5 rappers frustrations and how to overcome them
It’s one thing to have a terrific set of pipes, but recording your songs and getting used to performing on stage is an entirely different deal. Although all you probably want is to get your message across to your audience – there’s so many technicalities involved in rapping, from building a strong, professional record to marketing yourself. As unpleasant and dull as this whole business may seem, you need to delve into it to ensure that you even have an audience to begin with. So here are 5 common rappers frustrations that both newbie and experienced rappers face and how you can solve them for good.
Let’s start with the basics – rapping isn’t as simple as throwing two savage one-liners and a neat beat together. Your lyrics need structure and your flow has to be on point. You might have noticed that a lot of newcomers either rap off beat or they can’t glue their lines into a cohesive bulk. This is because they never learned how to identify beats. Counting beats and bars is the oldest trick in the book and the most basic technique you need to get in the habit of practicing on a regular basis. So put on your favorite jam and start counting the quarter, eighths and then 16th notes. Do this for any and every song until it becomes second nature and you can also adapt the notes to your own tempo, without background music.
For a devoted rapper, having a heavy story and an emotionally charged voice that matches it is essential. But this can also become overwhelming and put too much pressure on you. If you feel like your flow is stale and you’re not bringing anything new to the table you might get disheartened and give up. However, it’s crucial to mold into your own style through consistent practice and to not get discouraged.
You need to trust that your rap is unique enough to stand out from the rest of the crowd. If you constantly listen to what others say and you’re always trying to emulate your idols, you’ll lose your edge and what makes your flow distinct. Biggie had his free flow, Eminem brought anger to the mix, Snoop Dogg mastered conversational rap. Each had their personal signature. And so do you – you just need to find your style and own it!
A great deal of attention is always dedicated to developing your flow, but too little effort is put into changing up your style. This ties into the last point – don’t be afraid to experiment! You can have the best beats in the world, but if you don’t challenge your listeners and try something new on your later tracks, you’ll lose supporters. People don’t want to hear the same thing over and over again, they want to be caught off guard by a new tempo or a different flow. So make sure you’re adapting your lyrics and style as you go along.
If you’ve built a name for yourself and you have a solid fan base, then you’ll want to start doing live performances. Here’s the number one tip that you can get that will help you with stage fright, keep you from freezing up and ensure that you’re fully invested in the experience – don’t overthink things. Sounds simple, but it’s hard to do. If you feel uncomfortable or you’re having trouble bringing emotion to your rap in front of a larger crowd, remember why you’re there. You want your voice and your message to be heard. Enjoy the feeling of being on stage, take a deep breath and tell your story with grit.
Many underground rappers are vehemently opposed to becoming more official. It’s a true struggle for any rapper to choose between being financially rewarded for the work he puts in and pandering to a small group of listeners who are die-hard fans (some of whom probably download their music off Pirate Bay). Still, looking official doesn’t mean you need to become mainstream or a sell-out. It just means you want a more professional look. You can contact a skillful graphic designer to create a logo for you, have an official website made or get signed to a local record label. Being official might mean as little as talking with less street slang when you’re contacting your promoters. It’s up to you how far you want to take it, but a little professionalism goes a long way and it doesn’t have to take away from your core message as a rapper.