If you have had even one thought of making rap music, chances are it’s because you’ve been listening to the genre for a long time. You likely already know that world, and you have your favorite songs, albums, and artists. You know their lyrics backward and sideways, but if you’re going to become an artist yourself, you need to listen to so much more than just your all-time faves.
Great musicians are always listening to music, and they don’t limit themselves to just one kind or just those artists, songs, and albums they already know and love. Before you even begin writing or recording, you should take some time to do some research and listen to as much music as you can. Go back in history and press play on those who pioneered hip-hop.
Stream some of the most successful acts to ever enter the rap game. Scour blogs and streaming playlists for the newcomers who are about to blow. Try new things from different parts of the world and other eras.
While the music is playing, don’t just listen, listen critically. Think about what makes their songs stand out, their albums sell so well, and for those who have managed to withstand the test of time, consider why they were able to keep their successful run going for so long.
For those who are just rising in the ranks, compare their work to those who came before and see if you can identify what makes their tunes so special.