Category Archives: Blog

J.Scott Tip: What’s Your Name?
By J.Scott |


It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you.
J.Scott here. And I’m back with my tips. This one is something that has bugged our staff for quite some time now. Let’s talk about the lack of brand uniformity.

Who are you? Really. Ask yourself that. The first step to making a presence is knowing who you are. The one thing that should always be consistent throughout your brand, (yes, you are a brand), is your name. Occasional name changes aside, your name always be the same. But when upcoming rapper, let’s call him “Kid Magic”, releases new music and his YouTube account calls him “K.I.D. Magic”, song title calls him “KidMagic”, Twitter calls him “Kiidd Magic”, and so on and so forth, how are his fans supposed to connect to his brand?

Think of it like this: If Pepsi always changed the way it spelled its name, how would you know when you were drinking the real thing and not just some cheap knockoff? …You wouldn’t. Think of your fans the same way. How are they supposed to keep track of you and your music, or suggest your music to their friends, if it’s almost impossible to keep track of your name?

Get a hold of who you are, and make it easier for your fans to do the same.

- J.Scott

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J.Scott Tip: Headphones In Videos
By J.Scott |


Music videos. Everyone needs them, right? And the goal is to make your video fit in with the likes of the mainstream artists. So, with that being said, how often do you see major artists using headphones as their playback devices in their videos? …You don’t. Ever.
So how can you get a polished video without a viable playback device? Easy. …Sort of.

It’s time for you to invest in a portable speaker. You can find pretty powerful ones at Best Buy for $10. So price is really not a deterrent here. Next: have your cameraman hold the speaker. You’re always going to want the camera to pick up most of the audio anyway. That’s the best way to sync the video to your track later in editing.

So… Unless you’re wearing your Beats as a fashion statement, nobody wants to see you performing in your music video with headphones on. Do you hear me?

- J.Scott

Posted in Archive, Blog, J.Scott Tip | 3 Comments
J.Scott Tip: “Have A Purpose”
By J.Scott |

Running this site has really brought something to my attention that troubles me. It appears that so many of you spend countless hours in the studio. And that’s apparent by the constant onslaught of music that you release. For some of you it’s literally a new track a day. While that can be a great strategy to keep your listeners engaged, there is still a piece of the puzzle that many of you are missing…

Keep reading »

Posted in Archive, Blog, J.Scott Tip | 3 Comments
LG’s W.T.F. “Learn The Words”
By LG |

I’ve been watching music videos for as long as I could remember. I’ve been a journalist for 5 years, and a music journalist for 1 of those years. I know a thing or two about what makes a good video. Not knowing your words isn’t one of them.

Please tell me what possessed y’all to think it was okay to release videos in which YOU, as the artist, can’t rap your own words!? And lets just say that take, you messed up. It happens. Why use that take!? Why not do it over, and film yourself, you know – actually knowing your song. Music videos are supposed to take your music to the next level. How do you expect to do that when you clearly don’t know the words? It totally takes me out of whatever you have going on in the video, to wonder about why you can’t learn your song. Have you ever seen Em, or Jeezy, or Jay put out a video in which they didn’t know the words!? No. It doesn’t happen. So stop being okay with being mediocre at best.


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Ratings For Reviews: What Gets A “Spin”?
By LG |

Here at RapRISE, we understand the importance of goals. Sometimes, having a goal can make an artist strive for more, take risks, and ultimately push themselves to be a better artist. This is what we want. For ALL of you. What better way to give you a goal, or something to work for than to introduce our very own Rating System?

Starting now, all mixtapes, albums, and EP’s will be rated with “spins” The rating will be from 0 to 5, and yes, there are halves. So it is imperative, now more than ever to come with your “A” game. This is what we are looking for when we do our ratings:

1.) Content – What are you talking about? Does it work for the album? Does it have a message? Of course all songs don’t have to give hope to a nation – however, even a party song has to make me want to party with it’s lyrics.

2.) DeliveryAll the great ones have a distinct delivery. Does your energy match the production? Does your tone match the content of the song? All these factors come into play when we think about who has a good delivery and who doesn’t.

3.) Flow -Yes. Flow is different from Delivery. How does this rapper string together his rhymes? Is it melodic? Staccato? How does it work with song choice?

4.) Production – Beat selection, and how the overall album is produced, is very important. Does it fit with your content? Does it help or hinder the lyrics get through to the listener?

5.) Radio-Play Capability – While this is among the least important of the criteria, it does come into play. We are sure that recognition from the masses is a major thing for you guys, and ultimately the only way to get that is if your songs sound like they will thrive on the radio.

6.) Replay Value - We all know that the albums we all remember are the ones we have played over and over. Those are the mixtapes and albums that hold a special place in our hearts.

Who will be the first to get 5 spins?

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LG’s W.T.F. “Butt-Hurt”
By LG |

I hate to have to say this, but in all honesty, some of ya’ll are some major WIMPS. Do you know what this site is? What we do? We are a hip-hop BLOGSITE. Which means, we are able to voice our own opinions about whatever graces the wonderful pages of our site. So if you aren’t made to take constructive criticism yet – don’t release music until you are.

I’m tired of hearing – “F**k whoever writes for RapRISE!”, or, “RapRISE just a bunch of haters.”


If you can’t roll with the fact that this is a community, and that anything that is said in our posts or reviews is to ultimately drive the artist to make better decisions, and come out stronger after reading them, then you’re missing the point. Every ounce of criticism we give is so that you will take it, use it, and get better. That’s the point of criticism. We aren’t here to bully you. If it seems like we go a little hard on some folks, it’s all in good fun, and really, we are just voicing our opinion. (Quite frankly, some of the people that we criticize the hardest, appreciate us the most.) What are you going to do when you hit the big leagues homie? Label execs are MUCH WORSE than us when it comes to the brutal honesty. This industry doesn’t babysit. There is no pity here. You have enough examples of greats that came before you, and even some of your peers are making waves in the world of unsigned Hip-Hop. There is NO excuse.

Suck it up. Stop whining, and make music. Labels are now looking on our website for talent. You don’t want to deal with our small comments? Fine. Miss out on the chance of a lifetime. Hope your buddies pay your rent while you forever make YouTube music.


Posted in Archive, Blog | 1 Comment
J.Scott Tip: “Help Us Help You”
By J.Scott |

By now, you all should realize that we are here to help you. To help you promote, market, and expand your reach as artists. And for so many of you, we have been able to do just that. But there are a number of you Risers that don’t necessarily realize how to help us help you.

Keep reading »

Posted in Archive, Blog, J.Scott Tip | 2 Comments
Christopher.Bryan’s Food For Thought: Remix vs. Cover
By Christopher.Bryan |

I’m starting to think you guys are all really confused. You still don’t know the difference between a freestyle and a freeverse (even after J.Scott’s Freestyles), but now it seems you need help telling the difference between a remix and a cover. So here’s the deal…

A singer doing a cover of a song is different from a rapper’s cover. A rapper can’t (or shouldn’t) recite the exact lyrics of a popular song, like a singer can. Singers cover songs to showcase their voices, while rappers cover songs to showcase their own lyrics. A rap cover, previously known as a “mixtape-style track”, has to show more originality. If an artist submitted a song to RapRise of them rapping the exact lyrics from a popular song, I’m not sure we’d post it. Rappers have more creative freedom when covering a song. The only thing that can remain the same, lyrics wise, in a rapper’s cover, is the original song’s chorus. But the chorus must be re-recorded by the artist(s) covering the song. Otherwise, it becomes a remix.

When you hear a song that’s been remixed, you hear a good portion of the original song, whether it be the chorus or a verse from the artist that the song belongs to. If Rick Ross was to spit one verse on Jay-Z’s “Heart of the City”, and on that track he sang the song’s hook, that’s a cover. But if Mr. Rozay left Hov’s first verse and the original chorus on the song, it’s a remix. The same rules should apply to unsigned acts.

Think of it this way: When you cover a song, you’re vocals are like a blanket, covering the song’s instrumental. When you remix a song, you become the featured artist of a song that already exists. I hope this makes sense to you guys, and I hope you all apply it.

Stay Up


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LG’s W.T.F. – “Nursery Rhymes”
By LG |

Wall. Crawl. Tall. Fall. Mall. Install.

You see how frickin easy it is to find words that rhyme? Like seriously, it’s EAASSSYYY. Why in the hell is there an increase of rappers that all of a sudden, don’t rhyme for 2-6 bars!? What are you doing? Did you not listen to yorself on the recording and hear the random 7 sentences that didn’t rhyme spew out your piehole?

Aren’t you supposed to be a RAPPER? Isn’t rhyming important? I mean if you don’t rhyme, what are you, a spoken word poet right? Even they rhyme though, so hmmmmm….public speaker! Got it. Hey get your college-appearance ass off the track and let someone with half a brain use it! I don’t wanna hear you mumble some nonsense that doesn’t even rhyme. If you don’t rhyme effectively, most likely, lyrically, you suck as well. So that theoretically means that Dr. Suess is a better rapper than you.



Mmmm…ok. Tell you what, you go pick up The Lorax on bootleg, and call me when you figure out how to string together a 16 that rhymes all the way through. Ya flippin idiots.


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J.Scott Tip: “Crew Love”
By J.Scott |

The era of the “crew” has returned; and I love it. It’s great to see collectives of artists coming together to rise the ranks in unison.
But there is a trend amongst crews that should be rethought. Why do half of your crews songs do nothing but rep your crew? Example: Your crew’s name is, let’s say, The Bomber Boys. (That’s bad, I know.) And most of your songs are titled things like “Bombers Gonna Bomb,” “Stay Bombin,” and of course, “The Bomber Boys”. While it’s very cool that you feel an immense amount of pride for your crew… what about your fans? Unless everyone who listens to your music is inducted into the Bomber Boys academy, why would they want to listen to 12 theme songs for YOU?

Give your listeners something to relate to, something to feel, something to compare themselves to. Otherwise, all you’re doing is creating music for the moment. You will never have a sustaining impact in your listener’s minds. Because, unless I’m feeling like a “Bomber” today, odds are, I’m not singing along with (or even listening to) your song.

So, utilize your artistic duty to connect to your listeners. And keep your 12 theme songs for your own private ‘get hype before the club’ collection.

P.S. - Apologies if there really is a crew out there called “The Bomber Boys”. Stay bombin.

- J.Scott

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  • What’s Your Name?

    Who are you? Really. Ask yourself that. The first step to making a presence is knowing who you are. The one thing that should always be consistent throughout your brand, (yes, you are a brand), is your name. Occasional name changes aside, your name always be the same. But when upcoming rapper, let’s call him “Kid Magic”, releases new music and his YouTube account calls him “K.I.D. Magic”, song title calls him “KidMagic”, Twitter calls him “Kiidd Magic”, and so on and so forth, how are his fans supposed to connect to his brand?
    (Keep reading)

  • Who's Next?

    Who will be the next Riser to join the Hall Of Fame?