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How To Start Your Rap Career With No Money

Darius Burgan
Posted by Darius Burgan on Aug 9

Start Rap Career With No Money

Becoming a rapper is a dream that a lot of people have – especially those living under or close to the poverty line. It’s looked at as the way to ‘make it out’. However, most people with this dream of becoming a hip-hop artist, don’t have a lot of money (or any) to fuel their success in the beginning. So, to help anyone that doesn’t have a lot of money with becoming a rapper, I'm going to show you how to start your rap career with no money

This article is written under the assumption that if you don't have any money, you do have a time. and time, if used correctly, can be just as good – if not better than money. It may not work as fast as money, but still effective.

Intern at a Music Studio for Free

One of the first things you should try to do when starting your rap career with no money is intern at a music studio for free. This will help you accomplish a few different things:

1.) You'll get to network locally with people in the music industry

2.) You will start gaining experience with different skills that audio engineers must have to be effective at their job – which can help you become a more efficient hip-hop artist. This includes things like mixing, mastering, equipment knowledge, and possibly even music production.

3.) After building a good relationship with the studio and learning some of the skills from #2, they might allow you to use the music studio for free. Thus, allowing you to begin the recording process with good equipment for $0.

4.) As your skills grow, you may also be assigned to do client work. Now, not only are you networking, gaining skills, and able to use the music studio for free – but now you'll have money coming in.

Start With Your Local Scene for Talent

I’d recommend you start by looking for a producer. A producer will help shape your entire sound. You may be wondering why you should stay local when you can find a lot of talented producers online. And, the answer to that question is just for relationship building.

It’s a lot harder to build a relationship with someone online than it is in person. Without face to face contact, you’re solely relying on text, money, and skill to build a relationship.

Anyway, you don’t need the best producer in your city. Focus on working with a few producers who are average. They're usually willing to partner up and make good music for free, and will hopefully grow with you as time goes on.

After finding a producer and knocking out a few songs, look for other local talent. The type of talent you’ll need next will vary on how your music sounds, but regardless, try to stay local.

Start Promoting Your Music

I wouldn’t be surprised if you initially scanned this article to see if I had a section on music promotion. This section won’t be in-depth on how to promote your music with no money, but it will help you get things moving in the right direction.

Make sure your online presence is as good as you can make it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be professional. Always link back to a place where the viewer can listen to your music.

Since everything you’ve done so far has been local, that’s where you’re going to start promoting your music. Don’t directly or aggressively promote your music – you’re going to have to indirectly promote your music if you want it to be effective.

Here are a couple creative ways to do this:

1.) Build relationships and be a good person to those you come in contact with. Take the time to listen to what they do and what they’re interested in. Make them feel comfortable talking to you and afterwards, add them on social media. If they thought you were interesting or cool (even if you barely talked), they might be curious as to what you do or how well you do it, and click that link in your bio.

2.) Play your music on low volume when you have someone in your car that’s outside of your immediate circle. The key here is to have conversations over your music. Don’t play your music on low volume and stay silent with hopes that they hear it. Build that relationship through good conversation and let their subconscious mind listen. And, if the conversation is good – they may associate that “noise” (your music) with a good experience. So, if they hear your song in the future, which they might if you follow #1, their subconscious might reference the good experience they had with you and like the song. 

There's no science behind #2 (or maybe there is?), but it has happened to me a few times with songs before. 


The local scene of people who take music serious in your area is probably small. There may be a lot of people that “do” music, but a lot of them are in it because they think it’s cool – not because they’re trying to make a career out of it.

You, on the other hand, are currently reading a blog, learning how to turn music into a career. Most people in your local area are not doing that. So, if you don’t have a lot of money and want to be a rapper – you can. You just have to get a little creative with your approach and put in the work.

Darius Burgan

Written by Darius Burgan

Darius Burgan is a Digital Marketer from Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2007, Darius has helped his clients reach millions of potential customers, while growing his own businesses. In addition to working with businesses and brands, he's also the founder of Artist Shortcut - a blog designed to help hip-hop artists with marketing and business.

Topics: Artist Advice

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