REPOSTING TO SUPPORT THE ALBUM!
I wanted to save this blog for next week but my friend Jarrett motivated me to address one of the phenomena among our young men. Thanks Smokie! This desire for all young men to be a rap artist…yes, rapper. Not entrepreneur, not accountant, not construction worker, or engineer….a rapper. The percentage of successful rappers compared to the numbers of young males that want to be rappers is disheartening.
Everybody can’t be a rapper!
Even the term “successful rapper” is a slippery term. There are a few rappers that are doing well, about what…20 rappers? No let’s raise the estimate to 50, no let’s say 100 rappers are living the life.
African-Americans make up about 12.6% of the US population, that’s 38,929,319, almost 40 million people. There are many different careers to pursue but the number of young black males that want to be rappers are like comparing a grain of sand in the beach. It’s an extreme ratio compared to other realistic attainable careers.
Why do you want to be a rapper? No really, what are your reasons?
Give them to me, no, think about it… then give them to me.
If you said money…ok how much money?
Do you think you’re intelligent enough to manage that money?
Do you think that amount will last you the rest of your life or until your next hit?
Before we talk about hits, let’s get some money wisdom from Left Eye from TLC (RIP)
Did that 2 minute video help you out…did that dose of reality change your perception? Good.
So, are sure you’ll have another hit? Wait, do you think you’ll have a first hit?
Can you even handle being a celebrity? You want to be a celebrity?!…OK it sounds cool but I warned you. Have you watched the “Unsung” series?!?! Just saying.
You’re going to need to hire an accountant, an attorney, an agent…and you don’t even have a hit yet.
Prerequisite to be a good rapper:(Just my opinion)
Witty, good understanding of English structures, metaphors and a similes specifically. Your talent has to be out of this world or you have to know someone in the industry. I honestly don’t know how else to break into the industry, but that’s my point. If you pursue a traditional career you don’t have to “break” into it. There’s little opposition to your success, just a little hard work.
To me personally there’s a bright side. I do have a close friend, Tracey Lee II that actually had a nice album back in ’97. I remember Christmas night of ’97 driving to Jersey with my mom, brother and sister in the car. I heard the beginning of the song broadcast on Power 99 FM…”It’s Party Time…” I yelled, “That’s TRA!!!” My mom, brother and sister were in the car and they started looking outside the windows like Tracey was actually outside the car somewhere on the dang highway. I yelled, “No No…that’s Tracey’s song!” pointing to the radio in my old acura integra. I was dancing and rocking the car all the way to Turnersville, NJ with my mom complaining the entire time. You’d think it was my song. Later the video came out with Casey the dancing bear, doing the dances he showed us in the club, the RNF cats, Pi, Guru, it was good times.
“You know we get down…oooooh!”
The bright side is not the album or even the hit single, the bright side is the side of his name that now has Esq on it. Tracey is now, Tracey Lee II Esquire, he’s a legal attorney. He went on the get his degree and still performs. He’s one of the few artists that I would actually pay to see perform. Yes I like to support my friend, but I actually like listening to his lyrics. They’re witty intelligent, and not some jingle, I can actually listen to him. He and his wife, yes wife not baby mama, run a company LLEFT entertainment and are making moves in media.
“Tracey’s whirlwind music industry experience prompted him to seek additional education in an effort to become more knowledgeable about the legal side of the music business. As a result, he earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Southern University Law Center making Tracey the 1st former major label hip-hop artist to earn the abbreviation Esq. behind his name. Some of his clients include Eric Roberson (Grammy-Nominated R&B Singer/Songwriter), Invisible Productions (for Kelly Rowland, Solange Knowles and Kobe Bryant), and DJ Young Guru (Tour DJ & Engineer for Jay-Z).”
I actually need them to help with me with my script…ttyl. So…yes, married, degree, successful with an occupation and a passion not chasing a dream, doing well.
Again, I don’t want to stay negative on your dream to be a rapper. I just would like to inject some reality to your dream. Everyone has dreams and it’s not my place to tell to anyone not to chase them….BUT I have no reservation warning anyone about chasing a dream. I use the word chasing because the goal is not a fixed goal, it’s a dynamic target that evolves based on genre, geographic location, age, industry politics and trends. So… yes you will be chasing the dream. My concern speaks to the reality of chasing vs planning. . If you plan to be an accountant or any traditional profession, there are key points in the planning that reinforce the trajectory of success. A degree, an internship, a job, wealth, stability, the right path and choices that get you closer in a reasonable bracket of time. You’re not chasing… you’re becoming a professional. I just don’t want any of you to exhaust your life trying to be something and end up with nothing. No degree, no job, no family, just a dream that can empty your life of everything else. You don’t want to sacrifice your real life for a dream that may not materialize. Tracey worked his passion into what he does for a living. All I’m saying is, you can’t just have a dream and no life. If after you’ve read this and still have what it takes to be a rapper, call Tracey and hire him, you’ll need him.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
16 responses to “Everybody can’t be a rapper!”
It’s really cool seeing how you celebrate your friends.
You have definitely posted enough knowledge out here for many of the young folks to benefit from. I hear and see this constantly….I want to be a rapper, athlete, and so forth. It appears that having a profession is out of style. What many don’t understand is you don’t want to have to do what many of these cats did to get to that level. If they told the truth, you would be unpleasantly surprised. Then once they are there, the things they have to continue to do to stay there. There is no glamour in being an accountant, a lawyer, or a doctor. However, most of these folks end up with more than some of these fly by night superstars. We all know the rappers and athletes who, when it is all said and done, don’t even have a house paid for in full even after a couple of million has gone through their hands. For our people, I wish more was done to glamourize education and the importance of having one.
Thank you for the supportive comments, please share!
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Reblogged this on Keal's Mind and commented:
Im not a dream killer, but dont let life pass you by find a balance.
This was a very good article. I wish more people would understand what it really takes to become a rap artist. Im not a dream killer, but dont let rap come between you making time for family, friends, or a career. Find a balance in life or it will pass you by. Peace
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I
clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted
to say great blog!
Hey! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to
ask. Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a lot
of work? I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary on
a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able
to share my own experience and thoughts online.
Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
I think this was a great article and should be shared. Tray was the first rapper to rep Uptown (Mt Airy), and lets not forget he had one of the greatest verses ever recorded from BIG ( Keep ya hands high) Tra Lee was def an underrated as an MC that shoulda had more longevity, but it feels good to know he is an Attorney and he made something with his life. Again fantastic article.
I think the odds to be a rapper are stacked heavier than to be a professional athlete. In my opinion, the music industry (Entertainment Industry) is perhaps the most brutal and legally corrupt business there is. It’s like from the beginning, everything is stacked against the artist – most start off in the red. With that said, if someone wants to be a rapper, by all means, go for it. But do it with knowledge of the business, the right people in place (and that does not mean your cousin Pookie) and have plan and ANOTHER plan actively in motion to support your lifestyle in the event that you find that Next Level you’ve been talkin about taking your Rap Career to, is actually the bargain bin at the grocery store.
Words of wisdom appreciated!
Great stuff! This is definitely ” one to grow on “. Keep up the good work my brother.
Great article I will look forward to reading more.
I simply love this blog. Great and honest advice. I can’t believe the amazing people I have lived my life with. Keep up the good work.