As a writer (which likes to believe, he is a hip hop activist) and a former rap group member-cum-manager, I got/get to see the strengths and weaknesses of rappers first hand. As we are three weeks into the new year, I’d like to share 5 things rappers need to consider in 2015.
If you want to achieve something and find purpose of it, you must have consistent action. Bearing in mind that consistency does not simply mean doing the same thing the same way all over again. Consistency in terms of fulfilling a career goal, means bringing action, remembering the vision, balancing time and responding correctly to an ever changing industry; Does your music suit every phase the industry changes to? if not why not do something about it. Staying atop in the music industry is subject to relevance.
2. Positive mindset
(Lets play a game wherein everytime a rapper mentions the word ‘hater’, you direct them back to this blog post) Use the hate, if there is any, to push you to your limits, from that sort of energy learn and adopt new styles, there is plenty of different styles in one genre to become versatile.
Direct all your attention to your music and do not leave a single detail. Where your focus is, reflects in your music. Reserving energy from bad reviews and reception from the masses to making the best, they beseem as the right sound, make you lose the purpose of art altogether. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ― Edgar Degas
4. Invest If your music is not getting you where you want to be, having the most requested song on radio and not getting enough corporate clients or even commercial attention, change the approach and get someone to do PR for you. Most importantly, PR is not for everyone, don’t get any Tom and Jerry. You want to be the best, you get the best; The quality of your recording equipment and beat, is what really makes your career blossom. The lyrics might be on point but if everything else is not, what people usually do is, press to the next song. See yourself out of the rapper stereotype, of being stingy and invest in your art.
5. Become Artists
Ever heard of twitter (social media) rappers? I’m pretty much sure almost every single rapper reading this, is thinking they are not one. Well the reality of things is, most of you are a social media rapper. Go through this checklist and prove me wrong:
- Record stuff and post for free downloads on the internet □
- Cyberbully everyone to download the song □
- Same routine for the next single while you wait for the love to come at you, so you can brag about the number of downloads you had □
- And you don’t even know what SAMRO do □
Point taken? Become artists, the masses will never support you if they do not see you in person, they might have heard your stuff or fell into your cyberbullying tactics. In South Africa there are 52.98 million people, anyone can record a song or calm to own any song. You as the original artist how do you ensure, people knowing it is your music and not those who claim it, if you only leave your bedroom studio to respond to nature. An artist is a musician who lives their music and use it to interact with everyone on whatever level and wherever possible. Abo grootman (the older generation of rappers) will tell you, they prefer selling their music themselves out the boot, in the process they get to meet and interact with their audience and market. Finally promoters will include you in the ‘many more’ tag because your music is active but the artist is not socially active.