How many people have gotten in to the music business game as an emcee (or rapper) and had their hopes crushed because they were “not what the industry was looking for at that moment?” The truth is, not everyone can be a successful emcee. Emceeing requires a certain skills set that most people are not willing to work at to be successful. What about being a music producer?
Music producers are the backbone of the music business. Without a producer, there is no music. Simple enough right? Many people want to live in the limelight like their favorite emcee or rock artist but there can only be so many at the top. With music production, the chances of success are much greater and the pay is greater as well.
As a producer you do not have to just work with one artist. You can have your music in front of many different artists, songwriters, publishers, movie directors, television programmers, etc. In the traditional scheme of the music business, the music producer usually gets paid upfront and if the deal is negotiated correctly, the producer is also paid royalties in the future. A recording artist is typically paid last after everyone else has been paid.
I never really liked this concept as an artist but that is the way the traditional music business game is played. Being a recording artist requires a large degree of patience and then when you do finally get paid, it is usually not what you are expecting.
A music producer can make money in other ways such as writing a jingle for radio or scoring a soundtrack. A well established producer can collect upwards of $200,000 in upfront fees for a song before the song is even released to the public. The song may not even make half as much money as the producer was paid so who really wins: the recording artist or the music producer?
Here is some homework for you to do:
Take a look at the Billboard Rap Singles Chart on any given week. Then go research which producer actually produced each song. While the recording artist and/or the producer may or may not be new, if the producer was smart, he got paid upfront for the use of the music and will continue to get paid as long as he negotiated the terms in his favor.