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How much do Event Rap artists make?
Event Rap artists keep 80% of the fee revenue from each commissioned video or live performance booking, with the artists responsible for covering production costs out of their end. Some artists work with producers and some make their own beats. Some hire video animators and directors and some make their own videos, so their take-home pay varies, but in each case it is the artist’s choice how much of the work to do themselves and how much to subcontract.
Who owns the videos you produce?
The copyright ownership for each song and video we produce stays with the artist who made it (as well as any co-writers or collaborators they might have worked with), which means our videos are “commissions” and not “works made for hire”. If a client wants to buy out a video’s IP in full, that is an option, but in practice the use-licenses we issue to clients cover pretty much every conceivable intended use for our custom rap videos.
What uses does your license cover?
Event Rap issues non-exclusive, worldwide use licenses to our clients that allow them to exploit, use, publish, share, host, and distribute the custom rap songs and videos we produce, in any media and in perpetuity, for any purpose other than directly selling or licensing the media to third parties for profit. In other words, it covers all uses of the songs and videos related to indirect commercial activities such as marketing, promotion, education, social media posting, and team-building. However, any direct commercial exploitations of the media and associated IP require further written permission and compensation, and/or a revenue sharing agreement with the copyright holders.
Why do you structure the deal this way?
Creators, including rappers, should be paid fairly for their work and not be exploited. Our prices are kept low to account for the additive benefits enjoyed by the artists who create our custom raps, which they are free to release and sell via streaming music platforms after the commission is complete (if they want to). Event Rap artists put their own name and artist brand behind each custom rap song and video they create, and they pour additional effort into each project to maximize the benefit not only to the client who commissioned the video, but also to maximize the knock-on benefits to themselves. By vesting ownership with the artist, we encourage them to use, adapt, repurpose, and incorporate custom rap commissions into the existing catalogue of work available to their fans, which benefits all parties, the sponsor, the artist, and Event Rap.
Can you really make a rap video about any topic?
Yes! The only limiting factor is the willingness and availability of an Event Rap artist to take on the commission. If the topic is more controversial or politically sensitive, we might have to shop it around to a few different artists before we get a taker, but in practice we’ve managed to find a placement for every custom rap topic so far.
Can I tell the artist what to say about the topic?
No! If you commission a custom rap video, you are paying for the privilege of having a professional rapper create an original song and video about your topic, and the artist ultimately gets to choose what to say. Event Rap artists do take guidance from commissioning sponsors about how the sponsor wants the topic framed, but if the artist and sponsor are not in alignment with the proposed message in the custom rap, the artist will not take the job. We put a lot of care into matching the right artist with the right sponsor to minimize friction. Once the artist has taken the job, they can say what they want about the topic, while remaining open to feedback from the sponsor. If the sponsor and artist can’t agree on mutually-acceptable lyrics or messaging, the project is dropped and a full refund is issued, but in practice this hadn’t happened yet!
Can I ask the artist to avoid NSFW content?
Yes! Our artists know how to tailor a message to the target audience to maximize impact, and if an artist feels like their integrity will be compromised by the required restrictions associated with a particular project, they always have the option to turn down the job.
What happens if you don’t have an artist available for my event or topic?
We have twelve artists ready to work, so in practice we always have someone available, and as demand for our unique service increases we have many talented prospects ready to onboard to fill every order. Most rappers are willing to speak on any topic whatsoever when prompted, if they are relatively free to speak their mind.
I’m an artist, how do I join Event Rap’s roster?
We aren’t onboarding any new artists at the moment, but we are accepting submissions to be on the list of prospects ready to work as the need arrises. Feel free to send us links to your work via the contact form if you think you would be a good fit.
What kind of artists should apply?
We only work with artists with a proven track record of making original, topical rap music and videos that has a unique voice and connects with fans. You don’t have to be famous, but you have to be dedicated and dope. All of our artists are at-minimum ten-year veterans of underground hip-hop, proficient at songwriting, live shows, crowd control, video production, and freestyle rap. See the “For Artists” tab above for more details.
Submit a question about our service that isn’t answered in the FAQs
BECOME AN AFFILIATE MARKETER!
Here at Event Rap we are working hard to create a marketplace for rappers, matching skilled artists with clients who pay to commission original raps on new and interesting topics. Our affiliate marketing program employs like-minded individuals to helps us find new clients in return for a share of the profits. If you love creative, eclectic rap music and want to make some money while supporting independent artists please follow the steps below to join our affiliate program.
STEP 1. APPLY ONLINE
To get started, simply use the form below to fill out and submit an online application. Once the application has been reviewed, a staff member from Event Rap will reach out via email to set up a quick interview, answer your questions, and make sure you are a good fit for the program and understand the work and the financial deal.
STEP 2. QUICK CALL
Applicants accepted to the interview round will schedule an orientation session with Event Rap founder Baba Brinkman. Affiliates must submit a CV and be ready to learn about the company brand and values for marketing purposes, and commit to putting a minimum of 10 hours a week into the job.
STEP 3. MAKE MONEY!
Now it’s time to go out and sell! Any bookings from new clients brought in by affiliate marketers will earn you a 20% finder’s fee off the top, before Event Rap or the commissioned artist(s) get paid. This could easily add up to a few thousands dollars every month!
APPLICATION FORMPlease fill out the following fields to apply:
What Is This?
Event Rap is like no other form of entertainment, synthesizing the themes and people involved in any event or meeting into original rap songs and videos made exclusively for your audience, a surprising and unforgettable addition to any gathering. Event Rap is an example of occasional verse, an ancient tradition found in many cultures around the world, adapted into hip-hop form.
Rap Music as a Service Industry
We are re-imagining rap music as a customizable service, delivered by charismatic and experienced live performers ready to apply their talent to your topic. We work with you to learn about your event, your key messages, and your specific needs, tailoring a combination of live sets and custom content to thrill your attendees and make your event stand out.
Custom Rap Videos
Even though we are called “Event Rap”, a major part of our work is producing custom rap videos about any topic under the sun, which may or may not be attached to an event. Sometimes our custom rap videos are premiered at an event to give attendees a thrill, and sometimes they are simply used for social media campaigns or other public engagement purposes. Check out the “What We Do” section of the home page for examples and uses for custom rap videos.
We love combining our services to take events to the next level, providing a full day or multi-day event with multiple rap highlights and unique experiences.
A custom rap is produced to capture your key messages, and can be shared at the event either in the form of a fully-produced music video or in the form of an exclusive live performance (or both).
A freestyle set delivers a live interactive performance of improvised rap that responds to visual prompts in real-time, giving voice to your attendees as they suggest keywords in the chat or in a shared display.
And a rap up ties it all together, commenting on the unique dynamics of your event and referencing the speakers and themes in a way that makes everything feel instantly legendary, resulting in a sharable video that captures the spirit of your event.
Tell Your Story
Our content design process is customer-centric, based on a dialogue that helps us learn about your needs and your message, and we are all about trying new things!
Not sure which artist or which service on our site best fits your needs? Contact us for fresh ideas and we’ll work with you to get the outcomes you envision.
Custom Rap On Tap
The craft of hip-hop endows experienced artists with the ability to write a song or freestyle about any topic, and do so in as much or as little time as the event allows.
On the corporate side, does your company have a mission or message that you want to amplify? Do you have a new product launching that you want your customers to understand better? Are you hosting a Sales Kickoff or Customer Connect event that needs an uplift? Or a holiday party or celebration that you want to make unforgettable? Every event needs rap!
We work with academics and non-profits too. What’s the core idea everyone should know? What’s the signal that needs to be amplified? What’s the heart of your research findings? We make “peer reviewed rap” that takes facts and evidence and makes them accessible and fun.
If you have a story worth sharing, we can make a rap for that.
Event Rap Artists
Artists featured on Event Rap have been vetted for their hip-hop skills beyond Event Rap. They rock crowds with live freestyle rhymes, have extensive experience on stage, write songs that communicate challenging concepts and ideas, and release music videos on YouTube and albums on Spotify and Apple Music and all the other streaming platforms that only earn pennies for the artists unless you’re Drake or Da Baby.
Most of all, Artists on Event Rap can prove their ability to deliver two or more of the Services, with video evidence. Event Rap Artists are wild versatile.
The Rap Middle Class
Unlike many industries, rap has virtually no middle class. Most rappers have day jobs and dreams but virtually no income from rap, especially during a pandemic, and only a very tiny fraction manage to tip over into fame and riches. But why does it have to be all or nothing? Vast inequality between the successful and the unsuccessful is the hallmark of a rigged game. What rap needs is more levels of intermediate success, and unlike art forms that require huge production budgets to practice, such as acting or filmmaking, rap is nimble and ideally poised to deliver.
Event Rap is a platform for creating and sustaining a rap middle class, by helping artists envision new kinds of gigs beyond the same old clubs and concert venues their peers are all vying for, and by helping event organizers of all kinds appreciate the beauty and universality of rap as an art form that can address any topic and entertain any audience.
Beyond the actual performances we deliver and the content we create, the main value offered by Event Rap is ideation. If a rapper has a narrow set of ideas about where they can perform and what they can speak on, their gig schedule will be similarly narrow (unless they are sufficiently famous, in which case congratulations).
And if event organizers only hire mimes and jugglers and magicians and dancers but not rappers, the market for rap will remain anemic and winner-take-all. Event Rap Artists continue to pursue their same mainstream music careers as ever, while at the same time expanding the pie with a side hustle that puts their hard-earned skills and creativity to good use.
Is This Real Rap?
The skill and creativity and technique that goes into making great rap records and putting on great concerts are identical to the skills required to deliver great Event Rap. The only difference is the broader variety of venues and events you perform for, the wider range of topics you cover, and the custom-creation of tailored content for paying clients, rather than writing about whatever you feel like. You can still say what you want and rap how you rap, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Event Rap just empowers Artists to write about a specific topic, and perform for a specific audience, in accordance with the client’s needs. And our mission is to generate paid gigs for independent rappers.
Rap artists who don’t yet have a significant public profile, a decade-long track record, and a catalogue of high quality music and video releases, are probably not a good fit for Event Rap. And rap artists who are sufficiently rich and famous will be unlikely to see much upside in broadening their repertoire. If you’re just starting out, build your skills. And if you have millions of followers, then we applaud your success. But if you’re an artist somewhere in the middle, you might want to join the Event Rap family.
Don’t change your voice, your artistry, your perspective, or your brand. You are who your are. Just change your versatility and openness to new topics and new audiences, and change your fortunes.
If you’re a rapper with a track record who wants to start earning more from unusual gigs and custom songwriting, contact us to apply for a profile. Please include links to your website and socials, and links to several high quality videos of you performing at least two of the Services. Once you have an Artist Profile, you can start sharing it with your network. Tell everyone you know that you will potentially rap at any event, about any topic, subject to the schedule and budget and client being a good fit for you.
We can help you get those gigs.
The various Services offered here were developed and perfected by the company Founder and CEO, rap artist Baba Brinkman. Baba began his rap career in 1998, freestyling and writing songs in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada. In 2000 he started adapting Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales into original rap compositions, and in 2004 he premiered a one man show, The Rap Canterbury Tales, to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, pioneering the “info rap” concept at the heart of Event Rap. Over the years, Baba went on create award-winning solo rap theatre shows and albums about evolution, consciousness, religion, medicine and climate change, returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ten times and playing in rep off-Broadway.
Before launching his rap career, Baba was a student of comparative literature and oral poetry traditions, and also a tree planter in Western Canada, personally planting more than one million trees over the course of fifteen years. Fancying himself a “rap troubadour”, Baba would write lyrics for any occasion, and perform anywhere he could find a captive audience, family gatherings, house parties, talent shows, and company meetings.
While on tour with his various solo hip-hop shows over the years, Baba would often volunteer to write and perform original raps for conferences and festivals he was attending. To Baba, these on-the-spot writing challenges were analogous to the role of the bard in medieval Europe, or the griot in West Africa, the poet trickster who lampoons the powerful and entertains the people with spontaneous verse. Like a court jester, the challenge is to make fun of the king without getting your head cut off.
The oldest surviving video of these early performances is from the 2007 Brisbane Writer’s Festival. Baba was attending the festival to perform The Rap Canterbury Tales and the organizers asked if he would write a rap to thank the festival sponsors, all 80 of them, including Rupert Murdoch.
One of Baba’s most popular tricks was a ‘rap up’, a unique exercise in rapid creativity. A rap up is composed on-site, during the course of an event, and performed at the event’s conclusion to sum it up. Since a rap up has to respond to and comment on the details of the event as it unfolds, any part of it that’s pre-written will lack specificity for the audience. This makes it the ultimate Event Rap: a performance for the occasion, at the occasion, and about the occasion.
The excitement of a rap up comes from the high stakes, since there is no time for rehearsal or revision, and from the “how did you come up with that so quick?!” astonishment of the audience. The performance time is pre-set, so the challenge is to distill as much of the event as possible into the lyrics, writing and listening at the same time, and have it ready to perform at showtime, one way or another. Written rhymes don’t get any fresher than that.
Baba would often volunteer to compose and perform a rap up at any event he was attending, for whatever reason. For instance, here’s a rap up summary of the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney Australia, performed for 5,000 international conservation officials.
Peer Reviewed Rap
With his growing collection of science-themed rap albums and shows, organizations started approaching Baba about producing new custom rap videos on a wider and wider range of topics. Some these projects were premiered at conferences or other events, while others were produced as stand-alone songs and videos, released via digital music stores and YouTube to popularize challenging ideas.
A custom rap is designed to communicate a set of themes and messages, whether an academic topic or political argument or a set of research findings. The concept of “Peer Reviewed Rap” was coined by evolutionary biologist Mark Pallen (who commissioned The Rap Guide to Evolution) and captures the collaborative nature of these songs and videos, which are usually produced in consultation with an expert in the field to make sure the facts are correct and the message is clear, through a process of iterated creation: performance, feedback, revision.
Mainstream Event Rap
The concept of a rap up was originally conceived and popularized by Virginia rapper Mad Skillz, who has produced an annual rap up summary of each year since 2002, a tradition since adopted by other rappers. In a twist on the classic format, our rap up service involves rapidly composing the lyrics in real time and performing the rap while the experiences are still brand new in the audience’s memory, similar to the effect of a freestyle. The only mainstream example of such a real-time rap up we can find is Neil Patrick Harris’ closing rap at the 2011 Tony Awards, written backstage during the show by Lin Manuel Miranda.
In a sense, all freestyle rap is a form of Event Rap, since a freestyle comments on its surroundings and circumstances in a way that written rhymes rarely do. The hit Broadway show Freestyle Love Supreme and several successful YouTube comedy rap acts have recently helped to take freestyle rap mainstream, and in 2020, Freestyle Love Supreme’s Utkarsh Ambudkar performed at the Oscars, delivering an improvised (or partially composed backstage?) summary of the ceremony – a perfect Event Rap.
In 2011, LL Cool J gave an acceptance speech at the BET Awards for winning the “I Am Hip Hop Award”, a speech that was all in rhyme, written on his phone on the way to the event. That’s an Event Rap, a classic example of occasional verse composed for the event and performed at the event.
In 2015, the Wu Tang Clan sold their album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin at auction, having produced only a single copy of the record in a process “inspired by musical patronage in the renaissance”. Similarly, several of the services offered here are offered exclusively to clients, especially if they cover NDA-protected information or reference discussions governed by the Chatham House Rule. Many Event Rap performance videos end up being circulated internally among the client’s employees or friends with no public release.
Know of any other examples of Event Rap in the mainstream? Please contact us and share them!
Virtual Event Rap
Event Rap was born in the Spring of 2020, when the pandemic suddenly brought the live entertainment industry to a standstill worldwide. Baba Brinkman pivoted to become a “Zoom Rapper”, performing for virtual meetings and conferences from home and experimenting with new formats to make a digital experience feel as lively as an in-person event.
Baba’s first rap up performance via Zoom, at the AirMiners Conference in May of 2020, suggested this was a service with a potentially huge market.
Over the course of 2020, Baba performed more than 40 virtual Event Rap sets while building the platform and recruiting talent, with the vision of launching a whole new rap industry, a service industry for the vast world of events, virtual and in-person, in desperate need of an energy boost, and a one-stop custom rap shop producing sharable videos on any topic.
In 2021 Event Rap had its official launch with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and continues to grow and explore new applications for custom rap content.