The Biggest Lie Rappers Are Told In Hip Hop

Article Written By: Darius Burgan
the biggest lie rappers are told in hip hop

I can feel the clouds of controversy slowly gathering around this blog post as I write it. As an upcoming Hip Hop music artist, you’ll hear this “advice” all the time from people in the industry when looking for music promotion tips or music business advice. I’m not sure why they consistently give artist this “advice” when, you can see that it’s not true.  It’s mentioned so much that even I’ve found myself saying it a few times, only to correct myself later.

In this post I’m going to reveal this lie, tell you why the “advice” is actually a lie, and why I think this “advice” is consistently given. So, are you ready to hear the biggest lie rappers are told in Hip Hop?

The Biggest Lie Rappers Are Told In Hip Hop:

The biggest lie rappers are told is to “Just create good music and you’ll be successful”. How many times have you heard that before? You’d think that by now, every song on the radio, on TV, and everywhere else is the best music the world has to offer. Do you think the hip hop music you hear on the radio is the best music available? LOL.

But anyway, let’s look at this “advice” for what it is.

Music Is Just a Product:

Telling anyone in a business to just focus on the product is usually bad advice. So, why would music be any different? A product is just that, a product; It is not a business. Telling someone to “Just focus on making good music” is similar to the famous phrase “just build it and they will come.”, which in today’s world of business (and music), rarely happens (if ever).

I’d bet that you personally know someone who makes dope music, but is unknown and definitely not rich.

if you build it they will come

Credit: https://greattechpros.com/events/build-will-come/

So What Is The Truth?:

Music DOES matter, but if we’re being honest, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be liked by your target audience. Each demographic will have its own level of expectations and competition, and you can improve with every new product (music, video, etc..).

To become a successful hip hop artist you will need to focus on:

  • Creating good music for your demographic
  • Marketing and branding yourself well
  • The business side of the music industry

So Why Do So Many Successful Hip Hop Artist Lie To You?

As soon as I wrote that headline, I could feel the twitter fingers of some Hip Hop artist getting to work. If you’re reading this and you feel those twitter fingers itching, just hold off for a minute and continue reading.

I don’t think successful Hip Hop artist lie to you on purpose (or maybe they do in an attempt to eliminate future competition?). I think it revolves around the fact that most successful Hip Hop artist have a team (or label) that does the behind the scenes work. Leaving them to focus solely on the music.

So, whenever a song becomes popular or “pop’s off”, the artist instantly thinks it’s because of how great the song is, but in reality, the marketing and behind-the-scenes work played a huge role in it.

But Darius, If What You’re Saying Is True, Why Do Guys Like Slim Jesus Blow Up

A.) There’s always going to be exceptions. There really are guys who become popular and accidentally blow up without doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Nobody can predict who’s next to go viral. I usually think of it as a mixture of luck and doing the right thing, at the right place, at the right time. Chances are, you won’t be the next guy like this.

B.) Don’t confuse popularity with success. Just because you’re popular and have people talking about you, does not mean you will make money and be able to grow. It will however, work in your favor. If you can create a good product (1. the music + 2. yourself), the popularity will give you an extra marketing push.

My Question To You:

What other things have you been told as an artist, that you feel is a lie?

What Are Your Thoughts?

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4 comments

  • 8waves
    January 15, 2016 Reply

    I used to operate within the concept of -the music is all you need- when I I dreamed of having a record deal. That was a little more than 5 years ago before I decided sign myself and painstakingly build from the ground up. Not sure if this is a lie per se but there's this misconception that artist; especially rappers thinking it's okay and common-place to "pay to play". I do what I can to curve shit like this but it's just too pervasive in the underground circuit. Everyone loses in that regard but that's another story.

    • Darius Burgan
      January 16, 2016 Reply

      Good point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  • DedicatedReader
    January 15, 2016 Reply

    This piece was interesting and I do agree with your belief in the fact that many of the artists giving that advice haven't completed the whole promotional process themselves, only little to none, therefore they may be misconstrued to the other factors that a songs/albums success depends on.

    • Darius Burgan
      January 16, 2016 Reply

      That's what I'm thinking!