If you have ambitions to become a rap superstar, you’ll need drive, ambition, creativity, and talent.
However, if it were just all about those things, becoming a rapper, would be far easier. Starting a rap career takes luck, contacts, and very often, money.
But with so many people dreaming about a future in hip-hop without the funds to push themselves forward, there has to be an easier way.
Here’s how to start a rap career when you don’t have a lot of cash.
How to Start a Rap Career When You Have Little or No Money
Before you head out on your journey to stardom, you will need to come up with a plan. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you set yourself goals that you can work towards.
Be honest with yourself. It may appear that your idols have achieved overnight success. However, they may have spent a lot of time working at their performance style, forging contacts, and performing in small venues for a long time before the world ever knew who they were.
There is a logical progression to becoming a rapper. First, you will need to start honing your skills. Listen to as much music as possible and try and learn from the best.
Start writing your own raps. Don’t expect to write your best work straight away. However, if you can start creating a lyrical style and a method of delivery that is unique to you, it will help you as you progress towards your goal of getting a career in the rap industry.
Record yourself on your phone or any other device and listen back. Get feedback. Pass on the recordings to friends who will give you their honest opinion of how you sound.
Creating Backing Music
One of the areas that may be a challenge will be when it comes to creating backing tracks.
When you deliver a performance, it is likely that you are going to need music to rap over. You have two options here.
One thing that defines hip-hop is that it is a genre of music that has always had a DIY aspect. Historically, this has meant rapping over turntables, repeated hooks sampled from other people’s records, or even beatboxing.
If you are taking the route of self-producing your own tracks, there are lots of free pieces of software or apps that can be used to create professional-sounding backing music.
It may take you time to learn how to use the apps to full effect. However, there will be lots of resources online to help you learn, especially on sites like YouTube.
Experimentation is the best way to learn how to make music using apps. Spend as much time as possible learning about the capabilities of the software and try different things. Once you have some working backing tracks, you can start rehearsing and building up a setlist.
Once you have several songs that are well-rehearsed, you can start to record demos that you can start to use to gain interest and get your first gigs. To record your songs, you will need to buy the best rap microphone that you can afford.
Developing your craft, writing material, and rehearsing is only part of the battle when it comes to learning how to become a rapper with no money.
Before you can get gigs, you may need to demonstrate that you can gain an audience.
There are plenty of places online that you can do this, you could set up accounts with sites such as YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, as well as on all of the various social media platforms.
Start off by posting recordings or videos of your music. Be sure and engage with your listeners, and encourage others to share your posts so that you reach a wider audience.
You will need to get gigs. It can be hard work to convince people to give you a spot, particularly if you have no previous gigging experience. Start approaching small local venues. Send polite emails or messages via social media enquiring about performing there.
Look for local promoters and approach them. Unpaid gigs where you play two or three songs may not seem ideal. However, they will be a stepping stone to getting full, paid gigs.
Meet other performers and listen to their tips for becoming a rapper. Take every opportunity to make contacts to get more gigs, or find new places to share your music.
Progressing in the Music Industry
Once you start to get gigs, you start looking for as many opportunities as possible. Network with as many people who are involved in the music industry as possible. You can do this both online through social media, and in person.
Make sure when you start approaching people that you are polite, professional, and that you always provide links to your best material.
You will find that you’ll contact dozens or even hundreds of different people in the industry. Many people won’t get back to you, or if they do, it will be with vague promises. Other people may respond with rejections. Although you don’t get anything back, you should keep trying.
Finding your big break will take persistence and effort on your part.
Stay Grounded and Focused
As you work at learning how to start a rap career, you will learn a lot about yourself. You will find out how hardworking you can be, how resourceful you are, and how you can adapt to any situation. Plus, you will develop the ability to take feedback.
Your goals may change as you seek out opportunities to progress, and you will hit stumbling blocks along the way where you will think that you are not good enough. However, if you keep trying, you can get the career that you want.
For more great articles about developing your music career, be sure and check out the other information for musicians on the site.