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Tag: rap music

Rap Heard 'Round The World

Rap Heard 'Round The World

There are rappers and then there are rappers. There seems to be no end to the ways in which rap music finds its way into the hearts, minds and cultures of the world. Rap music has played an important role in the “Arab Spring” protests in the Middle East, but its audience stretches farther than that. Rap music may have originated in the United States, but you’d be hard pressed to find a country or culture that hasn’t put its own spin on rap.

Where The Rappers Are

Rap music has an almost universal appeal, and it doesn’t seem to flinch, even in some pretty out-of-the-way places. Earlier this week, AP ran a story about Adil Omar, a Pakistani rapper who was discovered online by Cypress Hill as a 16-year-old creating self-produced music in his bedroom. Four years down the road, the enterprising rap artist’s music will be featured in a Pakistani movie, and his fan following is growing.

That’s hard to do in Pakistan, where Islamic fundamentalists have gone as far as to bomb stores in which Omar’s music is sold. You’ll also find rap music at the heart of the Arab Spring protests, largely because the music has the ability to reach a young audience.

The idea of self-publishing music was far-fetched even as little as 10 years ago. Today, you can find some excellent software tools to help you put together your own rap beats, make your own songs and get your own music published. What’s the interest in self-publishing music? For many musicians, the ability to get their music out is important.

Under the old scheme, a musician had to catch the attention of a music publisher in order to make music available to the people. The music publisher took the lion’s share of whatever was sold. In the process, they created a very unpopular system that not only screens new artists and prevents them from being heard, but they also took the artist’s ability to be compensated for his or her work.

Today, you can self-publish music using a computer and a great software package like Sonic Producer. With Sonic Producer, you’ll get a professional sounding mix and a full library of royalty-free samples you can use for anything you like. You can make your own music, experiment, develop your own sound or just goof around. You can also publish your own music, distribute your songs and get your message out to the world.

Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and start making your own music!

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB, via Flickr

Free Advertising For Alcohol Through Rap Beats?

Free Advertising For Alcohol Through Rap Beats?

A new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center indicates that rap music may intentionally or unintentionally promote brand name alcohol to rap fans, many of whom have not yet reached the legal drinking age. Rap beats and lyrics often feature alcohol by brand name, but do not often focus on the consequences of overindulging.

Study May Prompt New Look At Rap

For the most part, the artists choose which brands to mention in their lyrics, but on occasion, the lyrics are the result of a promotional connection between the artist and the liquor company. The connection between rap music and alcohol sales is somewhat tenuous, but there are those who believe that rap beats have an impact on consumer behavior. In 2002, Busta Rhymes and P. Diddy released the rap single, “Pass the Courvoisier.” In 2003, the company’s sales shot up by nearly 19%.

According to the study, the most often mentioned brands were Patrón Téquila, Grey Goose Vodka, Hennessey Cognac and Cristal Champagne. The producers say that the music doesn’t constitute advertising because they have not solicited the mention of their products in the song.

In the United States, it’s illegal to target liquor advertising to persons under the age of 21, and the rap beats raise the question of what constitutes advertising. According to the study, listeners are exposed to brand-name “advertising” through rap music on average 34 times per day. The connection between rap music and alcohol is clear, and some artists have stepped in to use rap music as a brand-name promotional tool.

Critics point to Jay-Z’s acquisition of a majority share of Armadale Vodka, and Snoop Dogg’s commercial work for Landy Cognac. It’s not the first time a musician has mentioned alcohol in its songs, but some critics want to make sure that rap music does not become a surreptitious advertising vehicle for liquor advertisements directed toward minors, in much the same way that Joe Camel became a target for the anti-smoking lobby.

The study focused on rap music that landed on the Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 lists between 2005 and 2007. The researchers analyzed the lyrics from 793 songs and found that more than one in five rap songs mentioned alcohol. Of those that did, nearly one-fourth mentioned a specific brand name.

How big is the problem? In actual numbers, about 5% of all of the songs in the study mentioned alcohol by brand name. In terms of sheer numbers, the problem doesn’t appear to be all that significant, but simple numbers don’t account for the popularity of the song, and how much impact a few songs or a few artists can have on consumer behavior.

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Mixtapes or No Mixtapes: The Rap Beat Goes On

Mixtapes or No Mixtapes: The Rap Beat Goes On

A growing debate among rap music industry observers centers around whether or not free mixtapes are the right way to go. The strategy involved in mixtapes, of course, is that you put out a mixtape with some great free rap beats and build a fan following. The free mixtapes are supposed to provide a boost when you release an album.

Mixtapes Now A Standard Strategy

Releasing free mixtapes may have been a novel strategy a few years ago, but today, they’re standard for the rap music industry. The question is, “Can rap music artists still build and retain fan followings without releasing mixtapes?” Some artists don’t question the strategy much; mixtapes are simply part of the business and a way to put out some music outside of a full album release. Others have deliberately maneuvered around mixtapes and major labels, and have still built a solid fan base.

So, are mixtapes strictly necessary? If you talk to artists like Lil Wayne or Drake, the answer is clear. They both release mixtapes religiously and they’re massively successful. If you talk to artists like Tech N9ne and Odd Future, they don’t release mixtapes and they’re arguably very successful, too.

Part of the answer depends upon how you define “success.” From a business perspective, success is measured in dull fashion, by counting product sales and performance revenues. From a critical perspective, success is harder to define. Do you put on a good show? Do you get a lot of airtime? Is your music standard on the club circuit?

Tech N9ne and other independent artists prove that releasing mixtapes isn’t necessary to build a fan base or keep fans interested. Mixtapes provide a great way to introduce a new artist. For established talent, mixtapes are a good outlet for music that’s stylistically good, but not good enough to be featured on an album. They can also be used to promote upcoming albums without a lot of effort.

Ultimately, the mixtape comes down to this: do you want to swing for the fences on every track, or is a base hit good enough? If you want to be a home run king, it’s best to consider each song’s potential as an album and make sure it’s as good as it can ever get. If you don’t want to work that hard, the mixtape is a good way to publish music that’s better than average and keep the fans interested, but you’ll still need to deliver on your album work.

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Lil Wayne Sued Over Rap Beat For How To Love

Lil Wayne Sued Over Rap Beat For How To Love

Rights to a rap beat are the subject of a lawuit filed last week against rapper Lil Wayne and Drummer Boyz. Another rapper, Rich Rick, says that he bought the rights to the rap beat back in 2006 from the Drummer Boyz, but that the group re-sold the beat to Lil Wayne in exchange for a 35% royalty fee. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles last week, Rich Rick seeks all proceeds from the song plus a 10% interest penalty.

Unlicensed Rap Beats May Cost Lil Wayne Some Cash

Unlicensed rap beats can be the source of a lot of aggravation for artists in the business. Sampling is a key element to the best of today’s rap beats, but sampling often involves paying licensing fees or royalties. For a musician starting out, the licensing fees can be extreme.

If this is you, there’s another option you should consider: Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer comes with a full library of royalty-free rap beats that you can use in any creation. The beats are yours, so even if you end up selling the music, the money you make is yours to keep with no additional licensing fees or royalties due.

You get the entire Sonic Producer sample library when you purchase the Sonic Producer product. Make your own beats or mix in samples from our library to create a sound that’s uniquely yours. Choose from among thousands of samples, too!

The sample library isn’t the only benefit of using Sonic Producer. You also get a full library of video tutorials that tell you how to use Sonic Producer, and put music together that people want to hear.

Once you’re mixing as many as 16 tracks, export your music to MP3 and you’re good to go! Share your music with your friends, use it to accompany you at live performances, sell your music or give it away while you’re trying to break into the business.

Sonic Producer has it all, and it’s available for both the Macintosh and PC platforms. That means you don’t have to buy any additional computer equipment – you can use what you have! Sonic Producer is a great tool to use when you’re breaking into the business. It’s like having your own professional recording studio available to you around the clock. Whether you’re just messing around or getting serious about your rap music, Sonic Producer is the one tool you definitely want in your kit.!

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder, via Flickr

Dr. Dre Teams Up With Chrysler To Add New Rap Beats To 300

Dr. Dre Teams Up With Chrysler To Add New Rap Beats To 300

Chrysler is hoping that Dr. Dre and some fresh rap beats can generate interest in the company’s 300S sedan. Chrysler debuted a new commercial for the company’s 200 sedan during the 2011 Super Bowl. The gritty, hard-edged commercial featured Eminem driving through the streets of Detroit while touting the luxury and comfort of the 200. Sales skyrocketed and now Chrysler wants to see what Dr. Dre can do for the company’s numbered sedan line. Chrysler announced last week that the company will be featuring Beats by Dre sound systems in the company’s 300S line for drivers who want to pump out the rap beats.

Rap Beats Make A Difference

The Chrysler 300S is a more upscale model of the new 200 sedan. The new sound system is the first foray by Dr. Dre into production auto stereo equipment, but Dr. Dre has carved out a name for himself in the sound market with his very popular Beats By Dre headphones.

Chrysler is hoping that the inclusion of the new premium sound system will help boost sales among buyers who are in the market for some great rap beats as they drive around town. Eminem and Dr. Dre have stayed closer to their musical roots than some of the other highly successful rappers. Dr. Dre is still involved heavily in music production for other artists. He also produces his own work, and collaborates with other rap artists on a regular basis.

Chrysler has said that the new Beats By Dre sound system will be available for the 300S beginning in the fall. The company says that commercial spots featuring Dr. Dre will begin airing in May and will tout the new sound system option. Chrysler says it wants to capitalize on the emotional connection people have with their music and hopes that the new Beats By Dre premium sound system will help them accomplish that.

There’s been no word on what head-end options Chrysler will pair with the sound system, but you can bet that you’ll be able to load your own favorite rap beats into the system by way of an MP3 player or USB device. Speaking of making your own beats, check out Sonic Producer, available for both the Mac and PC platforms. With no additional equipment, you can start putting together your own rap beats and distributing your own MP3s.

Download Sonic Producer today and take your own rap beats to the next level!

Photo Credit: Chrysler

Rap Music Censored in Uzbekistan

Rap Music Censored in Uzbekistan

If you’re not up on the Uzbekistan rap music scene, don’t worry about not knowing who’s who. The real issue in rap music in Uzbekistan isn’t who’s at the top of the Uzbek charts. The real issue is that the government has decided that rap music is a national threat, and has determined that the music genre must be censored.

Language, Subject Matter At The Heart

What’s the problem with Uzbek rap music? Apparently, the censors don’t like the crude language and vulgarity that populates the Uzbek rap music scene. Instead, they’ve issued warnings to rappers to produce more music about the Motherland, good family values, non-political and non-controversial subject matter.

The Motherland? Really? For those of you who don’t know much about Uzbekistan, population-wise it’s about 80% the size of Canada on a patch of land that’s about 4% of Canada’s geographic size. Uzbekistan was at one point part of the Soviet Union. On paper, it maintains that it supports individual freedom (in the Western sense of the word) but in reality, it’s a highly authoritarian country.

What does all of this have to do with rap music? Most of Uzbekistan’s population is young. In fact, more than one-third of its population is under the age of fourteen. Nearly half of its population lives on less than $1.25 per day, and all of this poses an interesting problem for the sitting government. Rap music has played an important role in the recent protests in the Middle East, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Uzbeks. In short, the government is worried. Unfortunately, the government is less worried about the fact that half of its people make $1.00 per day than it is about the fact that the same people make their own rap beats.

Why is rap music so dangerous? How does it possess the power to bring down governments? Simply put, rap music comes from the heart, and it sticks to the audience in a way that other popular music forms don’t. While other music forms rely on musicians and studio recordings, rap music has found a way to be lyrical and meaningful on a shoestring. Much of the “objectionable” music is self-produced, which gives these rap beats a unique, yet memorable, sound.

In some ways, rap music doesn’t possess the distractions that other musical genres do. It’s easier for the listener to get into the message, and it’s easier for the message to get into the listener. Uzbekistan and places like it are ripe for the political picking. You can be sure that rap music will play an important role in the shaping of world politics in the months and years to come. Countries like Uzbekistan, where the youth population is large, are at risk of being up-ended by musicians and a musical genre that has what it takes to inspire its listeners to action.

Photo Credit: Rafa http://www.micamara.es, via Flickr

Rapmusic.com Domain Shows The Powerful Nature of Rap Beats

Rapmusic.com Domain Shows The Powerful Nature of Rap Beats

CrowdGather, an Internet forum, recently acquired all of the assets and rights to the materials on rapmusic.com. By itself, that bit of business news is a bit dry, but the figures offered up by CrowdGather in its announcement show just how powerful rap beats can be. According to the company, Rapmusic.com gets 5 million monthly pageviews from nearly one-half million different visitors. There’s a lesson in there for up-and-coming rap musicians, and here it is: the Internet matters.

Make Your Name The New-Fangled Way

In the past, aspiring musicians had to work with an agent who, at least in theory, fought through all the red tape and connected talented musicians with record producers. The ability to self-produce music, combined with the pervasive reach of the Internet has upended that whole arrangement. To be sure, there are still music producers, record companies and agents on the prowl for the hottest new acts and the best rap beats.

On the other hand, new artists no longer have just a single route to music production. Sophisticated software like Sonic Producer enables even novice musicians to create professional sound recordings using nothing more advanced than a personal computer. No additional equipment is needed, and Sonic Producer even provides an extensive library of rap beat samples that musicians can use royalty-free.

The software contains a 16-track mixer so when I say that nothing additional is needed, I really mean nothing! Once a track is complete, you can export your music to MP3 format for storage or sharing. Make mixtapes to distribute at no cost, or sell your works on sites like iTunes.

The Internet allows you to make a name for yourself by yourself. You no longer need the “music production apparatus” that has been in place for years. You no longer need a professional recording studio and a recording engineer to make your own music. You also don’t need a production company, because you can promote your own work to the people who are most interested in your artistic creations.

You can even combine your own music with videos and self-publish them on your own Web site or on YouTube. If you’ve used Sonic Producer as a source for your music samples, you can rest assured that your music is yours. No royalty payments, no splits, no licenses needed. You can get to business on self-producing rap music and finding your audience.

Photo Credit: Harry Sherman, via Flickr

Rap Beats Meet Politics, Chicago-Style

Rap Beats Meet Politics, Chicago-Style

There are some things an up-and-coming rapper needs; wicked rap beats are chief among them. There are some things an up-and-coming politician doesn’t need. Hard core rap lyrics could fit nicely into the top five list on this front. So that puts Che Smith in a tough position. In his musical career, Smith is also known as Rhymefest, and he doesn’t divert much from the rap script of this musical predecessors. In his political career, Smith is known as a candidate to represent Chicago’s 20th ward as an alderman.

How Can Rap And Politics Mix?

If successful, Smith will become one of 50 members of Chicago’s city council, replacing incumbent alderman Willie Cochran who earned 46 percent of the ward’s vote, but not enough to avoid a run-off election in April. Smith says that people in his ward are ready for change, and he’s prepared to deliver it. Smith garnered 20 percent of the vote, compared to Cochran’s 46%. Smith says that the presence of another Smith – Andre Smith – on the ballot may have confused voters, and he’s looking forward to being the only Smith on the ballot in April.

Smith has already made his mark in rap music. He co-wrote and won a Grammy for Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks.” He’s unapologetic for his lyrics, which are in many cases coarse, and says that they shouldn’t be used by the voters to judge his political ambitions. His desire to improve the 20th Ward, which is located on Chicago’s South Side, stems from the high rate of poverty and minimal employment prospects in the district. His campaign includes plans to bring green and sustainable companies to the area to provide jobs for the 20th Ward residents. Rhymefest has the support of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, and says that the runoff, which takes place on April 5, gives him the opportunity to distinguish himself as a man of the people.

Smith isn’t a stranger to the challenges of the people he hopes to represent. Aside from his musical career, Smith has also worked as a bus driver a janitor and a prison guard. He also has misdemeanor convictions for domestic assault and weapons possession. That doesn’t change his desire to be a positive force in the lives of his neighbors and doesn’t think that should keep him from representing them at the city level.

Whether he wins or loses, Rhymefest says he won’t put his music career on hold. He still has plenty of rap beats to offer, but he says that he’ll use his rap beats as a teaching tool, and he will hold himself to a higher standard when it comes to his lyrics and his purpose as a rap musician.

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50 Cent Heats Up Rap Beats With New Line of Wireless Headphones

50 Cent Heats Up Rap Beats With New Line of Wireless Headphones

If Dr. Dre, Diddy and Ludacris can all do it, why can’t 50 Cent join the mix and offer a new line of headphones, too? 50 Cent insists that he isn’t late to the party. This new line of headphones is wireless, and is designed to compete head-to-head with Dr. Dre’s Beats By Dre line. Fans can listen to rap beats without wires, while getting a good clean sound.

New Headphones Introed At CES

50 Cent is making up for any lost ground by having introduced the headphones at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The road to profit isn’t unimpeded, though. He’ll also have to compete with wireless headphones from a slew of manufacturers and artists who have lent their names to products.

With a price point of $350, 50 Cent’s headphones cost significantly more than competing products offered by Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber (both Beats by Dre, by the way), as well as headphones offered by legendary music producer Quincy Jones (Harman). But who’s going to let a couple hundred dollars get in the way of some great rap beats?

Speaking of rap beats, if you’re into making your own music and you have some rap beats to contribute to the world, consider getting a copy of Sonic Producer for yourself. Sonic Producer is a great music production software program that enables you to make your own rap beats using your PC or Mac. Sonic Producer sets you up with thousands of royalty-free music samples that you can use to create your own unique sound.

Make your own music the way you want to. If you’re new to the business, Sonic Producer offers some great video tutorials that show you not only how to use the software, but also how to make the rap beats your audience wants to hear. Mix up to 16 tracks together on Sonic Producer. You don’t need any additional equipment, because all you need to make rap beats is included.

Once you’ve got your rap beats down, record your music and export it to MP3. Share your tracks with your friends, make your own mixtapes or use your music to accompany live performances. With Sonic Producer, you call the shots because you’re in charge.

Get professional recordings of your rap beats for a fraction of the cost of renting a professional studio. Learn how to make your own music and craft your own style with Sonic Producer. Download your copy today!

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What Do Rap Beats And Algebra Have In Common?

What Do Rap Beats And Algebra Have In Common?

Rap beats (and rap music in general) are about as flexible as you can get in the music industry. You can find rap music in just about every corner of the world. Rap music blends with every culture and language, and has something to offer just about every listener. But what do rap beats have to do with algebra?

Rap As A Learning Tool

Some high school math teachers have turned to making rap beats to help their students understand the basic concepts of rap music. At Westerville South High School in Westerville, OH outside of Columbus, Dave Schultz and Tyler Winner, two math teachers at the school, have created a miniature YouTube sensation with a rap entitled “Teach Me How To Factor.” The song takes is musical stylings from Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie.” To date, the algebraic rap has been viewed nearly 80,000 times.

What is the impact of the song? Students say that the rap has helped them remember the rules of algebra when it comes to factoring, and some have even attributed their improved grades to the song. Using music to make school subjects more accessible isn’t new by any means, but some students think that the rap music helps bring math to them in a medium they’re comfortable with.

Since “Teach Me How To Factor” made its debut, the beatmakers have also released “Getting Triggy Wit It,” a trigonometry-based parody of Will Smith’s “Getting Jiggy Wit It.” The video, with nearly 19,000 views on YouTube helps students understand the basics of triangle trigonometry.

Not every prospective rapper needs to aim for the stars; rap beats can be used to engage and excite people at a lot of different levels. Making your own rap beats can be fun and inexpensive, provided that you have the right tools. Fortunately, the right tools include Sonic Producer, a software package that’s available for both the Mac and the PC.

Sonic Producer comes with thousands of royalty-free samples that will let you make your own original compositions and give your creations the professional sound you’re looking for. With Sonic Producer, you can export your own beats to MP3 and share them with your friends, fans and the rest of the world.

Sonic Producer will open up a world of musical creativity for you. Best of all, you don’t need to supply additional hardware to start making your creations. Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and get started on making your own rap beats!

Photo Credit: rodaniel, via Flickr