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How to Register as a Rap Artist

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As a rap artist, you're entitled to royalties earned on your songs played on the radio. There are several performing rights organizations, but the most prominent for rap artists are ASCAP, BMI and, as recommended by SAG-AFTRA, Sound Exchange. Once registered, artists are paid only if there is money to collect and if they meet the requirements to receive money after registering.

Registering for ASCAP

Go to Click "join" underneath the website header.

Read the reasons to join and make sure you qualify as an artist who should register (i.e. you have songs on the radio or expect to have songs on the radio). Click the "apply now" link.

Complete the questionnaire: Input your general information, contact information, member information, substantiation, legal info and a credit card payment of $35.

Registering for BMI

Go to Click "join" next to the header. Click "join now" on the pop-up.

Choose "songwriter/composer" from the registration list.

Fill out the necessary forms, including personal info, affiliation status, review and contract and application.

Registering for Sound Exchange

Go to Click "register online" under "royalties paid."

Gather up the required materials for registration: photo ID, voided check and tax ID number.

Download and fill out the repertoire forms if you have 500 or more songs that are receiving airplay. Artists without an extensive song library may fill out the form if they believe their songs will soon receive airplay. Click "new registration."

Select "recording artist" as the label you are registering under. Select "artist" for the person submitting the application.

Choose "solo artist" and upload your repertoire form. Select "person" or "company" under who should payment be sent to and choose your preferred method of payment: check or direct deposit.


Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

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