Do you want to be a famous rapper? If you’re a white male between the ages of fourteen and twenty-six, the answer is obviously a “Yes!” If you’re anyone else, it’s a maybe. Do you have the talent and drive to succeed in the hip hop industry? No? Well, that’s not a problem, because now you have the internet, where anything is possible.
Rap stardom is at your fingertips… internet rap stardom that is! While you might not have to deal with the income that someone like 2 Chainz brings in, at least you can keep your integrity while pleasing the ones of tens of people that will reblog you on Tumblr.
Here are six easy steps to glorious internet rap stardom!
Step 1: Think Of A Rap Name That Sounds Like Something Else
95% of the internet is that same picture of an insult written over Victorian era greeting card shit, posted over and over again. You should follow this trend when crafting your first internet rap song, starting with your name. The internet responds best to things that can be shared repeatedly, because the only sex that people on the internet know is the massive circle jerk that they’re usually a part of. Thus, create a rap name that takes some kind of well-known word and hip hop it up.
Do you know what a Ninja Turtle is? You do? Great! Your rap nickname will be Shreddah. Do you know current technologies like phones and computers and care little about your self-respect? You’re creating hip hop, your self-respect is a balancing act anyway! Your name will be iPwn. I just named myself Tyredditsaurus Rex, and that alone assures me popularity for at least three months.
Now, this first step isn’t an absolute must. You can create a name that doesn’t really mean anything and still get by. It’s more of a warning: it’s easier to get started on something when you’re already riding on the shoulders of something else.
Step 2: Write Rhymes That Are Either Culturally Aware or Completely Ludicrous
If you haven’t noticed in all your time on the internet, people on here will get mad for no reason at all. Someone read that last sentence and thought to themselves This guy needs to check his comma privilege. And someone else will read that sentence and construe it into a way that makes it sound like I hate vegans. So, in order to gain acceptance, you need to choose to be either very sensitive or so insane that people know that you don’t take yourself seriously.
The internet reacts well to extreme. That’s why the description of most things is either “oh my god, I cant even” or “literally hitler.” There’s no in between. Being culturally aware saves you from A) being turned against when people decide that you’re a more racist version of Hitler and B) being compared to those evil Nicki Minaj’s and Rick Ross’s that clog up the mainstream. You’re not on the radio, you’re on the internet, which is the safe zone of cultural awareness.
Or, you can be completely ludicrous, say the most ridiculous things possible, and not worry about anything. Boast about your bitches, white college sophomore. Everyone knows that you actually support gender equality and are totally kidding. Talk about the unbelievable amount of money you’ve made, an impossible amount judging from your “I can either afford a microphone or groceries this month” lifestyle. But it’s all okay. Your lyrics will be crazy. You’ll never make any profit at all, but at least no one will criticize you.
Step 3: Forget Flow And Infuse Your Lyrics With Inclusive Punchlines
If you’re worried about not having flow or any sort of timing, you can rest easy. Even if your rapping sounds like the spoken word poetry of a seagull trapped under a fallen tree, there will be an audience for you, willing to argue that you’re not really “hip hop” but “seagullcore.”
It’s more important for you to lace your lyrics with meaningless references to things and punchlines that talk about popular stuff. Here are a few easy things to thrust awkwardly into your lyrics to appease the internet:
Classic Nintendo Games
Beers That Aren’t Bud Light
See what I mean? All of these things immediately evoke an “I know that thing!” response from the listener. They don’t even have to be clever. It’s this same thing that has disguised memes as jokes for a few years now.
Step 4: Choose A Sample That’s Easy To Find
The internet is based around a thing called “Search Engine Optimization.” I’m already regretting not calling this piece “10 Reasons Why Justin Bieber Nip Slips A Free iPad!” You have to make things that people will find and the easiest way to do that is to use a sample of a song that’s already famous.
The first option is to choose an established rap beat. Make sure to pick one that is universal enough for the lost and confused to want to click on your link. Rap remixes are based around getting as many four line verses from different rap artists over the same beat as possible, so make sure that you pick a song that can be very easily rapped over by a single person with terrible, terrible flow.
The second option is to choose a song that no one will get mad at you for spitting over. This excludes any and all metal songs, not only because metal and rap sound fucking awful whenever you put them together, but metal fans are the most dedicated internet fans of any kind of music. If you put your peanut butter rhymes anywhere near their chocolate Opeth, you’ll be doomed.
Choose something safer, like an older pop song. You’ll need to get over the fact that you sound like glorified karaoke, but it’s the best bet when dealing with people as fickle as those on the internet. You see, the internet has taken the ball called “irony” and ran with it. “Classic” pop songs are often a source of that “ironic love”, a love that’s dedicated enough to listen to a song, but willing to like you when you fucking ruin it.
Have you made a cool instrumental out of the Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life?” That’s great. That’s the kind of song that people will recognize immediately and get excited about it because there’s more drums and repetition added to it. It doesn’t matter if your lyrics are garbage, since now people have an “awesome larger than life rap remix” that they can Google whenever they have friends that can endure poor mental processing too.
I even posted it here, so that you can get started!
Also, if you can, try not to use a beat that another internet rapper has capitalized on. You never want to be the guy who’s not as good as Childish Gambino’s “Rollin’ In The Deep.” And for all of those people who are angry that I called Childish Gambino an “internet rapper,” get real. Maybe next year.
Step 5: Create A Silly Video To Prove That You May Or May Not Be Kidding
The ability to be self-aware is important for any internet rap sensation. It’s what separates people who enjoy their lives from you, who will spend the rest of it over-analyzing everything. You won’t be able to legitimately be happy about anything, but by God, at least you’ll be able to say that you were “actually kidding” at any point during your post-fifteen minutes.
Creating a rap video is important because people respond well to videos. Half of the people who started this article dropped off around the word “rapper” and the other half will comment “tl;dr.” I don’t blame them. If this list was fourteen videos of cats attempting to get into/out of boxes, it would be way easier to read.
Creating a “silly” video doesn’t just mean that it has to be funny. You’re a rapper, and your sense of humor is constantly coming and going. Any attempt at consistent humor will be the most reviled “skit” on the album. You can try to create something totally hilarious but just remember that, as with things that are made of words, the viewership will lose interest at about three minutes of your mishaps at the club that you’re not very good at being at, or something similar.
You can also be “artsy silly,” and this means including a lot of lense flares. A lot of lense flares. You want your video to look like it was shot through a poorly fashioned magnifying glass. Use a lot of rack focuses too, making the background blurry and putting you in focus and vice versa. It’ll be a quick way to kill time as you drone on about your political stances. Throw in a bit of random imagery as well. People won’t know how to interpret it and that’s the point. The longer you can baffle people into thinking that you might be good at what you do, the better.
Step 6: Tweet. A lot.
Twitter is important for marketing, because using it a lot guards you from the repercussions you’ll face on things like Facebook. Promoting yourself on Facebook is a one-and-done process. Anymore trying to passionately start your career and people will get angry about it. You’ll join the ranks of people with kids and people with Kickstarters on your friend’s “most annoying people” list.
Twitter is safe from this because, due to the 140 character limit, people are going to zoom past your shit most of the time anyway. When you get more popular, people will actually seek you out to see all the meaningless stuff and links to the same SoundCloud song that you’ve posted.
At first, reply to everything. Then, when you get popular, reply to nothing. And don’t retweet, at least not in the traditional sense. Post that person’s Twitter handle and the funny thing that they said, but never, under any circumstances, actually retweet them. It ruins your cred. Who are you to let people be funny on YOUR Twitter. It works much better when you tell your followers that someone else if funny, rather than give that person any part of your spotlight. It ruins the joke, but you’re not in the “a nobody’s jokes” business. You’re in the internet rap business.
With that being said, are you famous yet?
For more Daniel, look at 7 Morals In The Greatest Dinosaur Movie Ever Made and 7 Reasons Why Going To The Bar Alone Never Solves Anything.