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How to Start a Hip Hop Career by Derek Smalls

Those hoping to start a career in hip hop, or any genre for that matter, may find the amount of competition overwhelming. Hip hop's decades of popularity ensure that there is no shortage of aspiring hip hop musicians, many of whom are quite talented. Success in the industry requires more than just some great songs: It also requires the ability to stand out in the crowd. If you are hoping to break into the hip hop industry, the following tips will provide you with information on how to do it.

Every aspiring artist should have a high quality recorded demo. Make sure that your demo is completely ready before you begin to reach out to people in the industry. The songs on your demo should sound clean and professional, and must be in a format that is easy to share. This way, when you do meet a responsive contact, you will have something for them to hear right away, while you are still fresh in their mind. Always keep a few CDs on hand to pass out to people - you never know when you might bump into someone who knows someone.

A website is also a must-have for any up and coming hip hop artist. This will increase your exposure, and allow you to begin to collect a fan base. While it does not happen often, there are musicians who were discovered through MySpace, so take advantage of the free publicity that the internet can offer. When you are setting up your site, make sure that it allows visitors to sample your music and provides them with error free information on you and who you are as an artist.

There is no field that relies more heavily on networking than the entertainment industry. Entertainment is all about making contacts, so take the time to cultivate relationships in any way that you can. Collaborate with other musicians - even those not in hip-hop might be eager for your skills. Find open-mic nights and other venues that are willing to let first-time musicians perform.

Internships are probably the best way for young people to break into the entertainment industry. While they may require that you spend a few months working for free in an administrative capacity, you will have access to important decision makers who can help you down the line. Not only that, but you will gain some insight into the business side of the music industry. This can help you market your music and book venues on your own. Research to see if there are music studios near you and call and ask if they have positions available.

The most important thing that every musician needs is patience. Regardless of the stories that you hear, there are very few overnight successes in music. Most of the artists who are famous now got that way through hard work and perseverance.

Derek has worked in music production for the past 2 years and moonlights as a beats producer. You can visit his website at

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