How to be a SoundCloud rapper in five easy steps

August 26, 2020 — by Jason Cheng

Breaking down the ins and outs of the hip-hop industry for the perfect guide to your SoundCloud blow-up.

I’ve spent months analyzing the SoundCloud rap scene, and I’ve finally come up with five easy steps to ensure that you'll shoot up the charts with offers coming at you left and right in no time. 


No. 1: Find a good digital audio workstation (DAW).

Your DAW is where you’ll be producing and arranging your music, and since you’ll likely need many takes and layers, I’d strongly suggest you get one (unless you can freestyle). There are many different options, but GarageBand is probably good enough. Others include FL Studio and Ableton, if you feel like spending that extra birthday money. 


No. 2: Find a beat. 

No matter how good you think your rapping skills are, you’ll need to find that perfect beat to complement your bars. All it takes is a simple Google search — just make sure the beat is free and you’re good to go. Of course, if you’re feeling extra creative, you can make your own, but just make sure your friends don’t laugh at you when you show them your “fire” beat. You don’t want to be another case of the “15-year-old producer tryna make it.” 


No. 3: Record your vocals. 

Think about what you want to rap about. If you aren’t the most lyrical rapper ever, go ahead and ask someone to be your ghostwriter. (I’m looking at you, Jake Paul.) It does take several attempts to perfect a verse or a hook, so open up your DAW and spit those bars into your microphone. Delivery is super important, so make sure you’re satisfied enough with the vocals so that you don’t cringe when you play it back. You can’t be flexing your cars and money while sounding like Alvin the Chipmunk, 645AR. 


No. 4: Mix your song.

This is where it all comes together. It’s super important for you to stack the layers and beef up that fat sub bass to preserve the overall vibe of the song. You’ll want the drums to slap as hard as possible, so slide the kick and 808 volumes all the way up to really slice through your song when it’s bumping in the club. Drown your vocals in Autotune and reverb to truly get that “professional” touch. Also consider spicing up your vocals with some Travis Scott ad-libs by shouting into your microphone between lines. 


No. 5: Release your song. 

Don’t rush the release — it’s absolutely crucial that every single one of your ten Instagram followers is notified that your song is dropping, and even tease them a bit with several poorly cut audio clips. Ask your “artist” friend for some cover art, and make some final adjustments to your mix (some extra Autotune won’t hurt). When the time comes, hit the “Upload” button and watch the streams pour in. 

And that’s it: a foolproof way to become the next Juice WRLD or Lil Uzi Vert. Oh, that reminds me — don’t forget to make a rapper name, too. In the event that nothing comes to mind, just go with “Lil” plus your favorite 3 a.m. snack from the refrigerator. 

Don’t be discouraged if your song doesn’t explode straight away, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Just rinse and repeat these five steps, and fame will eventually come knocking on the door. 

Lil Cheesy out. 

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