The concept of DIY has been abused to send people down the wrong roads of professionalism. In olden times, DIY for rappers was essentially rapping, making CDs and selling them out of the trunk. The 2012 version of the DIY rapper is tasked to be his own CEO or music mogul. That’s just unrealistic as a MC who tries to handle every aspect of his business is doomed to fail. He needs a team of people with varied skill sets to help get his career off the ground. Here are eight people ever rapper needs on the squad to help him reach the next level.
1. A “No Man”
Michael Jordan is one of the most successful men in the world. But he sucks as a general manager for the simple fact that he has an armada of “yes” men around him. If even Jordan struggles because of too many brown-nosers then you can best believe your studio session is hampered by people saying your song is jamming when it’s full of struggle. You need someone who knows your personality well enough to impart criticism in a productive way and doesn’t destroy your (probably huge) ego.
2. A Media/Marketing Person
Marketing is a delicate job. People go to college and learn how to market. Reading Decoded or watching Rush Card commercials won’t teach you the fine art overnight. You need someone who knows how to navigate social media, construct pitch-perfect emails and get your music to the most people without making you a nuisance. Scour colleges and find some marketing students that are looking for credits or something. They can at least do a bit of work and you may forge a solid relationship.
3. A Graphic Designer
You know how we make fun of Everest College? Well, the dumbest kid at Everest in a design class knows more about design than you do. Get someone that’s looking for a break in the graphic design or art sector and enlist some help with your album covers, flyers and logo. First appearances are integral and your art is the first impression many will have of you.
4. Sexy Ladies
I once attended a show where the performer was absolutely brutal but he had some really sexy women handing out CDs. So I took one and even played it in the car on the slight chance one of their vaginas would jump out of my CD player and into my lap. That never happened but at least I remembered the performer as the guy with the sexy help. Gather three or four really attractive women to just tweet about you, post on Facebook about you and come to your shows. It makes a world of difference for thirsty guys out there wanting eye candy to make up for what is generally a rap show sausage fest.
5. A Stylist
You don’t need make-up or scarves to get your image right but getting the right person to touch up your look is crucial. This could just be a friend that lets you know your throwback jersey really isn’t the thing anymore. It’s good to have a person who can give the yay or nay on your outfit before hitting the stage.
6. A Real-Life Engineer
Your friend says he masters songs. Your friend is a liar. This is probably the most costly endeavor but it’s worth it to spend a bit of money for your major songs you want to promote. The keen ear can detect a poorly mastered song and you want to get someone who knows what he or she is doing. This can also be done on a few campuses out there. Get some people that are trying to master their engineering crafts to work on your song and they’ll do wonders for you.
7. A DJ
Your live show may be great just the way it is – you hand a CD of instrumentals to the club DJ and he plays it while you rap over it. That’s all well and good but having your own DJ amplifies your show at least tenfold. The DJ can help read the crowd, change up your show on the fly with you and add little quirks that make your set much more polished. Go to any show and it’s a guarantee the best sets will come from the rappers with their own DJs. Easily.