Dear Christian Rapper,

I understand your pain especially with the current economic turmoil. I understand if you have other priorities that need financial attention. I understand your skepticisms about your money ‘hanging in the air’ while traveling through fibre optic cables at incredible speed. I understand if you have reservations about buying music online. But I have to be honest, you don’t really have a choice.

You are a creative. You make music and not just any music. You make music that expresses your faith in God which is not very popular in today’s society. The need to at least recoup the finance invested into making such music cannot be overestimated. It in itself, is a source of motivation even though it’s not or rather shouldn’t be the ultimate motivation.

I will like you to take to heart the words of Apostle Paul to the Galatians, where he was talking about sowing and reaping. He said to them ‘Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows’. That means you can’t reap maize where you sowed yams months before. That will be absurd. The same rule applies in the context of what I am talking about.

I am sure you have fellow rappers you listen to both local and international. Some, you even look up to.  I bet you got most of their songs for free. But I want you to realize something, as the Bible verse quoted above says, if you continue to obtain those works of art from fellow rappers that are ideally available for purchase for free, and you expect that people will buy yours when it is available, I am sorry to say, it won’t work.

I have heard countless rappers whine and complain about royalties and not being paid for their performances/ministrations. Sadly, that’s the current state of the industry in this part of the world. However, I observed most of those complaining rarely buy music (even their ‘favourite’ rapper), if ever at all. And when I asked why they don’t, all I heard were excuses. I understand that things are tight. But, that will be the same excuse the people who are supposed to buy your own project will give. You have to understand that outside of what we can see, there are laws that God has put in place to govern proceedings on planet earth. Such as the ‘Law of sowing and reaping’. You can’t sow 0 Naira in music purchase and expect to reap above that. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Jesus was saying in the book of Matthew that your heart will always be where your treasure is. If you put out money to buy music, you will definitely value it. And your nonchalance to support these other artistes to recoup the investment in their own project will also come around to affect you. I am not talking about Karma here (that concept is unbiblical by the way). I am still talking about the law of sowing and reaping.

I will advise you try as much as possible to start having the buying mentality. There are platforms where you can get music for prices you don’t have to break the bank for. You can even now buy music on iTunes in Naira. So, you have no excuse that the dollar is too expensive. Trust me the sooner you realize this rule and how it applies to your growth as a musician and a person, the better it will be for you.

This rule also cuts across properly investing in your craft. If you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly and if you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully. I am not advocating that everything should be expensive. All I am advocating for is that you properly invest in your craft, the recording, the song/album art. Pay everyone important to the success of the project their due. For a labourer is worth his wages. And you will see your own career pick up the necessary momentum.

I wish you all the best in the future.

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EnVic
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EnVic

This is the Gospel truth! I admit, I used to download whole album files for free and even whine when there was no free zip file online of an album I’ve anticipated a lot (very silly when I think about it now). But after paying for one album, I couldn’t download for free anymore. It felt like robbery to do so. Many of these top quality albums cost a fortune to produce (Cobhams Asuquo said he spent about 40m naira on his “For You” album). Especially for someone like me (a gospel rapper), it only makes sense to “do unto… Read more »

Sheyi Owolabi
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Sheyi

Glad you realise this EnVic the article addresses a serious issue everyone of us have to overcome to move forward. You can share the piece on your platform too so others can learn.