Words By Marky Mark
Are you a rapper with a few years under your belt trying to expand your fan base? Are you wondering your name no longer rings bells? Do you find yourself feeling like the dad trying to be cool by doing what the kids do? Is this whole tone condescending to you and got you in your feelings? Then, Jadakiss has the answer for you.
In a profile by Fader, the Yonkers legend shared his seven steps to maintaining relevancy in the rap game for two decades. Top 5 Dead or Alive debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard top 200 and has been in constant rotation since it dropped, so maybe he knows a thing or two on the subject.
1. Get up early: “‘You gotta get up early, cause all the money in the world that’s being shifted is already shifted by 12pm. So you gotta get the earliest start you can get on attacking the world, and going out there to get the millions.”
2. Keep a tight inner circle: “You definitely have to have a strong inner circle, people around you who are there for your best interest and there for the best interest for the project and the brand.”
3. Keep one ear to the street: “I try to embrace the new stuff and the younger cats.”
4. Diversity your portfolio: “Music is a stepping stone for you to open up other doors for yourself.”
5. Work for success, not fame: “Go for the fame if that’s what you’re in this for, but at the end of the day we are here to obtain success.”
6. Maintain perspective: “You know, that’s the beautiful thing of being able to be in the game for so long.”
7. Be blessed: “It is a blessing from the Lord.”
While the seventh isn’t really under your control no matter who you pray to, there are jewels to take away from the first six. He credits Puff with the first, Sheek and Styles for the second, and his family with the sixth. But the most interesting one is his advice to diversify your portfolio.
If you don’t already have a side hustle, find one. When Jadakiss isn’t working on his music, he’s running a trio of juice bars and a label. Also, he’s lending a hand to local charities, and he hopes to get into voiceover acting. “Music is a stepping stone for you to open up other doors for yourself,” he said.
Yeah, Jason wants to voice act and finally use that raspy voice to be a talking version of an animal or sell cereal…or something. Rap money is good but voiceover money is stupendous.
Follow these seven steps and you, too, may be the next rapper to have hopes of being in the next Pixar movie.