If you are looking to get into the rap industry, you most likely want to know how much you can potentially make as you get your name out there. Becoming a rapper takes time and talent, but it is possible to earn a good income as you go. With some good music to sell and regular gigs, you can turn your songs and rapping skills into a lucrative job.
The median salary of rappers in America is $77,000 a year. As a new rapper, it is normal to earn less as you start to gather your audience and get your music out there. While this may not be the same amount as rapping stars, many new rappers can expect close to $30 for their work part-time.
The amount that you will earn as a new rapper will depend on how much time and effort you can put into the work. Your audience and how well your music is received will determine this as well. This article will take a look at the average salary of a rap artist and how you can build up your own music business and turn your passion into a job.
How Much Do New Rappers Get Paid?
According to Simply Hired, the median amount that a rapper and hip hop music artist can make is slightly over $77,000 a year. This is the amount in the middle of all salaries, including those like Jay-Z, who makes about $900 million a year, all the way down to those just starting out.
Also, The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median hourly wage of all musical artists is about $30.39. Working full time at this amount can help give you a good livable wage, even at the low-end of the spectrum. Most beginner rappers start out part-time, but it is a good place to start.
New rappers will not make as much as professionals or the big stars. But with hard work and the right marketing, they do have the ability to make a good income in the process. This could turn into a full-time income for you to pursue your passion.
Getting Paid Off Mixtapes
A mixtape is a project that many rappers will release to remain relevant, build up buzz, and promote themselves. This is a great way to get yourself out there as a new rapper and convince others to pick you up. It is common for mixtapes to be released by major-label rappers to help hold their fans over until a full album is released.
While this is a common method to use for established rappers, some new rappers will release their own mixtapes to gain visibility in the music industry. This is a good way to build up some buzz around their name.
If you are a new artist releasing a mixtape for promotional purposes, it is hard to get paid. Some major artists will, but for a new rapper, this is not the case. It is more of a way to promote yourself to labels and fans in the hopes of getting picked up and making more money later on.
New rappers will not get paid at all to do a mixtape, but they could do their own selling to make a little bit of money on it.
However, if the new rapper is successful with the mixtape and does a good job, it can lead to more gigs and money down the road.
Established artists may earn money on their mixtape. Major artists may earn up to $22,000 a song. C to D rappers may make up to $10,000 a track. Mixtape websites will sometimes pay a similar price depending on how well the site is performing.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Good Income as a Rapper?
The amount you earn will depend on your talent, how much time you can devote to your music, and how quickly others hear about you. Some rap artists will sign deals quickly, and others are happy with having a few gigs and small deals a year.
Most new rappers will do this part-time. This allows them to grow their audience and business while working a side job. Creating a mixtape, starting a social media following, and advertising to get a few gigs helps them build up on the side until it takes off. In the beginning, you may only make a few thousand a year on your rap music.
As time goes on, you will get more gigs and be able to ask more for your services. This helps you earn more of a full-time income on your talents and get you to, or above, the average. Even without becoming an international star, making a good income as a rap artist with the right steps is possible.
How to Make Money as a Rapper
In addition to making the mixtape we discussed, you can take a few steps to start your career as a rapper and help you earn more money overall. These include:
Don’t Sell Your Music
This seems off, but your music is your biggest tool. This is one of the main tools you can use to build your audience and fan base. Instead of trying to sell the song to a small fan base as someone brand-new, you can use the music to expand your reach and grow your base in the early stages. It is better to use your own music for promotional reasons as you build up the business and worry about selling it later.
Grow Your Audience
The bigger your audience, the more potential you have to make money. Use your music and other interesting things about you to grow your audience. For example, if you can rap and are funny, get on to YouTube and other social media sites and show your funny side to draw in even more people. Numbers mean profits in the music industry, so find ways to reach more people interested in your music.
Make Music That Fits Your Audience
As you start to grow your own audience, make sure that you create music that fits them too. Yes, you want to be a rapper, but you also need to make sure the topics and the type of rap music you write will fit in with the audience you have.
In the beginning, it is fine to try out a few different things to see what sticks. As you grow your audience, try out a few different styles and see what your audience seems to respond to the best. Then you can use that as your path to gain more of a following and earn more money as a new rapper.
Marketing is your best friend. As you grow your audience, learn new ways to write and perform your music, and get your name out there, you need to also spend time marketing yourself. No one will hire you for gigs or purchase your music if they have no idea who you are. Consider different ways you can reach potential customers or collaborate with others who have experience with marketing music and have them do this for you.
A new rapper may need to spend some time exploring their music and building up an audience. Their salary is often low in the beginning. Over time though, a rapper can make a good income, averaging more than $77,000 a year, even without being an international star. With some dedication and good marketing, you could become an artist for your full-time income in no time.
- Career Trend: The Average Salary for a Rap Artist
- SimplyHired: Rapper Salaries
- U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics: Musicians and Singers
- Hip Hop Push Media: How Much Do Rappers Make off Mixtapes?
- Artist Shortcut: How to Make Money as an Upcoming Hip-Hop Artist
- Wikipedia: Mixtape
- Omarimc: Top 10 Mixtape Websites to Get the Most Downloads