I don’t want to listen to your mixtape. Don’t stop me while I’m at the gas station asking for a donation. Don’t send me a link on the computer to download it. Unless you have a feature with Young Jeezy, a YouTube video with girls in bikinis dancing, or a buzz big enough to make Rembrandt text me, “yo you should check him out”— I don’t give a fuck about your music. Everyone is a rapper, why? Because everyone can rhyme words and jack a beat from soundclick. I’m not hating on anyone’s dreams to become successful. But when the fuck does it stop? Nigga you’re on your 8th mixtape, you’ve been rapping longer than Jaden Smith’s been alive, how are you still in a “bout to blow” stage? It’s time to go to a vocational school.
It was cool to tell girls, “Yeah I’m going to the studio” when you were 22, now five years later you’re still trying to pull ratchets by playing some unmixed freestyle you did over “All Of The Lights”. Little girls get open off of 16 bars, Grown Women don’t care about that shit—WHERE DO YOU WORK NIGGA? When you fill out your taxes do you put “rapper” under occupation? If you’re a rapper then every girl who takes a picture in her bra and panties is a model. Every little nigga in high school has a mixtape and you know what—their shit probably sounds better than your shit. You’re worried about being all lyrical and bringing your city back or being the first one from your hood to make it—nobody gives a fuck about your metaphors, how does that hook sound!?! “Can I get a girl to grind on me to this song”, that’s how music is judged in 2011. If you were as witty as your similes you would have gotten a scholarship to Brown, not work for brown, on that UPS truck telling your co-worker “this next mixtape is going to change my life, b!” It’s not going to change your life, because you’re not putting in the work. How many DJ’s do you know— oh you’re too lazy to network with DJ’s who can play your music. What’s your stage show like— that’s right you’re too good to perform at a hole in the wall. Paying for studio time does not make you a rapper; it makes you a nigga who paid for studio time.
Paying For Music is Played Out: Lil Kim is smart. I mean she has no talent and looks like a circus freak, but she’s smart. Nicki Minaj is very polarizing. You either love her or you hate her. And the thing about haters is—they’re more vocal than fans. Instead of simply not listening to Nicki Minaj, they felt a need to jump on the Kim bandwagon. $10 on PayPal got you Lil Kim’s Black Friday diss CD. Everyone searched the internet looking for a free download—couldn’t find it because it wasn’t even finished. So Lil Kim lovers, but mostly Nicki haters, paid $10 to have it mailed out. 250,000 people did this– allegedly. Kim’s last real CD didn’t even push that. Pusha T’s mixtape is a trillion times better than Kim’s but because of the Nicki haters Kimmy Blanco was able to make seven figures and Pusha had to give his classic away. She outsmarted the record industry and found a way to profit from the dead mixtape format. When you’re a rapper starting out and trying to make it—you can’t pull that off. Even if you have J Cole buzz, you can’t expect anyone to pay for your music—you spent thousands of dollars in the studio, you’re not going to get that back by selling it at gas stations and through your weak ass PayPal. YOU MUST GIVE YOUR MUSIC AWAY. If it’s really that good you will get fans. The more fans you get, the more willing they are to buy your music and come to your shows.
No One Wants To Hear That Nas Shit: I grew up on Mobb Deep, Nas, Redman; all that shit that nobody wants to hear anymore. To this day I will argue with anyone about the greatness of the Gza. But I don’t play that in my car on a regular basis. When I listen to music I want to get pumped. I bump Travis Porter because the line “running in that pussy like a crash dummy” entertains the hell out of me. I always turn Waka Flocka up and take shots of vodka before I go to the club. I smoke weed and listen to Rick Ross grunt, “Big Black Nigga, wit an icy watch…” I know it’s not the greatest music ever made and I don’t care. Adele and Fiona Apple are reserved for when I cruise down the PCH. When I’m in my element I need that ignorant, simple, niggerish rap music. I respect punch lines and lyricism, but you aren’t Nas. Nas isn’t even Nas anymore. If I don’t own a Slaughterhouse CD why the fuck would I buy your CD and you’re not nearly as clever as they are. “Real Music” is subjective, if you want to rap like its 1997 cool—but realize you’re doing it for yourself— you can’t bring that era back because it’s not profitable.
Wiz Kahlifa Is Not The Enemy: Wiz Kahlifa is not keeping you from getting signed. I agree that his flow is boring and he’s not really saying much, but it works for him and his fans are smoking the same shit he’s on, so he’s winning. You can’t kidnap a Wiz fan, tape them to a chair, and force them to listen to Only Built For Cuban Linx, that will change nothing. People like what they like! Lil B talks nonsense, but why be bitter at the based god because you’re not popping in your city? You sit at home on the internet trying to get YouTube hits; you stalk supermarket parking lots with bad album art trying to make a sale– meanwhile this nigga Lil B was running through CA doing shows trying to build his brand. He’s not better than you, he just out hustled you! Every time I’m in the barber shop I hear dudes bashing today’s rap music. Nobody is stopping you from listening to Big Pun homie; Scarface’s albums are on ITunes, download and bask in the realness. The amount of time niggas spend hating on those who are making money is crazy. I know this one dude who told me, “Nobody even remembers Them Franchise Boys, knew that snap shit wasn’t going to last”. No shit, it was microwave music, but at the end of the day those wack niggas got paid to do what you spend money trying to do. To have 15 minutes in the spotlight and quarterly royalty checks for life trumps having a hot ass CD that only you and your cousin listen to.
It’s A Business, Man: I realize on the blog I don’t talk about Hip Hop a lot, but I have a long history with it. I started rapping in high school—I sucked. I continued rapping in college—still sucked. But I realized my strengths and my weaknesses. My flow wasn’t tight, and I never wanted to commit myself to working on that, but I could write creative punch lines and catchy hooks for days. My junior year of college me and my boy, who had a crazy flow, put our heads together and said, “You can write, I can flow—let’s take those things and put it on a white bitch”. A female Eminem could make us rich. So we found a sexy white girl who went to our school (we actually held auditions— that’s a blog for another day), I wrote her rhymes, he coached her flow, we got a producer, and made a demo. We didn’t try to sell the shit. We didn’t try to build a fan base—we shopped the package. Bad Boy Records called my motherfucking cell phone (I was listed as manager) and wanted to meet. We ended up linking up with the Ruff Ryders.
Needless to say she was a gimmick and after an office freestyle that proved that she couldn’t rap anything but the four songs we wrote for her, they said “we’ll call you”. For me it was great because they realized I had some talent. Me and my homie got signed to some shady management deal with Double R and I spent my last year of college rubbing shoulders with legendary New York rappers. I was chilling on that black couch in the studio with the rest of the little niggas who would never come out, but I didn’t care—it was fun. Niggas paid for us to make diss songs about Roc-a-Fella because JadaKiss didn’t like Beanie. Swizz gave niggas beats for free. We were doing it for real. But once the novelty of driving to New York to sit around got played out, I stopped rapping and focused on school. When I came out to LA I wanted to rap again. Not because I had a passion, but because the industry became so watered down that it didn’t matter if I couldn’t spit like Ludacris—I could write ringtone songs and actually make money. I made 15k off of one song that got put on a TV show, I still get royalty checks. I just sold another song last month. I’m not on the level of Lupe; I’m not even as good as Murphy Lee. But I’ve made more money off of hip hop than most people who say they’re rappers. You will never catch me in a cypher; you will catch me in the bank cashing that BMI check. Dear mixtape rapper: You are better than I am. Me profiting off of something that’s not even a hobby for me should give you the motivation to step your game up.
Stop trying to make $5 off a CD, stop spamming people on the internet—network with DJs and club promoter’s dumb ass. That girl with the big titties in her twitter avatar is not going to get you a deal– why are you DMing her links? Seek out the people who can help you. I don’t give a fuck about your mixtape and neither does the rest of the world. You have to make me care, it’s a catch 22 but nothing in life worth doing is easy. One of my best friends is trying to make it, and I will tell you like I told him– Stop trying to be the smartest, realist, hardest rapper in the room and listen to what’s hot in the ratchet clubs and do it better than those artist. It’s not selling out if you only had twenty fans to start with.