To lease or not to lease beats, has been the question debated among producers on the come-up for a minute.
Back in March, producer Illmind went on a Supa Mega-esque Twitter rant decrying the often financially pointless exercise of selling beats to independent rappers. Illmind, who’s produced for megastars like Drake and J. Cole and backpack rap legends such as Little Brother and Skyzoo, called out producers who leased out beats to unsigned artists.
The issue of whether or not beat leasing is a good look hhas been around for a while with producers on one hand swearing by it and others opting to do exclusive beat sales.
While producers across the world have made serious guap from from selling beats, there are those who have been able to etch out a decent living for themselves through the leasing of beats. Now will you become a millionaire by leasing beats?..probably not, and that’s okay.
You don’t need to be a millionaire to buy quality studio equipment or get records made. You can keep selling beats for a few clips a pop, take that money and build a recording facility, hire an engineer to record local groups, focus on Gospel and Jazz bands (they normally have money). That way you won’t have to lose focus by splitting your beat selling efforts.
Once you have enough funds, start communicating with artists coming to your town, build relationships with them. Invite them to your town, book hotels, buy them weed, whatever. Once the relationship starts flourishing, propose to do a joint project together. If they vibe with the idea, you’ll have enough dough from your savings to fund the entire thing, from booking studio time and session artists to marketing.
Do that a couple of times with different artists until you are in demand. That’ll allow you to stop leasing beats online or selling them once-off for next to nothing and start making money off royalties. At the end of the day that’s what we all should be striving for, building sustainable businesses and brands.