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7 Hip-Hop Email Promotion and Etiquette Tips I Learned This Week


When I opened Outlook, I couldn’t believe what I saw. And no, I’m not talking about Kim K #BreakTheInternet.

I had over 300 unread emails this week, and it’s only Thursday. That’s not to brag, I am genuinely disappointed that I don’t get to read every single email. It makes me feel guilty.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the messages that I have opened or sent this week.  After a little analysis of my inbound and outbound emails, I thought I’d share some of what I found below.

1. Everyone’s got a street name.

In hip-hop, you have a minimum of two names. The one your mother gave you, and some shit that only makes sense to you and five close friends. I feel awkward if I don’t know how to address somebody, so I find this a great starting point when I am emailing someone new for the first time.

In the opening sentence, I almost always ask what name the recipient prefers to go by. This is great because:

1: You set off on the right foot.

2: They will immediately be able to acknowledge that you are interested in talking to them and that you’re not just sending a random email.

3: If you include this question within the first sentence, it will appear in most email notification previews and may encourage them to actually open the damn email.

2. Spell brand names correctly.

I personally appreciate this. Attention to detail matters. I hadn’t really noticed it until looking back, but I definitely open more emails where my brand name is spelt correctly when referenced.

For me, it’s a small sign that somewhere along the line, they’ve paid attention. So I like to make that extra effort in return.

It won’t always be clear from an email address as to how someone’s brand name should be written. There are some crazy ass email addresses in my mailing list. So if ever I am in doubt, I quickly Google them or locate the person or brand on Twitter.

3. Don’t use the FW: mislead. I accidentally done this and it sucks.

This week, I was sending out some emails where 80% the content was the same. I was only sending 15-20 of these emails so it didn’t warrant the set up of a specific email marketing template.

Instead, I was just using my last sent email as a template for the next one I was going to send. I re-opened these sent emails by using the ‘Forward‘ option.

Bad move. In a few of those emails, I forgot to remove the ‘FW:’ from the subject line that’s automatically added. None of those emails have been read.

I also haven’t read any emails this week that have used ‘FW’ in the subject line.

4. Pay attention to autoresponders.

Don’t ignore autoresponders. Get into the habit of reading them and it can be really valuable.

In fact, some of my recent connections have been built simply from personally responding to an autoresponder message. This tactic has worked for me because it’s unusual, and usually the recipient can see the humor in it.

5. Follow on Twitter before emailing.

I get stuck in the Twitter loop multiple times a day. That means I’ve always got a pretty good grasp on recent users who have followed our account.

I’ve spotted that I definitely open emails from people who have recently followed us on Twitter.

This makes complete sense.

Key point: The majority of us go through the social ‘loop’ multiple times a day. See if you can make a quick social interaction within a 1 hour window prior to emailing.

6. I open emails from people, not brands.

I open more emails where a persons name is displayed and I tend to ignore emails where in the name field, a brand name is used.

Thinking about it, there are two reasons for this:

  • Running a hip-hop blog, I get a lot of ‘blast’ emails. These usually have the blasting company name in the name field. Because I get so many of these, I now ignore almost all emails which have a brand name in the name field.
  • Due to the nature of our services and site, most inbound emails I receive are to ask me to do something.  I’m definitely more likely to do something if I feel there is going to be a human point of contact on the other side of the email.

7. I’m a sucker for “new” shit.

This week, the majority of music submission/enquiry emails I have read have contain the word ‘new’ within the first few words within the subject line. This surprised me, it’s not something I was consciously doing. I guess psychologically, like most hip-hop enthusiasts, if I can, I want to be the first person to hear good new music.


Back to those Kim K memes…I lied.

Ray West and John Robinson – Sample and Percussion EP


At the beginning of 2014, Bronx producer Ray West dropped Ray’s Café, a collaborative project with OC which was met with universal acclaim. Don’t sleep on that one for your yearly wrap up lists.

To close the year, Ray has hooked up with Sir Scienz of Life, John Robinson for their EP, “Sample and Percussion“. The project, released on November 11th,  is supported by the release of a limited run of tees and cassettes.

For a taste of what to expect, check the first release, “Classic Vibes” below.




You can connect with Ray @redapples45 and John @whoisjr.

Yancey Boys “Lovin U” feat. Eric Roberson


With the third video from the Sunset Blvd album, this is Yancey Boys (Frank Nitt and Illa J) with 2x Grammy Award winner Eric ‘Erro’ Roberson.

The Ol’ Days – 1979 – Debut Album Stream


Chicago duo The Ol’ Days is made up of duo Ki ‘of NC and rapper/film maker Rookie Chi. Production duties on this debut effort is handled by Dibia$e, Rashid Hadee, Lakim, Kenny Keys, J Slikk and Ki of NC himself.

With clear influence from collectives such as De La, Slum Village and Pharcyde, this album does a good job of providing a little nostalgia for those who appreciate hip-hop’s golden age, without dwelling on it too much.

You can listen to the full album stream below and follow them on Twitter.