The 10 Laws Of Success: An Independent Artist's Hip Hop Guide

A panel of industry veterans including LEP Bogus Boys and Torae weigh in on how to launch an independent Hip Hop career.

With all due respect to Eminem and 50 Cent, sometimes people watch movies like 8 Mile and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and assume launching a Hip Hop career works the same way they see in movies. I meet a lot of unsigned, aspiring rappers. Between assisting in HipHopDX’s social media and marketing duties and working with Coast2CoastLive.com, I’m at well over 250 events each year. And since Hip Hop is still a multi-billion dollar industry, one of the most common questions I run across is how an artist can get their music posted online in hopes of launching a successful career. We’re doing 13 or 14 cities, and I also host four to six online showcases monthly, so those questions get asked pretty often. Luckily, I also encounter plenty of A&R’s, executives, signed artists and producers who have established themselves within the industry.

So the following advice comes from those professionals—people like Ken Lewis (check the production credits of J. Cole’s, Kanye West and Jay-Z’s latest albums, and you’ll see his name). When rappers hope to get posted on various Hip Hop blogs and websites, these are ultimately the people they hope to impress and work with. So we put together this list based on Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws Of Power. It’s geared to getting your stuff online or just an overall balance of how to be successful as an independent artist trying to get signed.

This isn’t some guaranteed guide on how you’re gonna get on. But between industry veterans like J-Hatch, LEP Bogus Boys, DJ ill Will and Torae, there are over 100 combined years of experience in this roundtable. For what it’s worth, I used to manage an OfficeMax before getting involved with DX, Coast2Coast and i-Standard Producers. I had to make the decision between taking a pay cut and keeping the same job, or taking my unemployment and severance pay to leave and pursue my passion. So I can relate to any aspiring artist out there with a stack of burned CDs in pursuit of their dream. Taking the advice from the industry vets you hope to someday work with—along with some planning, hard work and some luck—is a start.

Law 1: Do Your Research

Eric Beasley: Co-Owner of The world’s largest MC Battle League, SMACK/ URL and one of the largest Hip Hop YouTube channels online www.youtube.com/Theurltv. Beasley has also worked as an artist and producer manager in addition to his time at Warner as an A&R.

“Making the transition from your mother’s basement to Madison Square Garden can be extremely difficult in this current climate of the music business. Most labels won’t take a chance on an artist—especially a rapper without any traction. When I say traction, I mean trackable data about you or your brand. This data can be in the form of BDS [Broadcast Data Systems] or Mediabase radio spins, a huge buzz on a mixtape (thousands of on-line downloads, independent sales, or write ups and praise from notable publications) presence on key websites and blogs, significant views on YouTube with a music video or blogs, touring, endorsement from established artists etc. Many ask how this can be achieved when the competition has more money, contacts, management, etc. Getting signed or becoming a huge independent artist takes a plan!”

Law 2: Use Resources & Strategize

Riggs Morales: VP of A&R and Artist Development at Atlantic Records. For more music education insight, visit www.Itsriggdup.com

“Drive: This is the trait is what will keep you moving forward as doubt sets in, as progress is made or as you reach those ‘stand-still’ moments when nothing is happening.

“Creativity: The ability to stand out from the rest starts here. Even if you find yourself in a place clogged by others pursuing the same thing you are (producing, singing, rapping), you should nurture the ability to create something that sets you apart from everyone and will help you stand out.

“Resources: Learn to work with less to get more. You can do just as much with a three people as you can with a 1,000, if it’s all you have to work with. Learning to work with bare essentials will push you to make the best with what you have.

“Strategize: Once you’ve built a cohesive system with what you have, then it’s important to utilize the little you have with a strategic approach. Make every small step count towards bigger steps.

“Vision: Have a clear (and realistic) outline of where you want to be and what you think will take to get there. Know that it will not happen overnight. It will take you time as you develop a rhythm through trial and error, which will ultimately trim the fat off your artistry and unveil the artist you were meant to be.

“Get A Job: You will make no money as you work on your craft, which can lead to a stressful state of mind and interfere with your creative rhythms. Get a job that allows you to pay bills and put food on your table until your ‘passionate hobby’ turns into ‘paying occupation.’”

Law 3: Create Quality Product

Ken Lewis: Multi-Platinum Producer for Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, Usher, Danity Kane, Jeremih, 50 Cent. More info on Lewis and his online musical tutorial program is available via www.AudioSchoolOnline.com.

“The number one thing young artists forget is that it’s really all about the music. If your song doesn’t instantly and strongly connect to people who don’t know you, you’re not going to make it very far. Don’t listen to your friends and relatives. They love you and want to see you win. Watch the reactions to your music from people you don’t know. Don’t tell me, ‘Well this rapper got signed and his songs suck.’ Really? Is that where you set the bar for yourself? If you want to get noticed, make or find hot beats, and write an undeniable hit. Then do it again, and again, and you'll get a deal. If it was easy, everybody would do it. It’s not easy, and it takes a ton of thankless, draining, work, coupled with tons of rejection and soul searching. But there are a few who will emerge every year to the top.” 

Law 4: Master The Art Of Multi-tasking

L.E.P. Bogus Boys: Blueprint/Infared/Interscope Recording Artists. Follow Count and Moonie via Twitter at @LEPBOGUSBOYS.

“What you got to understand is that whether you’re independent or signed, it all falls on you. So you have to have an immediate team that multitasks and know their roles. We only got a team of five including us, and we all make the mechanism work. When you sign, look for a label that understands your brand not just because they got a lot of money for you. You also gotta build your relationships and stay persistent. That’s how we got so far—because of our immediate outlets of people we can get to. It took a whole lot to build that so strong, but it worked. More than anything, you gotta have good product and challenge yourself to be great.”

Law 5: Value Your Independence

DJ ill Will: CEO of Tha Alumni Music Group & Manager for Kid Ink. Ill Will has worked with and broke some of the hottest artists in the game including Soulja Boy, Chris Brown, Tyga and more.

“No offense to the major labels, but stay Indie and get your paper up before you even consider a major label deal. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Putting yourself at the mercy of a major label is career suicide…unless you’re the rare few.

Law 6: Develop An Identity & A Team

Brian “Z” Zisook: VP/Editor-in-Chief of DJBooth.net

“There are no hard and fast rules or stone cold lock advice that works universally when given to an aspiring artist, who is looking to escape from the confines of their mother's basement and make it as a professional recording artist. There are, however, several steps that should be taken to ensure that you are giving yourself the best possible chance at future success. These steps include, but are certainly not limited to: finding a team of professionals who believe in you and your music, developing an identity as an artist and branding your stage name and music accordingly, and creating a product that will sell itself.”

Law 7: Be Humble, Realistic & Work Hard

Kyle “KP” Reilly: VP Idle Media Inc / DatPiff.com    

“For an artist to have a chance to make it out their mama’s basement and into a label’s boardroom, a lot of things need to happen, including a bit of luck. For the most part, what an artist needs more than anything is a good, realistic head on their shoulders. If your head isn’t right, you have an inflated perception of yourself or of the game, you wont make it very far. Be humble, be yourself and don’t follow everyone else’s or industry trends. Work harder and harder for yourself—not just to talk about how hard you’re working—results will speak for themselves. And lastly, do not spam or annoy those who you are attempting to sell yourself or distribute your music to.”

Law 8: Maintain A Physical Presence

J-Hatch: Co-CEO of I-Standard Producers. www.IstandardProducers.com

“These days, the general perception is that you need an online presence. Many aspiring artists then take to their social networks to send links out to people who in most cases consider that spamming. In reality it’s all about creating a balance—yes the Internet is important and influential. But networking, performing and building a fan base are all equally as important.”

Law 9: Become Business Savvy

Nick Hiersche: President of Coast2Coast Mixtapes & Coast2Coast Live. coast2coastmixtapes.com & coast2coastlive.com

“I think the number one misconception we get is they think others owe them because they made a song. Just because you made a song does not make it a venue’s responsibility to pay you all of a sudden. In order to get a paid booking, you must be able to sell tickets, alcohol or some other type of product for that venue or company. Music business is a business, and you must invest in yourself and your business until revenue starts being generated. If you are not getting paid to perform or feature on tracks, then you have not invested enough in yourself, period. The indie route is a smart route and can be done on a small budget, but it is still a budget. Until you realize this and make smart investments into your ‘music business,’ then it is a hobby, not a business.
 
The converse of that is that if you want a ‘major record deal,’ you must invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into your ‘music business.’ It takes that much investment for large returns to come in, which is the only thing that interests labels. So both ways cost time, money and of course effort and talent. But in today’s market you don’t really need the major label. You can generate a sufficient income by investing in your indie ‘music business’ until the revenue starts coming. And then you can just collect from the loyal fans you gained from investing!”

Law 10: Maintain Consistency

Torae: Emcee, Founder of Internal Affairs Entertainment, A&R for Soulspazm Records, co-host of Siriux XM’s “Rap Is Outta Control.” www.facebook.com/itstorae - Twitter & Instagram @Torae

“I think the most important thing in today’s market is to be visible. It doesn’t matter if you make the best music in the world if no one hears it or no one knows. So you have to be visible—seen and heard. Do a lot of shows, even if they’re free shows…even if only your family is there. Perform your music. Master it, get it air tight and record it. YouTube has birthed a number of sensations, so definitely have it uploaded and linkable there. You also have to get used to giving away music for free. There is so much competition now, in order for people to know your music, you’re going to have to give some away to build an audience and fan base. Social networking is very important as well. Make sure you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The more people are into you and what you’re doing, the more they'll care about the music, and the more they’ll spread the word.

“I did a docu-series last year called ‘Off The Record.’ I think all new and aspiring artists should check it out to get some insight on the ups and downs of the music business. It was filmed during the recording and release of my album For The Record. I did it so that I could shed some light on what it takes on the daily basis to grind out a career in music.”

Michael Trampe is a Social Media & Marketing guru from Philadelphia, PA. He owns MAAD ManagementMikeTrampeTV.com & also works with Coast2CoastLive and I-Standard Producers. Prior to joining HipHopDX in 2007, Trampe has been a DJ, owned and operated a recording studio, managed producers and artists & worked promotions for TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment). You can follow him on twitter @MikeTrampeTV, Facebook and YouTube.

165 Comments

  • Norberto Soto

    I make like 30 songs in 2 hours fast and easy ..wake up and talk to me

  • King Chris

    Good stuff! That was very helpful. I needed that! I'm just starting up trying to get some songs made. It may take me a while but I know I have the talent just trying to build a fan base right now. Got some but could use plenty more. My city isn't that big and all the artist don't really work with each other like that. I hope I can change that..

  • Brenitta Stansworth

    I really enjoy soaking up the good information you give on this site I'm an up-and-coming rapper / producer and I'm trying to get all of the business knowledge I can acquire...I have little revenue to work with so I try to find as much free information as possible. I also have received a lot of valuable music business information from the West Coast manager by the name of Jazzy from Jazzy Mgmt that guy has given a lot of valuable well needed information for up and coming rappers that listen because a lot of West Coast artist don't listen but I acknowledged a lot of jazzy game and he needs to be saluted..

  • Lu

    Thanks for this, so much info here that I have to " study " and master. I know I'll be up on top one day saying how this made me millions!

  • YeYo

    Nice work i am an indie artist and record label owner lol ironic huh? but yea lol lots of great info everyone heed this material. If anyone wants to maybe link up to make music get at me. My label is called Molotov Records and we are actually looking for producers and singers. Go LIKE my fb page and inbox me for more info.

  • Blacmagick

    The Indie grind might be, by far, the best grind. #1 for me is Creative Control. As and Independent artist and producer, I have Freedoms and Liberties that "bound/contracted artists" do not. Check my work for FREE BEATS, and Good Music: reverbnation.com/blacmagik6

  • phineas sah

    how to write power rap lyrick

  • 410TAY

    Awesome Tips I appreciate 410TAY COMING #ILOVEYOUBALTIMORE

  • Goest Ryder

    Great article! Very insightful for anyone who is seriously contemplating on making music a career!

  • VNGLRY

    "Momma named me Torae Carr never no moniker Take my verses personal as Monica Get you niggas life all week, thought it was Hanukkah Blue yankee my Yamaka Known to ride the rhythm like a Yamaha"

  • JTown

    Networking & Knowing Your @$%# Is The Key To Success

  • Guest

    THAT WAS DEFINITELY A GREAT READ WITH VALUABLE INFORMATION!

  • Lucy

    Great thoughts! This si really a good article to share on how you can be a successful hip hop artist. Well best hip hop beats are really created by the best hip hop artist in town. I really admire the sounds that was created from those beats it really makes anyone gropve and dance.

  • Dcypher Sound

    Check out this song I made all about dreaming big as a rapper. https://soundcloud.com/dcypher_sound

  • Darin Hicks

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_7_gUgbLtE

  • Anonymous

    The game on here is A1... http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_7_gUgbLtE

  • Twuani Clevone

    I'm an indie artist thank you for the advice you guys are great!

  • Anonymous

    I am very compelled about everything I read and I am ambitious to conquer the things that I lack as an indie artist. to the information and I found it very useful! thank you for the advice you guys are great:-)

  • DuRanDlife

    http://youtu.be/9ykTUo4vp2g This was great information..... How ever getting heard is the key!!! DuRanDlife The New Face of Hip Hop....

  • blavk Jeesus

    Even though I like the Tips.I think one thing should be added and that's If artists are in small city they have to move to the bigger cities to be discovered like Atlanta California or Newyork. Nobody is checking for a rapper from Indiana or Iowa.

  • Ponce Beyond

    Great insight, some of which I have learned first hand. Musicians often focus less on the business side of the industry, which I'm glad you pointed out in greater detail why it's important to know. This is a hard business due to providing, for the most part, intangible products (Beats, Lyrics). Hard work & business sense are both necessary. #Talent

  • lee

    would you recommend school, like an art school or music school of some kind?

  • Anonymous

    Yart I see lots of fake rapper out there.

  • rico bin deer dundat

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4ykna-1QL4&feature=youtube_gdata_player BROOKLYN NICCA ...

  • rico bin deer dundat

    Check me out fams...soundcloud.com/rico-dundat

  • E Major

    I think this is an insightful read. However, these type of posts come off as very abstract a lot of times. I think a great follow up to this would be a case study. How did a successful artist do all of these things for him/herself? Make these points more concrete. Saying something like "Be determined" or "Be creative" is so vague and up for interpretation. A useful article would show how these ideas translate into the real world.

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  • kouamo arnauld

    it relly inspired me.am 18 yaers old and am in cameroon . i wzant to be an artist and am still looking for a good somebody to lead me. i have already written many songs but what i want now is a studio and a producer.

  • Tronnel Pacquette AKA Finesse

    This was awesome to read! Thanks for the insight. That really helped. I #SALUTE that! Even though I'm from and live in the Caribbean I strongly believe this was valuable info. Time to fire up some more! #WCMF Dominica! No website but you can google me...

  • Hip Hop Beats For Sale

    I just came across this site and found this very interesting article. I do enjoy hip hop beats so much, thanks for sharing this.

  • Diss-abled

    Thanks for writing all this stuff. I've been experiencing with what's out there on my own trying to get my dance song going. The competition is unreal.

  • Michael "Mic Legend" Payton

    Much Respect. So glad I came across this article as I have been reading and researching all day! The amount of golden nuggets given here is amazing and helping for any upcoming artist. I even took notes! Thanks Much love and God Bless!

  • Eric Delshun

    go check check out my music videos on youtube..search Eric Delshun or www.youtube.com/tomtommemphis my style is like Vince Staples,Earl,J cole,Kendrick,and a few more instead i sound like MYSELF!!!!!

  • Eric Delshun

    after reading these laws i feel closer to success,Im a dope poet/song writer that will soon Humbly get that spot i deserve..check out my music at www.youtube.com/tomtommemphis and subcribe to my page.thanks -ERIC DELSHUN

  • Ed

    Looking for Male and Female vocalist to help me on this free mixtape I'm working. I am a Christian Hip Hop artist! Contact me @ JCML.Ministriesmn@gmail.com Thanks @ God Bless.

  • Christine "Lady Chris" Weaver

    Dear Industry veterans including LEP Bogus Boys and Torae, My name is Christine Weaver, and as you can infer, I am an aspiring female musician. I am glad to have ran across this website and article while doing research today. All the points made here were very much needed and will hopefully be used to progress and further my music career. Please post more insight and tips. Sincerely, Lady Chris

  • Hellrazor

    Im ready for whatever

  • Critikal315

    No doubt!!! Good tips 4 sure. I just dropped my first EP from the #SummerofSlaughter Series...next due 7/4...give it a spin. I'm a conscious Emcee from Upstate, New York that dipped and lived in GA, SC, FL, CO, CA and TX. Gained alot of knowledge on my travels, so peep MiH:The Departure #Critikal https://soundcloud.com/critikallyacclaimed/sets/mih-the-departure

  • Pacific

    Awsome, thanks for this great article! As a young rapper I read some interesting things and see why something didn't go well. But I got one question, as somebody not living in an English spoken country do you have tips or anything to say. I want to get rid of my accent and heavily learn English vocabulary and the language in general. So for me it's twice the work. You have tips for international artists because I grew up with American Hip Hop and I hope one day to be in the States.

  • di-VERSE

    di-VERSE -- http://soundcloud.com/jeff-diverse

  • di-VERSE

    Please check out my unsigned lyrical diamonds.... I'm up n commin.

  • mc fun loving

    I do have fun with this hip hop thing But Many of my songs are for real . Guess you can say Im just old Skool like that . Stay focused . Keep on pushing MC Fun Loving

  • slim

    Im trying be big and get out there. I want everyone to here my music when im done with it. This month ir either in june i will be doing a music video called trust

  • Jason V

    Informative article. Seems like all this social media exists but is still an egocentric window for most rather than a means to connect and help one another succeed. I live in Los Angeles and am in talks with starting a battle rap venue in a safe area for the countless amounts of talent with no outlet to be seen by scouts and execs.

  • ser2113

    https://soundcloud.com/serino/sets/the-rise

  • HHp

    Wow What happened to the comment-section? Most posters say normal things, i'm confused But I like it, dope article btw

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  • Moses

    Very insightful post and information. I'm hoping for a renaissance of artist who actually follow the word before artist. *Independent-not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself* There are too many people sounding like Imitative artist instead of Independent Artist

  • Djqaaholic

    Ima young talented dude from Philly I go by QaaHolic I rap make beats engineer and Dj in the city and around the globe I got a few tracks up if you get time homie that wrote this article check em out at www.soundcloud.com/QaaHolic ' Good Look

  • DRP

    This post is amazing. I love the fact that you used multiple voices to make a powerful point. It will take time and effort on behalf of the artist to make it out here. If you love music learn about the music business and everything else will start to fall into place. Thanks Mike and HipHopDX!!!

  • Kevin

    I took in a lot from this thank you! Can you send me a link to my email for the "off the record" video you mentioned?

  • Kevin

    I guess just reply to the comment with the link?

  • T-Nine NFC

    This was very helpful & useful. I just recently started a rap group, called NFC Ink. Check me out on instagram@nfc_ink or facebook@NFC Ink also on youtube@NFC Ink. Leave comments good or bad so my group can improve. Please & ThankYou.

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  • Cazmir West

    Very reassuring, after reading 48 Laws of Power & Think And Grow Rich several times. The beauty of the internet.. CEO's of the vary sites we want get our music posted on and labels we want to get signed too, giving FREE information and tips on how to achieve the goal of breaking into the game. Thx 4 posting! Salute.

  • Salvatore Perigio

    Thank You 2All That Will And Those Who Still Support My Music! With That Being Said iCurrently Have a Project Out For Sale (Only $5 Bucks) But Part Of The Proceeds Go To Help The KIDS, Inc. Charity. So To All That Will Support This Project, You Will Be Supporting 2 Good Causes! Helping Kids Get Out Of Bad Situations While Still Supporting My Career At The Same Time! Here's The Link To The Project/Album... http://fandistro.com/artist/salvatoreperigio-untitled/?tnum=10107

  • Courtney Beasley

    thanks for the info. an up left now i can bo on my way to the to an dont for get my name yall

  • Courtney Beasley

    Iam on my way to the top , now that i got the info. that i need , thanks sir. an dnt for get the name !

  • Steve B.I.K.O.

    "Worldwide: Dare To Struggle, Dare To Win!" by Steve B.I.K.O., is now available on iTunes & is the indie album that so many fans and supporters of conscious hip-hop music often seek, but rarely find. It is our hope that the listener will support the artist, and the Cause, accordingly. Solidarity!

  • keivn

    I enjoyed reading this, has a lot of what i have already learned the hard way an just naturally knew. But it is definitely reassuring. One thing i didn't see is - always make sure to build and protect your image. Paint a picture that makes you seem a slightly bit bigger then life, but without the idea of "you have to fake it to make it" just be you. With the way you push your music advertising being out an about going to hand to hand gaining new fans. Don't let them see you slipping up, keep a clean look, a serious way of doing business and don't let people see you out causing mischief. If you ride the bus try to stay low when doing everyday stuff unless you are like i said out and about hand to hand getting the word out. When you are seen your the artist "the image" you have made for yourself. The other side that supports maybe the financial and skills part of your career, keep on the low. I don't know just an idea/ opinion. Found it to be a respect thing when people see me in the general public on an average level they see me as a regular person and not the artist I want them to view me as.

    • Kevin

      I also thought the same. I've also read something almost the same seemingly word for word lol. Thank you for the reminder thought! Much needed.

  • meta4ce

    Nick hiersche and coast2coast mixtapes have made the front page of ripoffreport numerous times for taking artists money and lying about celebrity hosts. Why is he giving advice? Stop.

  • Anonymous

    alright guys cheek what did with my music http://www.true-magazine.com/2013/10/true-magazine-production-scare-for-holloween-damien-the-demon/

  • Anonymous

    Chief Queef, Wacka Sucka, Gucci, Lil B, Trinidad James, Plies and OJ are disagreeing with this article

  • LOC D.A.B

    FAITH, CONSISTENCY, HARD WORK, BUSINESS IN TACK, PLAN IN TACK, MARKETING & BRANDING VISUALS, NETWORK on lock ALONG WITH TALENT an u golden great write up brodie #LOCDAB #GETUMGANG #GGOE

  • melissa

    Hey great article! On the business savvy point - I also think that you've got to make sure that you've got ownership over things like your fanbase and your sales. And you have to be ok with charging money for your music - it may feel awkward at first but realistically if you want to be able to make a career out of music then you need to earn dollars. Facebook is great for getting followers but the problem with it is that those fans are stuck on Facebook and you can never contact them outside of Facebook, so making sure that you have a way to collect email addresses is really important. So on your Facebook page you could put up an announcement letting your fans know that they can email you on a certain address. And you should make an effort to reply back, because that level of connection is what's going to make that fan a one time listener into a lifelong one - Ryan Leslie is the perfect example of an artist that has done this really well. Its quite important that you also have your own website so that you're not just building your whole career on third party sites - you never know what changes will happen in the future but if you have your own domain name at least you know you'll always have a permanent address for your fans to visit. You could even just use basic free sites like wix.com or wordpress to set it up, it's pretty easy! In terms of selling your music you can use sites like www.selz.com to easily sell right off your Facebook page so you don't have to set up an ecommerce site, and you also get access to the email addresses of all your customers so that you can either send them a note to say thanks, offer presales, or other exclusive deals (you don;t get that on iTunes!). I hope you guys find that useful :)

  • Jonathan

    it all comes down to law #3 - quality product!! the rest can be delegated amongst the team. thanks for compiling this list. good reminders, for sure!

  • HDirt

    Great article! I must say some of the stuff I read here is some of the stuff I've been following on.

  • oooJASONooo

    This article is very helpful and informative. Can I post this article to my website with a backlink and credit to you?

    • Mike Trampe

      Sure, you can link. Please do not post the whole article on your site/blog though, maybe just the intro and then link to DX. Thanks for reading.

  • Official

    Thanks for the game for us independent grinders...im down in Louisiana & everybody wanna be a rapper so its clogged up but im pushing so I take all the knowledge I can get...#Salute @Official_aone

  • Kool Focus

    So only 10 laws not 48! Damn!

  • brave

    this article is not only for music.... but for life in general, any initiative or business that you're in... the advice given can be applied to anyone... from the start up company to the C.E.O in corporate offices from N.Y to Beijing...

  • GypsyCliff

    Wow! Great info that anyone in the entertainment biz could profit from. Been playing country music for years and this is the kind of stuff I wish I had read YEARS ago. Thanks for your efforts at spreading the good word!

  • Blaq Gavin

    Very insightful, great read!

  • Ralph

    This Article was pretty great to read even if you are not a rapper ... I applied the Laws towards my career in Comedy... very Similar route.. Thanks

  • Duce MothaFuckin Rivas

    Best article I've read on here in a long time. I appreciate the advice. -MothaFuckin' Rivas

  • Merquillo

    Thanks for the golden nuggets! As an aspiring artist and CEO of my own independent label, I'm always grateful to get tips like these from established professionals. Salute!

  • djmistah

    whats the best way to network? imma producer been producing along time now

    • Mike Trampe

      Check out as many showcases, open mics, events, etc....as possible. You should be working with all sorts of artists, mastering your craft & sound. Getting your stuff out there, even if its for free. Check out producer forums online, sites like istandardprodcuers.com and their events they host.

  • Anonymous

    Man this article is very useful and inspiring thanks Mike!

  • Tony Stone

    Real words from the pro ,,

  • Mack

    It's all there. plain and simple #salute for the Gems

  • Andrea Sara

    my co-worker's step-sister makes $83 hourly on the net. She has been discharged for 6 months however last month her pay check was $19589 simply acting on the net for a number of hours. Here's the location to scan additional Read more at... www.bay92.com

  • Anonymous

    how u going to compare torae to lep bogus boys torae does it proper

    • Y0mKrddvv

      If you think Dawn`s story is impressive,, last pay cheque my cousins friend who's a single mom also brought home $6390 grafting ninteen hours a week from there house and they're friend's step-mother`s neighbour done this for 3 months and earnt more than $6390 part time from there labtop. follow the instructions on this link, > ---- WEP6(dot)COM

    • Mike Trampe

      Thanks for reading, but where did anyone compare them? Both have tremendous success in the Hip Hop/Music Industry and they did it the independent route.

  • JayG

    Very good article! This will help me out a lot. Can't wait to read the rest soundcloud.com/jaygofficial

  • banannaz

    http://www.hulkshare.com/Banannaz Production Credits: Red Cafe, Chinx Drugz, Kid Ink Saigon & More......

  • banannaz

    http://www.hulkshare.com/Banannaz Production Credits: Red Cafe, Chinx Drugz, Kid Ink Saigon & More...... ..

  • Kayla

    Mike.. Many thanks for this incredibly useful post! I'm currently working with an "on the cusp" entertainment company, and I appreciate these transferable pointers. Regardless of your hustle in the industry, these are all applicable. Genuinely appreciative for HHDX putting this into the world at this time, it's truly reaffirming. cheers!

  • what the f*** is wrong with niggaz

    no shark biters rule #1

  • Kool Focus

    That's good info where can i read da rest?

    • Mike Trampe

      This is the "rest", lol. Hopefully in the future we will have some articles covering more topics like this.

  • Kool Focus

    I like that, where can i read da rest?

  • Dante Stackz

    I'm an aspiring artist from Boston, MA and I was wondering if you could checkout one of my links to my songs and let me know what you think http://youtu.be/qOI6IeijJ2I

  • IROC

    This was a very informative article because hiphop is the rough"est biz to get in and to last in !

  • Anonymous

    this is one of the few valuable articles HHDX has posted in a long time. Hope their editors take heed and start doing more pieces that will actually help young artists. Not just click-baiting gossip, old releases and other such crap. HHDX has the circulation, now they can actually do something culturally worth while with it!

  • JorgeDavid

    I just heard this new jam.. Q Tip snapped http://smarturl.it/HKNakamarra

  • DJ Todd

    Great article. Younger artists hopefully will use these tools.

  • junMaf*ckn

    This Is Dope. Definitely Informative.

    • Mike Trampe

      Thanks for reading!

    • mariaroxy7

      up to I saw the bank draft for $9498, I didnt believe that...my... friends brother woz like they say realy receiving money parttime from there labtop.. there sisters roommate haz done this 4 only about 1 year and at present repayed the loans on there home and purchased a top of the range Lotus Elise. go to, > ---- WEP6(dot)COM

  • Anonymous

    Take heed to Industry Rule #4080

  • Marbles

    #11 > Keep ALL Options of Success OPEN! Don't just think the music business is your only opportunity to success!

  • JayDee

    Hey Mike,I was wondering if you could maybe email me some advice. I've been writing songs since i was 13 (I'm 20 now), but I do not intend to be a rapper. Hip hop is my greatest passion, and I want to be apart of it, but becoming a rapper is not for me. Lyricism is my favorite part about hip hop, and I believe that over the years, I have gotten very good at it. Any advice would be appreciated. If not, thanks anyways man, that was a great article.

    • Mike Trampe

      Thanks for reading the editorial. First, i would recommend recording yourself and work with other artists. I think if you want to write for artists you have to prove to them that you CAN write and to do that you have to record yourself. Even if they are demos to show them how you would say something, where a bridge goes, what harmonies you use, specific lyrics, etc....Most artists are not going to be open to have lyrics wrote for them just by saying "Hey i write, let me write you a song". You have to prove to them that you are talented and can write actual songs, and do it on a continual basis. Look at what Ken Lewis said, you have to be able to do it over and over again. Like i said, i would suggest recording yourself, even if its a demo. Work with as many artists as you can, go to as many open mics, showcases, studio sessions as you can. Your network is your net-worth, get out there and build it! #Salute

  • The Evolution of Hip Hop

    Love this! Some of these tips I tell the entertainers that walk through our doors. I think some of these apply to more than just rappers, good read def saving this :)

  • DIBO SMASH

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  • Anonymous

    Finally! an excellent article! Enjoyed it pretty much, and I believe this article doesnt only apply to the music industry but in any other business, this is awesome. Saving the article!

    • Mike Trampe

      Thank you, Anonymous. I am glad you enjoyed the article and see how it can be used in other aspects of business & life. #Salute

  • EB

    Solid advice and humble enough to comment back. Consider me a new fan.

  • Tom

    This is a very interesting read. I think that it's great that you wrote this article to help out people who wanna get into the music industry.

  • Anonymous

    all u gotta do is make some whack ass rap with a catchy beat and you'll become a success nowadays

    • Mike Trampe

      You're telling me i didn't have to write this editorial and could have just wrote that instead??? Damn lol

  • Marsha L. Burnett

    what Marie said I am taken by surprise that a mother can profit $9556 in a few weeks on the computer. did you look at this web site... WWW.CAN99COM

  • Josh

    This is definitely a timely article for me and a good read. I was asking Wendy Day about a lot of this same stuff yesterday.

  • Esq.

    Couldn't have come with this article at a better time. Thanks. Nice read.

    • Mike Trampe

      Thanks! I was aiming for July 4th, when a lot of artists are dropping projects, but i guess this will do :) Thanks for reading!

  • kas

    Very useful guidelines.

  • Noel S. Perron

    my friend's sister-in-law makes $70 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her check was $21966 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site... WWW.CAN99COM

  • HALO1THE GREAT

    THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST ARTICLE EVER WRITTEN ON THIS SITE!!! AND ONLY 5 COMMENT NOW WITH MINES... THANK YOU DX.. STOP DOING STORIES ON ALL THAT WACK STUFF ALL THE TIME.. NOBODY CARE ABOUT TOILETS, AND RAP BEEFS, ANDDUMB STUFF LIKE THAT. SPREAD SOME GOOD NEWS. SOME MORE STUFF LIKE THIS..

  • iccug enam

    Gucci Mane = realest rapper ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - T.I. snitch to the feds - Young Jeezy was never bmf - 50 Cent snitch and was never in jail but a youthcamp - Game was never a banger but lived the life of his brother in his lyrics - Nas Escobar never sold drugs - Ice Cube never was a gangbanger - Dr Dre never was a gangbanger - 2pac was a ballerina and never sold drugs after he become famous he was doing some stupid stuff like beating and shooting at people because he though he could get away with it. Without Suge Knight 2pac was just a skinny motherfucker. Oh and i like his music so fuck you. - Mobb deep are the biggiest pussies in rap they are short as midgets and keep talking this g shit but never did g shit.

  • MICrophoneTone215

    Great editorial from a great guy and friend!

    • Mike Trampe

      Thanks Tone! Make sure you check out Tone's track "Cruel" with Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rock, right here on HipHopDX!

  • MDAZ

    these laws are price

    • Mike Trampe

      I assume you meant Priceless? But if you meant pricey, i can shoot you my paypal ;) haha thanks for reading!

  • Jodie S.

    Amazing and well thought out article!