Stop rapping over your own vocals. The trick may work for a moment, but eventually, the fans will want for a more holistic experience. That was the case with West Coast gunner Nipsey Hussle, whose tour DJ, DJ VIP, recently sat down with Revolt to remark on the artist’s live show evolution.
“At the time, he was just doing regular two-track playback,” VIP said. “That's when I got him over to show tracks, and that changed the dynamic of the show a lot. Show tracks are basically the song without the verses in there. You just have the instrumental, so that you can really hear the artist… He just sounds much more intimate because now, he's not trying to rap over himself. He's speaking to the people. Now, he's not trying to speak over himself, or speak with himself. You just hear what he's saying clear and concise. A lot of artists that I still see to this day—not even on TV broadcasts—but, at festivals, are still performing over two tracks. For me, someone who enjoys live shows, it does a major disservice to the audience and the fans when you're doing that.”
There you have it from a professional: rapping over your own vocals spoils the performance. The show turns into a competition between yourself and your vocals, not an experience for fans. The live show is an artist’s chance to secure lifelong fans and breathe new life into their music. There is no point in risking that artist-fan relationship to hide behind the vocal track during a performance.
As VIP explained, the show becomes far more intimate and evolves into a truly unique experience without the crutch that is a vocal track—which shouldn't be confused with a backing track, which serves an accompaniment and doesn't contain the full recorded vocals.
Artists with unique live show experiences include Travis Scott, who is nominated for a GRAMMY, and Noname, who just performed on Fallon. Seems like there might be a relationship between tight live shows and long-term success, but what do we know.