Once upon a time, when you made it as a rapper in mainstream your career’s life span lasted longer than it does today. Their popularity and worth in the industry would only decline once a rapper reached his/her highest point in their career and failed to maintain innovation.
Today, a rapper’s life span in the industry is shorter than ever because of the internet. Fans now have the ability to search for the next up and coming rapper with a click of a mouse through social media sites like Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and the father of them all… Myspace. Add to that the countless blog sites that upload new content by the minute. A rapper’s life span is being cut shorter and shorter under the massive amount of content being produced. That’s why today an artist MUST keep innovation and craft in sight at all times.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “no pain, no gain” or “ the higher the risk, the higher the reward,” you must weigh the potential reward against the risk of an investment to decide if the “pain is worth the potential gain.” Understanding the relationship between risk and reward is a key piece in building your personal investment philosophy. A rapper’s “risk” can consist of his/her work ethic, using advanced English and rhetorical devices, constantly promoting your music, keeping devil’s advocates around you (for constructive criticism) and making sure every rap song should have a unique and catchy beat to set it apart from everything else. If a rapper constantly built on those tactics, there’s no doubt that they will reach the top.
Most of the time, once rappers reach the top they tend to hit a glass ceiling, then eventually decline and fade to black. At one point in time, when rappers hit that “downhill slope” in their career, there wasn’t a cost effective medium to help them be heard. Record labels and music marketing firms stopped believing in the artist and funds run out. If the artist had the means, they would become independent, but that can become costly in terms of marketing and distribution. Today, an artist can use social media and blogs to be heard, which costs the artist next to nothing!
Social media is so booming that artists don’t have to rely on a record deal in order to be heard by the world. Some artists prefer to stay underground and promote their music strictly online. In my opinion, artists who should have disappeared a long time ago based on their skills still maintain relevance based off having such a strong online fanbase. Social media allows an artist to really stay engaged with fans and let them know where their next show will be or where to purchase their new single at. 10 years ago, this would have been impossible. Artists are able to use this free platform to generate money and stay in the spotlight a little longer.