Hip-hop or rap music has never been more popular in Uganda than it is today. With new aspiring rappers popping up every day you may wonder how come most rappers never make it? Some rappers I see simply aren’t even truly passionate about rapping. Once things don’t seem to be happening quickly, they get burned out and fade into the sunset because they treated the whole thing as just a hobby to pass some of their time.
My first example is that of the thousands of people who play ludo in Uganda. Of these only a few are professional players, though many more would probably like to be because they sincerely enjoy the game – yet they don’t have a real passion for it. For these people, ludo remains nothing more than a hobby.
Many aspiring Emcees in Uganda behave exactly like this. They love rap, have their favorite rappers, they know all the words to their songs, but for them Rapping is just a hobby, an enjoyable form of entertainment. There is nothing wrong with this. You don’t have to take rap seriously to be successful –. The idea of “not taking rap seriously” does not necessarily refer to the art of rhyming, but to the notion of rap as a business opportunity or career.
Master P, an American rapper and producer may not rack his brain trying to craft the most amazing rhymes, but he does seriously analyze promotion, marketing strategies and distribution outlets. Business strategies are a part of the Hip Hop lifestyle. You may not think that these issues apply to you; you may think that maybe one day, if you ever get that far, you’ll think about those sorts of things – and that in itself is the issue. You need to start thinking big.
Try thinking 10 steps ahead and embracing your future as a successful rapper. Don’t wait for something that might happen in the future, instead you should work on becoming the greatest rapper you can be right now. There are a few signs that can indicate that a rapper is getting stuck in this rut: He/she may try to come up with some good ideas, then get writers block and stops . They may come up with a few bars or verses, then think they’re no good, get upset, give up for a while, then pick the pen up again in a few days or weeks. This is one sign that rap is going to remain a hobby for these people.
Never be afraid to fail because sometimes success is achieved only after many failures. Here’s a theory you should apply to your whole life:
“If you can’t handle failure, you are not ready for success”
Here it is – Make rap a priority, write every day. This doesn’t mean that you should forget all your other responsibilities, or that you must write a hot verse or song every day, it just means what it says – Write Every Day. If you write down your freestyles, a poem, your ideas for a song, your goals or just explore your creativity by writing down literally anything that you feel like writing, you will be amazed at how quickly your raps and rhymes will improve.
Another good way to break out of the trap of being just a hobby-rapper, is to switch it up altogether. If you’re living at home with your parents, you’re comfortable, you’re not starving and your plan is to become a mechanical engineer, where’s your motivation to improve your raps?
On the other hand, what if you’ve gotten your girlfriend pregnant and you’re living partly on the streets, working two jobs to earn a living and you see rap as a way out of this situation. Now you’ve got the hunger back, now you’re feeling the passion again…
The point is not that you need to be living in any particular circumstance to be a good rapper,but that you need to feel that motivation, that fire inside. If the circumstances of your life are not encouraging you enough, then you should probably change things around so that you feel the hunger again. You’ve got to feel the zeal, the rush, and rap like you need to rap to survive.
Don’t treat rap like a pastime or recreation. Whether you become a successful musician or not, the time that you dedicate to rapping will not be wasted because good rap skills and song writing skills bring remarkable benefits in the development of confidence, in developing the abilities to perform under pressure and to express yourself in any field.