First Steps As A Rapper: Finding Collaborators

First Steps As A Rapper: Finding Collaborators

In today’s article, we’re to give you some quick tips on your first steps as a rapper learning how to find people to collaborate with to get your skills up as a beginner.

We’ll cover all of the basics from in-person networking to online as you start a music career.

The most important thing you can do for your career, as we like to say, is start by building a team around you.

We’ll give you some super crucial details to help get that crew who supporting your music step-by-step so that you can really BLOW UP in this industry…

So let’s take you along the journey as you learn your first steps as a rapper! 

Join Self-Selecting Groups of Hip-Hop Fans

Every single second, people are joining different “groups” or tribes that align with their values and interests.

Whether it’s a weekly freestyle cypher if you’re in a major urban metropolis, or an online forum where people trade verses…

There are TONS of “self-selecting” groups of people that are interested in finding the newest rappers.

The very first thing you need to do is start getting into these groups.

Joining a group of people that are really interested in rap will not only help you to have a built-in fanbase when you start releasing songs…

But it will also remind your brain that you’re not “strange” or an oddball for wanting to be a rapper.

The ugly truth is that many people are NOT interested in Hip-Hop. Even though it’s the most successful genre in the world…

There are many people who just don’t care. 

You’ll need to combat your mind noticing every time someone disses rap by joining a large group of people who DO love it.

First Steps As A Rapper Combat Your Mind
Combat your mind


The most important thing throughout all of this will be you developing the ability to ADD VALUE to the person before ASKING for something.

Adding value meaning improving THEIR chances to have a successful music career or larger network.

The biggest mistake artists make is thinking “NETWORKING” means “PROMOTING MYSELF TO A NETWORK OF PEOPLE”.

That’s incorrect.

Promoting yourself to a network of people is called ADVERTISING.

NETWORKING is assembling (or joining) a team of like-minded people to network IDEAS and ACTIONS to a particular goal.

In other words, the best NETWORKERS are the people that can provide VALUE to a person (or team of people) by helping them make valuable ACTIONS towards there goal.

First Steps As A Rapper – Add Value

Now that we’ve covered it theoretically, let’s get more practical. 

The most valuable things you can provide to other rappers as a rapper yourself is access to your current fanbase or marketing capabilities.

In other words, making it easier for THEM to promote THEMSELVES with YOU.

This is why features are such a large part of rap marketing…

The rappers are allowing each other to receive the VALUE of the other’s fanbase.

So, if you have access to shows, social media accounts, or music events and you OFFER the people the OPPORTUNITY to be featured on them…

You are starting to NETWORK successfully. 

First Steps As A Rapper Add Value
Eminem says Add Value First

NOTE: I know that this goes against EVERYTHING you’ve heard about what it means to be a successful rapper… 

“Wait, shouldn’t I just promote MYSELF? Why would I let someone ELSE get the shine?”

This is what poor and unsuccessful people tell you because they are caught in a scarcity mindset where only THEY deserve to win…

While the millionaires and billionaires realize you need to COMBINE forces to make REAL MONEY in life…

So think about adding VALUE first.

The second option is to offer them value through your recording set-up. 

The easiest way to do that is tell them you have a home studio or access to a studio they can use.

If you don’t have access to a home studio or recording equipment… you aren’t really a rapper yet…

You’re just someone who raps. If you’re not recording music, you’re not a recording artist.

I would suggest watching our other videos on getting recording equipment.

But ASSUMING you have some sort of set-up… offer them that value as well.

First Steps As A Rapper – In Person Groups

If you live in a large city like New York, London, Los Angeles, etc. this will be easy.

In New York I was able to find cyphers of people freestyling just chilling outside in Union Square when the whether was nice.

In Los Angeles people freestyle on Hollywood Boulevard all the time.

However, if you’re in a smaller city the best place to go is actual Hip-Hop shows.

Before you say “There are no Hip-Hop shows in my area”… 

You are wrong. I have been to Hip-Hop shows in Prague, Czech Republic, Russia, Athens, Georgia, Stockholm Sweden, Mobile, Alabama, and so on…

They may be less FREQUENT or a little bit of a drive from your house BUT they do exist.

Additionally, if they are less frequent, than it’s even MORE important you go when they do come around.

You can bring a small speaker and play instrumentals and just start flowing. Many people will be interested in hearing you and will likely join in. You can exchange numbers and begin building your network.

If this scares you at first, that’s okay… after the third or fourth time of doing it, you’ll be used to it and realize public rapping doesn’t KILL you 🙂 

As long as you try and push through, you’ll get used it fairly quickly, trust me.

First Steps As A Rapper Battle
Do you have the courage to entire a battle cypher?

First Steps As A Rapper – Online Groups

This is a little bit easier to find and less scary, naturally… 

But it should never REPLACE in-person networking.

If you are not doing in-person networking and only using your computer, you won’t likely make it in this industry.

Think about it… you’re going to have to perform in front of large groups of people ANYWAY…

Your’e going to have be in label meetings with businessmen who want to take your head off ANYWAY…

You’re going to have to go on tour in foreign countries with fans chasing you ANYWAY…

So if you are scared to grind IN PERSON, you have to work on your balls, frankly, before anything else.

In any case, the best place to start is making a list of ten “groups” or pages with fans that are MOST like the style you enjoy.

This could be forums like or, this could be super active comment sections of certain pages, this could be private groups of paid courses like we have at How To Rap.

But online communities are another avenue as well…

And the most important to remember with online communities is ADD value first.

Instead of offering them time at your studio, offer them some tips on how to record themselves better, show them helpful videos like How To Rap, or some great online resources.

The main through line here is to make it about THEM first and then THEY will make it about YOU.

Comment below: 

Where have you looked for rappers to collaborate with in the past?

Drew Morisey, @drewmorisey on Instagram and Twitter