Should You Collaborate With Other Rappers?

should_you_collaborate_with_other_rappers

Regardless of how long you’ve been rapping the insight shared in this article will help you decide if you should collaborate with other rappers or not. There’s a lot to take into consideration when approaching other rappers for a collaboration and vice versa when you are the one being approached by them.

Let’s just go ahead and get something out the way up front. Every rapper is not on the same level career, skill, or seriousness wise. Some rappers are strictly doing it for fun in their free time while others are grinding hard and making plenty of sacrifices to build a career out of it.

Which Are You?

It’s important right now for you to identify if you’re the hobby or career rapper. Identifying which one you are isn’t contingent on where you currently are but rather where you’re striving to be in the future. Most of us start as the hobbyist and then a percentage of us segue into striving to build a career out of our rapping. If you need a little extra help identifying which one you are here are some clues to help guide you.

Hobby Rapper 

  • Just raps for fun to share with family and friends
  • Isn’t trying to make an income off their music
  • Isn’t willing to invest much money into their music
  • Doesn’t invest much time into their music
  • Isn’t hungry to learn more about growing in their craft

Career Rapper

  • Takes their music serious and aims for perfection
  • Striving to build a legitimate fan base
  • Wants to earn a living with their music
  • Is willing to invest money into their music
  • Makes sacrifices and invests plenty of time into their music
  • Is a student, values education and is always hungry to grow in their craft

And for clarification there is nothing wrong with being a career or hobby rapper but it’s vital to understand the difference between the two in order to make better decisions on who and who not to collaborate with in the future.

When Does A Collaboration Make Sense?

The demands and expectations will differ greatly between career and hobby rappers. Generally it makes the most sense for hobby rappers to work with other hobby rappers and for career rappers to work with other career rappers.

For example consider this proposal for a collaboration.  A career rapper whose worked countless amounts of hours to earn 1,000 true fans. He invests money to ensure his music is professionally produced, recorded, mixed & mastered. He works hard to distribute his music to his fans, DJ’s, radio stations and bloggers in a professional manner. And then all of a sudden he is approached by a hobby rapper who wants to do a collab with him.music_fans

The hobby rapper has spent very little time building his fan base and only has 10 fans. His songs are poorly recorded and are not mixed professionally. He’s using free beats from producers whose promotional tags are still in them. And his means of distributing his music is posting links of the song on Facebook multiple times and tagging everyone on his friends list.

In this scenario the hobby rapper brings very little to the table and yet is the only one who stands to benefit from this collaboration. Unless the hobby rapper is a phenomenal artist who is going to take the song to new heights, is a personal friend or just someone the career rapper wants to help out this match up doesn’t make any sense. There is a clear difference in the level of commitment, sacrifice and investment of each rapper.

Things To Consider

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself when considering if you should collaborate with another rapper.

  • Are we both career or hobby rappers?
  • Does the quality of our music match?
  • Do I like their music?
  • Will our subject matter mesh well with each others?
  • Will our style and musical taste mesh well with each others?
  • Will they add value to our song?
  • Will both of our fan bases and connections give us both an equal increase of exposure?
  • Are they professional?
  • Are they good at communicating and keeping me updated?
  • Will they deliver to me what I need in a timely manner?
  • Am I genuinely excited to work with them or do I feel obligated?

Pump The Breaks

If you’re not able to answer the above questions about another rapper then chances are you don’t know them well enough to work with them. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to get to know a rapper a bit more before making a decision to work with them or not.

Final Thoughts

Never forget why you started rapping in the first place; because it was fun right? The moment you start rapping out of obligation you forfeit your freedom to create and your once beloved craft is belittled to a mundane job. Don’t be afraid to decline a collaboration from another rapper. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone no. Feel free to work with whomever you want in whatever capacity you see fit and most importantly have fun!

How Did I Do?

Did you enjoy this article? Did I miss something? Have a questions? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!

Comments

  1. Badreddin Tresh says

    it was tasty and favorable in the manner of choosing the right business with the right people .. awesome i like it

  2. Constantin says

    Cole, sorry for bothering again, but I need your advice :) Can you recommend me something to promote my music? I’m about to open my beat store and the issue is I have no the slightest idea how to get my music heard and bought by people

  3. Cunst says

    Hi, Cole, saw your site, watched a couple of your videos and decided that I was gonna be a producer and sound engineer. You’re the person who I really can trust, you’re really nice. Here is my dream – I want to become a sound engineer who can mix, master tracks, create beats and stuff like that then earn some money, buy more professional studio equipment and then become a rapper who records his songs by himself :D I started working really hard on that, bought the VST called Serum, FL Studio and realized that I was unable to do anything with it :( Those things like a shape of sound wave, LFO, filters, envelops, FX, EQs, compressors, etc are really difficult and it really creeps me out because I don’t know how to make my dream come true if I can’t even create a simple sound using DAW. And, well, I don’t think I’m stupid, but I just can’t get how it works, though I watched a lot of lessons on it on YouTube. People speak using some advanced terms, hastily making adjustments to parameters and it drives me crazy because this is obviously not for me, this is for people who really understand what’s going on and came to develop their skills even more. I am just a beginner who knows almost nothing. I thought that if I want to become a music engineer then I’ll have to join the university, but I’m not even from the USA, I’m from Russia and there’s no such a thing like university that teaches to be a producer (btw, a lot of my friends watch you :) thanks for making Russian rap better) and here’s the point – I want to work hard to become a producer, but I don’t know how to make it, I need the very basics of it, I guess.
    Cole, help me with it, please.

    P.S. Thanks for your videos on how to rap, they really helped a lot to me.
    Also thanks for inspiration to be who I want to become :D
    And sorry for such a long letter, I couldn’t make it any shorter, I just described how I felt about the whole thing.

    • says

      Hey Cunst, it’s great to hear from you! A big shout out to you and your friends who have been enjoying my content all the way in Russia! That’s awesome!! :) Don’t worry about the long comment you left, I really enjoyed it! I think you have a really big and good goal that you have set before you and I know you can do it! Just remember you do it the same way you eat an Elephant…once piece at a time! So don’t overwhelm yourself. Has far as Serum, that might not be a good VST for you to start off with since that’s more along the lines of being a sound developer. You may want to start off with VST’s that have a lot of preset sounds and instruments that you can play around with first. Check out Nexus, Native Instruments Komplete, and just do a google search for FREE vst instruments and you will find a lot out there to work with.

      If you want to learn more about recording, mixing and mastering check out Graham from the Recording Revolution. Here’s a link to one of his playlist called 5 minutes to a better mix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enhcve9Lblc&list=PL0A5D662058525F1C

      For beat making tutorials in FL Studio check out https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8990452B640AD6D5

      Keep learning and spend as much time if not more time practicing and getting your hands dirty! You got this! Remember pace yourself and just enjoy the journey! Thanks for all the love and support and feel free to keep me posted on your progress! If you ever have any questions along the way don’t hesitate to hit me up! Keep up the hard work and I’ll talk with you soon! :)

      • Cunst says

        Thanks, I’ll definitely finish all the lessons that you gave me as soon as possible :)
        And I’m just wondering, I downloaded huge ebooks about sound engineering that explain how all these things like how compressor works and stuff, but will it be useful to me as for a music producer? And you said Serum is for sound developer, but it seems like I want to develop sound by myself instead of working with samples from Nexus, for example :) It makes me feel something like I do everything on my own, from nothing to a great beat or even mixed and mastered song :)
        Thanks a lot for giving me all the tips, I really appreciate it :) Do you know where I can find mastering tutorial for beginners?
        Man, I don’t know how to thank you, honestly :D Probably in the future when I get some money being a producer I’ll book a couple of hours of coaching 1 on 1 :)

        • says

          My pleasure Cunst, glad to help you out :) Yes learning “mixing” how to use compressors and equalizers effectively will help greatly with producing as it allows you to get a more balanced sound to ensure all instruments have their own space in the mix. Feel free to create as many of your own sounds as possible. That’s awesome! But never feel bad for using samples. Any time you use a kick or a snare from a drum pac, or a piano vst instrument these are essentially all sampled sounds which is what makes them a virtual instrument. But they are not sample loops which are recordings of someone else’s performance of an instrument. So it’s okay to use vst instruments and presets if needed. It sure does help you get your ideas down quickly as well and you can always go back and replace the instruments or tweak them later to your liking.
          For mastering tutorials check our http://therecordingrevolution.com and search his site for mastering. He’s got lots of great information on there about mixing, mastering & recording. Thanks for being appreciative of my help :) You can always use my donate page or you can support just by telling your friends about what i’m doing :) At the end of the day I’m doing everything to help others our and knowing that I’m doing that is the biggest reward I could receive. Keep up the hard work and if you ever have any questions moving forward let me know :)

          • Cunst says

            Thanks, Cole :) What you do is really great and helpful and I highly appreciate that :) And I have one more question, what’s the difference between a mixtape and album?

          • says

            My pleasure Cunst! Basically Mixtapes originally was more about the DJ’s ability to mix up records and often using acapellas and instrumentals to really switch things up. At the time there was no CD’s so they would put their mixes on cassette tapes which is why they were called Mixtapes. Nowadays Mixtapes are more about the artists and you will often see DJ’s hosting a mixtape. Basically mixtapes often times contain copy written music the artists has not paid to use. However in most cases you can release music using 3rd party copy written material as long as you don’t make money off it. Artists use mixtapes as a way to try and build their fan base by releasing a free project “mixtape” to lead up to the release of an album. An album basically is an original release from the artist and if there is any copy written material on an album the artist has paid for the right to use it. In short a mixtape is free and an album typically isn’t. Making a mixtape cost very little money while an album cost more money. I hope that helps :)

          • Cunst says

            Well, an album is going to cost me nothing then if I wanna do that on my own :D Thanks for quick reply. Btw, now I read a lot, learn a lot about music and it turned out I can become deaf because of loud performances on stage and my ears are really perceptive (it started from school) when I was on the party after finishing the 9th grade, I asked DJ to make music more silent, he switched it from 120 db to 119 db and said, “Sure, I didn’t know it was too loud to people.” I thought that was useless to tell him he didn’t almost do anything, so I just left the place and enjoyed a little quiet walk on the beach :) And nobody except for me thought music was loud. Then I came to the camp where we had little parties with music almost every evening and where I walk in the building I was just dumbfounded. Sound was so loud that my ears started to hurt at once. Again I asked DJ not to make music so loud because it hurts, the same story happened, he just decreased half a db and that was it. Then I decided to dance despite of bad environment for ears and after that realized that I got a headache and earache (I’m not sure it’s a real word :D ). Again nobody thought that was loud. So what I’m thinking of now is protecting my hearing, I want to perform on stage, won’t I be in such a loud environment often? I don’t want to become deaf and also I don’t want to make my fans deaf.

          • says

            Hey Cunst, you’re hearing could be extra sensitive as you stated you should take extra care of them to ensure you don’t suffer from any hearing loss. Typically when you are performing on stage the main speakers are pointed away from the stage facing the crowd. The only speakers that should be facing you should be reference monitors just so you can hear yourself while rapping on top of the music. So I don’t see the loudness of the music causing you any issues while performing. But I would highly recommend you investing into some ear plugs such as these to keep on you whenever you’re in environments that could potentially be harmful to your ears. I hope this helps you out :)

  4. says

    Great perspective Cole, this sort of mentality is very prominent in many successful people regardless of the business they’re involved in.

    Essentially, it’s how you surround yourself with people in business and invest your time in others that determines your level of success. It only makes sense that if you’re a career artist you only invest your time with other career artists (at least by machiavellian philosophy/mentality).

    • says

      Thanks Liam, I’m glad that you enjoyed this article. I couldn’t agree more! What and whom you surround yourself with is you’re environment. Even on a nature level we know plants need certain environmental conditions in order to flourish and if those needs aren’t met they will likely die. I like to think in a similar manner in relation to our environment from a personal growth standpoint. I noticed you mentioned Machiavelli. Has any of his writings particularly influenced you if so which ones? Of course 2 Pac popularized him in the Hip Hop culture but I have personally never looked into him as was curious to know your thoughts. :)

      • says

        My pleasure Cole! As far as Machiavelli goes I simply remember learning about him in high school history when we were taught to understand the way that leaders and nations were sculpted throughout history rather than the actual events that took place (in other words understanding their mindset). I’m sure that was where Tupac’s Makavelli was originated! I would say you might want to look into “The Prince” as it is Machiavelli’s most noteworthy work.

        • says

          Hey Liam, thanks for the recommendation. I’ll have to check out “The Prince” when I get a chance. I find all things dealing with the mind to be quite fascinating :)

  5. RikzB says

    Hey sup guys! My name is RikzB and I do rap…but the problem is I cant able to make beats and mix master the song…so I need one buddy who can collab with me and can make beats and mix master my rap songs….BTW I live in India and I do punjabi rap…So plzzz reply fast…
    Thanks in Advance!!!

  6. says

    All true. Good thing I learned this before hand. The problem is finding people to write with. I tried many times putting myself out there, but no reciprocation.
    Thanks for the article.

    • says

      I’m glad you enjoyed this article Tony! Yeah finding the right people can take time. Just continue to focus on perfecting your craft and people will eventually notice and start hitting you up. :)

  7. Jacob says

    Hey Cole, I enjoyed the article, but I have a different question. Actually a few questions, I really enjoy making music/writing/rapping. I do it everyday as much as I can. It’s definitely my passion. But I don’t have much money to be buying instrumentals from producers, I’m currently saving up to buy a computer and a microphone so I can start recording my music.
    Anyways my question, should I save up money and buy the beats before recording and releasing my music to the world?
    Also, how do I go about building a fan base for my music? Beyond family and friends.
    And lastly, which equipment would you suggest for me to buy to start recording, mixing, and producing? (Which computers, microphones, software etc..)

    • says

      Hey Jacob I’m really glad that you enjoyed this article and found it to be helpful!

      I’m not sure where you currently are skill wise as rapper but the first thing you should do is perfect your craft as a rapper. You don’t have to buy any beats to do this. You can simply record over any instrumental with the soul purpose of personal development as an artist.

      Once you’re skills are sharp then you’re ready to work on something to share with the whole world and stay building a fanbase. This is a big topic on how to actually do this. I would highly recommend you book some coaching sessions with me and we can develop and plan and strategy that works best for you.

      In regards to getting your first setup, it will really depend on your budget. Do you already have a budget in mind? If so let me know and I will be able to make recommendations based upon it. :) – Cole Mize

      • Jacob says

        I’m not exactly sure where I am skill wise either, I’ve been practicing everyday for over a year now and I’ve definitely gotten better.
        I have whole raps written to beats I’ve found on YouTube, and everyone I’ve shown is impressed with it.
        My budget is as large as it needs to be, this is a dream of mine, I’m going to sacrifice and invest in myself so I can give myself the greatest odds of success. Would it be better to buy equipment to record myself? Or to buy some studio time?

        • says

          That’s awesome to hear Jacob! I’m glad you have been working hard and are seeing results from the work you’ve been putting in! Good question. It really depends on if you have a strong desire to learn how to mix “which will take some time” or if you prefer letting someone who specializes in it do it for you. Unless you have a strong desire to do it yourself I would recommend you pay someone else to save you a lot of time and headache lol But I would still recommend getting a really good inexpensive setup like this one so that you can get all of your creative ideas down at home and perfect them before going to the studio. Let me know if this helps and if you have anymore questions I’d be more than happy to answer them for you. :) -Cole Mize

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