Making it to the top in the rap business can be a prolonged and energy-sapping task. Due to the "rags to riches" journeys of many high-profile rappers, lots of kids are now keen to copy their idols and break into the big time. For this reason, the rap scene (and the music industry in general) is saturated with people wanting to become the next big thing. However, there are specific measures you can take to increase your chances of getting noticed as a rapper.
- Skill level:
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Practice rapping as often as you can. To get noticed, you will need to perfect your own vocal style and work out what rhythms and beats are best suited to your voice. Most rappers and musicians spend years honing these skills, so when they finally appear on the big stage, it looks like second nature to them.
Create a stage persona. Many rappers have stage names, which are either made up or abbreviated, mutated versions of their real names. Often, their rapping persona is more menacing and extroverted than their own personality. Choose an aura you wish to adapt, as well as a name and a style of dress, and stay consistent to each of these traits. The more consistent you are, the more likely your image will be remembered.
Make a music demo. You can do this with a computer and some music software in the comfort of your own bedroom. However, to create a truly professional demo that will be noticed by record labels, you will need the assistance of a music producer. A music producer will know how to manipulate your voice and balance the sound digitally to emphasise your strengths and cover any weaknesses you may have.
Send in your demo to major record labels or music agents, especially those who specialise in rap and hip hop. You can research major music labels in the rap genre by searching on Google or by looking at the credit listings on your favourite rap CDs. The best way to get noticed is through the mass exposure a decent record label or a savvy manager can provide.
Get online exposure. Set up your own website and load it with images of yourself in your rapper persona. Upload audio files of excerpts of your tracks so any visitors who come across your site can sample your work. Leave contact information on your site so you can be contacted for gig offers or record deals. Use social media sites too, such as Facebook and Twitter, to further promote your profile.
Play live shows. Many rappers played sets in their hometowns, often in the form of "battles" with other budding rappers, before they became famous. Contact local music venues and ask if they have any showcases for up-and-coming artists. Alternatively, you can send them a demo and see if they deem your work good enough to warrant your own live show. Performing live and receiving word of mouth recommendations from rap fans can be an excellent way of increasing your profile as a rapper.
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