Rap Videos Surge - I stopped accepting

Is anyone else noticing a surge in rap music videos? Between peerspace and my agents, I’m getting a request almost every day.

I think this crowd is getting rejected lately as people realize that it often ends up being a hangout… tons of people showing up with booze, and hanging around having a party.

I probably will host no more rap videos… not only is it promoting violence and other nonsense, it’s much mess and headache for hosts.

I’ve done this so many times I already know what I can expect!


Well I might be careful about generalizing a whole genre of music, but I can dig what you’re saying.

My suggestion might be to set really specific ground rules in a way that you might talk to a friend, rather than give them like orders (and different things work for different people and I’m not trying to suggest that you’re giving them like orders).

I have actually had really good success and there might be another reason for that as well, but the way I usually communicate in advance is to tell my guests that our neighbors are pretty quick to complain and I never let them bring in their own speakers.

But on the other hand, you wouldn’t be posting unless you’d already had several bad occurrences, so the best I can do is to hope that the future brings more crowds that fit your space better. Sorry that happened!

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Tommy, can I ask where you are located?
We are in Oakland California, home of gangster rap, and host quite a few rap videos. We have been pretty lucky that most of them are all respectful and cool with our policies: No drugs, smoking, or alcohol, and we don’t rent past 6pm, so it rarely turns into a party. One time the studio smelled of marijuana, which is against our rules, but doesn’t really bother me too much since it is legal here in Cali. Still, I did mention it in their review. One thing I think is vital is trying to get early day rentals which seem to be much easier and more professional than late night rentals.

The early day thing is actually a good idea! Thank you… and the no alcohol rule I should have already instated.

But mainly a limit on people would be great too… maybe 10 maximum as opposed to 20.

I am just outside LA. I was showing my home to a guest a couple nights ago and the person who drove them, actually left a water bottle of urine in my parking lot before they drove off…with urine all over the asphalt.

And last week, one of the extras ran into my security gate, causing a couple thousand worth of damage.

These aren’t all peerspace experiences, but it’s only the rap crowd that has always gotten me in trouble or left my house in terrible shape. There’s a lot more… One group moved all my heavy exercise equipment out of place and I still haven’t been able to move it back myself, another group didn’t pay me, and other times the party was so loud I got in trouble with neighbors and the county. A guy was literally yelling on a PA “The mother***** tacos are ready!!” as girls are twerking to loud loud music.

Some of these were private guests via location agents. It’s better on peerspace I have to say, than in private.

Over the years it feels as if I’ve seen it all, and learned many lessons… but with the rap crowd, at least limit the amount of people, or as you mentioned, have it during daytime with no booze.

I’ve had a bunch of rap videos and most of them have been good experiences, but I agree that it can easily turn out to also be a hang out and that’s because the concepts for most independent rap artist music videos is a hang out.

I’ve learned from past bad experiences and it’s all about setting very clear rules beforehand. I personally would never book a music video shoot for an independent artist outside of Peerspace… regardless of the music genre. If I were to be hit up outside of Peerspace for something of that sort I’d still tell them to book it through Peerspace because it helps establish rules and liability in a much clearer and more substantial way.

Don’t be afraid to stress certain aspects, but just do it in a very friendly way. They want to make a cool music video. They think your place is cool and will help them achieve that. You’re a team. Talk it through to make sure you’re on the same page and can achieve what they’re looking to do while respecting your rules.

I’d suggest adding a rule that no megaphones or microphones are allowed. They’re not necessary and your neighbors will appreciate it. Also music level for a music video doesn’t have to be blasting. Add restrictions to how loud it can be.

Are you requiring they provide insurance? I don’t for small indie artists because I know they can’t afford it, but that’s also why I would make them book through Peerspace even if they found me otherwise. That gate damage would have been covered if it was through Peerspace. EDIT: I clarified below, but just to make it clear here… while Peerspace doesn’t offer insurance coverage for the host, the terms do make the guest responsible for damages and when you provide proof that your guest damaged your place, Peerspace does a solid job of holding the guest accountable.

Perhaps require that you are there on set observing the entire time. You can consider charging an additional site rep fee to do so.

If in the end you decide you’re just gonna do a hard no on rap videos I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just like how some people have a hard no on parties. Totally up to you, but I do think it may be worth trying out some new approaches before making that decision.

Chris, just a reminder to you and all hosts that PeerSpace’s insurance coverage does NOT cover your space or any damage done to it! It only cover’s guest’s stuff and liability if they get hurt. Basically it covers your guest, NOT you! So make sure you have good insurance yourself, and a deposit that can cover your deductable.

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Yeah I know, and outside insurance is always a nice thing to obtain… for sure… but I meant that under the Peerspace terms, the guest is responsible for damages to your place and they do a solid job of making sure the guest is held accountable when you provide sufficient proof.

Mother******* tacos and twerking? Please let me know the next time you have a booking! :smile:

Well I m still so confused, does or doesn’t Peerspace insurance insurance cover a homeowners broken gate, like in the above situation.

In regards to music videos with independent artists, I get it. I do love sharing my space, and I love helping them realize their vision, that part is very fulfilling when it all goes nice. Out of all the ones I booked so far, only one was horrible, and honestly it still wasnt that bad. I have met some really nice creatives.
However, I am in the camp of Tommy that I don’t really want to book them either. When I get a request for one, I always ask straight up for all the social media of guests, what the crew consists of, ie, video, assistant, 4 models etc, I tell them I have a strict guest list, and I need to approve of everyone. I then go on their Instagrams and if I don’t like any of their vibes I don’t accept. I am not going to allow people who I question into my property. I enjoy small photoshoots, and professional productions, lookboks, e-commerce. Im at the point that I don’t have to accept the music videos that are questionable because I have a steady flow of other clients. The small music videos always want a discount, most always try to sneak in unaccounted for guests. It sucks that some have blown it for others but to me it is not worth the risk.
They don’t have their own insurance usually, even though they say they are a producer, manager, artist, and they rent many locations and do make music videos regularly. To buy an insurance policy for the year, billed monthly, really is not that much money. It is much cheaper for them to actually invest in an insurance policy than to charge them a one time site manager fee. IF everyone required that the music videos with independent artists have their own insurance and issue a COI, they would have to get it and it really doesn’t cost much. I think mine, as a photographer is like 50 bucks a month.

From Peerspace’s site:

By booking through Peerspace, guests agree to cover in full any damages that they or their invitees cause during the booking.

As long as you have proper proof of the damage (or the person admitting they did the damage), then according to their terms, Peerspace will see to it that the guest pays for it.

That being said, when I have large productions or events that are not exclusive to just friends and family I’ll have them purchase additional insurance just as an extra layer of protection.

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We’re a staffed, full-service production studio outside of DC with 3 studios and more than 200 shoots a month. (Most aren’t from Peerspace.) We have about a dozen rap video shoots a month give or take, and I lay down my ground rules right away. For some reason, almost every shoot we get from Peerspace is a rap video and the person usually has no reviews. We rent studio space to strangers normally, so we can deal with a person without reviews.
Ground rules laid out in the booking confirmation-

  • 10 person maximum. Anyone over 10 and they will be asked to leave with no refunds. (This is due to Covid. We also have mask requirements for people leaving their studio.)
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, or smoking. No empty prop bottles allowed.
  • No outside speakers. We have a sound system engineered to fill to fill the room.
  • We’re a space to work and everyone on the set must have a job. No entourage or boyfriends/girlfriends unless they are physically part of the shoot.
  • We’re a “time in time out” studio. The reservation includes set-up and break-down. (We give everyone a 30-min knock. We also monitor the studio to make sure people are actually breaking down on time. On the weekends we’re often booked back to back open to close, and if someone leaves the studio even 2-3 minutes late, the next guy goes in late, and so on.)

I think we’re getting a different clientele than some of you who aren’t present during the shoots, or who allow huge productions. What helps a lot is a copy paste of the rules so they know what is expected of them while they’re here.


@Tiffany_B That is great information :grinning: Thank you so much for sharing. I am for sure going to implement those rules. presently though 10 seems like a lot to me. I think I ll chop it down to 8.

I love this ‘down to business’ tone! You are my spirit animal!!!

Lots of good advice here, but I have a couple of things to add that might help.

I have a sliding scale hourly rate that depends on how many people. More than 10 and it goes up 50%, more than 20 and not only does the price go way up, they have to pay for an additional manager to be on site.

I’m a bar, so I don’t mind prop bottles, but I tell people that if they don’t want to go overtime (and the price goes up 50% for any additional hour other than those agreed upon), don’t bring an entourage and don’t allow drinking. When I explain how any of these things are likely to drastically increase their costs, they get it. I also provide free water (and if they’re nice, occasionally juice or soda from the gun), and will give them prop “cocktails”, with an additional cleaning charge if they use more than a few.

Laying out these ground rules, in writing, in advance, tends to encourage good behavior. I make it clear from my tone, and the very specific confirmation email, that this is work, not fun. And that there are consequences for forgetting that.

I also ask everyone if they have insurance coverage. Most independents don’t. So I request $500 in cash at the start (or Venmo), and they get it back if all goes okay. My manager does a sweep at the end, and nearly everyone gets their full deposit back.

When I first started booking shoots we made a lot of mistakes, and learned exactly how strict we needed to be. Doesn’t mean we can’t also be nice, but as most of these indie shoots are only semi-professional, they respect firm parameters.

And having a friendly but firm manager on site (if not always in the room - we do point out all the cameras, though!), is essential.


Thanks for the great advice. Can I ask how do your clients react when you ask for a full guest list? Do you ask for Facebook or Instagram profiles? If they just give a name, it can be difficult to know which profiles are actually theirs if there are many people with the same name. Does anyone dislike you researching their identities online?

Also, to answer your question about insurance coverage for the broken fence, from my understanding, Peerspace’s insurance will not pay for it. Peerspace would only help you get payment from the client who broke it, but that isn’t guaranteed. Ultimately it is for you and your insurance to pay for if the guest doesn’t.

Hello, well I guess I went off the grid for a week or so. In regards to your question about asking for names and social media, I only had one client act weird but I put him in check really quick. Because he was being so secretive I thought maybe he was shooting porn or something and I denied his booking. He put in a another request and tried to get around giving names but he finally did and I explained why and we moved forward. I thought it was weird he was. being so private.

  • I ask for all known social media profiles, names and titles (ie model, photographer,director).
  • They don’t always have everyones name right away but I make it clear that all people need to be on guest list or they will not be allowed in.
  • The day before the shoot or when they have the guest list figured out, they send me rest of list of everyones name and social media. They usually give one type of social media, IG or FB.
    -If I can’t find their instagram based on their initial inquiry and name I flat out ask for it.
    -I ask what the shoot is for in detail, usually they are vague but they eventually get the point that they need to give me the information.
    -If necessary I tell them we are selective on our bookings and we need to approve of the project, before we let them on to our property. Only 1 client did I have to go into depth about this being our home, and that we don’t let just any strangers come over etc. same as he would like to know who comes to his house. I also tell them I check blacklists. Most always they are happy to comply and give the information of names freely.
    I look them up on IG and if they book I follow most of them or look them up periodically.

Now the awkward part. When they inquire I can pretty much tell its not a job that I want to take, I tell them “let me check the date across other platforms, meanwhile please provide social media and details of shoot”. Then I look them up and mull it over. Sometimes I say im not interested, or I tell them im booked. Its really awesome. I have to have transparency.
Covid excuse and practices has helped enforce a lot of rules.

I guess it makes it more V.I.P and in LA maybe people are used to it.



check this Rap music video shoot / story reply to Deacon

LOL. And why does my studio smell like Mary J? I’m not a fan either.

We’re a historic, large residence in an upscale suburb of LA and recently saw an uptick of Rap Videos. I book them and have learned to make the rules very clear—especially in regards to how many people and what their function in relation ro the shoot is. This is mainly for everyone’s security and privacy.

I strongly caution against selectively turning these requests down specifically based on it being a “rap video.” Not only is this artistically short-sighted, but it could be unlawfully prejudicial as well. A similar situation developed with Airbnb wherein requests were being denied on a number of factors that were irrelevant to the request of a rental and now hosts must rent to folks they know even less about or not use the platform at all.

In case you’re wondering, I’m a 57 yo white single mom…just saying…

Sherry, thanks for your concern that we shouldn’t be prejudice, and I totally agree. Running my studio and living in Oakland, California (which has a LOT of rap videos) I can say that we predominantly have had a lot of very good legitimate clients. That said, if anyone is opening their home to strangers, it is their right to refuse service to anyone they don’t want in their house, and can pick and choose what type of event they do or don’t want to host. Just as I don’t want to host a late night dance party at my studio, they can refuse rap videos. On the other hand, if your space were a commercial enterprise, like a hotel chain, or serious production studio, then yes, you need to rent to everyone equally and just be firm that the house rules are followed by everyone… equally.

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