Don’t Become a Rapper If: A Checklist

By:

50 Tyson

Everyone raps. And when I say “everyone,” I mean it. My Big Mama raps. Hell, even Tom Hanks' son, Chet Haze, is a rapper. So why the fuck shouldn’t you be one, too? The field is wide open, and we certainly need MORE of you to fill our Twitter timelines with “HOT NEW FIYAH” tweets and fill up Rap Genius’s servers with your dribble. However, to save people out there some heartache and disappointment, I have assembled this checklist as a litmus test for whether or not you should pursue rap as a profession. Pull out your golf pencils, and let us commence:

✔ You Ask For Help With a Rap Name

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If you are any of these people or have ever thought of consulting Yahoo Answers, ChaCha or a Rap Star Name Generator, just stop…. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm kay? Sell your USB microphone on Craigslist and uninstall wordpad from your computer. Before consulting the interwebz with help on what to name yourself, please do me a favor and try dying first.

And before you try to point at that “Childish Gambino used a Wu-Tang Name Generator,” try dying first. I sincerely doubt he went there LOOKING for a rap name. He most likely did it for lolz and it was so appropriate he kept it. Plus, I wrote that “What The Fuck is a Childish Gambino? so I already know. Thanks, though. Kiss your mother for me.

✔ You Qualify Yourself

They using qualifiers, you don’t even know… Actually, I do. When you put yourself into a box from the get-go there is no reason for you to be doing this because you are already satisfied with staying in a niche. What do titles like: “I’m the hottest Latino rapper with one testicle” or “The hottest mulatto rapper whose parents combined income is more than $85,000” or “I’m the best white rapper at F.A.M.U. on the Dean’s List” tell me about you? Maybe that you are so desperate to herald yourself as the best that you’ll search for any scenario that makes that true. So before you send me a message on Twitter saying “This song is the hottest club banga sweeping through Meth Labs in rural Alabama,” please do me a favor and try dying first.

BTW: I’m the best white moderator whose pen name rhymes on Rap Genius. What? You don’t like that? Get over yourself, fuckboy.

✔ Need Help Writing Songs

If you can’t come up with a moment/idea/thought/feeling and turn it into your own song then stop before you even begin. Sure, the urban poet Nick Cannon was wildly successful as a modern day minstrel show before turning to rap, and sure he used ghostwriters… but HE IS NICK CANNON AND HE IS HIGH-LARIOUS!!! Point being: People who use ghostwriters are either already successful in one avenue (Will Smith, Puff Daddy) or didn’t have the mental acuity to actually write in anything other than crayon (Lil' Bow Wow, Birdman). Before you consult a forum or download some old J.R. Writer or Cassidy freestyles off Kazaa and claim their bars as your own, please do me a favor and try dying first.

✔ You Want to Rap For the Sake of Rapping

Do you have a message? Do you have a unique viewpoint? Do you feel the music that is readily available does not speak to people of your background/upbringing/situation, and you want to remedy that disconnect? Or do you just want more people to dap you up at underage girl-laden house parties? If you aren’t innovating then you have no place here. You are essentially stifling those who ARE attempting to change the soundscape. If 80% of your rhymes are about how you are fucking my bitch and how you are #1, then silently go away. There cannot possibly be this many #1’s out there and my bitch cannot possibly be fucking all these rappers! It’s like when you see the top-ranked college football team play Furman University and the camera shows the top-ranked fans holding up one finger yelling “We’re number 1! Yeah!!!!! WOOO! NUMBER FUCKING 1!” then it cuts over to Furman University students holding up one finger yelling “We’re number 1! Yeah!!!!! WOOO! NUMBER FUCKING 1!”… We don’t believe you. You need more people. So before proclaiming you are the best, do a blind-experiment with your music and others' music then hit us with the standardized results; before you proclaim that your “dick game” is crazier than mine, let us sex the same chick and let her grade us… because I know I’ll win (#TeamGirthyPeen); and before you make another terrible “I’m the shit” metaphor/simile/punchline, please do me a favor and try dying first.

✔ Is Anything You're Doing Brand New?

MC Paul Barman has absolutely no rhythm. He is a brainy nerd whose music is unbearable to some. However, he pushes the limits of language and modern rap song structure. On “Bleeding Brain Grow,” he raps a fucking palindrome. And for you simpletons that means each line can be read the same forwards and backwards:


EVE
MIKA, RZA, EVIL JD. NASIR IS OSIRIS AND J-LIVE, AZ, RAKIM
CORMEGA, CAGE, MR. O.C.


He has also rapped in Fibonacci sequence, rapped a double acrostic and created the word “va-jay-jay” among other accomplishments. On a smaller scale, Waka Flocka changed the way Trap Rap and “Bust A Nigga In The Head” Rap sounds/is done. Childish Gambino is bringing a voice to nerdy, black kids who don’t have a role model to look up to.

Now, you don’t have to be constantly pushing the boundaries with everything you do, but if you are rapping the same themes with the same rhyme schemes over the same beats with the same formulaic choruses, why are you here? Ask yourself, “Is anything I’m doing brand new? Has someone already done this topic in this way? Has anyone thought of putting this cool effect called Antares Auto-Tune on their voice in 2011, yet?” Moreover, before you write a song where you rhyme the words “model” and “bottle” or “cutie” and “booty,” please do me a favor and try dying first.

✔ Your Shtick Isn't A Natural Extension of Yourself

People firmly believe you need some kind of gimmick to set yourself apart from the crowd. S.Y.O.R. has this cosmic future, year 3020 CE nonsense. Lil B (and his many faces) has an entire persona of “The Based God.” However, he swags, cooks, eats, fucks our bitches, kisses, pays his taxes, shits and lives under that moniker/lifestyle. He IS that. SPVCXGHXZTPVRRP is waaaaaay out there both in real life and on his records. Odd Future has nary a fuck to give both on and off wax. Rap’s crux has always been about “realness.” Before you approach a rap career like a WCW wrestler trying not to break kayfabe, please do me a favor and try dying first.

✔ In Conclusion

I have no qualms with people rapping as a hobby/side project for fun. But once you start actively pursuing fans and spamming people and adding #TeamFollowBack to your twitter bio, you have officially taken your first step towards it being something you are pursuing… and at that point it becomes personal. If you look to others for validation or direction, you have already lost. If you think that Internet buzz is just as good as doing local shows, you have already lost. AND IF YOU USE A FUCKING 1080X720 WALLPAPER AS COVER ART/ASSOCIATED IMAGE WITH THE FILENAME 258803_228383920522687_158558664171880_908811_751076_o.jpg, you clearly are a n00b and have already lost. Bottom line is, the world needs SEO specialists, mechanics, coders, chefs that DON’T rap and are just really good at doing menial jobs.

Becoming a rapper is easy nowadays: Add two parts braggadocio + 1 part access to recording equipment of some kind + a 56K Modem + 1 700 Hours of Free AOL CD + Free Time To Send Mass E-mails and Twitter Spam. However, if you don’t really care about adding value to the music world then before you make that Band Camp page please do us all a favor and try dying first.

Sincerely,
BauceSauce

PS: If anyone’s feelings were hurt while reading this, you can find me on Twitter HEREFEEL FREE TO COME AT ME BRO.