So there seems to be this myth floating around that there’s an age restriction for rapping. I’ve heard it on both ends from people inquiring if they’re too old to be rapping as well as kids thinking that perhaps they’re too young. Interestingly enough I’ve discovered through conversing with these age-conscious creatives that their concerns have been triggered for several underlining reasons. And it’s likely you have had some of these insecurities as well so let’s take a look at them and see if we can’t put these myths to rest.
Are You Too Young To Start Rapping?
I’m Not Marketable
Some of the younger aspiring rappers feel like they’re not marketable. This is likely due because most of the music they hear on the radio features older rappers whose lyrical content boasts explicit lyrics and mature subject matter. This leaves them with familiar sentiments of not being tall enough to ride the roller coaster and being too young to drive the car. They feel as if they have not yet been given the right of passage and are consequently left harboring a countenance of alienation.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there’s a market for everything! Even if you can’t get your music on radio stations there are so many more opportunities! For example, if you’re only 12 years old and you’re heavily into Pokemon Go then make an awesome rap song about it and upload it to YouTube. There are a ton of adults who love this game as well and it’s possible they may love your song as well! Who knows maybe you can submit your song to The Pokemon Company and they may decide to feature it in one of their commercials or future game releases!
I Have Nothing To Say
Often times younger rappers feel they have nothing to say because they’re comparing themselves to rappers who are much older. Since they can’t brag about their cars or how much money they’ve acquired they feel disqualified. While it’s true they don’t have all the same life experiences as their older counterparts they still have much more in common than meets the eye because who hasn’t been young right?
What grownup can’t relate to having their first crush? Or how they used to hate cleaning their rooms and being grounded? What about when you tried to talk yourself out of a whoopin’ or when you found out Santa Clause wasn’t real? (Spoiler Alert).
How about the period of time you had to walk around with teeth missing or when you got in trouble at school for disrupting the class and couldn’t play kickball during recess. Oh, one more! What about that time when you were four years old and discovered how to operate your parent’s lighter and you set your room on fire?..No? Okay, maybe that one was just me. lol!
See there are tons of life experiences you can talk about regardless of how young you are and grownups can relate to them!
I Don’t Have Any Money
So perhaps you’re not old enough to legally work to invest in yourself but there are still things you can do to earn money.
Ask people if they’ll pay you to…
- Wash their car
- Cut their grass
- Rake leaves
- Shovel snow
- Tend to their pets when they’re out of town
- Clean their house
- Cut their hair
- Bake them fresh cookies
- Perform a magic show at birthday parties
Even if there’s absolutely no way you can make money you can still create a YouTube account for free, find yourself some free instrumentals, use some free software or just record yourself live with a smartphone with the music playing in the background and upload that sucker to YouTube and get the word to all your friends! Always remember it’s not about what you have it’s about what you do with what you have.
I’m Too Young To Make A Career Out Of Rapping
Do you know how you’ve been often asked what you want to be when you grow up? Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wait until a certain age to be somebody. You’re somebody right now! Allow me to show you a few examples of young rappers who’ve made sustainable careers for themselves.
Kris Kross was an early 90’s rap group duo that consisted of Mac Daddy (12 years old) and Daddy Mac (11 years old).
Under the tutelage of Jermaine Dupri they sold four million copies in the U.S. of their debut album “Totally Krossed Out” which included the hit single “Jump”, which went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts for eight weeks, “becoming the first rap song to have achieved such a long stay at the top. No other rap song had ever led the charts for that length of time!
LiL Bow Wow
Lil’ Bow Wow released his first album, Beware of Dog in 2000 at the age of 13. He to was also signed to Jermaine Dupri’s record label So So Def. Bow Wow’s album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard charts and sold 101,000 copies the very first week!
Bow Wow continued to release new music and became a movie star appearing in films such as All About the Benjamins, Like Mike, Johnson Family Vacation, Roll Bounce, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift to name a few. In 2013 he also become the official host of BET’s hit show 106 & Park.
In the early 2000s LiL Romeo son of music mogul Master P, signed to his father’s popular record label “No Limit Records” at the age of 12. His debut single “My Baby” went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2001 Romeo released his debut album “Lil ‘Romeo” and it was charted on the US Billboard 200 at number six & went on to be certified gold, selling over 500,000 copies!
LiL Romeo continued to release new music and in 2002 was offered his own Nickelodeon show “Romeo!”. The show was a success and ran for three consecutive seasons. Romeo later made his way to the big screen while appearing in films such as Jumping the Broom and Madea’s Witness Protection.
In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label. A few years later in 1996, Lil Wayne formed the southern hip hop group Hot Boys.
Most of the group’s success came in 1999 from their platinum-selling album Guerrilla Warfare and subsequent single “Bling Bling”. During the same year, Wayne released his debut solo album “The Block Is Hot” which also became certified platinum!
LiL Wayne continued to consistently release new music. In 2008 he dropped Tha Carter III which became his most successful album to date, with first-week sales reaching an impressive one million copies in the United States alone! The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album which also included the hit singles “Lollipop”, “A Milli” and “Got Money”.
Lil Wayne has sold over 100 million records worldwide making him one of the best-selling artists of all time! And remember he started pursuing his career in music at the tender age of only nine years old!
No matter how young you are it’s never too early to start pursuing your dreams. Yes, you will inevitably have naysayers who doubt you can achieve anything great at a young age but opinions are like butt-holes; everyone has one and they all STINK!! So do what you love, have fun and be yourself!
Also if you’re wondering if you’re too old to be rapping be sure to check out this video that digs deep into that topic as well!
How Did I Do?
Did you find this article helpful! Have a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!