Moving To Los Angeles For A Music Career
I am sitting in my new apartment in Hollywood in Los Angeles right now. I moved to LA 5 days ago and in just those 5 days alone a lot of important things have happened.
I am writing this article because I want YOU to understand the massive benefits of highly connected cities like Los Angeles.
The benefits of picking yourself up and moving across the country to take the risk on yourself to build your music career.
Excitement is coursing through my veins every second that I am here.
Because I not only fully believe in my talents, but I know I have the potential, work ethic and hustle to make things happen for myself.
There are always opportunities, things to do and people to link with to expand my network and get my name out there.
My right hand guy Loud Life had a daughter a year ago. Things get even harder and price-e-er when you have a kid on the way.
The reason I tell you this because he told me one of the major determining factors of staying in Los Angeles instead of giving up and moving (because it’s expensive here) was that he wanted his daughter to be born into a place where she has all of the opportunities he didn’t.
He was born in Ohio, there isn’t shit there as far as any industry.
Once you are here and you see that it only takes 1 person to connect you to another person that can change your life, you will look at it the same way.
I sat in the office with Chris Webby’s former manager today in West Hollywood (My roommate is his current manager lol) and he said people hustle so hard here because they don’t want to lose the life style of being here. They don’t want to have to move away, so they hustle.
That energy of hustling is in the air here. That energy motivates you to work your ass off…. or give up.
The first time I flew into LAX I could feel the energy of everyone hustling right before the plane’s landing gear touched the ground. I kept that feeling for days after I landed.
I said 2 days ago to my friend “I feel like this city will eat your soul.” and I meant it because I had that weird ass feeling in my gut as we walked down the main streets in LA.
He said “Yea, that’s what LA is… it either makes you a star or destroys you by killing your dreams. There is no middle.”
That middle is complacency. Giving up on your dreams because it ‘Got too hard’ or other excuses.
Then you have kids and settle down with a decent looking chick that has a good personality and you are never TRULY happy because you settled instead of working harder and longer for your dreams to come true.
You’ll tell everyone you are happy and even argue with me right now about how that’s not true at all and “That’s bogus to say” but Sorry buddy.. it is true.
NOTE: I’d like to point out that you don’t HAVE to be in LA to make it in the music industry. But it would sure help you a lot 😉
Every time I have stepped foot in Los Angeles I have met someone important or done something massively productive.
Since I Got To LA 5 Days Ago This Is What Has Happened
First I got here and moved into my new apartment which is less than a block from a Starbucks and a Whole Foods.
First day I went to Venice and partied at a 5 Million dollar beach house where I was offered to fly to Scottsdale on a private jet to hang out with girls and fly back the same night.
At that party I also met a guy who creates the clothing brands for celebs, a guy who does financial stuff for massive companies and other people.
I went to get lunch the next day at a random place 2 blocks from my house and I met a stunt man who is in the Fast And Furious movies and also makes the cars for Fast and Furious. Across from him at the bar was a guy who is a lead guy at Netflix who offered to get me a free gym membership at LA Fitness which I am now using lol
I met with the guy who managed Chris Webby and his partner who used to manage Mac Miller and Waka Flocka… One of the guys just had lunch with Future’s manager and also is a sports agent. I’ll talk about this more below.
I got the connect to get my Instagram verified, I’ll update everyone on the success of that. If that works…. shit that was worth moving alone lol.
Today we hung out with Justin Hunte who is the EIC (Editor In Chief) at Hip Hop DX. We went and grabbed lunch at Chick-Fil-a then he did a 45 minute radio interview while we sat there eating.
Then he took us to a Capitol Records Mo Town party. We got free food there that was FIRE, met label execs and got a gift bag as we walked out the front door.
Then there was a Lil Yachty live 15 minute stage performance right outside the building before the release of his new mixtape.
We left there and had people come over to our new place, one of which is the daughter of the president in the new HBO movie All The Way. The guy who plays the president in the movie is the guy who plays Heisenberg in Breaking Bad.
She is also an artist and we are already working together in some ways.
See how it all connects? Movies AND Music, the industries… it all comes together.
Also was invited to an event tonight and then I’m going to the Lil Durk listening party even tomorrow night.
I’m still getting settled in, nothing was even planned this stuff just happened.
Other stuff happened as well since I’ve been here that I won’t mention haha 😉
Could I have done this stuff in Chicago? Uhm, no. I could not.
How do I know? Because I spent the last year back in Chicago and met 0 people that had any connections to anything.
At any moment you could run into someone who is highly connected. That 1 person could have lived here their entire life and be connected with every body in some way shape or form.
I’ll talk about it more below but the networks don’t just lye in the music industry.
People in the music industry know people in TV, Movies, Fashion, Hair, Make Up, etc. They all combine in some way.
TV and Movie Stars hang out with music stars and movie and TV producers need music for the shows so they know people in the music industry.
The person doing Nicki Minaj’s hair is the same person doing a movie stars hair and they know the make up people because they are all there working on the celebs too.
It all comes together and people know each other.
Not only do you have to do music… you can expand into ALL other industries. They all combine like I mentioned above.
You NEVER KNOW where your big break is going to come from.
I always used to think that I just needed to do music. Realistically you could blow up from something else and it blows up your music career too.
Look at all the people that got famous from Vine and then moved to music.
Or all the people who moved from Music to Movies.
Music is just one lane for a successful brand.
Me personally, I absolutely LOVE music and I make it passionately because I express my emotions thru it and I want to inspire people.
I will always make music 🙂
But in addition to music I can grow bigger thru other industries and also inspire people in other ways. Music is just one of the gateways.
I want you to realize that when you look at your career and start growing it.
The Pieces Connect Perfectly (TPCP)
You will meet 100 people and suddenly realize this guy knows this guy and this guy knows this girl.
You will think about how knowing this person benefits you in some way and vice versa.
Over time and meeting new people you will have a vast network that allows you to step into many industries.
Above I mentioned the guy who was a sports agent but also manager for music artist. I watched him go from talking about how he hung out with Future’s manager the night before to getting on the phone with a NFL star and offering him to go to any Future show he wanted since he is connected with him.
What I am trying to point out is that all of these things connect. If you know one person, you can offer things that increase your value and credibility.
The Los Angeles Weather
It’s like 74 degrees outside right now and sunny. I walked from my apartment to Hollywood Blvd and back today and enjoyed every second of it.
I love Chicago in the Summer but in the Winter it is damn near unbearable.
Here it is always nice. No Snow, Barely Rains…. I mean…. YES PLEASE!
Let me say this right now tho… Again Chicago Summer is AMAZING. The clean air and cool breeze is amazing… I’d take Chicago Summer anytime. But it still rains :/ Here it’s just NICE.
There are also beaches within 30 minutes of most locations. I’m not a beach person because I can’t relax. I gotta be working or I go nuts. But if you like beaches… and girls who go to beaches… yes sir.
And while we are on that topic
Brah, I even made a list – https://www.smartrapper.com/LAGirls
When you move to the west coast all of the girls suddenly jump 2 points on the hot scale.
Also the population is crowded here so it seems like there are even more of them in every area lol
The only downside here is that they can be distracting if you let them. Balance is key haha.
I try to be friends with everyone because girls have A LOT of friends and everyone is connected.
Who doesn’t like knowing lots of women 😀
It’s expensive AF
The rent on this 1 bedroom apartment is $1,850 + utilities. That doesn’t include car payment, insurance, phone bills and every other bill.
Let’s say $2,400 a month PER PERSON.
Your cost of living is much higher from the cost of food here too.
This food is delicious though… but this cost $17 for my lunch yesterday.
Now imagine you eat like this at least once a day because you are out meeting with people.
I’d like to point out I couldn’t even afford to move here until Smart Rapper starting doing so well. 🙂
It’s another of the many reasons I made Smart Rapper. Selling the super helpful products I offer helps me financially fuel my career while also helping people.
And Again… like I mentioned above, you never know what is going to help your career or create opportunity. Who would have thought Smart Rapper would have been so helpful in my career.
I spent the last 10 months building this site from scratch when I knew NOTHING about websites because I knew in the long run it would help me grow.
If I knew it would have helped me and other people this much I would have made it 5 years ago.
You have to HUSTLE to be able to live in this city
I’m good friends with an actress who pays her rent by consistently booking gigs in TV, Movies and short films etc as well as modeling. Her bills are like $2,000 a month.
She books herself everything she gets and does it with a really cool system she explained to me 2 nights ago.
The hustle is crazy.
A lot of people I meet talk about how their transition here was hard because they had to rent a random bedroom in someone’s house or sleep in their car a few weeks.
You have to hustle to be here.
That’s the huge advantage the people who grew up here don’t seem to see. It’s the reason Loud Life wants his daughter to already have this opportunity.
A lot Of People are fake AF
They are fake af every where in the world, not just LA.
The thing is a lot of people in Los Angeles want to be something more than they are, so they lie to themselves to gain confidence and also lie to others to seem more important than they are.
People’s credibility has to be thoroughly checked here. (That’s why being able to Google me and see all my work and accomplishments is so powerful for me.)
Let’s go into story time mode real quick
*Kids screaming in unison: “Yayyyyy it’s story time!”*
When I was in LA in Early 2015 I was in the studio with Loud Life and he said he met this guy who was saying he was super connected and he invited him over to the studio with us.
The guy gets to our studio at Raleigh studios across from Paramount Pictures and the first words out of his mouth are this… and NO I’m not kidding… the FIRST WORDS WHEN HE SPEAKS FROM HIS MOUTH ARE
“Yo Dr. Dre can’t rap at all.”
Then he continues to tell us how he writes all of Dr. Dre’s stuff.
Then he talked more shit but also bragged, but he did it so confidently like he has been saying it to everyone in LA that it almost seems believable.
He says he can get us in the studio with Dr Dre and there is a form of excitement but complete bullshit at the same time… but we have to find out if it’s possible.
This is the problem….. it’s the ‘WHAT IF THEY AREN’T LYING THOUGH’ Factor. Because if you write them off as a liar, you could be losing a HUGE opportunity.
See how fucked up that is?
Do I need to point out that in the end he was just a guy making up TONS of lies to seem like a somebody? Lol the guy couldn’t even afford to pay $100 in studio fees 2 weeks later when he owed my engineer money for mixing a song. The guy was a bum.
I ask people all the time since I got here if there is a trick to being able to see passed the bullshitters, their response is that you just have to wait it out and see.
A big indicator is if someone is just bragging and talking about accomplishments when they weren’t even asked about anything lol That makes sense, right? lol
You Have To Have NETWORKING Money
Not only do you have to have money for living but if you want to go out and meet people you need to have money to get into clubs, pay for drinks, eat somewhere every time you meet up with anyone in your network.
If you drink 1 Starbuck’s coffee a day at $3 a day and 30 days in a month you are spending $90 just on coffee.
It’s time consuming when you are a person who wants and NEEDS to do so much.
I wanna be working on music all day long so I can make amazing records to boost my career. The thing is, the networking is just as important as the records in some aspects.
So I have to meet up with as many people as I possibly can every day to grow my network.
These sporadic meetings with people randomly hit whenever people are available with their sporadic schedules.
Today 2PM 4PM 7PM just got invited to an event at 11PM tonight…
I had to move 2 consultations yesterday because I got too busy and was suddenly invited to the Capitol Records event.
I need to clone myself.
Then consider you gotta change plans with some people because the other person who is suddenly available and wants to meet is more important connection wise. (Sounds ass-holish but it’s necessary.)
All along I have other things I need to do like errands and working on music. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to sleep at all.
Another huge thing I must say while wrapping up is that If you haven’t already established a base of credibility like fans for yourself, you are just another small fish in a big pond trying to make it in Los Angeles.
I have come to LA as a medium sized fish with the talents of the huge fish looking to get bigger. (As humbly as I can say that while trying to get my point across)
When someone meets me, I can show my years of hard work and they are more prone to wanting to be connected to me because of who I may know.
If you come here and you have no credibility it’ll take time but you will still connect with people.
I spent the last 2 years reading numerous books on how to get good at networking and making sure I can be the most memorable and charismatic person that meet. Basically I read those books to break my own barriers and amplify the charisma I already had.
Without having learned those skills I wouldn’t be nearly as capable of thriving here.
It all comes back to how much hustle you have and how bad you really want it.
If you want it and you believe you have what it takes, get here.
I hope this inspired you to kick yourself in the ass to chase your dreams. Do whatever it takes.