If you haven’t already stumbled upon Illmind’s 12 Laws For Rappers, then I highly suggest that you take a minute to read it. Whether you are a producer, beatmaker, or aspiring rapper in the making…. there is something for everyone.

I wanted to elaborate on point #8 which Illmind outlines in the following excerpt:

8. Never Say “Let’s Collab”

The word “collab” is short for “collaboration”. Most hip-hop producers understand a “collab” as nothing more than you asking them for a free beat (or more). This is not a good starting point. A producer must feel like the partnership will become lucrative (either immediately, or in the future).

As a paid producer ala beatmaker & entrepreneur I couldn’t agree more. The word “collabo” is an instant turn off to me. I make it no secret that I don’t work for free (in the proverbial internet music sense). Illmind hit the nail on the head with the partnership idea. Approaching a producer with a solid plan that is mutually beneficial to both the artist and producer is wise alternative to asking for a “collabo”. Here is one possibility that I am always personally open to…

Artist approaches me for beat x which is going to feature a well known artist, lets call this artist Kool G Rap. Having always wanted to work with Kool G Rap and hear Kool G over an Alkota Beat, I’d gladly pitch a beat that would feature such a monster on the mic. Further, the Artist has plans to shoot a music video for the song featuring Kool G. This is a mutually beneficial situation. While I wouldn’t be gaining anything monetarily from this partnership/”collabo”, I could add Mr. Kool G to my resume and having a music video on YouTube featuring an artist of Mr. G’s caliber would certainly draw in some fans, potential clients, and respect. Above all, I would get the satisfaction of hearing Kool G spit over my beat.

Of course this is a hypothetical scenario, so don’t expect to see Kool G + Alkota Music video next month, but I’ve done several deals similar to this in the past few years even partaking in the financing of certain ventures. The bottom line is, its competitive for us as beatmakers/producers, however I don’t think working for FREE is a smart move unless you redefine FREE. Handing out beats for free will get you on the radar of a few people if you are smart about it and work with the right people,  but get involved as much as possible. Ask to be present for the mixing, mastering, or recording sessions. Ask for some love on Twitter from the artist following. Just make sure you get something for your hard work.

With all that being said… I hope that Illmind’s Law For Rappers spreads like  herpes and that people start to absorb some of his commonsense business acumen