I’ve never done a 10 THINGS before so I can’t lie, I’m kind of excited about this. As a semi-retired struggle rapper, I figure I can share a few tips on how to take advantage of the summertime and up your rap buzz. In my own prime, I did a few things right, and a lot of things wrong.

I’d rather my NW rap buddies not blow their golden years the way I did. With advice like this, I might have been a contender! So here goes!

1) Drop An Album

In the NW, every sunny day is cause for celebration. Do you want your fans to recall the good times with a musical soundtrack of J-Cole? Or do you want them to associate the sunny days with you? Your choice. Plus, if you’re not dropping albums what are you doing??

2) Broaden Your Horizons

While it’s really important to have a presence at home, there is only so much to talk about in the Northwest and there are like 40,000,000 rappers here talking about the same stuff. Get out of the region for a week or two here and there. Go to New York, LA, Atlanta, Houston. Heck go to China! But be sure to bring an oxygen mask. Their air ain’t like ours.

Sol Overseas
Sol Overseas

3) Rock Shows OT

So your town holds you down, huh? How many people live in your town though? Exactly. If you live in Portland, rock some shows in Seattle. If you’re from Seattle, rock some shows in Portland. If you’re from Salem, rock a show in Olympia. If you’re from Tacoma, I’m sorry. (Kidding, kinda… not really.)

4) Drop Some Freestyles

Nobody wants your mixtape full of industry beats, bro. I’m never mad though when PropaneLV or Aviel drop a quick freestyle to remind us what they might do given a dope beat. Freestyles (and I use the term loosely) are a great way to build a buzz before you achieve the first suggestion on this list.

5) Collaborate

Look, you are not Nas. You cannot drop albums full of just yourself rapping and expect anyone to care. You are also not Nelly. You cannot just rap with your friends and expect anyone to care about them. Ignore Drake’s advice and find you some new friends who can actually rap well and work together.

Matty, Luck One and Spac3man on set.
Matty, Luck One and Spac3man on set.

6) Buy Beats & Hooks

I don’t care what version of Fruity Loops you have or how much your best friends spent on his new MPC. Go buy some beats. It’s a known FACT that once you spend a couple-or-three bills on a beat from a dope producer, they will stop charging you so dang much. it’s also a FACT that most rappers write crappy hooks. Find you a singer. Holler at Dizz. Just stop talking over your hooks.

7) Stage Dive

For whatever reason, stage diving makes you a better rapper. Not just a cooler rapper, but a better rapper. I think that is has something do with swag. People just rap better with swag.

8) Send Better Emails

If you follow The DJ Booth on Twitter (and you should), then you’ve certainly seen a few rants about the terrible emails that rappers send. Don’t be that rapper. Use commas and stuff. Don’t start with “Yo, what’s up?” If writing is not your thing, stop rapping find someone to write emails for you. If no one wants to write emails for you, stop rapping.

9) Get A Web Site

Number 9 should have been number 1 to me… Nobody cares about your EPK in 2013, bro. Get a freaking website and keep that joint updated with videos, pictures and show info. If people can’t find you on Google, people won’t care about you.

10) Get Some Press

In sociology, there’s a concept called “group think”. People will care more about you if they feel that others care more about you. If people are writing about you, you must be important. We Out Here Magazine is a great place to start.