How to Manage a Rapper
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Music managers ensure rappers are discovered by the right labels, and help them break into the music industry as successful professionals. Excellent connections combined with the right knowledge and skills equip you to manage a rapper's career with confidence and positive results. Become a music manager, and you'll experience the thrill and satisfaction of helping a new musician find success.
Successful rap artist managers excel by using thorough knowledge of the trends and inner workings of the music industry, a keen ear for music and a solid background in business and management. While it is possible to hone these skills independently, your best bet is to enroll in an undergraduate or graduate level music business program that thoroughly covers each area necessary for your success. Highly regarded academic programs provide you with music industry connections and hands-on experience through internships with talent management firms and record labels.
The most effective way to usher a rap artist into the music industry is to have solid connections with the right people. During your music business internship, nurture and develop relationships with the diverse industry professionals you meet. Put your best foot forward; be friendly and stay in close contact and communication with talent managers, recording label executives, venue managers and high profile artists. Attend music industry events, conferences and professional networking opportunities. Each industry connection will have its own sound and style preferences for new talent. In time, you will develop a solid understanding of who prefers East Coast rap, West Coast rap, religious or political rap. These relationships enable you to connect the talent you serve with those who best appreciate their sound and want to offer them opportunities.
Find and Secure Talent
Social media is the easiest and most likely way to discover potential clients. Most rappers have a solid presence on social media sites like Vine, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Submit inquiries to rappers who fit the sound and style profile your industry connections are looking for, and begin to build professional relationships. Attend rap concerts and other events. Compliment artists on their music and share what would make them a hit with your specific music industry connections. Draw up a management contract, and offer to help your prospective client connect to the industry in exchange for a percentage of the profits. Once the contract is signed, arrange record label contracts and concerts through your connections.
Grow Your Team
As each of your clients develops a successful rap career, the management responsibilities increase. Bookings become more complicated and lucrative; money gets harder to manage, and legal considerations require professional advice outside of your scope. Use industry connections to secure booking managers, business managers, agents and legal advisers for your rap artist. It is your job to find and lead this important team of experts so that you are free to focus on the professional and creative relationships you have carefully developed with your rap artists.
Build Your Reputation
With a successful rap artist or two under your care, begin to build your reputation as a go-to manager within the music industry. Successful managers keep a portfolio of artists they represent digitally and in hard copy form. Develop a professional website with your contact information and guidelines for talent to submit samples of their work to you. Over time, artists will come to you based on your industry reputation and proven track record.
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Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bizfluent, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.