Hey Rap Artists. This Is Why Your Song Isn’t Getting Airplay.

Let’s face it. KE Hip Hop isn’t too popular. It’s picking up, yes, and as a fan and I’d say to an extent a “promoter” of the art I’m genuinely pleased about that but at the same time, I can’t say that I don’t come across people who say that “KE Hip Hop is crap”. Work needs to be done somewhere but you know me, I give credit (and a lashing sometimes) where it’s much deserved.

This article is for those who believe that their music is great but they aren’t getting the airplay they need to “get out there”. We’re going to be looking at some of the mistakes you make and what you can do to remedy that.


  1. Poor communication.

So you’ve got a “fire” single. Good for you. I’m pretty sure all your homies think that your big break is right around the corner and this track proves it. However, don’t send any presenter/ radio producer an email that looks like this:

From: abcd@gmail.com

Subject: My New Single.

I’ve attached my brand new single that’s really hot in the streets.

Attachment: Track XX

The way you present your track is a big deal. I’ve personally had to deal with artists sending me emails with the body as the subject e.g.


Attachment: Track XX

I can tell you for free that I never look at these emails and sending me a thousand emails doesn’t help either.

Ensure that you can write an email properly and the grammar and spelling is correct. If you’re not good at it, have someone do it for you. Please!

Also ensure that the email is short and straight to the point. You can imagine how many other artists have sent their music. Nobody has all day to read a long ass email. I can guarantee you that.


2. Expecting a personal relationship with the host/ producer after sending theΒ  music.

There are plenty other rappers who, just like you, are trying to get their music played on radio. Nobody wants to be texted/ called or emailed constantly by 100 people asking about “how” the track is doing and whether it’s going to be played.

If your track makes the cut (for airplay), you will definitely know. Feedback isn’t mandatory. Remember that your track is one of many.


3. Don’t send your entire project (album, mixtape) to the radio station.

Always send singles. Even if we want to review your entire album, no one is going to play all the tracks on it. Even for the international artists, only six or so are mashed up for sampling.

4. Don’t send unedited songs.

Just one cuss word and I can assure you right now that the track will not be played. Who has the time to go through your track(s) to edit every single cuss word?

Also don’t make the mistake of sending radio stations incomplete songs. What are you trying to do? Give the station a “taste” of what is to come?


5. Don’t feel entitled to airplay.

No one owes you anything. You know that right? Have great material, present it in the right way and hope for the best. There’s no point in getting upset when your song doesn’t make the cut. Keep trying, keep improving. Do better and want better for yourself and for others (your listeners).

If you’re going to drop off a physical CD at the station, make sure that it has your contact information in case anybody from the station needs to reach you. Also ensure that the package is attractive. I’m sure it doesn’t cost much.

Always remember that packaging is everything. The way you present yourself as an artist to the radio presenter/ producer whether verbally or written speaks a great deal about you and whether you may or may not be considered for airplay or if your song will be listened to at least.


Music quality and production. Before you expect your hot fire single to get airplay right away, ask yourself, is the production good enough for airplay? Does it fit the station sound/ feel? Before we listen to your 16, we’ll listen to production. It has to be GREAT. That’s why a rapper who isn’t really saying anything will get airplay if their production is top notch and you will not make it onto radio with your fire bars and poor production. Overtime many artists have ensured that audio quality is great so that’s a step in the right direction.

Pope Francis gestures as he gives his blessing during a visit to an internally displaced people camp at St. Saviour parish in Bangui on November 29, 2015. Pope Francis arrived as “a pilgrim of peace” in conflict-ridden Central African Republic on November 29, flying in from Uganda on what will be the most dangerous destination of his three-nation Africa tour. AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Know how powerful social media is. I don’t think many artists fully understand how social media is a great marketing/ self promotion tool. Maybe your track has everything required by the station but in the process of selection it was skipped. Have everyone talk about it online. Promote it. It will definitely get the attention of the relevant people; DJs, hosts and radio producers. Bam! You’re on air.

At the end of the day, you have to learn your market and be knowledgeable on how to sell your product and WHO you’re selling it to. If you know your target market, it’s easier to custom make your product (in this case audio/ visual) and to know the right strategy to sell it. It also makes it easier for you when you want to present a new idea, say you want to switch up your style. Understanding your market helps a great deal.



15 Comments Add yours

  1. sirmaleek says:

    In my view another issue is rappers jumping on any new flow and trying to go with it.
    What happens when there is a ‘new flow’? Will they still write? Or it’s a wrap for their careers?
    If I want to listen to someone flow like Future, I will listen to Future. That is “him” and the world has accepted that about him. I do not see how the rest of E.A will appreciate someone who has no basis as to why he ryhmes a certain way that he also heard over the radio.
    It is okay to play around and just experiment but this shouldn’t be permanent.
    Kenya’s Greatest never jacked no one’s flow: Abbas, Bamboo (we forgive him for tryna go Nas that one time, hehehe), Kitu Sewer, Vigeti etc.
    Vigeti last year for instance, dropped an album while the whole of 254 was bumping to trap music. If he wished, he’d have bandwaggoned to get more ‘listeners’. Instead he kept true to himself.
    I’d urge all our ‘rappers’ to do the same.

    1. thispreciseruby says:

      Couldn’t say this any better. I advocate for creation of art not copying. You’re an artist. A creator. Are you bringing something new to the game or are you tryna be like that popular American rapper??

  2. O-Mae says:

    Great piece

    1. thispreciseruby says:

      Much appreciated

  3. Sigma says:

    Realy i like these page , and i would like send you my music , to share and publishing in other blog’s , sites or internet pages ..thanks for real.

    My name is Sigma .. i am a angolan rapper..

  4. E says:

    😊 i personally will not listen to anything that does not make sense to me. Just lime the rest of us out here, know your matket and write music that will make sense to them. Nothing like one fits all.

    Good grammar too Ruby.

  5. Rap is a skill that is perfected over time. YYour producer should be your first critic and teacher. Get a good producer and perfect your art. Rappers also need to understand that their art is their business they need to invest in it and ensure everything is as good as possible. Then is when we’ll start making improvement. This is a good forum Ruby thank you.

    1. sirmaleek says:

      It’s sad very few producers out here are like that (critics). Most of them just sell you the beat, master the track and that’s it. If you want to burp all through the track, that is your problem as long as you’ve paid him.

  6. 67 Karatz says:

    Very Educational ruby I’ve learnt lots regarding mailing Radio Presenters/Producers new music πŸ’―πŸ’―

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  8. Kamtu Flanj says:

    Woow, thaks for the tips

  9. Unknown says:

    You are solving nothing,next time give an example of a proper Email

  10. Ree says:

    Hey..thank you for the great tips…I think it would be really helpful if upcoming artists get to see what a proper email should look like

  11. Ibbs Tha Vybist says:

    Surely helpful , thanks for the tips , would really love to see more of this Miss Ruby

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