Don’t Be Afraid To Work Less As A Hip-Hop Artist

Article Written By: Darius Burgan
Dont Be Afraid To Work Less

Table of Contents

We all have dreams. They’re easy to create in our head and after time, we get excited just by thinking about them. These dreams help create that “hunger” inside of you.

But, that “hunger” usually comes with a side of “by any means necessary”. While that’s usually looked at as a good thing, It’s probably holding a lot of hip-hop artists back

The problem isn’t the hustle, it’s the fact that most upcoming artists don’t know what tasks to hustle on.

They’ll check out what current celebrities are doing and then hustle hard to mimic that behavior…… Because if it’s working for celebrities, then it should work for them if they work hard enough – right?

Lack of focus will put upcoming hip-hop artists on a hamster wheel with fame and riches dangling in front of them.

Now, Instead of evaluating the situation and figuring out the easiest way to reach their dreams, most artists just hit the ground running and hope for the best. They work harder and harder until they burn out and quit (like most) or waste so much time that they don’t have any choice but to figure out a plan B.

But, if they would just stop working so hard, take a bird’s eye look at their current situation, and seriously figure out what’s the next most important step, they might be in a much better position than they now are.

You should only be working hard on a task if you KNOW it needs to be done

So, If you’re not exactly sure what you should be doing at this stage of your hip-hop career, don’t worry. Instead of working non-stop to promote your music, get on hip-hop blogs, or get your mixtape on Spinrilla – focus on figuring out if any of that even matters at your current stage.

I really don’t want to see you spend months or years promoting your music, only to get nowhere – when you should have been improving your brandnetworking in the music industry, or something else.

Actionable Tips

Actionable Tips

There’s no point in making a blog post if I can’t give you a few actionable tips that you can start applying to your music career to help you.

Analyze Your Results Every 3-6 Months

By analyzing your results every 3-6 months, you’ll avoid spending years doing something that’s not making you a successful hip-hop artist – and if what you’re currently doing is giving you good results, you can always work harder to improve the results.

There’s nothing cool about working “hard” and getting 0 results. Always work smart.

Have Goals

I talk more about goal setting for hip-hop artists here: How to Set Goals for Hip-Hop Artists

In a nutshell, you need to know what results you want, how to get the results, and an estimate of how long it will take to get them. I personally suck at making goals, but every time I’ve made them, I’ve gotten closer to where I want to be in business and life.

What I’ve been doing is reserving 30 minutes – 1 hour a week to look at my goals and the current strategy I’m using to achieve them. This has been helping me avoid the “What should I be doing right now?” question and keep focus.

It doesn’t always work out like planned, but it’s working better than not having a plan.

Have A Reason For Everything

It doesn’t matter if you’re about to book a studio session or trying to promote your music on social media, you should have a reason behind every action

You should not be doing something “just because” it’s what you believe you should be doing.

For example:

Smart Artist: “I’m going to promote my website on social media to try to build my email list and increase engagement potential fans”.

Not-Smart Artist: “I’m going to promote my website on social media because it looks dope!”

In most cases, the smart artist will become more successful than the not-smart artist. So make sure you have a reason for doing what you’re doing.

The Key: Every time you’re about to do something for your music career, ask yourself this simple question:

“Why am I doing this?”

If you can’t give yourself a good answer, save yourself the time and frustration by not doing that task until you have a good answer.

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4 comments

  • Kyng Symba
    May 4, 2016 Reply

    Ok so I have been stuck here reading your blogs for he past 2 hours..it started when I wanted to get my future mixtape (60% comp) on a music platform and I don't know how useful it will be but it has been a good ready understanding the biz with inside insite..but my question to you is when is a good time to promote your music..during construction or upon completion..I was thinking grind hard on the content and relevance then promote? What's your take on that?

    • Darius Burgan
      May 4, 2016 Reply

      Thanks for checking out the articles for the past 2 hours man, that's awesome! I usually recommend waiting until a project is completed before you start promoting it - especially if you're a 1-man team. You're going to need to be able to focus on one task at a time, so you can create a high-quality project without burning yourself out in the process. Another benefit to finishing the project first is that if a single does "blow-up" and become popular, you can focus on the business and marketing side of your career that will allow you take advantage of this new popularity (shows, merch, videos, etc..) without having to split your time up between business & studio. It can be difficult to manage your music career if your song becomes popular and you don't have any good follow-up music to release. That pressure alone can eat you up.

  • Agruv
    March 15, 2016 Reply

    Lack of focus is one thing I see a lot with artists. Many don't want to pick up a book or buy a course and educate themselves on the industry and/or marketing. Good stuff with this video.

    • Darius Burgan
      March 15, 2016 Reply

      I 100% agree with you!