The pay-as-you go and loan-type situations are too common as well. Those last two aren’t the worst but they definitely aren’t the best and there are absolutely ways around them.
Partial ownership of the company is one the big draws to this model too. Each person would operate as a single share owner. Profit sharing checks would be cut equally amongst all shareholders. Share owners would have the right to vote on certain changes to the company in a democratic, transparent manner.
If you’re unfamiliar with “the plan“, this document what our pitch was based off of. I do have to say I and others were required to pay $300 to get started, which was not required by the system, but a part of the local strategy. That being said, I was shown where my money went and I did my best to do the same for others. Part of it went to an actual sign up and then the rest was products for me to “try” and “get to know”, or something like that. Regardless of the reason, it gave my bosses a boost in sales. Some people, of course, put in zero effort after the initial sign up, and this is where most haters are born, because of course they put in the $300 and get a little kick back from that but maybe not much else. I’m not saying the initial set up was cheap. I’m not saying that the strongly recommended $300 monthly buying minimums set by the local team (again, not my recommendation) were best. I’m not even saying that the deals or products were great with Amway. I have my own reasons for stepped away from the company. The biggest reason was that my uplines enslaved me and abused my social network to suck sales out of me, put in no work on my team, and then let me die after my contacts are all used up.
However, because I’m the most awesome person ever, I was able to see through all the haters and slavers and remain excited about the alternative business model and networking opportunities that arise when building a sustainable business through independent business. I learned a lot from the educational system too. including some of the seminars. Those were also pricey and highly recommended. There are parts that were forced on me specifically, and maliciously. They would shame me into buying more through “the business”. I personally did not do this sort of forcing sales on my team. I didn’t steal a single person’s start up or products either. I have a clear conscience because I didn’t do anything wrong. I know I created further insecurity in inferior, less hardworking people, further realizing my skill in presentation, sales, networking and independent business ownership, but that’s always been a normal part of life for me. An initial buy in can be helpful for determining off-the-line who is a serious competitor but it should not be required in a well-oiled machine.
Success in this model is somewhat contingent on unfirewalled, unblacklisted, uncensored distribution through independent channels to the crowds labels, radio, TV and other big media can reach combined, using publicly available already existing technology that can automatically detect the intricacies of the waveforms linguistically and sonically, and distribute it to those who have expressed interest in hearing those songs linguistically and sonically. We have a little bit of most of that now and we should always be developing our musical science. That being said, as of this moment, we could cop the premium plans with all the distribution and streaming services, social media ads, and independent sites, utilizing email lists, and get as close to that point as we can without payola.
Independent grind is encouraged. It’s telling that Americans have this jerk reaction screaming of “socialism” and/or “scam” at less fascist business models than traditional capitalism. They’re too dumb, lazy and advantaged to even try to understand something that could be vastly superior. And, if you don’t know yet, this is vastly superior to what we got now. Make your own platform within the system and put your own spin on it. The idea with Basement Made, in the name, is building grassroots, guerrilla – from the ground up. You should be able to build your own house and put whoever you want in it. We offer the tools but there should be as close to no interference from myself or my company in team building, collaboration and payment. Should be a point and click thing, no secret cosigns, gatekeepers, and other faggot whore ditzy shit that the coasties live on exclusively.
You’ll always pay to the person that recruited you, which would be me if no one else, but we’d have to have stipulations in the contracts like they have in indie producer beat contracts (because I’ve never seen a record label contract that pertained to my career to reference), so if you’re doing numbers past a certain point – you can break off and fly away like a beautiful musical birdie with full ownership of your brand. Or, you could stick around, Basement Made owns the product legally but not in title (all contributors are recognized by name), and your percentages go up from that default 90% commission as your sales do.
This all encourages local collaboration as well because you can make and rotate money within the community, and also set up physical studios or sets wherever you’re at, remotely with your team, and maybe other squads. Percentages that you make off your team will be higher if you recruited those people directly. Otherwise, if someone else brought them in, they will get that higher amount. You’ll still get paid as the first in, if they’re under your umbrella, but the recruiter themself will get the higher percentage. Recruiters can make a lot of money in this model. So can promoters. You definitely don’t have to be a musician even in this musican-based model. Who doesn’t like music? C’mon, man. This model can take an easy side step to film and non-artsy industries too. Just work with already existing unions and change the algorithm a bit.
You could find others in your area using the Google Maps-like gps aspect of the system, pool your money and automatically tabulate the percentages of set and stu time within the Basement Made framework, based on monetary contribution, decide if you want to go 50/50, or whatever. Soundcloud started doing this split payment ting recently and that’s great. This gps tool would work in several ways as well. As a creator, you can find nearby collaborators and venues. As a consumer, you can find artists, events and shows. We will not limit to buildings proper in the system, and encourage going “off the map” (considering private property). This will also help protect the identities of those at high risk of attack, allowing us to set homebases for link ups, but also rendezvous and business locations for remote meetings.
There would be ways to cross market within the Basement Made build but it would have to be of a collaborative nature in order to be officially recognized by the systems. This, with the aggregation software, eliminates most of the rich stomping out the poor effect with ads in the digital space, and makes these associations above board, clear-cut connections within the business structure. And simply pinging whenever someone is directly tagging an artist, group, event, or whatever, would keep track of volume to a point. We would have to use analytics as well to determine what separates a basic like or share from a longer form post or high traffic post.
If we had a campus, it would be a location for hands on education, commercial production and living. Living amongst your peers, not only in age but in industry, changes the game entirely. We would have living quarters and then of course classes but independent learning is the goal. Teachers are paid of course. They would have to be held responsible for their students and their future careers somehow to make it work, though. Whether that means a lot of apprenticeships, I’m not sure, but bills need to be paid, so if you’re not teaching on campus enough to justify your room allotment, you’d need to find other work, possibly outside Basement Made, to close the gap. Part of the core idea for this connection based music business is to keep the money flowing through the network though, so I as owner, and others with teams, would be encouraged to find these people other work within the organization to keep their labor to dollar ratio as high as possible.
The company would be for nonprofit, because that’s how music distribution should be as a major form of communication and possibly the most powerful form of art. Music is not to be trifled with by seething office jockeys and new age racist colonialists. Enough with their shit. The only reason to not have artists running the arts industry is pure toxic greed and insecurity. This would help us build up our buying power as the working class – through a merit-based relative payment structure – and allow us as independents to team up and take down the wall that is the cold, rusty, mangled metal mesh net of big media, big tech, big government, and so forth.
Students would be recruited, first by myself, to maintain Wisconsin and Midwest involvement from the beginning, but then by the software. I would of course have the power to choose students or teachers for the campus on a per basis but I’m not sure who else would at this point. There could, and probably should, be a way to vote for who you think should be the next student or teacher. What level that vote would need to get to, I’m not sure, but we don’t want to discriminate based on who is voting for them. We want to discriminate based on value and utility, considering more than the already present economic factors, in a way that falls in line with the Basement Made mission and doesn’t hinder, too much, those trying to immigrate in from far away where we’re never getting anyone from far away. We want that to be a possibility but an exception for a fantastic reason. Otherwise, we’re just wasting fuel and raining down pollution on people that already go through too much. All of these fly-in students are “necessary” here just to foot the bills in a state already plagued with too many of their authoritarian problems. There needs to be a better way than getting all the rich dumb people from out of state and country to pay us for their fascism. That is a nice and neat little fascist tax, indeed, and well done for that, and for the required amount of Wisconsin folk as a student body as well.
These are extremely important factors to keep in mind as schools move into the future. Without a direct binding reciprocation of commitment in opportunity and currency to the locals, schools just gentrify the area in their echo chamber partisan favor more. I encourage you to ask around “college towns” across the country. I am one myself. You will find that the “townies” overwhelmingly do not like the “college kids” for this reason exactly. The college kids are just bacteria, or parasites, a necessary evil, or something like that. This is not pursuant of diversity or multiculturalism either. This, as it appears on paper, is a way to appear diverse to the feds and cronies, or in their minds, interracial, or international, like they’re encouraging globalism in the name of being #1 at it and not to find people and populations that make sense to recruit and connect at the expense of the environment and others more deserving and interested.
Globalism should evoke positive feelings. It is supposed to be a happy idea that means we’re all able to connect with each other no matter where we are on Earth – if we want. What they have done, of course, as they always do, is scramble up some convenient mix of what they want it to mean and puke out some filth for us to eat for primetime supper. There should be nothing inherently wrong with me wanting to chat with a musician over in Sierra Leone, Poland, Sri Lanka, Alaska, Hawai’i, Iraq, Brazil, Antarctica, or even in space. Wanting to block people from connecting, who want to connect knowingly, safely, and with mutual approval, is a fascist ideal. Stop replacing fascist with Nazi so much too, if you take yourself seriously. That’s racist, inaccurate and not helpful. Also, fascism is an Italian concept according to prevailing history and language. Did all these people really forget about Benito Mussolini and his whole thing? Germany didn’t even become a country until 1990. It’s ridiculous. Yet another terrible thing they pin on the German Diaspora that came from the historically privileged circle eyed olive people with sharp jawlines and dark hair of the Mediterranean Sea area.
Anyhow, globalism is a way to fight fascism, obviously, and that is why America and other governments put internally restricting firewalls around countries they claim to support, and say they’re keeping the bad guys out. I’m not saying firewalls shouldn’t be erected to keep Black Hat Hackers out. That is a good thing. I’m talking about firewalls to keep information that should be public for the best interest of the best, most numerous people, in, or out. They for real make blanket arguments against globalism and multiculturalism, also truly believing that they earned what they have. Just watch this snip from Timcast last week on 11/20 with Hotep Jesus. Here I thought they were going to have a new conversation. I was ready for something totally strange from the clouded but intriguing minds of Tim and Hotep. These two are considered to be a couple of the top real, woke, independent, alternative, or based – Millennials – or whatever, and they’re just as ignorant as their equivalencies across the political aisle in whatever measure you care to use. If you’re asking, “Why has no one done this yet?” It’s because I just published this article.