Making it in the hip-hop industry nowadays is not easy. While the genre is the most popular around the world, the market is becoming saturated and it’s harder than ever to stand out. With that being said, artists have more power and options now, and if you have genuine talent, there’s still hope. You will have to be ready to understand how the industry works, however, and learn from other people’s mistakes. Here are some tips for every aspiring rapper who wants to succeed in the music industry.
Move to Where the Action Is
If you’re from a small market, you’ll have to be ready to move. Hip hop is a very regionally driven genre, and there are really only three major markets in the country, or maybe four if you count Miami. If you’re on the West Coast, your best bet would be to move to LA. If you’re in the South, then you might want to go somewhere like Atlanta. And, if you’re from the Midwest or the East Coast, New York is the place to be.
If New York is where you happen to be located, we suggest that you start looking at the different boroughs and see which ones would be the best for you financially and for your career. Somewhere like Brooklyn, for instance, would be perfect if you need somewhere affordable to stay and still have access to everything you need as an artist. Brooklyn has some of the best venues in the country, and great studios as well. If you want an affordable Brooklyn recording studio that will still allow you to produce top-quality tracks, visit PIRATE. They have some of the best installations in the country and many of today’s top independent artists recorded there. They have all the equipment you need too, and you’ll have a great space where you can record, mix tracks, and brainstorm with your team.
Work on Your Stage Presence
Live performances will be your bread and butter and also what could get you discovered. There has never been a top-level hip hop artist that didn’t know how to give a good show, so if you feel like your live performance is lacking, you will need to work on it. Knowing how to perform is also important for auditions. If you get an audition with a record company, having a bad presence could get you rejected on the spot, so don’t neglect this aspect. This is why we would suggest that you take some public speaking lessons. You might not think that being a good public speaker will make you a better rapper, but learning how to project your voice better, control a crowd, and have a good posture will all directly improve your performance. Other classes you should consider taking include singing, dance, and theater.
Learn How to Produce
We also suggest that you start learning how to produce tracks. That will allow you to save a lot of money at the beginning. A lot of artists cannot afford a top producer when they get started and have to work with second-rate producers. The only problem is that production is mainly what carries tracks nowadays, and even if you have great lyrics, you’ll have difficulty gaining traction if your beats aren’t good.
Another benefit of learning how to produce tracks is that you’ll be able to get a much larger chunk of royalties. Since most rappers write their music, you could get a lot more money per record than the average recording artist.
Learn About Bad Deals
You should also do your research on what separates a bad record deal from a good one. Record companies like to flash big numbers to swindle artists out of their rights. Some companies will ask that you give them a portion of all your revenue streams even if they have no intention of supporting you, for instance. This is what is referred to as a 360 deal in the industry, and many of those deals are predatory. There are some cases where they can work, but they’re usually only a good choice if you’re guaranteed that the company will give you the push needed for you to be successful.
So, learn about the different clauses and consider hiring a music industry lawyer before you even start looking for a deal. You should also get any contract that is handed to you verified by multiple lawyers before you sign. Never make the mistake of having the company’s recommended lawyer explain contracts as they’ll most likely be in cahoots with them.
So, if you want to make it as a rapper in 2022, these are some of the things you have to be ready to do. Remember to stay consistent and work on your craft while exposing yourself to the scene so you can eventually get discovered.