Sunday, July 28, 2013

Become A Successful Rapper. Tips

Basic plan for becoming a rap artist 

As a producer I have worked with many different Artists throughout the years. Some of them were young just getting their feet wet in music, others were veteran just trying to figure out what they needed to reach the next level, and others were already well known making good money off of their music. Many artists failed and quit, many are still going strong chasing their dreams, and a very small percentage are reaching success and doing well with their music. Below I will give you tips and advice based on my own experiences working with (and witnessing) artists become successful in the music industry.

Who are you?

The First thing I have noticed that many successful Artists have in common is A UNIQUE personality. I see A LOT of artists especially younger ones building their complete style around imitating popular artist. (Future, Rich Homie Quan, Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Ect). This is probably the worst thing you can do. It makes you look lame, period. Create a style that works for you, about topics that work for you. If your true to that then you will have a unique personality.


This is obvious but in case its not, focus on getting your image together. Have your look down as an artist. Make sure it compliments your personality and please get nice high quality pictures taken. Im not knocking instagram but if people can tell all your pics were made using it then they will not take you as serious as an artists. Remember. Fresh Appearance, Good Lighting, Nice camera. If you cant do it yourself or know somebody who can help, then pay. Your image is worth it. I found a great blog that goes into deeper emphasis on image here.

Who are your potential fans?

This is extremely important and something that artists look over far too often. Who are you going to target your music toward? Females, Males, Older, Younger, Family oriented, the streets, the clubs, a little bit of everything, ect. Whatever your choice(s) just make sure you market to them correctly. Nothing is worse than having extra street music on your facebook where all your friends and family can hear you rapping about bitches and hoes. (Might be normal in some families though)

Your Production


Your beats and the development of your overall song are hugely important. These days the beat is just as important as the words. If you want to be noticed you have to understand that. All too often I hear artists rapping on cheap sounding beats or making them on their own to avoid paying anything. If your beat is not radio worthy then you already hurt your chances of getting out there. Successful artists either have a producer they work with closely (In house) or they find high quality radio ready beats for sale and use those. If you want to make it in music your production value makes a big difference.

Focus On Singles

I see a lot of artists out here putting out mixtape after mixtape after mixtape. Possibly 30 - 50 songs even over 100+ all over the internet. Please remember quality over quantity. Most successful artists put out a small amount of material when they are first getting started. They put a song out and let it marinate a little while just to see the feedback. When they finally get a song that gets people excited they roll with that one. Its basically research. Now they know which song has buzz potential. Successful artists take those songs to the next level to generate a buzz for themselves. (Making videos, performing at shows, pursuing radio play, ect) Almost every artists I have ever worked with has one, two or even three buzz worthy songs. But instead of focusing on pushing that song, they just drop project after project, wasting time then eventually they look back and say "oh that song is old now". Yes but its still new to 99% of the population so if it needs minor updates then tweak it and start pushing it now.


This is the biggest difference I see between successful artists and unsuccessful ones. Marketing is either A - Time consuming, or B - Costs money. The best Marketing are Both. Since marketing is so broad I have two sections about this. Free, and Paid. Successful artists use both effectively.

Free Marketing

As an artist you have to have your face out there constantly. Locally you need to be get your single(s) together and you need to be seen. Perform at shows and make sure your routine is polished. Good live performances will take you a long way. Pass out demos of your single (try to get them in the hands of djs). Online make use of facebook, twitter, reverbnation, soundclick, bandcamp, instagram, ect. Blogs are helpful too. All these social networks are places you can find potential fans for free. Remember though doing it without paying or paying very little is a longer process. A good Single and great image will make things easier though.

Paid Marketing

Much easier then free marketing, paid marketing or (Paid advertising) can get your music out there with far less work than just trying to do it without paying anything. Buying small ads on music websites, or social networks is the cheaper way to go. It takes a little longer but you will gain followers, likes to your fan page (which impacts image) and most importantly fans because people will check out your music. Artists with a budget can buy the big effective ads like "world star hip hop front page, youtube front page, ect). Paid marketing is most effective when it becomes a marketing Campaign, which means you have a plan to consistently promote for a set amount of time, actively growing your buzz. The idea with paying is to get a monthly budget you can afford that wont financially put you at risk. You still need to be seen and be visible.

Both - By far the best option. When it comes to marketing yourself the best thing you can do is to be open to trying different things. Understanding that you will lose some money investing in yourself, and accepting that. Research what works and what doesnt and build on that. Work smart, collaborate with many other artists, dont be cheap on things that you need, but still spend wisely, and most importantly dont get discouraged. Marketing is an art form, if you your an artist out here tryin to make it basically on your own or with a small team the you will have to learn that art form.

This is an extremely watered down version of marketing. Here is a quick google search I did to give you some other blogs with great ideas.

Successful artists fail first.

This is my last piece of advice for now. Unless you manage to get discovered by a label exec or blow up over night, you will have a lot of work to do. Times get hard, and people question themselves. Every successful artist I know has done this. A lot of times when artists fail they get discouraged and then quit. The successful ones keep on pushing though. They learn from their mistakes and their failures become successes.

Good luck, hope this post helps get a clearer understanding of what you need to be successful in music.

How To Get Rap Beats. Ways

Getting Beats to Rap To

As a rapper, trying to make it in the music business, finding the right beats is one of the most important aspects. Every artist has their own style and their own motivations for doing music and knowing your goals will help you determine the best moves for you to make when it comes to getting beats. There are a lot of choices out there for rappers so below I will tell you the different ways as well as the pros and cons.

Free Beat Downloads Online

This is by far the most popular way rappers get their beats. Many producers make their music available to download on the internet and many rappers take these beats and make songs to them. Free downloads are great for hobby rappers, artists not trying to get big and artists that might not be working with a budget. The problem with free downloads is that the vast majority of them are not completely free. Most of them have tags and you must purchase them to do anything legally with them. Most djs and radio hosts are getting hip to the online business of selling beats and they wont play songs with tags through them. And if they are free dowloads chances are they have been downloaded by hundreds or thousands of other artists.

  • Pros: Free - Unlimited quantity - great for practicing rapping skills
  • Cons: You are very limited with how you use them - Producer "Tags" used repeatedly throughout the beat - Many other artist have the beat - You could be sued for using them

Buy Rap Beats

Weather you buy rap beats online or buy beats from a local producer this option allows for much more freedom with your music. There are a few ways to buy rap beats, you have leasing rights and exclusive rights. Technically you can even have a "work for hire" contract with a producer just to be certain that you own all of the copyrights. Buying the beats are great because you can use them to make money, you can put your music on the radio, play them in the clubs, perform them, even get them on tv. The only draw back is that it costs money and if you lease them they come with a few limitations compared to owning them which has no limitations.

  • Pros: You can Use them Commercially - The Annoying Tag comes off the beat - You can get on the radio, internet, mixtapes, albums, ect. - Less people will have the beat if you must pay to use it
  • Cons: Costs money - some leases have limitations

Working With A Producer

Probably the best option is having your own producer. Nothing is more valuable than having that exclusive "Sound" to go along with your lyrics. Having a producer instead of just looking for beats from everybody helps you to create a signature sound and bond with somebody that can make the perfect beat for you the majority of the time. Some producers charge upfront and some charge on the back end. If you are a serious and talented Artist a producer might be willing to negotiate with you. If their main income is from producing expect to be charged, but if they truly believe in you they will take a smaller payment upfront and negotiate royalties with you on the back end. This is probably the best deal because now the producer WANTS you to succeed because they have money riding on you too.

  • Pros: You will have your OWN sound - You will be the only Artist with those beats - Producer will work harder to make your music sound better - You can build a strong bond with one producer instead of spending a lot of money with different producers
  • Cons: More than likely it will cost something upfront

Learn How To Make Your Own Beats

Personally this is the path I took. Not because I wanted to be cheap, but because I truly did want to learn how to make beats. This choice is great because you can create a song from scratch, from your head all the way to the recording. You dont have to pay for somebody else to work. And best of all you have full creative control. The drawbacks are that it takes time. A few years at the least to become truly good at producing. It also costs A lot more than just leasing some beats. You will need a good computer, you will need good sounds to compete with whats out there, good headphones, monitors, keyboards, drum kits, software, will eventually dig into your pockets now matter how good you are at stealing things on the internet. Learning how to make beats is an extreme choice but its doable if your disciplined.

  • Pros: Complete creative freedom - Dont have to pay for the service - Dont have to depend on anyone else
  • Cons: Takes years to learn - Costs money along the way - Takes time away from being a rapper

So there you have it, this is my take on the options that artists have when it comes to getting beats. As long as have your know what your goals its a lot easier to tell which direction you should go with getting beats to rap to.

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