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T.I. + Atlantic = Titanic…

There was a news flash yesterday at XXL mag dot com that not too many people commented on, but I found it to be precisely the reason why commercial Hip-Hop is in the druthers that it currently resides in. Apparently, the record label personnel at Atlantic have decided that the best defense for their label’s most transcendent commodity is to blame his travails on the internets. As if anyone of the writers or commenters on one of the ka-trillion websites had somehow arranged for T.I. to host his impromptu NRA convention in a strip mall parking lot.

Sandra Rose was the immediate target. Why that is so fucked the fuck up is because without Sandra Rose’s website I would not have heard hide nor hair of T.I. five years ago. I wasn’t into trap rap after ‘Only Built For Cuban Links’ set the bar too high for anyone else to climb over. By the time ‘Bring ‘Em Out’ was a top 40 hit here in New York City I already knew who Tip was thanks to Sandra Rose and her coverage of Atlanta’s underground Hip-Hop scene. Without websites that deal with these artists on a daily (and nightly) basis I wouldn’t know of half of the people that are running around with their underdrawls outside of their pants [ll]. This brings me to my point…

The record, nee, entertainment industry is populated by people that are reactive, and not proactive. There are too many people who only care about preserving their employment status and don’t have a clue on how to preserve the talent that facilitates their jobs in the first place. In T.I.’s case you have an artist that is rising through the industry like a rocket ship. He has the talent and the fanbase to be a class ‘A’ matinee idol. Where is the Berry Gordy that tells T.I. “No, you have enough guns already!” Or at least tells him not to buy the shit that is used to flip over Humvees in Iraq. A gun collector buys a musket from the Lewis and Clark days that they used to kill an injun squaw. A fool buys some covert ops shit with a double magazine of armor piercing rounds.

I blame Atlantic Records as much as I do T.I. since they had to know his fetishes and hobbies after all of this time and they choose to simply let him exist without anyone being honest to him and telling him the plain truth like, “Man, you are about to fuck up my kid’s college fund!” If someone from Atlantic could have been honest maybe T.I. would have performed at the B.E.T. awards with only a revolver, or maybe just a knife. But I suppose this is all par for the course since this is the same Atlantic Records that threatened to sue Nah’Right for embedding a YouTube video of Lupe Fiasco. When has a rapper’s nickname been more apropos? If the people at Atlantic that are scrambling to assign blame for T.I.’s travails were proactive (no Diddy face cream) they would have sent an e-mail over to XXL and asked E Dubbz to present some of that PR magic that he did for Eminem after he was caught on tape using the dreaded ‘N’ word.

Okay, maybe Atlantic can’t afford E Dubbz ear, then they should have put their tail between their legs and crawled over to Nah’Right and begged for his assistance. Do you think anyone would have really cared about ‘Kingdome Come’ if Nah’Right hadn’t given it the big co-sign? I don’t say all of this to put my bosses on the spot, but the point is that Elliot Wilson and Eskay have an equity inside of Hip-Hop that the staffs at all these labels lack, combined. More importantly, they have the access to YOUR ears and YOUR eyeballs. Those four items are of tremendous value. The internets is part of the first wave of trendsetters and tastemakers. Plus most of you have your shit together enough that you aren’t like me who uses a public library to put these drops online. So when I see one of the internets being attacked as being a problem I have to expose the real problem. Just ask your boy DJ Drama.

Industry Rule #4,080…

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