Closing Down The Industry…

Nah’Right (via OnSmash) posted a link to some real important audio that I think you all need to listen to.

Funkmaster Flex PSA

On this audio clip Funkmaster Flex goes in to describe how rappers should maintain the status quo within the industry. The music business will continue to founder until it finally collapses on itself. Mostly because the establishment is too top heavy with untalented people. The gatekeepers have decided to close the ranks as the commerce of the industry has tightened. This means less opportunity for up and coming artists.

Young Lip Gloss tried to make this argument several years ago, but he couldn’t express it in the proper terms. It is a fact that some of these veteran artists need to fall back and open up avenues for the next generation of entertainers. In some ways I need to give Soulja Boy credit for finding his lane without seeking the co-sign of more established rappers. Soulja Boy was prA’li smart enough to realize that waiting for the big co-sign wasn’t going to come soon enough.

I don’t see anything wrong with a rapper coming into the game and selling 100,000 or 50,000 or even 25,000 of their debut album. Let the Boot Camp Clik be your example of building a fanbase from the ground up. However many units you generate from a retail level those are fans that went all in and consumed your product from a retail level. Appreciate those people and reconnect with them however you can. From a concert to an in store to your Facebook/MySpace page. It’s either that or you give your work and your passion to increase the fanbase of an established artist.

Funkmaster Flex is part of the established gatekeepers who exact their blood money in order to open the doors for up and coming talent. Flex claims loyalty on this audio clip and I wonder how that theme resonates with the rapper Nine. Wasn’t Nine part of Funkmaster Flex’s camp back in the day? Until DMX came out and the Ruff Ryder camp convinced Flex to upgrade his ride. Where was the loyalty then?

Where Fifty Cent and Young Buck are concerned I don’t so much side with Buck or Fifty. I know that Fifty works harder than the majority of rappers in the business, mainstream and underground. Young Buck was the second most talented rapper on the G-Unit team until his estrangement. Maybe Buck wasn’t working hard enough. This is certainly possible, but I have the notion that Buck’s talent was greater than his business acumen. Fifty might have the best business plan in the rap game second to Jay-Z. If Buck wasn’t totally connected with the money management side of show business whose fault was that?

I laugh to myself because Jermaine Dupri threw deejays under the bus several weeks ago and now that I listen to Funk Flex describe how the music business works I have to think that maybe J.D. wasn’t so far off in his assessment. If new artists and underground rappers start negotiating the internets better there will become less and less of a need for deejays, who were only the weedcarriers for the record industry anyhoo. Flex thinks there is something wrong with people who make an album that ONLY 25,000 people buy. I think he’s wrong. In today’s economy 25,000 people when you respect them is 25,000 people. If 2,500 of that group lives in a certain area that is a nice little audience for a concert.

Young rappers, you are going to have to make your own lane and stick to your program.

Who knows, you might end up drawing the wrath of old ass Ice-T.

  • Braile

    ….long ass pause this shit is damn right
    Funkmaster Flex basically sayin that he won’t break any up and coming artists and if he does co-sign a dj then he will own him make him his son…somewhere down the line when he got his start he was a son to somebody im sure
    But I do agree with rappers dissing their former cosignee/employer. Thats cornballish like say i get fired and I say fuck the establishment where I worked.

    Rappers ain’t sayin fuck the label when they makin money…not only did buck jus do that but obie trice just did it too…

    Feel me like Braile:.::.

  • Macdatruest

    I think this is the realest shit I read in XXL.com for a while. I was wondering when somebody was going to keep it real, Industry Rap is dead. Independent artists are more creative and cater directly to the fanbase. Industry niggas do WWF type of shit and people are starting to want to hear good music again. I think Soulja Boy pissed a lot of older rappers of because he is young, getting rich and not waiting for a co-sign. Dude is sixteen and got veterans saying he “ruined hip hop” well where the fuck were you vets when you figured out Soulja Boy had control over your whole hip op game? And if he did, its not cause he’s the greatest or realest rapper alive, it’s cause right now, people would rather hear Crank Dat than a lot of high profile bullshit so-called Rap Giants are making (see Rider Pt.2) and Funk Master Flex is a bitch ol’ money taking ass nigga Nas been exposed you nigga you a turntable prostitute. I never liked dude and he talk big as fuck but I don’t see who the fuck he blew up-niggas like Funk Flex destroy the game by trying to be “gatekeepers” let the game grow and flow. And first too.

    • Negro Please

      “This is Big Bun B,
      The southern OG
      Im Pimp C’s brotha,
      Everybody know me
      Coming from that P.A.T.,
      With Mr. V.I.C
      Young Mogul ENT.
      If you dont like it Eat a D
      I’m hearing ringtone this,
      And ringtone that
      Trying to label southern dance music Ringtone rap
      They cappin’ on the coop,
      But ain’t a damn thing funny
      They ain’t hatin’ on the music,
      They hatin’ on the money”

      - Bun B; “Get Silly (Remix)”

      I’ve been waiting a while to drop this line and comment about it somewhere. Thanks BXS for dropping this jump. I mean I’m not digging SB or his music, buthe is doing the dayum thing right? If other artists go ahead and follow his footsteps (but actually make decent music) there shouldn’t be any reason to ake a couple of bucks, and hey even influence a nucca or two.

      But then again, If my fav rapper/dj was to drop bombs on you and “anti-co-sign” (is that even a word) you, I would prolly say phucks your music. But hey, I’m a hypocrite

  • Pierzy

    Excellent work, Billy X. Never agreed with you more…

  • sb

    i remember there was a time when flex would break a record from a no name artist….he played two of my records with no problem…he used to play one of them 2 times in one night..i think around 97 0r 98 i noticed that got shut down…that whole hot 97 machine frowns on playing indy records and it’s been that way for years…you would be better off breaking your music elsewhere….i had far more love on commercial radio in cali that i did in my own back yard

  • chad bro chill

    if you sell 25,000 albums i wouldnt ashamed with that number at all becuase those are just the people who purchased the album at least double that downloaded some or all of the album and for me id rather have my voice heard then make lots of money

  • henry

    guess gold is the new platinum

  • http://www.rockthedub.com khal

    gold has BEEN the new platinum, for the last two years at least.

    i do think flex has some points in that PSA, but i also think you hit some serious points as well.

  • Penelope Rodriguez

    Damn…Things done changed!

  • DETROIT

    THE REAL ANSWER IS TO START OUT ON A MAJOR, TO MAKE YOUR NAME BIG, THEN GO INDIE.

    CUZ ON THE REAL, THAT ARTIST THAT SELLS 25K IS GONNA NEED A DAY JOB!

    GREAT ARTICLE

    • Dub Sac

      It all depends on how you get that 25k of record sales. A lot of indy cats talk about getting $7/album on underground labels (and let’s assume for the sake of argument this isn’t complete BS) so when you multiply that by 25k by $7, you’re pocketing 175,000 before Uncle Sam takes his share.

      If you can do that every year or two, that ain’t bad money. You’re not going to be “ballin,” but if you play your cards right, it’s a decent middle class living. Which is better than being stuck in the ghetto. If, on the other hand, you want to blow that shit on jewels and frontin like you’re rich, the money ain’t gonna last for shit.

      It’s all a matter of how you play it.

      • iLL

        Co-signing Dub Sac.

      • FaMe

        You’re right. Look at those Dipset guys. None of them ever go platinum but they make at least 100,000 off every album they release. You may think that their album sells nothing but they structure their deal so well that they still win when they “lose” on sales. I mean in that case, who cares what the public thinks. I’d sell “nothing” and make my money then invest it and still compete with the likes of the major label slaves. Big up to Duke Da God and Jim too

        BeatsAndFoodStamps.blogspot.com

      • DETROIT

        i feel ya, but think about this…outta that $175,000, you gotta pay for business expenses like travelling, managers, accountants, guest appearances on your album, etc. In the end, you MIGHT take home 50gs.

        I agree with what flex has to say from the following standpoint. A man is never gonna put you on, and try to make you as big as he is. THERE’S ONLY ONE PIE! And when a person gets as big as the person who put him on, he goes from making the crews’ piece of the pie bigger, to creating their own piece. this is the last thing a boss wants to see! Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to cake up on a major, you should use them for promo, get your brand out there (and learn the game), then create your own situation.

        The part where flex lost me was when he began to say these guys are nothing without the big men on their label. calling them hamburger and shit like that.

        Basically, don’t ever expect a person to try to make you richer/bigger than they are (especially if all that person talks about is how much $ they got!)

        People front on the dipset, but they are the perfect example of my theory. Cam was on various majors at first, but at the same time he was using them to build up his brand, so when the time came for them to leave the infrastructure was already in place.

        • FaMe

          Now that right there is some real shit, Detroit. I co sign that

          BeatsAndFoodStamps.blogspot.com

  • Queens Boy

    i ain’t no follower or rider but i am also gonna co-sign Dub Sac. cause every time i meet a nigga who raps, he/she always got this shit twisted. like one nigga i knew who made beats, he lied saying he got signed to def jam and he was making beats for rhianna, for like 19,800. we all was happy for this nigga(my friends) until we found out he was lyin.this nigga now works at st. john’s hospital. in any case indie labels like koch and tvt are the way to go

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

    well done. I remember that dude Nine. I had his single cassette tape, Ova confident. he wasn’t half bad. whatever happened to that boy?

  • South_19

    It’s about time somebody gave Souja Boy some credit for creating his own break. He didn’t complain like I hear some rappers do about the label not supporting them. He created his own movement. You got to respect that even if you don’t like his music.

  • Maddolies

    Flexes needs 2 get his mouth off 50′s dick.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    300K been the new platinum. Go get a late pass.
    http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=9016

    Detroit,
    You have the game all twisted. Major labels are putting artists into indentured servitude contracts that niggas can never recoup from. Fuck starting at a major before you understand the real numbers game. Create your own lane and THEN a major will come find you.

    I dislike the idea that artists should shelve their dreams of expressing themselves in front of an audience in order to give their art to a more established entertainer. Fuck that as well.

    If you have a modest following then you should continue to pursue your dreams. I am tired of these dudes that get in the door and then padlock it behind them.

    • DETROIT

      With all due respect, I think you have a jaded view of reality. Reality is that the industry is 90% Business/10%talent. Every major business entity is built on business savy. Just because a nigga can rap does not mean that he is a business man! Just cuz a nigga sold dope, does not mean he’s a good business man. Listen to the young buck conversation, basically what he was saying was that he has no idea how to run a successful business, and he needs 50s help. most of these rappers are just that…Rappers. Without any help the industry will eat them alive. In reality, most independant artist never get any shine. and if you’re gonna make rapping your career, you’re gonna have have a solid fan base to support your movement. If memphis bleek was independent, no one would know dude. Just by gaining exposure you create your own brand and that’s what you pimp when your servatude is over. At the end of the day, IT’S BUSINESS, and you wanna put yourself in position to have longevity. it would suck to have to put out an album per year just to survive!

  • Rizob

    sound like somebody is preparing themselves for the upcoming G-Unit flop talk. its pretty bad if you can’t outsell a Disney compilation album, AND Wayne’s ‘FOURTH’ week numbers….. its okay Billy, 300,000 is the new gold(in your mind)…..

  • http://jango.com/blublack blublack

    See its a catch 22, cause if your brand is begin push heavy on the net and your growing with fan in different parts of the world, it doesnt matter who your signed wit, cause your use to pushing yourself, so any other major push wit a video on utube,and write up in a few mags, you can blow on a indie or a Major, but with that being said, all the push on indie or major dont mean shit if you cant make a great song consistenly. You can free style all day on the net, get in free style battles and it still wont matter if you cant make a song. Song is what makes you,so too all the unsigned artist that can make hot songs, like, (myspace.com/blublack) you have a long career in music, keep grinding yout time will come.