7 Signs You’re Not Going To Make It As A Rapper (2020)

7 Signs You’re Not Going To Make It As A Rapper (2020)

In today’s article, we’re going to give you some straight talk about things you have to watch for if you’re trying to make it as a rapper.

Before we even get into this list…

You should be aware that a lot of people who have nothing to do with music will tell you…  

Even READING articles like this prove you aren’t going to be one. 

I’m here to tell you that’s absolutely NOT true. 

The fact that you are even SEARCHING out answers and advice about how to improve your chances to make it in music puts you ahead of like 80% of artists out there.

The danger is knowing which advice is actually useful and based in fact…

And which advice is just trying to sell you a dream or swipe you for likes and comments.

But we’ll cover that more as we get into the list.

Our “7 Signs You’re Never Gonna Make It As A Rapper” YouTube Video

One more thing before we get into this list…

When I say “make it”… I don’t just mean have ONE HIT record ONE TIME and then end up in rehab or jail.

I always don’t mean HAVE ONE SONG THAT CHARTED ITUNES or BILLBOARD one time and then say you’ve made it.

I mean have a sustained, profitable career where ALL you do is music if you so choose, you get paid to travel from music, people love your music…

And YOU’RE happy with yourself as a musician. 

Major difference.

Make It As A Rapper Kevin Hart
Take a breather, it’s about to get real

1. You Don’t Handle Fear Well

This usually shows itself it two ways. 

Can’t Make It As A Rapper If You Don’t Leave Home

Going back to the “if you watch videos like this you won’t make it” mentality… 

There’s nothing wrong with watching videos like this as long as you IMPLEMENT the advice and, frankly… 


I’ve been coaching musicians online for over five years and it still AMAZES me how many rappers have no evidence that they actually leave their bedroom and try to get shows or attend music networking conferences…

Even though EVERY music career advice video (even the bad ones) tells you to GET OUTSIDE and meet people.

The truth is frankly these “bedroom rappers” as I call them don’t know how to handle their fear of being judged well and so they spend hours watching videos on “how to start a music career” when the only career they really need to start…

Is a social one.

So that’s the first way.

Won’t Make It As A Rapper If You Are Scared To Look “Uncool”

The second way, more common to artists who already have “made it” or at least have some clout is…

They have a fear of looking “uncool”. 

You see this a lot in places like L.A., Atlanta, or New York. These are the rappers that have the look down, they got the drip, their style is on point…

But when they get into a function or position to actually make moves, they don’t take it because they have a natural fear of looking uncool, or even worse… a paranoia about people they “don’t know”.

Which brings us to…

2. You Believe Everyone In The Music Industry Is Evil

If you look up most videos that start with the phrase, “music industry”, Google predictive text will predict you want to end with “sells their souls” or “illuminati” or things like that.

What that means is SO many people are just looking up videos to confirm their belief that everyone in music is evil.

This always makes me cringe because I notice the people who believe this stuff NEVER mention it about the so-called “lyrical rappers” they enjoy… 

Or artists they think are “good” people… and yet those artists are still in the music industry.

So if you believe everyone in the music industry is evil, then you believe Kendrick Lamar is evil and has sold his soul, right?

You believe that J. Cole has given his morals to the Illuminati, I presume?

You think 

Oh, wait, no? They’re different? Why? Because you like them? 

Make It As A Rapper Kendrick Jay
Wait, it’s different because you like Kendrick?

Look, I’ve worked with people at different levels of the music industry for over 10 years including multiplatinum artists with plaques from songs from THIS year…

I JUST got back a few weeks ago from sessions at the new Warner Music Group headquarters in downtown L.A.

95% of “music industry” people are just like you and me… WORKING A F$%ING JOB AND TRYING TO GET A PROMOTION.

Where exactly does the devil worshipping start? Is it the janitor? Is the IT department? Oh no, it’s like A&R’s and people like that?

I have a homey who’s an A&R at different group… one of the biggest groups in the world, and he’s a 24-year old who just graduated from an Ivy League school. 

When we wanted to keep recording after 8PM at the studio in the building, he started taking a nap and listening to DaBaby while DMing some chicks while he collected overtime…

There wasn’t an Illuminati meeting he was missing. He’s a normal kid in his mid-20’s. 

Anyway, forget about that mini-rant… 

The point is if you are a paranoid artist that doesn’t handle fear well and concocts weird stories in your head about demon dinners between A&Rs…

You’re not going to make it as a rapper.

3. You Listen To Unqualified Advice ‘Cause It Sounds Good

This is probably one of the most common reasons rappers can’t make a career outside of their bedroom or at best their city.

I started doing YouTube music education videos back in 2014 when the advice scene was basically non-existent. 

At that time I already 11 years of rap experience, U.S. tour experience, record label meetings and a bunch of other cool stuff before I made a video.

At the recording of this, I added a 15-country world tour, music videos shot with producers who’ve worked with everyone from Drake to Kendrick…

Attended several teaching sessions with Eminem’s voice coach… multiple ghostwriting credits, and a bunch of other stuff before I would even feel right to make a video like this.

In the MEANTIME, there have been a crop of new “music advice gurus” who essentially have no evidence that they’ve ever made a full-time income from music…

Ever been on a tour, or even left the country let alone off of the strength of their music.

I say all that not to brag but to say it pains me everyday I see artists saying “damn a lot of gems” or “you give me so much motivation” to people that don’t even seem qualified yet to make their own full-time income on music let alone teach you how to do it…

Only listen to advice from people who have lived the life YOU want to live, not just because you like how they sound.

If you’re interested in learning how to do music full-time in under six weeks from somebody’s who’s actually done it… click HERE.

Make It As A Rapper Teamwork
Learn to be a team player

4. You’re Not A Team Player

This is a big one as well… 

Look, everything good in life came from teamwork. 

Even if it’s the most gangsta street rapper on lean 24/7… 

Better believe the hustlers behind him are expert businessmen and would never let the golden goose drown in the pond of money they’re making.

As I mentioned in the first tip…

What hurts a lot of these street rappers or artists who supposedly get “blackballed” is that they get too defensive or fearful and end up dropping the ball when it comes to being professional from a business standpoint.

Regardless of your background, be aware that the ability to professionally strategize with people from different backgrounds will ALWAYS be a necessity when you’re dealing with a career worth millions.

You’re a nerdy suburban kid who’s never chilled with people from the streets and wants to make music? 

You better grab your nuts because there’s a whole lot of street-wise people in music who will swindle for everything you’ve got if you don’t wisen up.

You a hood rapper who never left the trap and don’t trust people in suits?

You better learn how to tighten up and put on a smile because a whole lot of money will be left on the floor trying to preserve that street image.

Being a team player is as much about knowing when to “pass the ball” and when to shoot it when it comes to this game.

Make It As A Rapper Kendrick Look
Don’t look like this lol

5. You Don’t Know How To Control Your Emotions

I put it this way because I wanted to make a point about drug use in the industry.

Look, nobody knows you better than yourself.

If you have found that you can use drugs (however you define them) and are NOT prone to emotional outbursts, fights, embarrassing moments, and anything that can ruin career…

Then go ahead and have fun. Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.

If you found that you actually MAKE A LOT OF MUSIC when you smoke some ganja (as LONG as you can be equally productive sober)…

Rather than what most rappers do and convince themselves they’re better high and then end up watching Rick and Morty for three hours…

If you can pull it off go ahead…


If you are like 99.9% of us where TOO MANY DRUGS PARTIES AND SUBSTANCES put in our body makes us FREAK TF OUT or literally RUIN OUR LIVES…


Be prepared to not make it as an artist.

6. You’re A Terrible Money Manager

This is kind of similar to the point about drugs.

There are TONS of examples of rappers with diamonds, cars, and a bunch of other material things that APPEAR to mean they’re good with handling money…

And then within two years they are selling jailbroken iPhone 7’s on your local King Boulevard.

There are also MANY examples of rappers with diamonds, cars, and things of that nature who actually have structured branding deals with companies and their money is solid.

So do NOT fall into the trap that assuming because someone is showing or NOT showing diamonds that means they are good with money or not.

Even MORE importantly…

The way you do ANYTHING is the way you do EVERYTHING.

Make It As A Rapper Money
Money was never an issue between these guys, right?

In other words… if you are a BAD money manager NOW…

You will be a BAD money manager when you miraculously BLOW UP.

You know how many rappers I see in my comments who watch How To Rap or similar channels and say things like…

“I can’t afford a microphone right now but when I get one I’ma going straight to the top”

“How can I do an Instagram promotion for $1 a day and blow up?”

Look, homey…

If you cannot scrounge together $100 for a microphone for the supposedly MAIN DREAM of your life…

If you can only afford in a FULL month to put together $31 to promote your supposedly AMAZING MUSIC that EVERYONE needs to hear…

You need to stop worrying about rap right now and learn how to be a man (or a woman).

You need to learn how to manage your money.

And DON’T try to look for rap lyrics where rappers said they were “poor” to try to justify the fact you’re not managing money properly.

Stop trying to look for exceptions to prove the rule. 

Stop trying to look for the grandmother who lived to 100 smoking cigarettes to justify your two pack a day habit.

Stop watching Ocho-Cinco eat Big Mac’s then catching touchdowns to justify your gut. 

YOU are not that special. YOU need to work if you REALLY want to make it in this game.

7. You Are A “Stan”

I’m not talking about Eminem fans here specifically, there are people like this for EVERY rapper.

This is going to be a tough one to swallow…


If you self-identify too much with a particular rapper to the point that…

They are your profile picture…

That you would probably faint with excitement if you met them…

You think you are going to be best friends with them when you miraculously blow up and meet him and start gushing with excitement and that SOMEHOW doesn’t weird him out…

If you are STAN and not the MAN…

You aren’t going to make it, homey.

Look… nobody likes to be around somebody they think is trying too hard to be their friend.

You know that kid in middle school who liked to chew on crayons and then one day came up to you was like, “Will you be my friend?”

You know that one kid in every movie that is obsessed with the hot cheerleader girl and then she disses him because he’s too thirsty…


Make It As A Rapper Stan
He did not rap with Eminem

The whole point of it is that if people think you put them too high on a pedestal, it’s going to weird them out and they’re not going to want to work with you.

Furthermore, if you are spending more time following every move of your favorite rapper, you are NOT spending time on YOUR career…

And you’re NOT going to make it.

Just remember what actually happens in the song, dog…

Stan didn’t become Eminem’s friend.

Stan didn’t make records with Shady.

Stan KILLED himself.

Whew, that’s the end of that crazy list. If you want to make an ACTUAL music career, click HERE.


Let’s look back at this crazy list…

1. You Don’t Handle Fear Well 

2. You Believe Everyone In The Music Industry Is Evil

3. You Listen To Unqualified Advice ‘Cause It Sounds Good

4. You’re Not A Team Player

5. You Don’t Know How To Control Your Emotions

6. You’re A Terrible Money Manager

7. You Are A “Stan”

Comment Below: 

Have you been guilty of any of these?

Drew Morisey, @drewmorisey on Instagram and Twitter

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