UNDERGROUND TEENAGE RAP

Why You’re Still There

A few years ago, articles like this one were not really teen material. The Ugandan rap scene then was mild and run by grown rappers. We obviously can’t say the same about today’s rap scene. Some of the most prominent names in the game are quite your age, and are posing a real threat to the pioneers. But that’s as far as they have gone- being threats and never making the real competition. It’s hard to attain recognition as a rapper, and it takes years to achieve what the likes of Navio have. We all know that. However, sometimes, it’s a grand hustle because YOU make it grand. Let’s see why making it to the limelight has become so hard for the crème de la crème of teenage rappers and often goes to the “kids”.

Self- Esteem

Many stars admit they’re shy and can’t stand audience. Well, that shortcoming is worse down here. The rappers with the “illest” flow are known by a friend or two, and the guys whose rap upsets your tummy are so cocksure of themselves. You’ll notice it takes a lot of effort for the truly gifted rapper to make a debut appearance on stage, and it normally sucks because of stage-fright. And the so-nonsensical rapper wants a piece of the mic every-time there’s a mic.

Building your self-esteem is something no-one else is going to do for you. Fine, we’ll believe in you and tell you how good you are. But if you yourself think you’re no good, then damn right, you’re no good. Before Usher discovered Beiber, the kid had done self-discovery and Youtube already knew him. So, if you see yourself on the scene’s zenith someday, then love yourself first and show up, else you get no love, coz we can’t love what we don’t see.

Dimes

Many talented rappers have the misconception that because they’re too good, their wordplay will take them places- no costs incurred, right? Wrong. It’s 2012,sir. There are a trillion rappers across the globe as good as you are, and another trillion half as good as you. Bench at the round-table with them, or upgrade by investing in what you spit. Contrary to what you believe, money may not run the game, but it sure makes it walk and move on. Flawless as you are, no studio that is really a studio is going to have you record a jam with them without benjamins. So, put spending on your to-do list.

Content

Another general misconception. Normally, an underground rapper specializes in rapping about how life is such a hustle and full of haters. He/she calls his/her rap ‘sense’ and ‘based on true life stories’. Does real life REALLY have no friends at all? And who said rapping positively (sometimes) ain’t rapping sense?

In a bid to come out, he raps about women, champagne, dollars, Lamborghinis and Gucci. Boy, rapping about your dreams is okay. But putting such fairy-tale lines in a jam and ending the jam with a “Kisenge Records” punch-line is not just wrong- it’s disaster. You know what you get for it? The bench!! Get a nice idea and rap about it passionately. Sulking and day-dreaming just don’t work.

Studio and Connections

These two colligate. I know you’re dying to have your songs on tape, but you need to think very hard here. You could get five jams recorded at twenty thousand each by amateurs in a semi-professional studio, after which you’ll hustle around for airplay; Or, you could use the whole amount to record just one jam in a prolific studio, in that where you recorded it will have the media dying to try your jam on air. Make your pick. The studio you use will either get you relevant connections and signings with a good record label, or stagnate you.

Airplay

Airplay gets you known, meaning you’re no longer doing underground. It’s the last and most solid step out of underground rap, because it sums up all the above. Using a known studio and record label makes it less of a challenge getting the media’s attention. You’ll need dimes for some stations to play your tracks (the Uganda of 2012, you know how they be). Your content either makes your place on the waves concrete, or gets you told off. Self-esteem comes in when you’re invited to make appearances in live radio shows and events. Feel yourself, man; else you’re going to suck in that studio.

Those wondering how TLC can offer such advice yet he’s not an acclaimed rapper, roger this: your Biology teacher ain’t a surgeon, your Geography teacher ain’t a tourist and your teacher of Agriculture ain’t a farmer either. Okay, maybe he is, but still…..waaa. So rappers, up your game. The world is out here, and we’re waiting for you. Peace

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