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.
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.