As an up-and-coming artist, getting a big rapper to feature on your song can be a game-changer. Not only can it help to boost your credibility and reach, but it can also open up new opportunities for collabs and touring. However, getting a big rapper to notice your music and agree to work with you can be a major challenge.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a big rapper on your song. In this post, we'll go through a step-by-step guide on how to make it happen. 💯

Step 1: Create a High-Quality Song

Before you even start thinking about working with a big rapper, it's important to make sure your song is as strong as it can be. This means having a clear concept, a catchy hook, strong lyrics, and a well-produced beat.

Start by writing a solid verse and chorus that convey your message and stand out from the crowd. If you're not confident in your songwriting skills, consider working with a co-writer or hiring a ghostwriter to help bring your ideas to life. No shame in getting some help with writing. Even drake did it. 👀

Once you have a solid foundation for your song, demo it for friends and family who you trust to give you honest and open feedback. Think about making adjustments to the song as needed if a common theme emerges in the feedback you're getting.

Step 2: Research and Target the Right Rapper

Now that you have a strong song, it's time to start thinking about which big rapper you'd like to collaborate with. To do this, you'll need to do some research.

Start by identifying which rappers are currently popular and relevant in your genre. Make a list of potential collaborators and then do some digging to learn more about their style, music, and preferences.

As you research, pay attention to which rappers have worked with similar artists or producers in the past. This can give you an idea of who they might be open to collaborating with in the future.

Once you have a shortlist of potential collaborators, it's time to start targeting the right one. Consider factors like their current workload and schedule, as well as their overall fit with your song. For instance, if you're working with a boom bap song, it might not make sense to target a drill rapper for your feature.

Step 3: Build a Relationship

Before you reach out to a big rapper, it's important to try to build a relationship with them. This can help you stand out from the countless other artists who are vying for their attention.

One way to do this is to engage with their music and content on social media. Share their posts, leave comments, and make an effort to connect with them online. You can also try to attend their shows or meet-and-greets if possible. 🤝

Another way to build a relationship is to collaborate with artists in the same circle as the big rapper you're targeting. This can help to put you on their radar and make it more likely that they'll consider working with you in the future.  Go to your target rapper's Instagram and check out who they're following.  Go down their following list and make a note of every artist who you find. Often times, these smaller artists will be easier to connect with despite being in the same circle as your ultimate target.

Step 4: Reach Out to the Rapper

Reaching out to a big rapper can be intimidating, but it's important to be confident and professional in your approach. Make sure to include a link to your song and any relevant information, such as the title and genre. You can also include a brief bio and any notable achievements or accolades.

If you don't hear back after a week or so, it's okay to follow up with a polite reminder. Also, consider trying to locate the artist's manager and reaching out to them as well. Just make sure not to pester the rapper or their team too much, as this can harm your chances of working with them.

It's important to keep in mind that even if you've managed to get on the radar of a big artist through your relationship building, there's a strong chance they're going to charge you for the feature.  As you can probably guess, the bigger the artist, the more money they will likely be charging to appear on your song. This means you have to be realistic about your budget and who you're going to be able to work with given whatever your current financial situation might be.

Step 5: Consider Investing In A Non-Exclusive Feature

Don't be discouraged if your dream rapper to collab with is hard to contact or their feature rate is outside of your price range. There's a new concept online that's picking up steam with aspiring artists called the non-exclusive feature. In the same way that you can purchase a non-exclusive beat lease from an online producer, you can now purchase non-exclusive verses and hooks from big name artists for a tiny fraction of what their normal feature rate would be. 🤑

While most up and coming artist are still sleeping on this opportunity, Gabe from Legion Beats and Anno Domini are quickly getting the word out and providing artists with dream collabs as part of their Icons Series thanks to the power of non-exclusive features.

In this context, non-exclusive just means that other artists will have the ability to purchase usage rights to the same verse or hook. So, yes, this does mean that the same verse from a big rapper will appear on multiple songs, but at that point, it's really just up to you to market your song effectively and make the most out of the opportunity to be on a song with a household name. Which brings us to Step 6.

Step 6: Promote Your Song

Once the song is complete, it's time to start promoting it. Share it on your social media platforms and consider reaching out to music blogs and playlist curators to get some additional exposure. You can also consider releasing a music video or planning a tour to support the song.

Also keep in mind that the promotion process is a never-ending one.  Don't just make a post, throw a snippet on your story and call it a day. Be consistent with your promotion over the coming days, weeks and months. It takes some hit songs years to gain mainstream traction. Never give up.


Getting a big rapper to feature on your song can be a challenging but rewarding process. By creating a high-quality song, building a relationship with the rapper, and negotiating the details effectively, you can increase your chances of making it happen.

Remember to be patient and persistent, and don't be afraid to reach out to multiple rappers to increase your chances of success. With hard work and persistence, you can turn your dream of collaborating with a big rapper into a reality.