Biggest Mistakes Rappers Make In Their Career
***The 9 Major Mistakes I made When I Started***
1) Didn’t monetize because I was TOO much of an “Artist”
When I first came out and was really gaining fans. I was really really really NOT about the money. AT ALL. Because I thought that going for the money made you FAKE and made you evil in a way.
Then later when you’re broke as fuck and can’t figure out how to grow your fan base because you don’t have the money to do all of the great ideas you have…. you sit there and you think about WHY THE FUCK I WASN’T TRYING TO MAKE MONEY.
For 1) I noticed that fans LOVE supporting artist. They WANT to buy stuff and show YOU how great they think YOUR music is to them.
2) You NEED MONEY TO SURVIVE. You have to eat! You have to be HEALTHY! You need money to promote your music and gain new fans! You need money for music videos, touring, music equipment and ANYTHING that has to do with life.
Looking back this was by far my BIGGEST mistake. It is okay to make money! It is okay to ask your fans to help support you by buying a T shirt.
You put A LOT of work into making albums and keeping your fans happy and if you want to be able to live off of your music you need to accept money from your fans.
You need to realize all of the ways there are to monetize yourself as an artist. Because as I say in a minute, you will eventually realize you are in A BUSINESS. This is called the music business for a reason.
I monetize myself to survive and I am more of an artist than I ever was. Just monetize properly. Give your fans TONS AND TONS of great content. Then politely ask them every so often to help you out!
There is nothing wrong with that.
This was a huge issue with not having a team around me that was intelligent. I did all this myself and learned YEARS after I already had a fan base that it is OKAY to make money. I was too damn harded, don’t be that way. Learn from my mistakes.
But don’t get greedy! Be genuine and be yourself. And give back! I can’t wait until I truly TRULY make it so I can give back in any way I can.
2) I didn’t realize buzz fades
I thought once you had fans, you had them forever! Lol what a fucking dumb ass I was back then!
Once you lose your lime light, people move onto the next big thing. You have to CONSTANTLY keep your fans entertained in all possible ways! This is why I even run my Youtube channel the way I do. I want to make sure I am constantly releasing material for fans to absorb and remember I exist and that I am a genuine person and fun to like.
People say “aw man why you doin the Youtube thing man.” I’m not… The videos I use to keep my fans interacting with me just happen to be on a website everyone trusts and goes too. Those people asking me that question don’t understand why I am doing it. They just think the typical rapper doesn’t do that stuff. Well I’ll tell you what, I’ll still be doing it when I’m bigger than your favorite rapper because if my fans like it, I’m doing it! We do this for the fans, not for ourselves!
Also, This material holds over people and keeps them entertained while I am working on the music in the background. I take a lot of time making EVERYTHING PERFECT for my fan base. That’s why I have never released anything that wasn’t quality.
You need to release a project for your fans every 4-6 Months to keep them entertained. I didn’t release my 2nd mixtape for 2 years after I blew up. That was the single biggest mistake I have EVER made in my entire career ever.
If people like your music, you need to keep giving it to them! They need to remember why you are greater than these other rappers releasing sub par music.
You can’t always know what you stand for especially from the beginning.
I knew what I WANTED to do but I didn’t know 100% who I was or what I was in regards to destiny and life path.
I knew I had worked for years to get good at writing and recording and I knew my morals and I stood for being lyrical and having a positive message. But I didn’t know what the end goal truly was. I didn’t know my REASON for doing this. But I knew deep down inside I was MEANT to do this.
Knowing what I stood for and my REASON for doing this is what helped me push through all the hard times and continue learning and growing as a person with a purpose in the music direction.
I honestly thought my life was just a normal kind of life people had growing up and living. When I found out how much people loved other people’s stories and how inspired they were by their stories that weren’t even NEARLY as fucked up as mine, I was like…. Omg… This is it! This is why i went through all that crap.
That is what makes me who I am today and it is what sets me apart.
It’s what gave me the drive to continue telling everyone I can do anything I set my mind too.
When I found out how inspired people were just by knowing the little tiny bits of my story, I realized “What if they knew the WHOLE story!” And so my purpose deepened and I understood what I truly stood for.
“No matter where you came from in life, no matter how hard your life was, if you focus and work your ass off, you can be anyone you want to be.”
I never had money, I never had friends, I never had girls, I never had social skills, I never had anyone’s help not even with my career. I have done it all myself. And now I am someone who is inspiring people everyday because I turned all of that around BY MYSELF. That blows my mind man.
4) Haters Gonna Hate
People just like talking shit. Mostly 12 year olds who have nothing better to do.
The common wanna be rapper says stuff like “oh you just a hater” or “you’re jealous” but the truth is there are two types of haters:
HATER 1) The hater hater who just hates because that’s what he does and he is angry at everything and everyone because he has no life. They just hate everything with no reason. They don’t like anything anyways, who cares about their opinion, it only goes in the negative direction.
HATER 2) The honest hater. These people don’t like a lot of things but when they don’t like something they say the reason why.
I used to just think a hater was a hater but that’s not true. when I stopped being so hard headed and egotistical I started listening to what this type of hater was saying because maybe they were telling me something I wasn’t realizing.
When enough people say the same thing enough times about a specific thing, it’s probably true.
When you hear the same thing enough times, take what they are saying into consideration.
When people said I didn’t have flow, I sat back and studied other rappers, trying to figure out what people meant by saying that. Then I understood it, and I fixed it in my own unique way.
When haters were saying I didn’t even use multi rhyme schemes. I wrote multis every morning for an hour for a year straight. They don’t say that shit any more.
You need to learn to accept criticism. It was a major tool that helped me grow faster than anything else. It drove me to want to be better because I wanted to prove everyone wrong. Eventually…. I did.
The detailed hater comments might be telling you something good. Ignore the ones that just say “you suck” or “this is wack.” Those are hater haters. If it’s detailed, they cared enough to explain why they think what they do, and you should take it into consideration to grow. 🙂 Trust me.
If I didn’t have good haters, I would still sound like I did 5 years ago.
5) I didn’t Realize It Was A Business
It’s called the ‘Music Business’ for a reason and why I call say these are the Biggest Mistakes Rappers Make
I honestly and truly thought it was about music. I was wrong. It’s a business, it’s about selling records and making money.
You can still be a real artist and understand the game though. You just have to bend how you work in order to be on the top. You have to follow the rules of the game to be in the game.
I wasn’t in the game for a long time because I refused to play by the rules.
You need to realize to be on the upper levels of the industry, no one is going to respect you unless you are moving units and being heard by the masses. No one is going to push your music if you aren’t playing by the proper rules to sell your music.
Making catchy choruses isn’t being commercial or selling out. Making Catchy choruses that make no fucking sense with what you stand for is selling out.
Catchy choruses are the fastest way to the top of the music industry. You need to be making songs that show WHO YOU ARE while being CATCHY AS FUCK to be as close to a hit song as possible. You only need ONE HIT SONG to explode. But you’ll also need the resources when you have that hit song. Another reason you need to start monetizing from the beginning. How can you push a hit record with no money?
Major Hit Records have upwards of $1 Million to push them through all outlets. Most of us don’t even have $100-$1,000 to push a single. Take that into consideration.
6) I Was cocky
Being cocky is a no no. That is why it is another one of the Biggest mistakes rappers make.
I was told my entire life I shouldn’t be rapping, even by my own mother. I was called slim shady by my step dad since I was 13 years old.
Kids used to pick on me for rapping and if you know my life story you know how incredibly far I have come.
So when I worked my ass off to save up for my studio equipment for YEARS and then wrote, produced, recorded and mixed my own mixtape and it blew me up…. I felt entitled to be like “Fuck everyone who ever doubted me. I did this! WITH NO ONES HELP!”
Then I realized, no matter how good you are, people won’t like you if you are cocky. They don’t know how far you have come, they don’t know your story, they just see you and hear the music.
As you can tell from Kanye West, no matter how talented you are, no one likes cocky people.
There are artist you like simply because they are humble, even if their music sucks.
And I don’t wanna be the asshole, I wanna be loved by everyone. It’s harder to inspire people when they think you’re an asshole. I’ve always talked to fans and been extrmely nice. But in the face of anyone being disrespectful I’d immediately get cocky. I had to cut that out!
Be humble. You’ll thank me later.
7) Politics matter more than the music in most cases
What you don’t realize is most rappers don’t blow up because of a hot song, they blow up because they knew somebody when they had a hot song. Having a hot song doesn’t mean you have the ability to get it out to the masses.
This is why most of the artist that blow up are attached to another rapper.
They never would have achieved that level with out the other artist. I can name about 20 rappers off the top of my head.
Let’s take OT Genesis for example. the I’m in love with the co co guy.
If he wasn’t under Busta Rhymes when he made that song…. It wouldn’t have had the machine to get to the level it got too. As soon as he made the song he called Busta.
If you make a hit song who are you calling? How are you promoting it to masses of people? Where is your budget?
Record labels generally offer single deals now instead of full album deals. Because it gives you the machine to get the song heard. they know if it’s a hit or not and they back it knowing how much money they can profit from it. With out the machine or some type of machine in place. Getting your song heard is a huge feat.
Most of the industry creates drama to get people to pay attention to them and that helps them gain buzz for their songs.
Some rappers can’t actually write good songs so they diss everyone and everything so everyone pays attention to them and talks about them. They also constantly lie to their fans and create bogus drama just so all eyes are on them. It’s entertainment….. ALL OF IT.
I talk more about that in the buzz page in Level 6.
As I said in ‘Crimson’
“Its a political, not talented industry.”
Some of the biggest rappers can’t even do the most important things that it takes to make a song, and that is writing choruses. There are like 40 HUGE rappers that can’t even write songs. They can just write basic verses like any other rapper can do.
Choruses are the hardest part of songwriting.
8) Build Habits Early
The faster you buckle down and build your habits the faster your process of growing will be. The faster you will make to your desired level.
If you have a habit of writing 3 songs a week compared to writing 3 songs a month. Which habit is going to take your further faster?
Creating all of your habits NOW so that you are progressing NOW is going to take you SO SO SO SO SO far.
Turn off the video games and the TV shows that do nothing but waste your life on this planet and start building habits to be the best artist you can be. Or… you can keep being lazy as fuck and let all these other wack rappers take your spot who actually had the drive to put in some work.
9) I didn’t know what branding was
This is one of the Biggest mistakes rappers make. Your brand is what represents you and all that you are. It’s what people think of when think of your name. What you stand for, how you dress, sound, look, color schemes, your logo. Who you are acquainted with and everything else.
You need to understand this so you can start building your brand from the beginning. Once you have your brand put together you can constantly be growing it.
I didn’t know what branding was until like 2013. What the fuck was I thinking!
Be conscious of image building and anything you can use for yourself to grow as an artist.
Along your path always be looking for something you can add to your image that suits you
I’ve read 3 branding books and it’s still a bit of work to fully implement branding. It takes money and time but you need to understand it so you can grow into a business that allows you to build a label and branch off into other things.
These are my MAJOR mistakes I want you to know and learn from. Please read this AGAIN if you need to. Just make sure you take this advice or later it WILL bite you in the ass.