Making music represents only part of the potential of a rap music star. In addition to making music, more than one rapper has found the movie and television industries to be quite welcoming to rappers, and the move to the big (or small) screen is an easy transition. Ice-T is probably one of the most successful rap artists to cross-over to a highly successful movie and television career.
Jay-Z makes much of his money on related industries, including music production for other rappers – both established and up-and-coming – and the nightclub scene. His 40/40 chain is currently a club-set darling.
T.I. has been as successful as neither Jay-Z nor Ice-T but he’s managed to parlay a rap music career that began with a shaky start and has been interrupted twice by stints in prison into a blossoming movie and television career. TI now says that he wants to spend more time on acting than on making music, although the Grammy-winning artist has had some undeniable success with his music career of late.
TI recently released a mixtape, for which he was criticized. He didn’t spend too much time worrying about the fury over the mixtape release, saying essentially that his decision to go with a mixtape format for some of his work is strictly business. Many of the dozens of songs he wrote while in prison or under house arrest would never make it to an album, and he wanted to get the songs out to his fans.
TI’s approach is consistent with many new rappers who care less about how they get their music out than simply getting the music out. Self-publishing is bigger than big in the rap music world and there’s no reason to hold onto something that might have only limited commercial appeal.
New rappers can self-produce music using tools like Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer is a software package that can run on either the PC or a Macintosh and actually includes video tutorials that show you how to put together great beats on your own. You end up with a professional-sounding tape that you can keep to yourself, share with friends or self-publish on outlets like iTunes!
See for yourself what Sonic Producer has to offer and get your music career moving!
Photo Credit: Brian Forbes, via Flickr
To be sure, Recovery is a classic Eminem product and if you like Eminem, you won’t be disappointed by what you hear. Eminem actually has two albums on the Billboard Rap Music chart; Relapse, released more than a year ago, is still holding at #11, having occupied chart space for 66 weeks running.
Critically speaking, Outkast probably has the highest-rated album with Stankonia, originally released in 2000. Currently, that distinction belongs to Big Boi, and Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, released early last month. Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. 2 and The Roots’ How I Got Over also have gotten high critical marks, though their sales have already peaked, never having neared the top spot.
Many rap music fans would argue that sales aren’t the only measure of success, and some would even argue that they’re a poor measure of success. As I said last week, although Eminem has easily outsold Jay-Z, Jay-Z makes substantially more than Eminem does in a year, and the majority of his income doesn’t come directly from rap music sales.
The most successful rap music artists are those who make the sounds they want to make. When you ask a fan what the single most important quality of a rap song is, most often, they’ll respond by saying that the lyrics and wordplay are the two elements that make a rap worth listening to. The music is part of it for sure. The best beats can take an ordinary song and turn it into a club hit, or get the song to the masses through airplay.
One of the nicest things about rap music is that anyone can be a rap music artist if they have the right lyrics paired up with the right beats. If you want to try your hand at making your own rap music beats, check out Sonic Producer. This smart software package will give you everything you need to make your own music. Sonic Producer contains tons of royalty-free samples that you can mix to make your own beats. After hearing a new rap song on the air, if you’ve ever said to yourself, “I could do that!” then check out Sonic Producer. With Sonic Producer, you really can do that!
Photo Credit: Manu Contreras,, via Flickr
Many hip hop and rap artists choose to enter the music scene by producing and releasing mix tapes, rather than traditional albums. Many new artists have been signed based upon their mixtape releases, and it’s not unusual for a new artist to release several mixtapes before being signed to a recording contract. L.I.R.I.X’s first single, “Second Renaissance” was released in 2009 and sold 125,000 copies. Several other singles have also enjoyed good commercial success. L.I.R.I.X is currently working with Shady Records, who have artists such as Young Buck, Obie Trice and Cashis under contract.
If you’re ready to start producing your own mixtapes, the only recording software you’ll need is Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer is one of the most complete music production software packages and is designed with rap and hip-hop artists in mind. Within Sonic Producer, you’ll find thousands of royalty-free samples that will enable you to create your own unique sound without running into copyright issues later on.
Sonic Producer shows you how to produce your own music but also provides video coaching on how to put together the beats that today’s fans want to hear. You’ll learn a lot by working with Sonic Producer, and you can put what you learn to work right away.
Sonic Producer will help you self-produce professional quality digital recordings which you can export to MP3. Share your music with friends, use it to back you up in the clubs or put together your own mixtapes. With Sonic Producer, you’re completely in charge of your musical future. Make your songs available for free download, or put them on iTunes and make a name for yourself. Regardless of your plan, Sonic Producer will help you get started on your musical future today!
Photo Credit: D.avellee, via Flickr
According to the Forbes report, Diddy Combs earned $30 million in the same time frame and Akon checked in at number 3 with $21 million, just ahead of L’il Wayne, who despite being tied up with legal battles, notched $20 million. Most of the industry’s major earners make more money off of endorsements and related business concerns than they do from making and selling records. That’s not to say, however, that the music doesn’t play an important role in their financial success.
Music puts these top earners in front of the public and that public presence makes them extremely valuable to companies who are looking to target certain demographic segments of the market. In addition, proceeds from music careers can finance other business interests. For example, the popular 40/40 nightclub chain is one of Jay-Z’s business holdings. The nightclub chain also enables Jay-Z to come in contact with and promote new music artists since music production is another of his sidelines.
Other rap and hip hop music stars have turned their personas and music into other careers. Ice-T, for example is spending much of his time in front of the camera, and the highly recognizable Diddy Combs promotes vodka to earn cash on the side.
To take advantage of the secondary opportunities in rap music, potential players have to make it big in the music scene first. Breaking in isn’t as difficult a job as you might think, and the music is in no way secondary to everything else. If the music isn’t there, an artist’s career won’t be going very far. Having a great understanding of how to make beats that people want to listen to is critical.
So how can you break into the hip-hop music scene? First and foremost, make great music. Self-production has never been easier using software like Sonic Producer. You can make your own backbeats and mix tapes, combine unique sounds, add lyric tracks and put your music out for the world to hear. You don’t have to catch the attention of a music producer; you simply have to catch the attention of the listener. Sonic Producer is a great software to start with, since it creates a professional sound and uses royalty-free samples. You’ll also get great video tutorials to help you create the sounds that hip-hop fans want to hear. Check it out!
Photo Credit: NRK P3, via Flickr
Eminem is no stranger to controversy. In fact, he often seeks it – and the resulting publicity – to help promote his music. His latest foray in to “things that make you go hmmmm…” is the rap beat video for “Love The Way You Lie”, a single with Rihanna from Eminem’s latest album, Recovery.
“Love The Way You Lie” is a long-running look at a violent relationship, and the interplay between people who abuse each other while at the same time professing their love and promising never to hurt each other. The subject of the song isn’t so controversial; people engage in violent love relationships all the time. What’s controversial about the video is that the video depicts a fight between the artists, followed by a passionate kiss. Reconciliation is implied in the video, and domestic violence advocates say that the video sends the wrong message to viewers and glamorizes violence in the context of a love relationship.
Rihanna has just seemingly closed a domestic-violence tinged chapter in her life with music artist Chris Brown, which adds a certain irony to the video. Despite the fact that violence is a relatively common occurrence in domestic relationships, the controversy seems to be suiting Eminem well. Recovery is at the top of the rap music charts again this week for the eighth straight week.
The video also underscores the ease with which music can send a message. Rap music is especially good at this because it relies much more heavily on lyrics and less on music than other genres. Its reliance on lyrics also means that anyone with a good rap sense can catch a break relatively easily.
New tools are available on the market to help artists self-produce professional sounding songs. Sonic Producer, for example, is available for both the Macintosh and PC platforms and contains thousands of royalty-free samples. The resulting products are professional sounding and ready for export to MP3. Self-producers can share their music, use it as background for live performances and even sell their own music on iTunes!
Sonic Producer includes video tutorials that demonstrate how to use the software and more importantly, how to create the sounds that people want to hear. There are few music self-production products on the market that are as complete as Sonic Producer. Download a copy and try it for yourself! See for yourself how easy it can be to create and publish your own music!
Photo Credit: MiKeARB, via Flickr
While it’s clear that fans are ready for ‘Recovery,’ rap music has enjoyed a number of other album debuts this summer, with albums from other stars including Rick Ross, Drake, Usher, The Black Eyed Peas, B.o.B, Big Boi and Alicia Keys, just to name a few. L’il Wayne also put out an album as did Nicki Minaj. Curren$y’s Def Jam debut, entitled Pilot Talk, (which was produced mostly by Ski Beatz) received high marks from the critics for its mellow, melodious sounds and hardcore, traditional Southern rap leanings.
Those who’ve said that rap is dead surely didn’t foresee a summer like 2010. The rap music genre has undergone its share of growing pains and is now branching out to co-mingle with other music genres, like pop, rock, hard rock, bluegrass, reggae, and gospel. Some rap music artists are returning to their “classic” roots, while others are breaking new ground, and inching rap music forward as a force that will impact music for generations to come.
This summer is also proof that new artists are moving onto the center stage of the rap music genre. New artists are flocking to rap music, and the ability to self-produce tracks, mixtapes and even full-length albums is providing exposure to artists who might otherwise never have been seen.
The tools to self-produce music are available, easy-to-use and designed to help new music producers avoid the pitfalls of copyright and music royalty issues. Music sampling has always been a big part of the rap music scene and new producers (and even some experienced ones) can get themselves into trouble by illegally sampling the work of others.
With products like Sonic Producer, a rap music artist has access to a library of thousands of free samples that are all royalty-free. With this software, users can mix their own music, export to MP3 or other musical format and begin distribution right away. There has never been a better opportunity to break into the rap music industry with professional-sounding, self-produced music!
Photo Credit: Jontintinjordan, via Flickr
Rap music is more than just beats and lyrical monotones that extol the virtues of the dark side of life. It has the ability to stretch and in doing so, it has the ability to appeal to non-traditional rap audiences. One of these “stretch” pieces – found here – is a hybrid sound called “Gangstagrass” by rap artist Rench, who first combined rap and bluegrass. The sample here is actually a theme song for a television show on F/X, but in 2008, Rench assembled an album (Gangstagrass) of this unique sound.
Here’s another sample: Steels Gonna Be The Death Of Me
The music form has an almost comfortable, Deep South feel to it and – as impossible as it sounds – some of the tracks on the album make bluegrass and rap seem like they were made for each other.
If you’re just getting into rap or self-produced music and you think that rap has to take the “street” approach to be genuine, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to introduce new beats, new ideas and new faces to the rap music scene. Rap music has music fundamentals that are strong enough to take even the most unlikely musical partners along for the ride. Better still, these unusual combinations lend themselves to prime exposure in other media like television and movies.
If you’re a rap traditionalist, there’s no reason to stray from what’s worked for the past 25 years, but if you’re into creating a new sound or want to move the rap music scene in a new direction, consider making a hybrid music sound. It’s a great way to introduce new fans of other musical genres to rap, and vice versa.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you self-produce the hybrids you have in mind, check out Sonic Producer. There’s no better, easier and less expensive way to get the tools you need to make tomorrow’s hit music today!
Photo Credit: Whitney Waller, via Flickr
Beat Making artist Rick Ross has been dogged for most of his professional career by accusations that he raps about a life he knows nothing about; that his rap music is inauthentic because he was a corrections officer and not a drug dealer as his songs imply; and that his music just doesn’t live up to the standard of what rap music fans expect. With Teflon Don, kiss all of the negative criticism goodbye.
Rick Ross’ most recent album, Deeper Than Rap was arguably a better album, but you wouldn’t know that from its critical reviews. Teflon Don however, has reached a better place, if you put any weight on what music critics have to say. The album’s Metacritic score is an 80, which puts it (at least critically speaking) ahead of Eminem’s Recovery, which is expected to be the best-selling rap album of 2010.
That score also puts it well ahead of L’il Wayne’s Rebirth, which has received little critical support and is currently at the bottom of the heap of 2010′s rap music albums – at least as far as Metacritic is concerned. In fact, Teflon Don is in a three-way brawl for fifth place for the top rap album in 2010. It’s in no danger, however, of unseating the most praised rap album of 2010 – Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty by Big Boi – which achieved a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100.
But Rick Ross proves a point with Teflon Don that’s worth looking at: consistent effort brings results. Tastes change over time, and critics are – to say the least – an unusual breed, but their initial reaction to Rick Ross raps – compared to their current love affair with him – proves that anyone with the right beats at the right time can earn critical acclaim.
That’s heartening to aspiring rap musicians and it bears repeating. Anyone who has the right sound at the right time can ride to the top of the rap music scene, regardless of where you came from and where you’re headed. If you’re just starting out in the rap music industry, check out Sonic Producer. It’s a great, easy-to-learn software tool that can show you how to put a beat together; let you mix and edit royalty-free music samples and get your beats in a shareable format. Check it out!
Photo Credit: Raffi Asdourian, via Flickr