For people who are new to making rap beats for dollars, here is an interesting concept: if you create a hot beat, it will pay you many times over and above the time it took to create it. What do I mean when I say this? I mean your beats have value, not only to you but to others as well.
My rap group Prophetix, put together a single back in 2000 called "True Urban Grit". It was the first song we recorded with our new Dee Jay/producer. Little did we know that this song would become a standard (a song that stands the test of time) in our music catalog. We released the single to as many media outlets as we could including commercial, non-commercial, and college radio. We sent out press releases, email blast, and performed that song all over the United States. We even sent copies of it overseas.
We'll that song not only was a favorite in our live shows but it became #1 on Tokyo, Japan's most popular rap radio shows. Yes, I said Japan. We sold all of the copies that were pressed up so we made some money as well as gained recognition. After we had completed several other projects a few years later, we get a call from DJ Numark from Jurassic 5.
This was in 2005. My DJ knew Cut Chemist who was the other DJ in Jurassic 5 and I'm not sure how Numark got the song but somehow it ended up in his hands. He wanted to put out a mixtape with "True Urban Grit" on it so we begin negotiations. After the negotiations were over we finally agreed on some upfront cash to let him use the rights to our song. We settled on $1,500.00 which is not too bad for a song that was created 5 years earlier. The part that is even more amazing is that he only used the first 30 seconds of the song.
This was pretty cool considering we didn't expect this money to come at all. This is the power of not only creating rap beats but understanding music publishing as well. Creating rap beats is an investment in your future. Is this for everyone? Certainly not, but for those that are serious about being in the business of music, it would do you good to learn about music publishing and royalties.
Wouldn't it be good to collect checks over and over for music you only worked to create once? I have only scratched the surface of the power of creating rap beats. Some artists don't even know they can collect fees for licensing their beats to BMI and ASCAP. These are the publishing societies that license your music to radio, television, movies, ringtones, etc. They also collect payment for you and send you a quarterly check if anyone uses your music.
Imagine what kind of checks Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Kanye West, and Just Blaze get just for creating rap beats. Now imagine how it would feel if you were getting these checks. It would feel good wouldn't it? So what are you waiting on? You have beats to create! Get started making and marketing your beats now and with a bit of luck and hard work you can get rich by making beats.
Let's Make It Happen!!!
Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist