You have heard the rap rags-to-riches story enough times to know that it is as much reality as it is fantasy. Rappers like Tupac, Diddy and Jay-Z rose from being amateur rappers to stars of the hip hop world. The path isn't easy but the goal is achievable so follow a few steps to help get you there.
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Get a rap name. Names like Sean Combs (Diddy) or Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) just don't fly in the rap world. Think of a rap name that incorporates something from your name, lifestyle or biography to add a little mystique to your persona. Think edgy and catchy to find the right name.
Hone your battle skills. Rap battling is one of the best ways to innovate new beats and lyrics in a pressured environment. Many of the top rappers started out as master battlers, so start battling in your community to get your lyrics rolling off your tongue.
Make a demo tape. You can rent a public studio for a fairly reasonable amount of money to lay some tracks down. Get a solid mix tape and use your friends and family as a test audience. If you know some other aspiring rappers, ask for help in the production of the tape.
Publicize your material. Give your demo tape out to as many people as possible. Try attending rap events and clubs where you can drop your tape off with the MC and DJ. Also, take advantage of Internet outlets like MySpace and YouTube to get your name and style out there.
Keep going even when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. Not only did it take most successful rappers much longer to reach their goals than they initially thought, but many of their most difficult times produced their best material. Stay in it, keep innovating beats and rhythms and take heart in the process of becoming a hip hop success.