- Studio access
- CD cases
Since its creation in the late 1970s, hip hop has grown to become a top musical genre. A music form that was born out of the desperation of ghettos and slums is now a multi-billion dollar industry. There use to be a time when becoming a rap star was a pipe dream that was out of reach for many young hip hop fans. Today, while stardom is still difficult to attain, almost anyone can realize their dream to record and sell a rap album.
Write your songs. Creating your own hip hop CD is as simple as creating your content. Hip hop is different from other musical genres in that the lyrics are typically artist created. Many singers have songwriters who produce their content for them. By contrast, rappers are expected to write their own lyrics. Your lyrics could be stories, bragging or just good old fashioned rhyming.
Hip hop artists that are recognized as the best in the game right now all have individual deliveries and cadences. Create a persona that is your signature and craft a delivery to match. Differentiating yourself in a crowded industry is as key to your success as your ability. Rap music is about image as much as it's about skill and wordplay.
Start recording. Once you've written your songs, its time to make some calls to local small, medium and large studios. Ask questions about their pricing and features. Find out if the rates includes an engineer, and if your allotted time includes mixing down your songs. Find a studio that delivers the best results for your budget. While you never want to go with the cheapest option, many inexpensive small studios are capable of producing quality sound.
Practice before you go to the studio. When recording in a studio, time is money. Getting to the studio unprepared will only waste your time (read that as money). It is best to practice your songs before you get to the studio so that you are familiar with your words without having to read them off of the paper.
Map out your order of business before going into the studio. Know which songs you want to record. Have a game plan regarding your verses, ad-libs, choruses and effects. Have your instrumentals cued and easy to find for the session engineer.
Communicate you vision to the engineer. While the studio engineer has the ears of experience and can tweak your recording to sound just right, you need to be the conductor of your project. An engineer's experience is a tool to developing your vision. Know where you want the beat to drop out, how you want the song to come in and how it should outro.
Be as involved as possible in the mix-down of your songs. This is your project. The engineer will handle the technical aspects of delivering the sound-scape you are seeking to achieve.
Save your session to MP3 and CD format. In the beginning you can save all your songs to your computer and burn your complete project to disc from your computer. You can print up your jewel case inserts from templates available at any office supply store. You can also print CD labels and place them on the top of your CD. It is best to start out local and build your following. As your career develops, consider using a company that services independent musicians to handle your CD duplication needs.
If you are considering music as your full time career, learn about publishing and copyright basics. Music is a business. The sooner you learn the basics of the business the better. While many individuals carry beat CDs to the studio, it is recommended that you use an MP3 player. CDs scratch easily.
Never show up for a studio session under the influence.