Freelancers are self-employed people who work for free or they may work under contract for a larger agency, magazine, or some other outlet. Popular freelance jobs include consulting, graphic designer, or makeup artist. In 2019 you may want to add Rapper to that list. Your favorite Rapper has made it clear that they aren’t Rappers. They refer to themselves as entertainers or rock stars. With no knowledge of the business and no support they are just freelancing through the culture as a way to make money. I am glad that these young men and women have been able to make a living legally and make money to support their families but, to create this stereotypical image of what the mainstream understands a rapper to be and create this persona that contradicts their own personal morals and values lets me know that they are freelancers.
Everyone likes to define themselves as “hustlers” because there’s a mystique behind that terminology is more appealing. The term freelancer sounds like someone working for free most of the time with a few small checks in between. What the young people may not know is that the money a rapper gets from streams and other sales comes in about every six months. Every rapper isn’t getting the same size bag for a performance, a tour, or a club appearance. On top of that the state and the feds will want their money and you better not come up short. Agencies and labels don’t take the taxes about your check, you have to pay that on your own. A freelancer wants a contract with a major outlet like Disney, Sprint, or Clear Channel but, your favorite rapper swears they don’t want a contract yet they have a “partnership” with the same large-scale entity.
Once they get older and age out what will they do? Will Blueface still be performing Thotiana in fifteen years? Will they lash out at the new generation for not keeping it real or cap’n? Freelancers have been known to “borrow” styles, flows, and deliveries. Freelancers may not have their contract renewed so they work independently until another opportunity presents itself. For a rapper, if a contract isn’t renewed they could be dropped and lose the machine’s support. Then they may disappear but some use social media to keep their brand going even with no new music or work. A freelancer is just like a Rapper on an indie label and a Rapper is just like a freelancer who is under contract.
“Y’all dudes Free-lance, play for any team.” – Freeway (Free)