I can’t afford it
I have had the absolute pleasure of working with a lot of talented rappers in the studio & consequently I have been able to develop a lot of great relationships with them as well. I would find myself getting more & more excited as the project progressed and would instinctively ask at some point of time what their plans for marketing their album were. Most of the time they had not put much thought into their call to action for getting their music out there and had primarily been focusing on recording music. Once I began to suggest different methods and ideas that they could implement to get their music in front of mass quantities of people they would usually respond with, “I can’t afford it”. At first I was kind of bummed out because I was excited about the world hearing what great music these rappers and I we’re working on. Soon I began to realize something, there are different types of artists.
Distinguishing between the two types of rappers.
Most rappers or just artists in general can be distinguished between two categories. On one hand you have rappers that are more of a hobbyist. These type of rappers are more so making music for fun. They typically are not trying to make a career out of their songs and primarily give their music away and perform at events for free. On the other hand you have the rappers that are trying to make a career out of their music and intend on selling their songs and merchandise as well as getting paid for performing at events. I tend to think of these types of rappers as professionals. This article does not really apply so much to the hobbyist but more so for the professionals.
Plan, prioritize and execute
Rappers who are striving to make a profession out of their music have to wear many hats. Apart from wearing your music hat you should also be putting on your marketing hat as well. You will find that your creativity is not only needed for making music but it is also needed for marketing music. How you plan to market your music could also heavily influence the creation of your music as well. Having a plan will allow you prioritize to ensure you have solid execution. You don’t want to spend all of your money on beats and studio time and not leave any for marketing essentials like artwork, music videos, distribution and promotion. That would be like paying for a car with no engine. All these parts have to work together in order for it to take you somewhere. It may be time to start thinking a different way than the “I can’t afford” mindset.
How can I afford
How can I afford is the better mentality. Saying you can’t rules out any possibilities but asking how can you allows hope, creativity & innovation to start being a part of your thought process. I primarily work with Christian Hip Hop Rappers and there is plenty of avenues that offer affordable means of promotion such as rapzilla, jamthehype and z180radio all of which offer opportunities to have music featured on their sites for FREE if they like it! I cannot stress enough how important this is. Find what avenues would be suitable for you to get promotion with and get a copy of their promotional packages and start budgeting for it. Again this means you might need to cut back in other areas you are spending to much money in like studio time and beats. Maybe instead of trying to do a full length album with no promotion cut it down to a five song EP or maybe even just one solid song. If your music is good and enough people support it then that one song may pay for you to do an EP or a full length album!
The bigger picture
In closing, when rappers cover all the essential areas that make up the official release of their project it puts them in much greater of a position to succeed in what they do. It also puts everyone they are working with in a greater position because they are able to continue to pay them what they deserve & not short change them for their services and rappers are not having to cut corners and risk jeopardizing the quality and value of their music along with its marketing. The more this type of growth happens the better it is for the economy and more opportunities will be readily available for others because of it. If you enjoyed this blog on Rappers dealing with the I can’t afford mindset and would like to stay updated on future postings you can subscribe here.