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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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!