Rap in Nigeria

Anybody can be a rapper, is it not about chanting lyrics to flow rhythmically on beat? What stands you out in the rap game is the quality of your contents, your lyrics and how well you can deliver.

When I listen to some upcoming artistes’ rap songs, I smile and shake my head, hell no! this is not what rap is, but how do you tell Nigerian budding rappers they are not good to go to the public with such rap songs without them feeling turned down? They see the review as abhorrence, instead of picking up your points and fine-tune their contents.

They also come up with “but, this is a street rap song” excuse, yes it is a street rap song, however, street is also concerned about your deliveries if not (fully) concerned about your contents, so far you flow well and deliver, the streets will definitely embrace you.

When a rap song is good, you won’t stress much on promoting such song, the quality of the song backed up with your little efforts will work out the magical promotions. At this point, it is important to know, before you throw-out any rap, get people who will tell you the truth to listen nicely and critically to the song.

Most Nigerian (rising) rappers will do well as singers than doing rap songs. Rap is not just for anybody, be sure of what you are before calling yourself a rapper. Don’t just write the lyrics, record and throw it out to the public without critical review, if you’ve been doing that, you are wrong!

These are simple factors you need to consider before you think you have made a rap song or arrived.

1. Spitting out Songs with no Meaning

This is common in Nigeria music industry, not limited to upcoming rappers alone, our so called A-list rappers also poison our ears with meaningless songs, by the time you ask them to interpret what their rap is all about, you see them go back and forth with no reasonable result.

Music listeners are not even helping, they just want to listen to the rhymes and leave the rest without probing what the song is really about. A rap song must have a message it revolves around. When your rap song has no message, you have failed.

2. Low Quality Rap Songs

It is not only the beat or production quality that makes your rap song good or bad, identifying the techniques adds to the quality of what your fans are consuming.

Why focus too much on rapping when you can’t identify the beats, the structure of instrumentals and the drums? You will definitely have low quality rap songs. You have well organised and top-notch lyrics to rap with, if other things are blur, there will be distortion and you will sound like a “beautiful noise maker.”

3. Know the Game

How familiar are you with the rap game? This is where you need to question your brainpower. Rappers are expected to be knowledgeable, focused and have great foresight to tell what will happen with their songs – even when they are not there again.

Some rappers fade out or swing to another genre after getting frustrated due to lack of knowledge. As a rapper, what makes you great is you knowledge and how you effectively put your knowledge into practise.

It involves you pushing yourself extra miles, improving on what other rappers do or (and) even revolutionizing the game, do what no one is doing.  Your vocal presence, the command you give the microphone and how you control the microphone to best drive home your point will also go a long way in distinguishing you from others.

4. Lack of Strategy

The truth is, you need strategies to make it as a rapper. Building your fan base requires special skills; how you present your rap songs, what you rap about determine how seriously people will take you and how often they will like to listen to you.

Rappers have more elites as fans than other musicians; the way you communicate with your fans will also determine how your bank account will likely look.

Releasing a song without proper strategy to promote the song is another factor that will kill your craft. It is painful to release a song and see it’s not being accepted after taking your time to write good lyrics, sleepless nights in the studio recording the song, depicting cover artwork for the song. This will make you feel defeated or not good enough, before releasing any rap song, be ready and plan well for the release if you know your content is too precious to be wasted.

On every official song, EP, Mixtape you put out, you need a well-documented release strategies and plans which includes; the effective use of social media, press, blogs (websites) amongst other means of promoting your material.

By: The Strategist

Twitter/IG: @septin911