How to be a Better Rapper
So, you wanna be a successful rapper? Regardless of how you choose to measure your personal success, I’m pretty sure a part of it is getting people to listen to your music and like it. Some of y’all think that means spending hours on end in the studio recording dope tracks. But there are a few things you need to do before investing the profit you made from that pound of weed you sold into studio time.
Take a writing class. Contrary to unpopular belief, rappers need to know how to write. Well, everyone should know how to write. It keeps you from posting embarrassing tweets and using the wrong verb tense in your rhymes. And I’ll add reading to that because the best writers are also avid readers.
Take a music class. Again, perfecting your craft isn’t just about practicing what you already know over and over again. You have to LEARN more about it. A little knowledge of music is imperative if you actually want to sound good.
Buy a thesaurus/dictionary. Look up the definition of words before you use them. The last thing you want is a French Montana “If you a star I’m a whole planet” fail. And use a thesaurus because we get tired of hearing cats use the same words. Diversify your vocabulary, bruh.
Create a bio AND an electronic press kit. A lot of you guys fail at step one. I can’t tell you how many people have sent me music that I never even bothered to listen to simply because they didn’t submit it right. I need to know who you are and I need links to your body of work. Don’t send me an email with a mp3 file attached. Introduce yourself. USE HYPERLINKS! Be professional. If rapping is your career, treat those emails like a resume.
Pay for things. Quit having your cousin do publicity for free. There is a reason folks aren’t responding to your music submissions. Don’t expect to get quality anything if you didn’t pay a good amount of money for it. Pay for beats. Pay for videographers. Pay for publicity and management. You get out what you put into it.
Schedule a professional photo shoot. Most blogs like to post pictures of artists with their music. Go pay a photographer to take some for you. Every EPK should have pictures attached with photo credit. Ever want to get interviewed, better have a picture ready for that too.
When in doubt Google/YouTube. If anyone ever asks me, “Do you know how to, x, y, x?” I say yes without hesitation and then take my ass to YouTube or Google to figure it out. Two years ago, I had no idea what “EPK” even stood for, but when my friend asked me to create one for him, I Googled that shit, created one, sent it out and his music was featured on an out of town radio show the next week.
The list honestly goes on. And I’m sure there are folks out there with experience who can give you a few tips as well. I guess I can add “Connect with vets in the industry” to the list and you can go from there. Anything you want is worth putting some effort into. Stop half-assing your music career and make shit happen.