Over at the part of this site where they keep the important journalism, there's a story about the marginally talented, partially hispanic pop rapper Fabolous, or as he's calling himself these days, Loso. Nullus?

It seems our good friend Loso couldn't manage to sell any records with Atlantic, so he quit (or was fired or whatever) and signed a deal with Def Jam. Huh?

I'm not sure if signing a deal with Def Jam these days actually constitutes failing up, but it makes me wonder why you see so many rappers being traded back and forth between these two companies as if they were some frat boys' girlfriend.

You've got her this weekend, dude. Next weekend's all mine.

The main trend right now seems to be that if you can't sell any records, you sign to Def Jam; but if you can't get along with Jay-Z, then you go sign with either Atlantic or Warner Bros., which could very be the same company.

Shit, these could all be the same company for all we know.

DMX and Cam'ron, who have both moved units in the past, both opted to go rap elsewhere than work under President Carter, as if they were Memphis Bleek or some shit. Ludacris can't be too far behind.

Um, excuse me, but wasn't the main rationale for allowing Jay to pretend he's president that he can attract talent to the label, like a glorified A&R? Hollar at your Sickamore, the only rapper born in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Jay continues to bother with the likes of Ghostface Killah, The Roots, Memphis Bleek, and the rest of his Roc-A-Fella weed carriers, none of whom will likely net Def Jam one red cent.

Memphis Bleek has no talent and is only kept around because Jay probably feels guilty about having sold crack to his mother. Albums by Ghostface and The Roots cost $6 and $9 million to record, respectively, and have absolutely no commercial prospects.

In order to fund so many of these tax write-offs, someone actually has to sell a few records, no?

I think we all know Ne-Yo didn't actually sell a million records his first week. Jimmy "Double Fantasy" Iovine purchased those copies for himself and will sell them back for a small profit through his line of rent-to-own furniture stores. He's crafty like that.

Similarly, a company like Atlantic seems smarter in the sense that it will sign basically anyone, as evidenced by its roster full of shitty southern and midwestern acts. But if they don't sell, they'll drop their asses like a bad habit.

You see what almost happened to Fat Joe, and he made "Lean Back."

I suppose most of them (if not Fat Joe) figure they can always just sign to Def Jam.