If you’re an upcoming rap artist it’s a great idea to do at least one featuring with a well-known rapper. Now, there’s some good and bad news concerning featuring with renowned rap artists. The good news is: It’s not that difficult to contact a rapper and get him on a track with you. The bad news is: It will cost you some money. Now, I’m not here to convince you of the benefits of features and collaborations. It’s your own choice if you’re willing to invest some of your money into a feature with a renowned artist or not. But if you’re serious about your music and really love what you’re doing, it’s worth spending some money in this area.
So, the decision is yours. I’m just going to show you how it’s done…
Step 1) Make A List Of Your Favourite Artists
Sit down for a second and think about which well-known rappers you would love to have on a track with you. Now, please don’t hallucinate. You won’t get Lil Wayne, Eminem, Kanye or any other major rapper on a track with you. That would cost you a REAL fortune. I’m talking about independent and underground rappers who are pretty well-known and have made themselves a name in the hip hop scene but aren’t “over the top famous”.
Make a list of at least 10 independet, medium well-known rappers that you would love to get on a rap song with you. Write down the artist’s names.
As soon as you’ve made a list of 10 of your favourite rap artists, go to www.discogs.com and search for the real names of those rappers. Simly enter the artist name in the search box and chances are good that the first and last name of the artist are mentioned in the profile. If you can’t find the real name here, try it on Google and Wikipedia. If you can’t find the real name on any of these sites, cross the name on your list and replace it with an other artist.
Now go and search for all real names of those 10 artists on your list. Write their first and last name beside the artist’s name. Only move on to the next step if you’ve got a list of 10 rappers and their real names.
Step 2) Find The Rapper On Facebook
Yes, that’s right. You’re going to use Facebook to contact those rappers. Believe me, this is probably the most underestimated and easiest way to contact medium well-known artists. Use the search function in Facebook and search for the real name of the first rapper on your list. Then send him a friend request. Move on and do the same for every rap artist on your list. If some of the artists don’t have a public Facebook profile, skip them. You should at least find the personal profiles of 3-5 artists. If you find less than 3 artists, go back to step one and make a new list. The artists on your first list were probably too famous.
If you can’t find at least 3 artists on Facebook this way, here’s an other cool method. Follow the exact same instructions as in step one, but this time make a list of 10 well-known hip hop producers or DJ’s who are related to your artists. Do some research. Find their real names and add them on Facebook. Then have a look at the friends list and the photo albums of the producers. Artists are often marked in Facebook fotos of well-known producers, DJ’s and promoters. Literally stalk the profiles of producers, DJ’s and promoters to find related artists.
This method sounds a little wacko, I know. But believe me, I’ve found so many artists this way. So all I ask you to do is: Try it! You’ll be astonished…
Step 3) Contact The Rapper
Before you follow my instructions in this step it’s absolutely crucial that you have at least $ 350 to spend on a featuring with one of the artists on your list. Transfer the money to your PayPal account. This is the preferred payment method of most artists. If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, click here and sign up for free. Don’t move on until you’ve done this. If you start contacting artists without having some money to spend, they will get impatient and you will loose them.
Then send a personal message to every rapper that you found on Facebook. Don’t use chat and don’t post on their wall. Only use the personal message system of Facebook to contact rap artists.
In your message write something like this:
Collab, willing to pay!
What’s up [Insert Name],
I’m working on my new album and looking for collabs. How much do you get for a 16 bar verse? I’m willing to pay! Just let me know your rates.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
[Insert Your Name]
The „willing to pay“ part is the most important part. I’ve contacted artists multiple times in the past and only got a response if I added that little money bait. That’s just how it is. Most artists don’t know who you are and they don’t want to work with you. They have enough stuff going on in their lifes. But medium well-known artists are always looking out for money opportunities. So use that to your advantage.
After you’ve sent your messages, wait for the responses. Some will respond, others won’t. If you don’t get the amount of responses you desire, don’t get mad. It’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because they get bombarded with messages and spam all the time. Just wait another week and try it again. But hopefully at least a third of the artists on your list will respond to your message.
Now you know how much they want for a 16 bar verse. And you can choose which deal suits you best. The rates of medium well-known artists usually range from $ 300 to $ 2’000. If you think their rates are to high, try to bargain with them. Tell them that you really would like to get them on your album but you only have a budget of $ 350. A lot of the time $ 350 is better than nothing for an artist, so chances are good that they will agree and hop on a featuring with you for a lower price.
I hope this little method helps you get on a track with a well-known artist. It has done a good job for me during my beginnings as a producer.
If you don’t have a good enough beat for your collab project, go and get one of our high quality hip hop beats. Renowned artists have pretty high beat standards and hate doing featurings on crappy beats. Even if you’ve paid. They will enjoy the project much more if you give them a real banger to rap to. This may even be a decisive factor for their decision if they want to work with you in the future or not.