There was a popular rap song in which the artist stated he never had a plan B. In other words, because he never thought for a minute he wouldn’t be a famous in the rap game, he didn’t pursue any other career. Although that outlook is admirable, is it realistic for everyone? Unless you have an investor, or a family member that worships the ground you walk on eventually you will have to make money to survive. Especially in America. And it doesn’t matter how talented you are. How well those talents manifest into dollars is the important thing. I wrote a blog post a while back called “A true artist won’t starve“. In it I touched on the rapper or two that I met still living with their mamas. In my opinion, a good plan B (i.e., a job that sucks, a boss you hate, no money, etc.), should be the catalyst for making your Plan A happen. Some of us (like myself) can work so hard at making plan B happen, that plan A falls to wayside for a minute. Don’t let this happen to you. Let you plan B be your motivation and not your bail out.
“It Ain’t Easy” is the 4th single off my first EP entitled “Do Yo’ Thang.” Easy scratches the surface on the challenges of being in the rap game and being female to boot. If you don’t know what I’m talking about refer to my previous blog post #RapGirlProblems posted on 10/5/2015. Girls always have to worry about extra sh** including fake friends, vultures, exploitation, etc., which is why sometimes it’s hard to remain a sweet feminine Goddess. Thus the reason for the tag line, “It Ain’t Easy being a sweetie.” Even if you’re not female but you’re sick of going through dumb sh____ in every day life, this track is for you.
You can listen to “It Ain’t Easy” and purchase here.
A while ago I wrote about my musical influences. I’ve been rapping for a minute and I’m sure I’ve picked up a few traits from artists I’ve heard over the years. To be honest, I try not to listen to the same artists over and over because I don’t want to pick up their delivery. I probably stopped listenting to rappers seriously after the mid to late 90’s (referred to by most as the glory days of Hip Hop). Once more of my music sells, I can quit my day job, record more often and hone in on my unique style. Some say I have a unique style already. Who do you think I sound like? Male or female I’m open to those comparisons.
You might be just starting your rap career and or maybe you know a homie or two that’s nice with the beats. It feels good when you meet a producer who gets your style and can make you shine on a track. But don’t be confused, there’s a big difference between a producer and someone who can just make beats. The tricky thing is, beat makers will often use the producer title because they don’t know the difference themselves, or simply to bait you into a work relationship. The more you start recording, the quicker you’ll learn the difference. I know I did.
Off the top, I can say a producer is a business person, but a beat maker is a little less serious. Many times a beat maker’s production is incomplete and they may have little or no plans to finish what they started. Keep that in mind when you get excited over the hundreds of beats he or she plays in the studio during your first meeting.
A producersees a bigger vision for the song than you do. I have a strong personality for a woman, but not for a female rapper. I have bumped heads with plenty a beat maker who doesn’t know what they are doing in the studio. They just press the button run the beat and let you rap. They have no ideas on how to make the track come alive and do the bare minimum during a session. Producers usually have a hook in the mind already before you even start rapping, or shortly after you finish.
The worst thing I hate about a beat maker is that he or she will call you back to the studio to re-record something you spent all day recording. They’ll tell you something wasn’t right or they lost your sh**. This has happened to me only once or twice with a different person and unless it was an act of God, I usually stop working with them. I figure, if you’re not careful enough to capture what we did correctly during our first session, then you’re not ready and are most likely going to waste more of my time.
A Producer can usually play more than one instrument. He or she may have taught themselves to play an instrument. This is another way to add more flavor to your tracks. The beat maker only plays one instrument… The beat machine and maybe the sampler.
Well that’s my explanation of a producer vs. a beat maker. Any other differences you want to add? If so, drop a comment below.
Back in 2009-2010 I had the privilege and the pleasure of working and traveling in South Korea. As someone with a thirst for travel and adventure could imagine, the life experience was incredible. One of the best things about living abroad is that I was able to still work on my music. Hip Hop enabled me to keep my sanity. Although it was a challenge to live in a country where you don’t speak the language, or blend in with the general population, working on my music helped me coast through the experience. I was able to finish my last LP, perform live, blog about my experiences, travel, and mingle with Hip Hop artists from all over the world brought to Seoul for one reason or another. The thought of performing internationally without being bankrolled by a corporate owned label was priceless. If you are an up and coming artist, get out there and see the world. You don’t have to be a major artist to be internationally known.