It Was All The Dream

There’s an interesting profile in Women’s Wear Daily (no Oscar De La Hoya) on current R&B hot boy Terius Nash aka The Dream, and his production partner Tricky Stewart. I implore you all to read it.

In the well-written profile, writer Jacob Bernstein makes the point that following the success of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” J. Holiday’s “Bed,” and Mary J Blige’s new album (which they produced and wrote a huge chunk of), The Dream and Tricky Stewart are now part of that esteemed class of songwriters/producers that can command huge sums of money up front- at least $50k per track- from record labels. Couple that with the moderate success of The Dream’s own album, Love Hate, and the success of his single “Shawty is a 10,” you’ve basically got a shit load of money pouring in. And that defies the current economic logic of the current major label record business, which seems to hit new lows weekly.

My thing is, there’s only so long the hit streak can list, and additionally, the record business itself has to wonder if the investment in these producers and songwriters is really worth it.

Bernstein writes,

“… being hot one minute doesn’t guarantee success the next. In 2005, producer [Scott] Storch seemed to be on fire, with massive hits for 50 Cent, Chris Brown and Lil’ Kim. In 2006, the labels paid him millions of dollars to produce records for more than 30 artists, among them Jessica Simpson, Nas, The Game and Paris Hilton. Not one of his songs even reached the top 10.”

Now I’m not trying to discredit The Dream or Tricky Stewart. I want dudes to make money, get it while you can, and I personally dig their shit. They could defy the Scott Storch curse. But I can rattle off 10 producers off the top of my head who are always on everyone’s albums- both R&B, pop, and hip-hop- and the songs absolutely suck. I mean, you might get one hit for one artist, but really, what are the odds of duplicating that success with everyone else? Not good.

Dream even goes on to say, “With my projects, it’s not really about me. It’s us saying we can deliver this type of product at a lower cost. We’re going to write 300 f—ing songs a year anyway. So don’t give me front end. I don’t need any money. But give me ownership, and I can make money from record one, when it sells the first copy.”

So who knows, maybe the 50k pay days slow down and you just get what you can from owning the whole project. But with everything basically recessing, and your ownership of that property (the songs) not really having any value because a) the market is saturated b) people are only paying 99 cents for a download c) internet piracy d) nobody gives a shit, then what do you do?

That pop shit doesn’t work on a grass roots level.

  • abe

    I’m starting hate the blogospheres interpretation of the music business. You are typing words in your apartment to an almost non exsistent audience, but my bad, you know exactly how to sustain a career in the biz you know exactly what everyone should be doing? okay.

    i love how that works

    • BK Cyph

      ur forgiven becuz you obviously dont know Gooch.
      unlike your favorite bloggers- he lives this!
      now go and apologize!

      As for Dream he is cool, but damn it he aint no Babyface!

  • ri067953

    Yo, why is it that hip-hop is so caught up into making producers into stars? This all started back in 92 with the success of Dr. Dre, and now it is all about who produces the album instead of the collaboration between the producer and artist and having the producer stay behind the scenes. There are plenty of rock and pop producers who obtain great success and no one knows them from a whole in the wall. This is why most hip-hop producers fall off within a short amount of time, reason being they are not given enough time to refine and perfect songs for artist, instead they are just trying duplicate the same song over and over again. This is why most hip-hop music is wack because it is now forced and is not organic.

  • http://www.pimpinpens.blogspot.com triplesixninja

    January 11th, 2008
    at 1:43 pm

    ri067953 says:

    Yo, why is it that hip-hop is so caught up into making producers into stars? This all started back in 92 with the success of Dr. Dre, and now it is all about who produces the album instead of the collaboration between the producer and artist and having the producer stay behind the scenes. There are plenty of rock and pop producers who obtain great success and no one knows them from a whole in the wall. This is why most hip-hop producers fall off within a short amount of time, reason being they are not given enough time to refine and perfect songs for artist, instead they are just trying duplicate the same song over and over again. This is why most hip-hop music is wack because it is now forced and is not organic.

    ^^^^^^^^Preach!

  • Trey Stone

    Timbaland, Danjahandz, Tricky Stewart and L.O.S. are the kings of this future-pop/rap shit. still waitin’ on The Neptunes to make a comeback (though to Pharrell’s credit, his recent beats are ill)

  • http://stuntingonprose.com j. burnett

    i’m probably the only one here who’s heard the love hate cd. can we say crack???there’s alot of producers that are hot and then fall into oblivion but the ones who really know music and are true producers (make the beat, coach the singer, etc) are built for longevity. i think they can at least stay around until 09, lol…naw, i think they can make it in the long run. they seem to be talented.

  • antwon qualls

    man i can dig it but you need to holla so we can make some music together foreal. twan dirty south. 4 sho. holla back