Rapper Slim Thug took the glamour out of the music industry by portraying the business side of his career during a Q&A session on Saturday.
The Q&A, hosted by GrammyU, a student organization for students wanting to become involved the music business, featured the rapper, his producers, managers and DJ talking about the realities and misportrayals of the music industry.
Slim Thug discussed his start in the music business and the hard work required to reach success.
“I started my music career when I was 17 years old – still in high school,” Slim Thug said. “Mike Jones was taking some mix tapes. I did some and just kept making some every month and the venue just grew from Houston.”
Though Slim Thug spread his music through mix tapes he acknowledged the impact of the internet on the music business, he said. He leaks music every Thursday through Twitter, and said he loves that the whole world may hear it instantly.
“The internet is a big thing now but more than anything people need to focus on making good music,” Slime Thug said. “Good music will travel no matter what.”
Slim Thug said having good friends also helped him make it in the music business.
“Me and Paul Wall and Chamillionaire used to just jam over at Chamillion’s house,” he said. “We was all friends before any this but we all got signed to different places. They helped me get to where I am now.”
Members of Slim Thug’s production company, A Few Good Men, spoke about the business side of music. The company consists of three permanent members but has many others who help with production across Texas and Louisiana, permanent member and founder Damon Gims said.
“This is about passion,” Gims said. “If you’re in this for the money don’t do it. We lost a lot of money before we started making money.”
Gims said rappers characterized as sitting in nice cars outside of mansions in music videos are portraying an illusion of their real life. It takes hours of nonstop hard work to reach success, he said.
“I put in at least 12-14 hours [of work] a day,” Gims said. “Every second I have my eyes open, that’s the time I put in.”
Gims suggested college students wanting to enter the music business go to as many music events as possible and observe what the artists and their teams do.
GrammyU helps students with career advancement programs for music no matter what area of music they’re interested in, said student representative of the Texas chapter Uwana Akpan.
“Paul Wall is the president of this chapter so that has helped us get a lot of connections to host events like this,” Akpan said.