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How to Make Money as a Rapper

Hip-hop performer Chris Kazi Rolle shares tips on how to make money as a rap artist in this Howcast video.


The way you make money in the music business today is, one, you have to sell music. You have to sell music. Now, so many of us don't buy music. We borrow music. We get music sent to us or we can download from somebody's iTunes. So, the way you make money nowadays is various ways.

One is through shows. If your music gets out there in a heavy way through people sharing your tracks, then you can be the sought-after performer that everybody wants. One way of doing this is just finding consistent open mics, or being an opening act for a name artist and then building your buzz that way. And from building your buzz, then people will want to hire you because everybody wants to see your show.

Another way to make money in the music business is writing for somebody else. There are a lot of very known rappers or up-and-coming rappers that they don't actually write. They have a great personality. They have a great look, but they are not the best at writing. Or, the fact that the music business moves so fast, there's not enough time to spend time writing and developing songs. So if you sit at home writing and developing songs, you can sell those songs directly to artists, to publishing companies, and they would pay you for that time.

So, another way that you can make money as a rapper in the music business is by partnering with brands. By getting your music out there, being on shows, everybody knows who you are, so you have influence. And from that influence, you can charge people to put their brand in your song. So, for instance, if Jay-Z says something about a drink or a pair of shoes or a car, that car now will sell a lot more.

And so now, rappers are giving those kind of commercial time away to brands. So, that is another way that you can get money in the music business, is by telling brands or giving brands the opportunity to be highlighted in your song or partner with you on your tour or on your CD. There's a variety of ways to partner with brands, but through those partnerships you can make money.

So, you can make money through partnerships, you can make money through live shows, and you can make money through selling your music to other performers. And that's how you can make money in today's music business.

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