10 Signs You’re a Struggle Rapper


By Charles Holmes & Confusion

Legends aren’t born. They’re built over time. Kanye wasn’t always a god. Jay-Z wasn’t always married to Beyoncé. Drake was once Wheelchair Jimmy. Becoming a talented rapper requires a myriad of different skills: an understanding of rhyme patterns, a unique voice, flow, breath control, concepts… the list can go on forever. No one starts off as an amazing rapper. At one point in time your favorite artist might have been a struggle rapper, or at least a struggling rapper.

The problem now is all the new technology at the struggle rapper's disposal. He or she has been empowered in countless ways to annoy millions of people a day. This problem needs to be addressed. So to help those wondering if they fit the criteria, here are 10 signs you’re a struggle rapper.

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Related: How to Submit Your Music to Blogs 
How to Get Your Music Posted on Blogs

  • TMCCoast

    “They call it struggle rap, but that’s where the fuck rap came from”
    One of the best lines I’ve heard this year.

  • Holiday Kirk

    Here’s what gets to me about comment section spamming. If you have such little respect for your art that you’re going to just lazily dump it into random comment sections, why should I have enough respect to listen to it?

  • Toony TuneS

    funny list. my quarrel with number 10 is, what about high profile artists and entertainers who pay public relations companies for coverage on magazines?

  • tony snow

    THIS ARTICLE WACK, stats the obvious

  • Confusion

    I think there’s a difference between paying a PR company to try to get coverage and paying for coverage. Like, a PR company reaches out, lets media outlets know what the artist has going on, when they’re available for interviews, etc. They’re not like, “Hey magazine, how much for a two-page article?”

  • dat dude

    That’s what I was thinking. This site act like they don’t post music that’s emailed because someone was paid……..

  • dat dude

    This article is kinda misleading. A lot of PR people use the fact that they can get artists on certain blogs if they pay them.

  • Confusion

    They might have relationships and connections but it’s not the same as paying for a post. No legitimate PR company would approach a blog and say, “How much do you want us to pay you for a post?”

  • SZMatheson

    Do you send unsolicited emails to Complex writers, even though they work exclusively for the “Rides” channel? I get that shit all the time.

  • da dude

    Well I guess its the same as paying a radio promote instead of going straight to the PD’s and DJ’s tryna pay for a spin.(Which is Payola) lol

  • dat dude

    So is Bobby Shmurda or whateva his name is a “struggle rapper” for jacking that Llyod Banks beat and creating a viral buzz off of it? lol

  • Confusion

    There’s a line in there about exceptions. Bobby Shmurda is an exception, and a lot of it had to do with a video and that dance that turned into a meme-status internet sensation. Thousands of rappers jack beats. One or two get buzz off it. Those are exceptions.

    But you think if Bobby Shmurda put out a mixtape of all recycled beats right now it could compete with the kind of mixtapes Kendrick, Chance, Danny Brown put out? I don’t. I’m looking forward to seeing if he can make some original stuff and turn the buzz into something more significant. Also, what percentage of people hearing Bobby Shmurda for the first time know that it’s the “Jackpot” beat? I bet about half think it’s original.

  • Confusion

    Ha yeah I’m not saying things aren’t fucked up but offering money for a blog post is pure struggle. If you’re gonna work the system, at least go through the proper channels.

    In my experience, I honestly don’t care if a pitch comes straight from an artist or from a PR person. I don’t do favors for PR people, and I take the integrity of what we’re doing very seriously. But PR people are effective because they do this for a living and they know how to make an artist attractive with the right song, the right pitch, complete information, press picture, etc.

    We’ve tried to do posts on how to submit your music to blogs so artists can do all this themselves, but it’s a lot of work. Bottom line is that some PR people are very good at their jobs and paying them to package and pitch and artist is still much different than paying a blog for a post.

  • Drew SoulQuest

    Respected sites like livemixtapes and datpiff do that shit all day. It will be some garbage shit in the featured section cause the artist paid to get it there

  • nicoswebaby

    I used to be the struggle rapper, always DMing people to share my shit. And yeah the views did get higher and I was happy about it. Didn’t record or release anything for more than a year and now that I’ve started again I’m not DMing and the views are really at the bottom. But instead of being sad about it I’m doing my best to stay consistent and continuing with my sound.

  • http://dunkno.co.uk Simon Junior

    church/dinner table raps, all inappropriate lol

  • some1 u kno

    Tf? Mixtape game niggas are still taking beats! Thats RAP. You’re trying to make this shit too commercial. If you truly enjoy you’re music then fuck everyone else ! If you really got your heart and soul into this, you gonna get what you TRULY strive for trust ME

  • Grymee
  • http://www.shonstarr.com/ SHONSTARR

    Speaking of “struggling rappers” lol if there are any of you interested in making some G-House – basically (rap hooks or lyrics over house beats) hit me up. I’m from the States, but living in Berlin and experimenting with different ways to fuse Hip-Hop and Electronic music… Think Flo Rida’s “Can’t Believe It” that’s a straight up track that you could hear in any Berlin electronic club – and say what you want about Flo-Rida and Pitbull, etc. but unless you’re Jay Z, Ross, or Wayne these Europeans don’t want to hear your boom bap and street fairytales. They just want to dance and party. If you can lock down Europe you can lock down most of the world… Email me at shonstarr@gmail.com or hit me on soundcloud.com/shonstarr.

  • Deante D Lamar Young

    i dont even know what kinda artist i am, dont know if this applies to me lol. I be rapping and singing and glitching, and draking, and kanyeing, r. kellying it up too. I just make music. and i want everybody to hear it anyway possible. I think i am hitting a stride though with this experimental ish I got going on. Its just fun working with people from all over.

  • Anthony Luis Maldonado

    Who came up with this struggle rap crap?
    All rapper’s start out struggling.

  • CelebrityGoo

    looks like a lot of struggling artists are MAD at this article. Truth hurts! Sad part is, summa you idiots still think you’re gonna get somewhere doing these things. I guess this article is “hating” huh? lol

  • CelebrityGoo

    The only thing wrong with this article is it shouldn’t have been limited to rappers. A lot of you wanna be Trey songz/Chris Browns out here doing these same things. Thinking you’re going somewhere cuz 100 lonely chicks & men catfishing you as women “liked” ur shirtless pic. LMFAO!

  • http://lightning-powered.deviantart.com/gallery/ LightningPowered

    Good list!

  • Hallow Assassin

    hey guys you should view and like my song it would be a big help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkWuyTfj05o&index=9&list=UUYZe2GraG9KZKjsr_yGegkQ

  • Ark Bigs

    This article is amusing, but so far from the truth it’s ridiculous. Everything that was mentioned as a “Don’t” is a daily “Do” in the industry. The difference is the labels are doing it. Beat Jacking, Comment spamming, DMing, paying for post…it’s all daily business for the industry. It’s okay as long as you’re almost famous.

  • http://str8outdaden.com/ Str8OutDaDen.com

    man this was a well written piece. Great info here for aspiring artists

  • Ignite Mindz

    I’m a struggle rapper. Please watch me play guitar, keyboard, and drums at the same time while using all of my limbs simultaneously while rapping what I think is a dope ass double time verse. I got less than 2000 views for this shit so I don’t really care if somebody knocks me for posting it in the comments. The struggle is real. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U53lkQ9Y4WQ I’m playing the bass with my feet dammit.

  • Ignite Mindz

    Sorry it’s a bit frustrating out here.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/kerryhinkle Kleyn Kutt

    How do you discover NEW music that isn’t forced down your throat by radio stations???? I actually listen to people that post their music. Music lovers are everywhere….

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/kerryhinkle Kleyn Kutt

    I’m always willing to collab, and breaking overseas is my goal. This G-House sounds like a good experiment.

  • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

    Keep going bro. Stay positive about it and believe in yourself and work hard.

  • nicoswebaby

    fasho, thanks my g

  • nicoswebaby

    Bruhhh, I’ve been lookin for dope deep house beats to rap over! And I’m from Sweden!

  • afroJACKED92

    LOL who the fuck still listens to rap music? that shit is corny as fuck.

  • Calvert

    What’s radio?

  • http://thedadaphilosophy.com TDP

    It’s not a respect thing. It’s making your art more available to people. Most likely, if you’re not big yet, the blog’s viewers wouldn’t be hearing you otherwise (or at least not yet), so posting it will at least get the listens of the people who do give you a shot.

  • Toony TuneS

    respect. i appreciate this as an artist who’s looking into PR but doesn’t want to feel like a fraud that pays for looks. it’s an odd balance when integrity is so vital to your existence.

  • Steve Da M.L.B

    Good Read! Very interesting, funny, and TRUE Article! #Salute

  • anoanmypousd

    >calls out people copy yeezus image
    >ignores the fact that itself was jacked off death grips
    >irony meter of the scale

  • Mason

    I, personally, found my favorite rapper (E-Dubble) through a friend, who stumbled upon his Soundcloud some way or another. I found my other favorites (Spose, Atmosphere) through word of mouth, also. If you’re good, people will talk about you.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/kerryhinkle Kleyn Kutt

    “stumbled upon his Soundcloud some way or another” could your friend have quite possibly stumbled upon the soundcloud page via a comments section??? MY point being you discover music one way or another. Artist keep posting in comments sections. At least you’re chasing your dreams. Some scared as people never even do that much….

  • egosmasher

    it’s bigger than this- DONT BOTHER CHASING FAME- you are really only working to feed your ego – when all is said and done, the negatives hugely outweigh the positives. The people who “make it” now are publically accessible and as a result, are preyed upon and have to deal with all forms of stress because of extortion, exploitation, threats and blackmail. Everything you have, your peace of mind, your family, all lost just so you can build up this ego, an ego that you’ve given a name and you’ve decided to build up. There’s no sense in it, how much must you lose before you realize this is a losers game? Be a good lyricist, I am, but don’t be fucking stupid.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/kerryhinkle Kleyn Kutt

    He didn’t jack Lloyd Banks….

    Lloyd Banks didn’t exclusively purchase the beat, therefore the producer was still able to sale leases and the exclusive rights. I don’t know if Bobby bought the exclusive rights, but I’m sure he owns them now.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/kerryhinkle Kleyn Kutt
  • omarcharles

    Even as a producer I can really relate to some of this…these things happen too often lmao

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