Reasons New Rappers Fail…
The purpose of this article is to help new rappers avoid some common problems
that they may encounter on their journey to becoming a better rapper. There could
be a million reasons new rappers fail, a million reasons why any artist fails,
but for the purposes of this article we’ve kept the list short and came up with three
major difficulties that can affect new Emcees.
Reasons New Rappers Fail…
Here they are:
1. Treating Rapping As A Hobby*
2. Rapping Experience*
3. Losing Focus*
During my music career I have met countless aspiring rappers and I have come to
believe that most of the problems aspiring rappers face can be traced to one of the
three factors above. I have narrowed the problem down already, simply by stating it –
so now let’s start to look at some useful solutions.
1. Treating Rapping As A Hobby.
My first example is that of the millions of people around the world who play pool.
Of these only a few hundred are professional players, though many more would
probably like to be because they sincerely enjoy the game – yet they don’t have
a real passion for it. For these people, pool remains nothing more than a hobby.
Many aspiring Emcees behave exactly like this. They love rap, have their favorite
rappers, they know all the words to their songs, but for them Rapping is just a hobby,
an enjoyable form of entertainment. There is nothing wrong with this. You don’t have
to take rap seriously to be successful – for every Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, there’s a
Afroman or a Master P. The idea of “not taking rap seriously” does not necessarily refer
to the art of rhyming, but to the notion of rap as a business opportunity or career.
Master P may not rack his brain trying to craft the most amazing rhymes, but he does
seriously analyze promotion, marketing strategies and distribution outlets. Business
strategies are a part of the Hip Hop lifestyle. You may not think that these issues apply
to you; you may think that maybe one day, if you ever get that far, you’ll think about
those sorts of things – and that in itself is the issue. You need to start thinking big. Try
thinking 10 steps ahead and embracing your future as a successful rapper. Don’t wait
for something that might happen in the future, instead you should work on becoming
the greatest rapper you can be right now. There are a few signs that can indicate that a
rapper is getting stuck in this rut: He/she may try to come up with some good ideas,
then get writers block and stop. They may come up with a few bars or verses, then think
they’re no good, get upset, give up for a while, then pick the pen up again in a few days
or weeks. This is one sign that rap is going to remain a hobby for these people. Never be
afraid to fail because sometimes success is achieved only after many failures. Here’s a
theory you should apply to your whole life:
*****The Solution To Treating Rapping As A Hobby*****
Here it is – Make rap a priority, write every day. This doesn’t mean that you should forget
all your other responsibilities, or that you must write a hot verse or song every day, it just
means what it says – Write Every Day. If you write down your freestyles, a poem, your ideas
for a song, your goals or just explore your creativity by writing down literally anything that
you feel like writing, you will be amazed at how quickly your raps and rhymes will improve.
Another good way to break out of the trap of being just a hobby-rapper, is to switch it up altogether.
If you’re living at home with your parents, you’re comfortable, you’re not starving and your
plan is to become a mechanical engineer, where’s your motivation to improve your raps?
On the other hand, what if you’ve gotten your girlfriend pregnant and you’re living partly on
the streets, working two jobs to earn a living and you see rap as a way out of this situation.
Now you’ve got the hunger back, now you’re feeling the passion again…
The point is not that you need to be living in any particular circumstance to be a good rapper,
but that you need to feel that motivation, that fire inside. If the circumstances of your life are
not encouraging you enough, then you should probably change things around so that you feel
the hunger again. You’ve got to feel the zeal, the rush, and rap like you need to rap to survive.
Don’t treat rap like a pastime or recreation. Whether you become a successful musician or not,
the time that you dedicate to rapping will not be wasted because good rap skills and song writing
skills bring remarkable benefits in the development of confidence, in developing the abilities to
perform under pressure and to express yourself in any field.
2. Rapping Experience.
In the ‘hood, you may hear a 14 year old kid spitting out a raw sixteen bars. This is because 14 years
old in the ‘hood is like 21 years old somewhere else. In the ‘hood they get experienced young. It’s a
common problem for new emcees and rappers to feel hesitant about what they want to write about
because of their lack of experience. Many new rappers feel as if they haven’t lived much yet, they feel
that they don’t know themselves well enough to lay down a good rhyme about what they stand for.
It’s true that good rap says everything about the character and personality of the rapper and what
they believe in, but a keen rapper cannot afford to wait until he/she has lived enough before they
start to write some good rhymes – by then it may be too late. Sometimes the smart 21 year old from
the outer suburbs may be holding himself/herself back because of thinking too much, while the wild
arrogant young 14 year old from the hood may feel confident enough to rap because this young
person already accepts themselves, whether they are right or wrong or even limited in their growth.
*****The Solution To Rapping Experience*****
Don’t wait for it, open yourself up to life now by putting yourself in new situations, questioning, thinking
and finding out what matters to you. Read, listen to music, and try to find out about your own history.
Let yourself be moved by anything and everything. Then be spontaneous, spit your rhymes about who
you are now, today, amp it up a few notches and you’ve got art right there, right now. Don’t wait any
longer at all.
3. Losing Focus.
I grew up in the Hip Hop/Rap generation and I’ve always loved everything about Hip Hop/Rap- the beats,
the rhythm, the rhyme, the meaning and the wordplay. Like a lot of expressive and artistic rappers out there
I’ve always enjoyed other types of art such as painting; I appreciate a well-written book and I enjoy various
types of cinema. Still, I dove into my obsession with music before I had fully developed these other interests.
The problem here is that to become a good rap artist, you also need to have good experience in other fields.
There are innumerable factors involved in making good rap music. Rap is not poetry, it is poetry and more.
Rap is a form of music and it is completely different from all other forms of literature. Contrary to some opinions,
you need to be able to write well, speak well and think well to be a great rapper. It would be smart to not miss
out on forms of expression such as public speaking, novels or journalism while you are on your quest to
becoming a great rapper.
*****The Solution To Losing Focus*****
Keep an organized space for your raps, writings and ideas. Manage your time, pinpoint your goal, don’t
procrastinate, read more and find your purpose. Reading tests your mind’s ability to stay focused on just
one task at a time and can improve your focus. Also, having a purpose to finish your raps will keep you
motivated and will therefore keep you focused.
A good rapper is a well-rounded artist who has learned from dance, public speaking, writing and any art form
that he/she feels drawn to. The reason for this is that all of these forms of creativity give the rapper a broader
range of abilities, all of which contribute to the rapper’s style and flow, rap and rhythm. Hip Hop is not about
one thing, it’s about Life, it’s about everything, so many influences and many types of input contribute to making
a successful rapper.
The Hobby, the Experience and the Focus problem are all well-observed reasons why new rappers fail or quit, but you’ve read the solutions here and now you know that your quest to be a good rapper never needs to end.