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Five Sure-Fire Ways To Have A Hit Rap Video

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If you're in the entertainment industry, you're no stranger to music videos. But if you don't follow a few basic rules, your videos can turn into a legal nightmare. Just ask Jim Jones, who last week got sued by two Texas women over their unintentional (and topless) cameos.

Follow these tips anytime you find yourself in front of or behind a camera.

5. Represent: Showing a landmark from your area is standard practice in hip-hop videos. Got a 5-star burger joint in your city? Point your camera at it. Got a must-see strip club in your hood? Consider shooting your video on its premises. Follow this tip, even if it's out of context. Rep your hood right and your fans won't hold it against you.

4. Wave Your Hands: Any hand isometrics must match your words . Houston rapper Fat Tony urges "proper hand movements that reflect the flow of your words." If you need further direction, go watch a few Drake videos on YouTube.

3. Look Hard: Rocks Off has never been to a hip-hop video shoot that didn't resemble a funeral. Next time you find yourself in front of the camera, furrow your brows and stare down as hard as you can. Frown until your eye muscles start to protest in pain. When that happens, do not heed their warning. Just keep frowning.

2. Invest In Video Models: Hype Williams revolutionized the rap video in two simple steps. First, Williams distorted the camera's central focus by employing the fish-eye lens and occasionally magnifying his actors' frame for unique effects. Then, he hired busloads of beautiful video models.

Desperate directors jacked Hype's style and ran with it like purse snatchers. What the biters forgot was that Williams kept quality models on speed dial. These days, you can guess the budget of a rap video by the caliber of video hos in it.

1. Tighten Loose Ends: Make sure that your production manager takes care of business. If you go the open-casting-call route, you're still expected to act professional. "Open call" isn't synonymous with "free-for-all." Serve those video release forms and spell out the actors' responsibilities. Get those John Hancocks in the right columns and keep the empty suits off your back.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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