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If Money Is The Motivation [Article]

Toronto, ONIf money is the motivation, don’t rap. Point blank, the ROI (return on investment) probably won’t be much so you’re better off taking up a trade or working at Footlocker. There simply isn’t enough room for every aspiring rapper out there, yet ever since hip-hop started booming in the mid-nineties, everybody and their grandma acts like hip-hop will get them paid. It won’t. It doesn’t. It can’t.

Think of making money rapping like making it to the NBA or MLB: the chances are slim to none. Don’t let the lifestyle your favorite rapper puts in videos suck you into the smoke and mirrors that is the entertainment business.

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First of all, there’s a good chance your favorite rapper is living beyond his/her means anyway. And second of all, even if they are really that rich, consider the thousands of struggling rappers who’ve not only never seen a dime off their raps, but end up flushing away money and time that could’ve been put toward more productive investments. For every one 50 Cent or Jay-Z there are thousands of MC Bobs. I’m just saying, if money is the motivation rap shouldn’t be the occupation.

This rant doesn’t come from a mean-hearted place inside me that wants to stop every upcoming rapper in their tracks. If rap is a craft for you, if it provides solace and helps you gain perspective on your thoughts and surroundings then I’m all for it. It’s just that’s not what I hear from a lot of these rappers. I hear money, money, money. They want money and they are going to rap until they get it. The problem is, 99% of the time they won’t. And when they don’t, they realize they either banked on the wrong means to get their money or they focused on the wrong reason to rap.

“Movin’ rock or I’m rockin’ the mic/ People want what they like and they might like your ringtone/ I ain’t in it for that, but while we here let’s make some racks and get on.” – “SYKE” by Rich Kidd

If money is what you want then rap probably isn’t your ticket. Way back in 2005, when I was hosting my online radio show (Crack House Radio), I realized something: the industry that surrounds the aspiring rapper will on average consistently make more money than the aspiring rapper. Consider that every aspiring rapper, whether they end up making it big or not, has to pay for studio time, production, mixing, mastering, photo shoots, artwork, promotions, videos, publicists and on and on. So while the cash out could be big if that rapper makes it, in the meantime all those services exist and reap the financial benefits of enabling that dream of a big cash out. When you scale that process you realize that any one of those services might be facilitating the big dreams of countless rappers at the same time. Therefore the services that surround the rappers are profitable regardless and the more rappers trying to make it the more business the studios and producers and photographers get.

In Canada specifically, there are a few handfuls of rappers turning a profit. The rest of them are making money like the rest of the world and moonlighting as rappers. I’m not dissing, it’s just the truth. Like I said, it all comes down to your motivation. If you’re rapping to get rich I’d think about downloading a Fruity Loops tutorial or picking up a camera because the world isn’t kind to types like you.

Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada

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  1. mike


  2. Bills

    this is so real it aint even funny. Great article my dude.

  3. SBMobile

    Agreed. I’ve been saying this for years now. This is also why the music sucks…..artists have got the wrong motivations. #NoInspirationCreativeProcess #fail

  4. P-Status

    Real talk folks.’ The truth hurts some, but reality is reality… If you gotta dream, it’s money to made off of it…

  5. Sarah Jones

    This is an excellent article. I would recommend this book: What Makes You Great? Uplifting New Book Inspires Readers to Fight through Adversity & Pursue Life’s Greatest Dreams.

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