On a daily basis, I get emails, tweets and/or phone calls from Christian Rappers and Christian Artists asking me for advice or to provide feedback on their music. I’ve learned that many of these artists have the same question when it comes to developing and marketing their ministry: How do I do it in a way that honors God?
Unfortunately, most local youth pastors aren’t equipped to teach them how to navigate the music business as its an entirely different animal than normal Church.
As such, I’ve decided to share a list of 10 things that I wish I could tell all of the aspiring artists who reach out to me. I pray this blesses you.
1. Your success shouldn’t be solely defined by how often your are featured on Rapzilla, Holy Culture or DaSouth. It also shouldn’t be defined by how many records you sell or how high you chart in iTunes. Your success is measured by how faithful you are to the work God has called you to. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.
2. If my first introduction to you is via your “spam everyone I’m following” campaign on twitter, there’s a great chance that I won’t listen to your music or vote for you in the contest you are asking me to vote for you in. If you want my ear, research the music submission guidelines for my show and this website.
3. There’s only one Lecrae. There’s only one Bizzle. There’s only one Canton Jones. There’s only one Da T.R.U.T.H. But…there’s also only one you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let Lecrae be Lecrae. Let CaJo be CaJo. You focus on being you.
4. You aren’t ready to headline a tour until there is a legitimate demand for your ministry in multiple cities.
5. If you are unsure if you are ready for physical distribution, chances are, you aren’t. There is a lot of upfront cost associated with distribution and many artists go into debt via these deals. Most don’t have fanbases that are large enough to go to the stores and buy their product. As such, they never recouped their initial investment.
6. Doing a song with Lecrae, Canton Jones, Trip Lee, KJ-52 or anyone else isn’t a sure shot to “put you on.” I can name you numerous artists who have records with these dudes whom you have never heard of. Besides God’s Will, there are many factors on the business end of things that dictate how your fanbase grows. Collabs help, but they aren’t the biggest factor.
7. If you’re Spouse (husband or wife) and/or children aren’t on board with what you are doing, you shouldn’t be either. You can’t lead people or minister effectively to them when your house isn’t in order
8. Success, regardless of how you measure it, is never an overnight scenario. Most successful people are years in the making. Be patient
9. Have a purpose, mission statement and plan for your ministry. That’s a huge part of stewardship. Read the New Testament. Paul didn’t just haphazardly visit cities and figure out what would happen once he got there. He had a game plan before he went on each journey. Sure he may have adjusted on the fly, but he still had an initial plan
10. Don’t send a DJ, Blog or website your music without properly ID tagging your music. Nothing tells me you don’t really take your ministry seriously more than this. If you don’t care enough about your music to tag it properly, why should I care about it enough to play it on my show and tell my listeners to go buy it?
Click Here to read our follow-up article, 10 MORE Things I Wish I Could Tell Every Christian Rapper.
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