One of the perks that comes with finally “getting on” in the rap game is that if you become successful enough in music, you will get a chance to become the boss of your very own record label. Ever since Jay Z figured out that the best way to maintain control of your own career was to actually control your own career – via owning your own imprint – artists have historically started their record levels, once they have achieved a level of lasting success.
These days, however, it seems artists are getting the chance to run their own record labels without the necessary track record of success to warrant their own label. Due to lack of funds flowing into the record industry, artists with a little bit of buzz have never had more leverage in their negotiation with record labels. This often leads to artists who are relatively unestablished getting record imprints before they even release their debut album.
Although, we respect the grind of artists who are able to skillfully negotiate a favorable deal, it still isn’t necessarily the best idea for some rappers to own a record label at this time in their careers. Here are a few artist that probably shouldn’t have a record label in their career, yet.
Label: Blue Rose Entertainment
With all due respect to Ms. Monroe, it’s probably not the best idea to be managing other artists before you have a successful song, album or mixtape. We wouldn’t begrudge her owning a modeling management firm considering her success as video model over the years but as for making it a music mogul… you probably want to hold off until your career starts to pop on a national (or even, regional) level before you consider other artists. I mean… if your label doesn’t even have a finished website yet?
Label: Glory Boyz Entertainment
After becoming one of the hottest acts in hip-hop and signing with Interscope Records in 2012, Chief Keef was given a record label, Glory Boyz Entertainment, by Interscope after the signing with them. While it’s undeniable that Keef has amassed one of the most impressive rosters of young Chicago rappers in hip-hop – including artists such as Lil Reese, Fredo Santana, SD and producer Young Chop – it’s still probably not a good idea for an 18-year old to be given the keys to a record label quite yet. A teenager, especially teenager prone to being caught up with the law, might not necessarily have the requisite life skills to successful run a record label.
Label: Tan Cresida
Earl Sweatshirt is one of the most prematurely talented young lyricists to come along in hip-hop in a very long time. However, for an artist that literally disappeared for a year when his mother sent him to Samoa for behavioral problems while Earl’s career was blowing up is not necessarily the best investment that a label can make. Columbia Records gave Earl a label, Tan Cresida, after singing with them last year and while the label has already jointly released Earl’s debut, Doris, with Columbia, it’s still to be seen if they can break artists other than themselves.
Label: Gold Gang Records
Trinidad Jame$ dropped one of the hottest singles of 2012 when “All Gold Everything” became a viral hit last year. After signing an alleged $2 million dollar deal with Def Jam Records in December 2012 and gracing the cover of XXL Freshman 13 issue, Trinidad launched Gold Gang Records. Despite being one of the few rappers on our list to drop a song that charted on the Billboard 200, the fact remains that Trinidad is a relative newbie in the rap game, only recording rap songs for about year before he signed his record deal. For an artist that is relatively green, it seems unwise to try and manage the career of others when you simply don’t have en0ugh experience in the game.