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What You Can Learn from Successful Rappers

Hip-hop performer Chris Kazi Rolle tells you what lessons you can learn from rappers who've made it big in this Howcast video.


Alright. Making it in the music industry is not always the easiest in the world to do. So, one thing you might want to do is study the stories of people that have actually done it and you will discover maybe some creative ways that you can apply in your own career.

One really powerful story is the story of 50 Cent. 50 Cent was signed many years ago to Columbia. They dropped him for things that he was doing in the community and he decided to make his own way. He started doing mix tapes and he would take songs that were popular and remake them. He would be creative and battle a lot of rappers out there. And he put out so much music during his era of flooding the streets that every car that passed by in New York City, I heard 50 Cent that summer.

He was relentless; he worked so hard that everybody was talking about this guy. And then, one day, Eminem's bodyguard always goes out to the streets and just gets whatever is popular, who ever the popular mix tape artist of the moment is. While playing in some music in a car is how he first heard of 50 Cent. But if 50 Cent didn't have that strong work ethic and that ability to just be like, “Listen, I'm not going to wait on a record label,” he would never be where is today.

Another popular success story you can study is someone like Kanye West. Kanye West, originally, was just a producer who was making music. He was actually what they call a ghost producer, meaning there was a popular producer who purchased music from Kanye West and resold it as his own music. And so a lot of producers get started in that way so they can make a name for themselves. The big producer makes more money. You sell it to him for $1,000.00, he sells it for $100,000.00.

Puff Daddy was actually one of the first ones to start that or really build it as a business. Anyway, Kanye West, from making beats for Jay-Z, is how he was first introduced to Roc-A-Fella through a rapper and producer named Deric Angelettie. From that introduction, he got cool with Damon Dash and Jay-Z.

Jay-Z didn't really feel him as a rapper and he told him to just stick to doing beats, but he believed in himself and he focused on the one person that supported him, which was Damon Dash. And through that support, he put out some music. And from putting that music out he also made his own music videos. He went above and beyond and he believed in himself. That's the key thing I'm conveying to you. You have to believe in yourself so much that you could actually bend the will of other people to believe in you.

And then a third and final success story that you can look at it is the story of Jay-Z himself. Jay-Z had went to various record labels and they thought either he rapped too fast or they didn't like the songs that he was doing and they actually were not interested. He just said, “Alright, nobody believes in what I'm doing so I'm just going to do it myself.”

He was selling his music out of his trunk. He would go to popular events, he would put on events and just sell product. His product was moving so much that other people decided to come to him. Mainly, the biggest rap label of them all, which is Def Jam.

I would say that by studying those stories, and the stories of anybody who you may be interested in, you will find something synonymous in all the stories. That is you have to be able to work hard and work harder than anybody else. Flood the streets with music. Give away music so that people can get into you and believe in what it is that your giving them. And then find value in what you're doing. Third is to believe in yourself beyond a shadow of a doubt, because by believing in yourself so much, other people will believe in you, too.

Last, don't wait for people to hook you up or give you the opportunity. You go out there and you share your music with people. You will have people come looking for you because they will see that, “Alright. Either we jump on that moving train or we will get left.”

Those are some key stories that you can check out to find success in the music business.

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