We know. When you're alone in your room, sometimes you stare at the walls, and from the back of your mind, you hear your conscience call, telling you you need a rhyme that's as sweet as a dove. For the first time in your life, you see you need love.
Whether you flow like L.L. Cool J or ... us ... Jesse Kramer can write you verses to make your shorty, boo, or even your plain old girlfriend swoon.
Kramer is the founder of ghostwriting startup Rap Rebirth, a web company selling low-cost verses and hooks that's received recognition from NPR and the Los Angeles Times. Last week, the 24-year-old USC grad expanded the startup's reach with the launch of Heart Raps, a service that lets consumers buy custom lyrics "for that special someone." It's like American Greetings meets American Gangster.
For $50, Heart Raps will pen a 16-line custom rap for whatever occasion. (Shorter or longer verses are available at different prices, too.) Just fill out some basic information—what you'd like the song to be about, who it's for—and the startup will construct lyrics and send back an audio track for the customer to reference in terms of tempo. "It's great for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or just because," Kramer says.
Kramer believes Heart Raps serves a growing, untapped online market for personalized greetings—think any number of e-card startups such as Pingg and Punchbowl, or larger brands such as Tiny Prints, which Shutterfly scooped up recently for $333 million.
"It lets people get something that's customized, and in a unique format," Kramer explains. "With an e-card, you're writing a message, which is usually in prose, but it's limited by your own creative ability or experience. This is something that's custom written by a professional—it creates a really special moment for the recipient."
Since launching, Kramer says he's seen a surprising amount of new business already—and from an even more surprising demographic. "When I initially started thinking about this idea, I thought it would be for younger people, but I've gotten a lot of older people, in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s," he says. "It may be a function of them having more disposable income, or being in longer-term relationships." In one instance, Kramer wrote lyrics for an older woman who wanted to perform a song at a husband's retirement party.
Asked about the writing process, Kramer says, in terms of actual writing time, it takes him probably 20 minutes to create a 16-bar verse. So we asked if he could spare the time to pen Fast Company readers a rhyme or two. Enjoy:
Stressed 'cause you pressed for prefection in ya next gift
Day coming swift, panic in ya solar plexus
Guess you wanna bless quick, impress with something priceless
Jewelry is nice, but diamonds seeming lifeless
Kindles and iPads, that was last year's fad
Everything you think of they've already had
Wanna make em glad, feel special in a new way
Painting up a new day with lyrics like they're light rays
Heart Raps, art for the heart, customized true
Suprise with a verse written, sized jus for you
Oceans and sunsets, summers when you first met
Poetry in motion no one could forget
[Image: Flickr user Parvin]