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Create a plan for your Music

A key to being successful in the music business is making as many professional contacts as you can. The more quality contacts you have the better chances you have of being successful in the music business. Donít hesitate to meet someone of influence in the music business or someone who is just an intern in the music business because that person who is an intern to today may be running a studio or label in the future. When you meet people, be a real person donít put on a personification of something other than who you are because most people can smell a phony from a mile away. Just be yourself and be genuine. Donít necessarily try to always sell yourself because sometimes that comes off like an annoying insurance salesman. Being yourself and showing confidence will show through more than you might be aware. People do business with people they like.
Having a good demo is really important. Today the competition is stiff when it comes to shopping your music. Demos can be created relatively cheap nowadays with the invent of music programs like Reason, Fruity loops, Sonar, Pro Tools, Akai MPC drum machines, keyboards like the Triton and Motif, which are stand alone workstation in which all the music can be done from. This is probably one of the greatest times in music because 30 years ago you would have needed to book studio time at a real studio and hire a band of musicians to create a demo of the caliber of music that would have gotten you noticed by a label. But today with software and computers you can create a quality demo in the confines of you home studio at 1/10th of the price. Itís totally unbelievable and completely achievable that you could become the next star in the game if the talent is there.
If you learn to give you eventually learn the skill of receiving. Learn to share some of the thing you learned with other people in this music game. By sharing and giving your knowledge some of that will come back to you. So many artists get caught up in the taking factor that people begin avoiding them because theyíre thinking, when they see them, ďwhat they want now.Ē Starts marketing your music now donít wait for a deal from a label. About 10 percent of artists in todayís market are getting signed off of a demo tape.
You have to build a following and sell some CDís in the street and create a buzz to get labels interested in you. Itís easy to have all the resources you need to create a finished hip hop CD that thousands of people will want to buy from you. You need to begin putting together your business plan. If you can sell enough CDís independently you want need a record deal, why share the pie when you can have all to yourself. There are so many places on the net where you can market your music now days from Myspace.com, Itunes, Audiostreet.net, Soundclick.com, cdbaby.com and many more. Start putting together your business plan today on how youíre going to get your music out to the masses.

The Female Rapper / Female Rap Artists

The rap industry is dominated by men, from rap artists to those that buy the music. Itís very hard for a female rapper to make it in a male dominated rap music industry. The advice I would give any female rapper is to hook up with an up and coming male rap clique. Most female rappers get their break with a hot male clique. Examples would be Lil Kim from Jr. Mafia, Remy Ma with Terror Squad, Shawna from DTP (Ludacris), Charlie Baltimore with Murda INC, Amil with Rocafella and the list goes on. Most female rappers come from male cliques and get there big breaks that way. The obstacle female rappers face is that have to sell records to a mainly male audience. This is even harder when you consider that to multi platinum you need to be able to connect with males 18 to 30 who might not identify with the struggles of young black woman in America.

If you are just getting started in the rap game and you are a young female. I suggest you get with a group of males are doing something in your community. If you go it alone I believe it will be a harder go by yourself. If you can find a good music producer to work with that would be an awesome start for you. Iíve also noticed that there are more and more female music producers getting into the beat production game. So you may be able to find a good female rap beat producer in your community. Female rappers have a hard time selling records because the biggest buyer of hip hop music is white males 18 to 34 and they donít really know much about or care much about what female rappers have to say. There is a big divide when it comes to sexism in rap music. I donít know how well a gangsta female rapper would do. Iím sure itís been tried but I donít know if anyone has worked it out. Itís definitely a demographics problem for female rappers and the audience that buys rap music.

There are and have always been a lot of good female rappers in the music game. I think the problem is the subject matter at which female rap about. Lil Kim had a great hit with ďthrow your lighters upĒ but hits for female rappers are further and further apart now days. You have to have a hot beat, strong lyrical content and very strong hook and that will take you to another level by itself.

How do I start a rap career?

If you are interested in getting into rap and youíre not sure where to start, this article will give you some ideas about how to get started. I always recommend that you start by learning raps of some of your favorite songs. You have to develop your on style and the best way to do that is see how the professionals do it. So I think you should first see if you have an aptitude for rapping. If you canít learn a rap song and keep up with the rapper on the track then you probably canít rap. Start off by learning some of the modern masters like Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Jay Z, and 50 cents. Then you might want to look at some of the old school masters like KRS-one, Rakim and Chuck D. So many people want to get in to rap music but have no idea about the history of the art form and pioneers who blazed the trail. If youíre going to be a rapper youíre going to have to work at your skill. Once you have learned other peopleís rap, the next lesson will be ďcan you write your own original rap songs?Ē That will be a real test, because you donít want to come off sounding corny and plain. Your first few raps might just be corny and stupid but with practice it will get better and better. Rhyme skills will come with time. You will also have to develop a style and timing. Timing is very important, especially if you are rapping to beats, you have to learn how to ride the beat with your lyrical style.
Once you start rapping, after about a year of practicing and learning other peoples raps you will probably be ready to start doing talent shows and nightclub show cases. If you live in a major city many night clubs have what they call open mics. This is where various rappers pay to rap in front of an audience of night clubbers to showcase their talent. This is good because you get a chance to see where your talent stands against the competition. The rap game is a very competitive industry. New rap artists come and go on a daily & monthly cycle. Open mics are also a great way for you to network with other artists. Before you got to an open mic audition, you will most likely need at least a couple songs recorded. The best way to get songs is buy them off the internet or find a studio in your community with a rap producer who can create you an original beat or track. Once you purchase the track you can write and record your lyrics to it. The studio is also a great place to network with other rappers, musicians and producers.
Once you get good enough to garner some attention you may consider getting a manager who will oversee your career.

When will I get a Record Deal?

The chances of you getting a record deal are determined by how talented you are. The more talented you are the greater chance you have of getting a record deal. The less talented, the less of a chance you have. But greater than talent is knowing the right people, being in the right place at the right time, having a good manager, having a good music attorney, have friends already in the music business and luck all play a role in your possible success of getting a record deal. You have to get your demo in the hands of the people that make that decision if you are worthy of a record deal. Most record companies donít accept unsolicited material. What that means is if you just mail in your demo to a record label theyíll probably just return it to you. Most big labels get there demos via A&R, entertainment attorneys, and notable music managers. Hardly ever do they just accept demo by mail.
Some artists just arenít polished enough for a record deal. How do you know if you are that artists? Well sometimes you just donít know. If you just let family and friends listen to your music, you could have a sense that you are good when you might just be mediocre. Some artists are so sold on how good they are, when they are not really that good. Being honest with your talent level is very important; know your strengths and weaknesses. What many rappers have learned is that instead of them going to the record company they make the record company come to them. What rappers have done is sold there own material on the streets and in stores to the point that they have sold so many records that the major labels have taken notice of the artists. Some rappers have sold 10,000 to 30,000 CDís independently that record labels couldnít help but take notice and offer them record and distribution deals based on the pure numbers alone. Cash Money records and Ludacris are a couple of artist and companies that come to mind. So instead of looking for a record deal you should be thinking about how you can create a great enough buzz that the labels will come looking for you. Major labels love when an artist already has a buzz in a certain region and they have something to build on.
All record company executives and A&R have different taste. One label might think you stink and another might think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. You will never know until you get out there and let people know about your talent. If you donít put your music out there to be judged, then you will never know where you stand and how far your music might take you.

The Destruction of the Music Business As We Know It

Record sales are down, fewer CDís are going platinum and more artists are finding other ways to make streams of revenue for themselves, whether itís selling clothing lines, sneakers, crunk juice, or vitamin water. The good ole days of selling 7 million albums looks like a thing of the past. Most music insiders blame it all downloading and the Internet. I have a totally different take on it. I own satellite radio in my car which puts over 184 channels at my disposal at any given moment. Plus I have my local radio stations. I subscribe to an expanded cable TV line up which gives me MTV, MTV2, MTV jams, MTV hits, VH1, VH1 soul, BET, BET Hip Hop, BET Jazz and few other small music channels. So I can watch music videos anytime I want. I also have cable provided Internet service which I listen to various Internet radio channels and I stream music video at yahooís launch website. What Iím getting at here, with all the access to music I have, why in the world would I need to buy any CDís. I can listen to music at anytime I want. I believe this is causing music sales to be in the toilet, there is too much of an abundance of free musical vehicles out there to prompt anyone to buy music.
Let me make one thing clear, ever since the record industry moved from vinyl records to CDís it has basically shot itself in the foot. What the music industry had with vinyl was medium that needed its own direct device to play it, a record player. No one could burn their own vinyl or make their 45 (45 inch single). You didnít have the problem of piracy that you have now with music on compact disc. It was very hard and expensive for someone to bootleg records, now anyone with a CD burner make copies for friends, thus cutting into the sales of the record company and its artists. The only thing that can save the industry is for it to go back to its own dedicated device that is hard to copy even if that means the death of the CD.
Selling downloads is a tricky business for record companies. Since you donít have an actual hard copy product like a CD or a 12 inch vinyl single, itís hard to inventory MP3 downloads. If I own a company like ITunes, I could say there were 3 million downloads of songs, when actually it may have been 5 million downloads. In the old way of doing business, if I shipped 5 million records and/or CDís I can easily inventory that, but not with a download that is stored on some computer server. The industry would never actually know if the mp3 retailers are being honest.
The solution is for record companies to change the distribution loop. If youíre going to offer downloads, labels should create their own website for multimedia music and video distribution. I should be able to go right to 50 centís website or Interscopeís site and download the MP3 for a fee. They could also offer additional media, video, and music for membership fees or subscription fee for extra content not available to other people. I donít think the music industry is going to recover if it continues on the same trail. Something drastic has to happen.
One of the biggest problems is an easy solution. You have to put out a quality product. Too many times labels are cloning acts that look and sound too similar to other acts, which I guess is good if youíre cloning Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye artists that are going to end up in somebodyís hall of fame. But if you have to have butt naked girls in the videos, every video, and 6 cameos from other artists and RKelly on the hook to sell a CD youíre probably doomed to begin with. You need quality music and quality songs. The problem is nobody in an A&R department seems to know the trick these days. They keep looking to sign what worked for the last hot label and most artists are biting of the last hit record they liked, so you end up with a never ending cycle of mediocrity. Someone must break the mold and do something different, something that challenges the minds of the youth but also engages them with a certain flair and style. If that happens and the industry learns how to harness the power of the internet maybe the music industry might just stand a chance.

Sampling Techniques

This article is about sampling which can be as complicated as you want to make it our as simple as sampling loops can be, which is not that simple. If you donít know the basic as far as what a loop is or what a sample is, or what a drum loop is then you might want to look at some other materials before reading this article. This article is geared more towards sampling with hardware samplers, but he concepts will work well with software computer based programs also.
One of the first things you need to do is find a place for getting samples. If you are crate digger, that is someone who looks through old vinyl records for samples then you know how hard or how is it can be to find a good loop or sample to chop up for a beat. There are other ways to get samples. Nowadays you can download samples, trade samples with other producers, buy them on website like loopking.com and soundcrafting.com or make them yourself. If you make loops yourself and youíre a good producer musician you can load up some sounds and begin making hot samples. There are literally gigabytes of drum loops floating around the internet these days. There are also many companies that make sample CDís that you can buy at places like guitar center. The quality of samples can run the gambit from high quality samples to low bit rate samples. Some sample CDís are made by professional drummers. If you choose pre-made loops you may spend hours sifting through loops to find that one gem that you believe will make a hot beat or track.

A few basics you need to keep in mind when making loops is: ē You want to sample from the highest source possible. Some old vinyl records have so much noise in them itís hard to remove the hiss.
ē Itís not a rule these days but try to find a part of the song where the beat plays by itself without vocals. Sometimes having parts of the vocals or bassline is desirable. But with most samples itís best to keep it simple.
ē Donít always look for sample from R&B and Hip Hop listen to all types of music for samples. Kanye west sample a synth rock band for his song stronger.
ē Find discounted old CD singles because there are usually for or five remixes on these type of cd singles or 12 inch vinyl records.
ē Make a DJ one of your friends, A DJ with a lot of vinyl can be great resource for samples.
ē Try a mono sample over a stereo sample. Music is way to digital now days a lo-fi mono sample can give your music a different feel than a stereo sample