Legendary hip-hop artist and Wu-Tang Clan member, Redman, recently shared some valuable music career advice via the video-sharing platform Cameo. In this personalized 9-minute video for Youtube creator, Patrick CC, Redman delivers 20+ years’ worth of advice to aspiring rappers on the come up.
I compiled four key takeaways you should pay attention to if you are an aspiring rapper.
1) Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you
If you’re just starting off you need to have a strong foundation and that means having the right people around you.
Develop a team of people with a strong work ethic and who are knowledgeable about different facets of the music industry, especially areas that are unfamiliar to you. Everyone in your circle must have a defined role in how they assist your development. Anyone around you that doesn’t meet these requirements will only hold you back.
Redman specially emphasized the importance of having a producer in your team. Have someone you can grow with and develop a sound together that fits your brand.
2) Stay engaged with your fans
Your fan base is more than just your follower count on Instagram. A lot of artists make the mistake of focusing a lot of attention on growth tactics to attract new social media followers and garner more attention instead of dedicating enough time engaging and retaining the people who currently support their journey.
Whether you have 100k fans or only 10, let people know that you appreciate them and that they’re a part of something special and worthwhile. Doing so will help you create a strong fan base and play an important role in having longevity in the music industry.
3) Never go to a meeting with answers
“Never say yes, never say no – just go to a meeting to listen.” This is great straightforward advice by Redman that every artist should follow. If you’re meeting with someone to discuss a business opportunity, never feel pressured into disclosing personal information about yourself or agreeing to any deal on the spot, especially in the form of a contract.
Only attend business meetings to listen and gather information so you can determine if this opportunity is worth pursuing. If you’re presented with any paperwork, always discuss it with your lawyer before signing anything and coming to a decision.
4) Build rapport with the people you are in business with
If you have the opportunity to be in business with someone, make it a priority to know them on a personal level and develop a genuine relationship with them. Doing small gestures like calling someone just to check in on them or inviting them for dinner will create a better working environment for everyone to thrive. According to Redman, this is the most valuable piece of advice an aspiring artist can follow.
Just remember to set boundaries and maintain a sense of professionalism and this approach will go a long way.