The 3 Hardest Parts of Being A Professional Rapper
Today, we’re going to highlight the three hardest parts of being a full-time professional rapper.
As somebody who has not only consistently made six-figures over the years from rapping…
But also been privileged to travel the world exclusively as a rap artist…
I believe this article will be both an inspiration and a useful information piece for anybody who’s interested in pursuing a full-time career in the music industry…
Especially when it relates to Hip-Hop as their main source of income.
Additionally, even if you’re just an artist who is already making a little bit of money from rap but would like to transition to full-time…
This will help be a guide for future trials and tribulations to look out for as you pursue your dreams.
NOTE: Before we begin, be sure to subscribe to your YouTube channel, “How To Rap” with notifications because we drop weekly videos on how to become a rapper and how to improve your rap skills to a point you have the option of going full-time professional as a rap artist… and, if you’re looking to create professional level rap songs ON COMMAND, be sure to check out our brand new course “Song In 60 Minutes” where we’ll show you how to write professional rap songs on command in 60 minutes or less by clicking HERE or visiting RapIn60.com
The Definition of a Professional Rapper
Before we start, let’s clarify what it means to be a full-time rapper by saying what it doesn’t mean:
It does NOT mean you have to be globally famous or have a Billboard charting hit.
It means that you are able to support yourself (and/or your family) full-time as a rap artist.
The reason we need to make this distinction is because being a full-time rapper is a totally achievable goal for you if that is your desire, but you may have to sacrifice the dream of only doing it full-time IF you have a hit or are famous.
While a lot of up-and-coming artists say they’d just be happy to only do music full-time, they take a lot of actions that say otherwise…
Such as poorly managing their time to chase an “industry” connect, only making music they think will chart, and many other things we’ll discuss today.
#3 Managing Your Time Based On Lifestyle and Not Clout
As somebody who has successfully travelled around the world as a full-time rap artist, visiting over 15 countries and seeing both coasts of the U.S. from my music…
But never having some of the “clout” that your average person on the street feels you need to call yourself a real “rapper” such as a Billboard charting hit…
One of the hardest leaps for me to make was to be comfortable with gaining the “perks” of a full-time artist…
Without the ego boost of “fame” or “clout” that comes from big name rappers.
So, for example… there are many rappers whose names you’d be familiar with who have never left the country due to their music.
There are many reasons for this whether that be legal issues or their music is not big enough overseas…
But regardless they’ve never done it. Now, on one hand, because I was able to go on a world tour, I should feel like I’m more “successful” than them, or have had a “better career”.
On the OTHER hand, because these rappers are “famous”, have a more lucrative “lifestyle”, and probably have more day-to-day fun than me in their career…
It’s very easy for me to become jaded and feel like I’m “losing” in the game because I don’t have the attention of all the groupies and paid for whips, etc.
NOW, if I only focused on the jaded feelings I occasionally have because I’m not as FAMOUS than those other artists…
I would likely sell-out musically in order to chase the fame they have in the States, or dress an unnatural way…
And in the process, that inauthenticity might ironically damage my chances of being taken on another global tour.
I had to really face to myself, what is more important: the ego boost of fame or the lifestyle of a world-traveling artist?
So, as a full-time rapper, in order to sustain your career…
Often you’ll just have to swallow your pride and focus the LIFESTYLE you prefer over the perks…
If going full-time is your first priority.
#2 “Why have I never heard of you?”
“Why have I never heard of you?” Is going to be one of the most common questions you’re going to get as a full-time artist unless you have MAJOR clout.
Similarly to point #1, this will be a time in which you’ll need to swallow your pride if maintaining your full-time career lifestyle is most important to you.
Look, the vast majority of people who listen to rap evaluate artists based on their buzz. If they’ve at least heard of someone, they feel like the artist is either talented or at the very least knows how to get money in this game.
And more than any other genre, being able to generate a buzz and get a lot of money are admired in rap.
On the other hand, most amateur rappers waste so much time trying to think of tricky methods to “get a buzz” or “stack bread” that they try to take shortcuts while missing out on many opportunities that would help them transition to a full-time career if they’d just try it out…
Which we’ll discuss on point #3 in a second.
If you’re interested in going full-time into music, you’re going to have to be okay with the reality that people may not have heard of you.
My usual response to this, if I feel the person is trying to be rude or roasting or something is, “I don’t need you to hear for me for me to be successful…” or something along those lines.
This is a good mantra for you to hold if you’ve decided it’s more important to have a career than to have clout.
#1) Songwriting As A Business vs. Your Life Story
One of the biggest secrets to going full-time in music regardless of getting an industry co-sign is your ability to write songs that businesses or people of influence find lucrative.
For over two years, I was able to sustain a full-time, world-traveling lifestyle by writing music for businesses that were interested in tapping into the Hip-Hop market.
The real secret here is understanding that you may not necessarily be writing music that tells “your story”…
But it will get you paid.
So, for example, I wrote theme songs for many businesses including a dating company all the way to a cryptocurrency business, both of which paid me over six-figures in assets from the tracks I made for them.
The songs I wrote weren’t my personal “autobiography in rap form”, but they did more than just pay the bills… they help me travel around the world a bunch of times and have a lifestyle better than a lot of artists with clout.
The other option is to get into the sync licensing game. Sync licensing is where you write music for TV, commercials, films, games, and things of this nature.
This can be a very lucrative option to get you into the full-time music game. I’ve heard you can make anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 for just ONE song in the right sync deal. As I mentioned, you may not literally be your life story here but it will CERTAINLY help you go full-time into rap.
If you’re interested in learning how to write songs about ANY subject that can help you create theme songs for businesses, click HERE to get our free video course: The Top 20 Songwriting Secrets of Full-Time Rappers.
Let’s review the main bullet points of why it can be hard to be a full-time rapper:
#3) Managing Your Time Based On Lifestyle and Not Clout
You have to go through a humbling process where you are making decisions that will make you money even if they won’t turn you into an ego-driven superstar.
2) “Why have I never heard of you?”
People will question your legitimacy as an artist constantly, and you’ll have to have enough humility to recognize you don’t need their validation to have an amazing career.
1) Songwriting As A Business vs. Your Life Story
You can make a TON of money by writing songs for businesses and influencers if you don’t mind facing the fact you may not be telling your “life story” on the track.