The 8 People Every Successful Rapper Needs On The Team

Popular blog Smoking Section just put out a great slide show on the 8 essential people rappers should have on their team. Check it out here – more content from me coming soon!

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A Thousand You’s

I’M BACK!!! Quick update – since my last post, which was on March 3, 2012, I’ve:

  • Interviewed Maino, Raekwon, and Cash Out
  • Redid the Breezy On The Beat Facebook page (Facebook.com/breezyonthebeat)
  • Starting working on the Breezy On The Beat/T-Royalz mixtape (Coming out Jan. 8, 2013) – something we’ve been planning for three years and Jan. 8 is both of our birthdays
  • Won the award for Best On-Air Talent on 92 WICB (Check me out Fri. 8-10pm ET)
  • … And most importantly I GRAUDATED COLLEGE (as of May 20)!!!

“There’s a thousand you’s, there’s only one of me”

– Kanye West (“Stronger”)

Anyway, back to what we’re here for. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: NOT EVERYONE IS MEANT TO BE A RAPPER OR A PART OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS!

It doesn’t matter if your friends think you’re hot or you have the best programs or the best resources, if you don’t understand the business, all of this is irrelevant. This brings me to my topic of conversation. For those who aren’t fully aware of the latest trends in hip-hop, there is a HUGE movement happening right now in Chicago.

Lead by the L.E.P. Bogus Boys, YP, Katie Got Bandz, King Louie, Rockie Fresh (I highly recommend Rockie’s Driving 88 mixtape), Fredo Santana, Lil’ Reese, Lil’ Durk, Young Chop and the most important one right now – Chief Keef – all of these Chicago natives and more are signing deals left and right with the biggest labels in the game.

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Chief Keef

Note: In the last two months, Lil’ Reese and Lil’ Durk have signed with Def Jam, Fredo Santana is rumored to be signing with Bad Boy, YP signed with Universal Republic, Young Chop signed with Warner Publishing, and Rockie Fresh has received a co-sign from Rick Ross & MMG

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Lil’ Reese & Lil’ Durk with legendary producer No ID at the Def Jam office in LA

Of course it is great to see everybody from the city getting recognized, but the two that I think are a great example of endless grind and hustle are Lil’ Durk and Chief Keef. How is it that Lil’ Durk just went back to prison to complete a two month sentence and Chief Keef is currently on house arrest at his grandmothers house, and they are the hottest names in the game? The answer is simple: THEY STAND OUT.

At only 16 years old, Chief Keef is doing things that most rappers dream of, and he’s doing it all with the supervision of his grandma and a Chicago judge!! Incredible. Within the last few months, Keef has had the streets buzzing, the Internet flooded with visuals, and he just put out a Kanye West/G.O.O.D. Music assisted remix to his hit single “I Don’t Like.” Honestly, Chief Keef isn’t the greatest, but he makes catchy music and he has a whole movement (G.B.E. Entertainment) and city behind him. In addition, his work ethic is undeniable and he knows what his sound and image are.

Note: Keef wrote his verse for the “I Don’t Like (Remix)” in three minutes

I think most people who want to be rappers or singers, etc., fail to understand the basic fundaments of what this game entails:

  • Create and develop your sound
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – remember, its quality over quantity
  • Patience
  • If you don’t believe in what you’re rapping about, neither will your audience
  • DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE – Make connections and network
  • Know who you’re dealing with – who’s important and who’s not
  • Establish a fan base (although this is the least important element when you’re just starting)
  • Think of Plan B – most of you aren’t cut out for this life
  • REMEMBER: There are millions of people with the same aspirations as you, what makes YOU different from them?

You can call Chief Keef and friend’s lucky or overnight sensations, but they hustled their way to the top, made the right connections, and now everybody in their team is being recognized.

Do what makes you happy and do what’s best for you, but if you don’t have the talent, don’t force it. Oh yeah, and if you haven’t listened to “I Don’t Like” or “3Hunna” you’re missing out!

For more info on the Chicago hip-hop movement, check out Fake Shore Drive