How to Make Rap Music Videos

By Clare Archer ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Catchy rap song
  • Backup dancers
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Studio
  • Lighting
  • Video editor
  • Record label/marketing firm
Rap videos must feature high impact graphic content and vivid detail.

Rap music videos are a powerful marketing tool for musicians. Promoting an album means finding a great song and assembling a skilled crew of production specialists to bring everything together. Bigger, better and bolder elements of color and style all add up to creating the "bling" factor which make rap videos enjoyable to watch. Each video takes a careful combination of music, fashion, videography and editing skills to create the best possible visual to accompany the music.

Stylish backup dancers are a key element of rap music videos.

Assemble an experienced and skilled crew. This includes a director, videographer, editor, stylist and backup dancers or extras. Hire the best talent within the video's budget. Remember that rap videos are known for having very attractive ladies with an urban vibe and the latest fashions. Big cars are optional, but always a plus. If the budget is tight, companies may loan out products such as cars or jewelry for free in exchange for advertising exposure in the video.

Pick the catchiest, best rap song on the album for the video. Create a storyline for the video, approximately the same length as the song, which is engaging, fast moving and colorful. Directors and editors can help visualize the story line and offer suggestions on the most marketable ways to enhance the musical elements. A director will work with the videographer to determine locations for shooting the video.

Props like expensive cars add street credibility to the set design.

Finalize the design and style elements before the video shoot. Planning ahead means no lost tempers on the day of the shooting. Remember that bold colors and accessories that emphasize wealth are time-tested components of rap videos. If makeup artists or hair stylists are needed, confirm the bookings. Confirm the delivery of props and arrival of extras or models.

Shoot the video under the guidance of the director and videographer. The shoot might be a few locations just blocks apart or could involve more complex travel arrangements. Dance movements and other components must be synchronized with the rap song, which may require several takes. Once shooting is done, the editor will cut the video to the desired length and sequence under guidance of the director.

Market the video. A record label or public relations company can be a big asset in distributing the video to desired markets. The video should be on regular rotation at major music television channels to achieve maximum marketing potential. If this is a first video, smaller networks can sometimes offer more rotation with more flexibility for new artists.

Tip

Make the idea for the video as original as possible to encourage viewers to keep watching.

Maintain an atmosphere of professionalism on the video shoot and stick to a tight schedule.

Warning

Avoid insulting other rappers in the video.

About the Author

Born in Chicago, Clare Archer has a background in art history, music, investing, travel and personal finances. She has written professionally since 2004 and her work has been published in publications such as "Creative Loafing" and Daily Kos. Archer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Economics.