OutKast‘s Big Boi recently talked about what rap newcomers should aim to do in order to keep themselves relevant in the competitive hip-hop game.
For Big Boi originality is key.
“The most important thing I can say to the next generation of hip-hop is to be different than everything else,” Boi said in an interview DJ Smallz. “Myself and Andre 3000 built our careers, the name of our f*cking group is OutKast, we never ever wanted to be like nobody else. We always wanted to have our own thing, our own sound, not be cliche and just have your own thing. So if you bring originality to the game, you’re going to get noticed more, you gonna get noticed. You don’t want to be a copycat and do what everybody else is doing because it’s a million, billions rappers doing the same thing. So if you bring something new to the table, you’ll get noticed quicker but you got to be dope. You gotta do it for the right reasons man — don’t just do it for financial gain because it’s gonna be harder to win that way. Do it because you love it and put your heart to it…80 percent of the n*ggas on the radio sound the same. Sound different and I’m telling you, you’ll stand out in a crowd.” (DJ Smallz)
Grand Hustle’s B.o.B. recently gave out his own rap career advice to newcomers.
“Be patient because this is something that is definitely like a benchmark in your career,” he said in an interview. “You’ll never be able to do that again. It’s like you can become famous but you can’t become un-famous. When you’re famous people become mad, there’s nothing you can do to where people just forget you or be un-famous so enjoy these times and just be patient…It’s been a long journey, man. It’s good and that’s what I would tell the Freshmen now; it’s going to be a long journey so don’t feel like all the stuff with the label, and the issues you run into… it’s normal and it’s expected. Even if you had your own record label and you built your own team of people you’re going to run into the same problems. Because people are people no matter what.” (XXL Mag)
New York rapper Fabolous also gave some career advice to new emcees last summer.
“Really, I guess just coming in with not a lot of knowledge of what it takes to put out an album [is a mistake],” Fab explained in an interview. “Knowing the business relationship between you and your record label, a lot of people think it’s just going into the studio, being in the studio all night smoking and drinking and having your friends in there and then when the money don’t come back like it’s supposed to or the record labels taking every coin away from your album. Then they wanna look back and see what’s going on or flip out like, ‘Yo where’s my bread at?’ and it was there, but you ain’t do your business right. So I think everybody that comes in, you should talk with certain people or educate yourself to it by looking it up and checking out your business.” (SmackTube)
Earlier this year, Lupe Fiasco stressed the advantages of new emcees financing their own careers.
“Stay independent, if you can finance yourself, you put in that work ethic and do it on your own, I definitely think you should try that route,” Lupe explained in an interview. “[At least] before you go into the professional kind of realm. But each one has its pros and cons. Sometimes it comes down to finance. You can’t say that to a broke n*gga. Somebody flashing 50, 60 thousand dollars — that means a lot, especially these days…You gotta do what’s best for you but I definitely think that if you can muster it up and you got your focus and work ethic at least, you can pull something on your own.” (All Hip Hop)
Check out Big Boi speaking on rap newcomers below: