Heads will roll
It seems counterintuitive, but it probably is true in general that the better your job is, the less pressure there is to perform with a certain degree of competence.
For example, if you work at Taco Bell, you could probably get fired for being a bit too liberal with the sour cream gun. But if you're the President of the United States of America, you can send thousands of hayseeds off to die for nothing without suffering much in the way of real consequences.
Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the upper ranks of business community, where you see the following pattern repeated ad nauseum: thieving CEO drives company into the ground; thieving CEO gets fired, but with a huge bonus; thieving CEO finds another executive position elsewhere.
Indeed it seems as if once you reach a certain level in this society your job is pretty much to bleed the company dry until there's nothing left, and then it's off to some other company. You wonder if there isn't some sort of conspiracy among the world's top tall Israelis.
I suppose it could be viewed as a sign of progress (if you're into that sort of thing) that we're beginning to see this trend in hip-hop. Take for example Jermaine Dupri failing miserably in his position as the token black at Virgin Records, only to be hired for some new BS position at Def Jam.
In fact, current Island Def Jam chief LA Reid only arrived in that position after having run Arista Records into the ground financially. And who can forget Jay-Z triumphant ascendance to the fake presidency of Def Jam? Huzzah.
However, you know things are beginning to hit the skids when the word on the street is that the original tall Israeli, Lyor Cohen, could be out of a job soon.
According to HITS Daily Double:
Once celebrated as the king of hip-hop, a.k.a. “Lansky,” Cohen is gradually slipping behind the curve, as the genre’s commercial potency wanes, with rap accounting for just one of 2006’s Top 20 albums. In addition, Diddy’s Bad Boy, picked up by Cohen last year for mega-dollars, is hemorrhaging red ink, and Diddy’s Press Play has sold only 500k.
As I mentioned on my own site last week, you'd have to think heads were gonna roll after a year like last year, with hip-hop album sales down 20 percent and nary a single rap album in the year's top ten albums.
In fact, I wonder if this isn't the beginning of a bigger trend. With hip-hop album sales in the gutter, possibly for good, what's the point of having so many hip-hop people in top positions at these labels?
If I was one of these token jigs at a major label, I'd be trying to reinvent myself as a country music producer a la Rick Rubin. In fact, isn't he up for some sort of TI position at Columbia? Coincidence?