How the hell do you create a Hit record. Every MC has thought about this from time to time. You listen to the radio and your like why the fuck is this bullshit on the radio? It’s not Hot!!!! Yet you seem to cant get your “Good” shit on there. We then get caught up in the propaganda and conspiracies of “Commercial Radio” and “Payola” and all that shit. Yes there is corruption in the Radio business. There always have been and there always will be. But that doesn’t mean that you cant get your music on the radio. Hey! its doesn’t even mean that you have to sell out to do so. But you do have to create music for your intended format. Sun Tsu says “We must adapt to survive” But that doesn’t mean we have to conform.
I read this article on http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/05/137530847/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-hit-song That broke down how much it would cost to make a hit record. With songwriting, production, mix/mastering and promotions it came out to approximately $1,078,000!!!! FUK DAT! The average artist or up & coming MC don’t have that kind of money to do that. Plus who knows that it will be successful? In my years of writing RAP songs and listening to the music I think I might know what it could take to put together a good “non-conforming” radio single:
1). THE BEAT- The beat drives and directs emotions. If the beat aint hot you aint hot. Get a beat that you think is hot as soon as it comes on. The beat has to make you move as soon as you hear it. Every dance from the whop to the dougie, Head nod to choreographed steps should be done by this beat. I watched 4 Dance teams dance choreographed steps to Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” and the shit was dope. Remember a radio song or club song for that matter supposed to bring about a feeling of “Enjoyment” be it enjoyment in the club, at the gym or on the highway. But the beat doesn’t have to sound like everything else!!!! It has to match the tempo of everything else!!! Radio is like a party. If the DJ is playing a set of grooves and 3 songs in they switch tempos that’s gonna throw the groove and people’s rhythm off physically and mentally. Make sure the tempo of your beat matches the current tempo. Also repetition is key! repetition is key! Samples whether old, new, jacked or played, A Sample still molds a Hip hop song.
2). HOOK- The purpose of the Hook is to “Hook” your listeners into the song. Never should a Hook be complicated. 9/10 times The Hook is 1st thing listeners remember. On radio you’ll noticed the Hooks are common words or phrases. Rand Fish of http://www.seomoz.com says that the use of “Keywords” in your blogs and posts helps people find your content better in searches. Make your Hooks common words and phrases.
3) LYRICS- Ok MCs chill!!!! I know we all get a lil touchy when it comes to our writing craft but I wont be explaining how to “dumb it down” Lyrics is all about relating to the audience. The Great Langston Hughes created a collection of songs, essays, stories and poems. Some were deep and thought-provoking while some were very “emo” based. Some were very lyrical while others showed his creativity through simplicity! You can be lyrical! Lil Wayne and Drake uses all the 5 most common devices used by an MC I listed in a previous post here https://irapblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/the-5-most-common-devices-used-by-an-mc/ You also want to make use of “Ad libs” as they are emotion based expressions. https://irapblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/the-useage-of-ad-libs/ A common thing too is to put items you yourself may use in your rhyme, be it a drink or clothing. This could create an endorsement opportunity for you. If you yourself invest money into this product its only right that you make an opportunity for them to invest in you. Me, for Business wear I like Brooks Brothers, for more formal I prefer AKOO. You better believe all the money I spend on them I’m invested so I need to see a return, right? Its logical when you think about it. WARNING: Never shout out something you don’t use or promote. I don’t like pork so I don’t promote it in my music. If I did then that would be…….”SELLING OUT!”
See? That’s it I think. In no way possible you would sell out if you consider this post. So I challenge you, the MC to make your “Non conforming” Radio Hit. See how it works. Promote it to commercial radio and see how far it gets!
For Extra credit see if you can Identify my 3 steps in this song!!!!!