Don't be underwhelming: Do's & Don'ts

I’m constantly checking out music platforms of local artist and I am usually left underwhelmed, so I feel like this post is needed. I don’t think they’re bad artists of course, just lack insight. This post  is directed more so to local rap artists, and it  is not an effort to bash, just my way of being real. After all I want REAL artists and music to win. Like I said, it is a general message, so I won't be sugarcoating anything.

Here it goes:

1. Weak Chorus

I’ve listened to a lot of songs that started off pretty good but were made mediocre  by a not so great chorus. If writing anything besides verses isn’t your strong point, seek a songwriter to aid in constructing a catchy, but solid chorus. A lot of rappers repeat the same line 6x and call it a chorus- and sometimes that works, but in other cases, it does not. Having a strong chorus is critical because it is what captures the audience and it is usually what determines your replay ability and leads to downloads. People like catchy stuff. Chorus’ are usually responsible for “it grew on me”.

2. Crew Love

Be honest with yourself please. Some of your friends may not be that great lyrically. Your music is your craft-- your canvas. Would you allow a toddler to go behind you over your masterpiece you slaved over for days, maybe even weeks or months with crayon? Probably not. If you want to do your homie a favor and let him or her on your song, fine, but don't be hesitant to send him or her back to the drawing board as many times needed. And if you purposely put watered-down features on your project to make yourself look better, stop it.

3. Production

This is the era of the producer. There are too many talented producers working out of their bedroom for your tracks to sound sloppy. If your budget is tight, cut cost elsewhere because you cannot afford to be overlooked because you wanted to produce your own track or use an inexperienced  producer. Honestly there are producers out here that are not charging an arm and a leg, so yea. Also, you do not need a different producer for each song. Every producer has their own sound. Using too many producers can result in your project not sounding cohesive. Remember, artists produce albums, not singles.

4. Less is more

Dropping anything with 15+ tracks is a bold statement. If you release that many tracks at once, please make it worthwhile. It annoys me when I find myself hitting the “>>” button back to back. Listen to your project, and let others listen to it as well, and by ‘others’ I do not mean “yes men”. Ask yourself “what can go?” and keep removing tracks until you answer is “nothing”. It should be that serious. Listen to your favorite artist’s amateur projects, then go back and listen to your own. Can you hang? (content wise, you can always re-record) If you have to think about it, probably not.

5. Content

A LOT of rappers are letting the beat carry the song, a big no-no! You cannot slack on content or lyrics. Is your music meaningful or empty? If it is empty you better have a creative and poetic way of saying whatever it is you’re saying-- or not saying rather. And if your lyrics resembles future’s, please leave that “hip-hop” hash tag alone, that is rap.  

Lastly,

Take your time. Do not force it. Really nurture your music like it is a baby-- your baby.

I Hope this post has been helpful.