This post is a response to what @illmindPRODUCER was ranting about the last few days on Twitter. While !llmind has some good points, he’s missing some key points and looking at the issue of selling beats to “struggle rappers” from high on the pedestal of someone who has already “made it” in the music industry. For the rest of us, this is our hustle and one that could potentially turn us into millionaires if we play our cards right.
I want to preface this article by stating that the $50 beat you sold last week could definitely turn into $1,000,000 in publishing but it is HIGHLY unlikely and completely improbable. I take that stance that any money made doing something you love is a good thing, whether the end result is a “good thing”or not. I’m of the mindset that you should get every god damn dollar you can and do it TODAY. Chasing placements has never been a winning strategy for MOST people.
I’m also going to do a lot of generalization of math and scenarios to get the fucking wheels turning in your head.
To summarize, you’re probably not going to make a million dollars in publishing revenues off your music. Chasing placements is like playing the lottery for most producers. However, you can definitely become a millionaire by leasing beats to “struggle rappers”. Some of the top charting SoundClick producers are pulling 6 figures off leases and hustling their drum kits annually. Most of the beatmakers that are leasing and selling beats to Internet rappers, cats around the way, and so called “struggle rappers” are probably raking in a few thousand dollars annually. We are talking anywhere between $1,000 to $60,000 for arguments sake.
If you have a job and you’re pulling $1,000 to $60,000 on the side that’s pretty damn good and you’re probably doing better financially than MOST guys that actually have these placements. So what do you do with that extra cash? Invest it.
Conventional wisdom tells us to invest in ourselves and invest in our craft. This generally equates to purchasing some new gear, samples, investing in a website, branding, etc. While all of these investments are necessary, you can get carried away getting “geared up”. Gear is nice, but the gear rabbit hole is deep and gear envy is rampant. Investing in yourself doesn’t only mean buying new equipment or DAW’s or subscribing to the latest cloud based sample source. It means putting that money away for the future or putting it to work for yourself.
Lets face it, most of us don’t have someone funding our retirements or investing in our futures. As self sufficient producers and beatmakers we should be investing our lease and beat sale money into real estate (online and physical), tax deferred investment accounts, taxable investment accounts, etc. If you’ve got student loans or any form of debt, you can pay down the debt and break the chains of debt slavery making and selling beats.
The math is simple and I suggest you research compounding interest and investing for yourself, the Internet is full of great resources. Stashing $5,500 into an Roth IRA every year for 30 years will grow into more than a million dollars. You could open an account with a low cost and automated investment service like Wealthfront with $500 and watch it turn into millions by using your struggle rapper cashflow.
If investing in the stock market isn’t your cup of tea, you could always save a fat chunk of your struggle rapper cash and purchase an online business from a marketplace like Empire Flippers. An online business that cost roughly $30,000 can pay up to $900 to $1,100 dollars a month cashflow. Most of these businesses require very little work and have growth potential. That’s $1,100 a month for a minimal investment using side money.
The goal then should be not to atain a million dollar publishing deal or chase the improbable dream of producing for the next Drake. The goal should be more manageable and realistic. There is nothing wrong with setting high goals, but lets start with $5,500 a year. It’s attainable with leasing beats and selling exclusives and if invested correctly over a lifetime it will grow into a million plus dollars.
Listen, you make dope fucking beats. There are thousands of us making dope fucking beats. We’re going to invariably sell some of these beats to some shitty rappers and hopefully we sell some to some talented rappers. There are thousands of rappers with the same dreams, ambitions, and musical passion as you and they’re invariably struggling. Connect with these people, make transactions, invest and have fucking fun. Just because your songs won’t be classics doesn’t mean they won’t be relevant. In fact, I see nothing more relevant than paying for your retirement by making music.
Struggle rappers pay bills and they can potentially turn us into millionaires