I have always enjoyed rapping. The radio was really all I listened to as a kid until my older sister found LimeWire and began downloading so much music (and destroying many of the family computeres with viruses). I became in love with hip-hop. My first C.D. ever was the Like Mike soundtrack.
It wasn't until highschool that I actually started rapping. Usually it would just be freestyling but I was pretty decent. It wasn't until I realized the older kids on the basketball team enjoyed hearing me rap that I began practicing. We would be in a circle and they'd give me topics to rap about then and there. This continued through all of highschool until my Senior year when I purchased a microphone and actually began recording.
Harder Than It Looks
"You just talk into a microphone, right? How hard can it be?"
Very hard. It is not an easy process. The music and recording world has a fairly high learning curve and the Ruben of the past was not very patient or motivated. The recording isn't so hard, but the audio effects to get a crisp sound certainly is. Through college, I briefly continued my musical journey but didn't ever try to thoroughly create music or a sound. Still, the freestyling was what I was good at, but I never took the time to write down any raps.
In 2018, I moved to Barcelona with a friend from college that I used to rap with. He himself had had a roommate who made music and now that we were together in a new city, we wanted to try it out again.
So in March 2018, we purchased a microphone (RODE NT1-A), Audio Interface (M-Audio M-Track 2x2), purchased Ableton Live 9 and got to work. Quickly, I remembered the high learning curve that these DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) have. There are so many setting and audio effects to learn. I spent 9 months writing and experimenting with the sounds but just couldn't figure out how to sound professional. I wanted to go with the "F*ck it. Ship it." mentality but I knew these songs, if created properly, could actually be good. One thing you don't want to do is "waste bars" (use lyrics on bad songs). That is a big no-no in my book. The confidence didn't increase, though. With the lowering barriers of entry into music with YouTube and Soundcloud, your first shot may be your only shot.
I Didn't Reach my Goals
In 2019 I was making my goals for the year and I saw that I hadn't accomplished ANY of my 2018 music goals. That really hurt. So on Sunday, I spent the entire day and I finally found my sound and proper settings! It took 8 hours of tinkering but I found it.
Now I Will Reach my Goals
So now I will drop the EP, I've been sitting on, confidently do Freestyle Friday, and hopefully gain some fans in 2019!
Motivation is hard to come by, but realizing that things don't come easy is one of the most important steps. Imagine if I had sat my butt down for 8 hours with motiviation when I was 17 or 18. I could be on a worldwide tour now! Nonetheless, better late than never. Time to create music.
With Kind Regards,
Ruben "YGR" Ramirez