Major Labels: Love Em Or Leave Em Alone

You might have already heard by now that Janet Jackson has been released from Island Def Jam Records. As if this was fucking NBA free agency or something. You’ll recall a few years back that Atlantic Records traded Fabolous to Def Jam for Musiq Soulchild. Hmm….

Apparently Janet was pissed as shit because Island Def Scam stopped supporting her latest LP, Discipline, after her 2nd single “Rock With U” failed to do well on the charts. Or maybe it was after “Feedback,” failed to ring in some good first week numbers on her album. Couldn’t say. I do recall there being something about Janet wanting to get more money to shoot another version of the “Rock With U” video, which seems kind of ridiculous because people watch videos on little computer screens now, and they can’t tell high quality from shit quality if their eyes depended on it.

That said, I’m hearing Nelly may have caught a brick on his new LP, Brass Knuckles, while his papa LL Cool J (who Nelly got his whole swag from) threatened to quit rapping because a vapid pop star outsold him last week.

I don’t want to hear excuses. Even 50 was making them last year when Kanye outsold his formulaic ass. Talking bout the label fucked up the execution. They stopped supporting it. Blah blah blah.

You mothafuckas need to take that dick out of yo’ booty and man the fuck up. That includes you Janet. Mariah. Whitney Houston. Any one of you pop stars (that includes rappers) that can’t sell a record in a post-Myspace/Itunes/Zune/No record store world.

Stop blaming the label. We already know they are useless. These companies are shells, offices with nothing happening inside them. Been up to a label recently? It’s like a fucking ghost town. Who’s gonna work your record, an intern?

You are at fault for not being clear on a few things.

1) Radio doesn’t sell albums. It helps sell a single, if it helps sell anything at all. See: every one hit wonder that has come out in the past four years
2) People consume (meaning: purchase $$$) music where they’re listening to it now. Online. Going to a store is inconvenient. Therefore promoting anywhere but the internet is stupid.
3) Nobody’s gonna buy something you can stream for free on your myspace page
4) Making a “radio” record is stupid and pointless. It won’t earn you any real endearing fans. Fans are too smart now. They know the formula. You MUST make a record that hits a person in their fucking soul and speaks to their sensibilities (see: Young Jeezy’s latest LP)
5) You artists are already millionaires. Is it really feasible that you don’t have your own record labels, staff with an understanding of the new business model, and distribution (who really needs it anyway)? Boss the fuck up. Jesus.

We live in a media-dominated society. The more you heap meaningless bullshit at the public (see: major television networks), the more they tune your ass out. Now I’m not saying everyone is guilty of making bullshit (I happened to think Janet’s album was one of the best last year), but in general people want to hear incredible- better than average- records, and they want to connect with you. That diva shit is over.

I think Janet leaving Island Def Scam is a smart move. She will make a killing on the road, where the money is. Fuck a label. Remember, Tommy ain’t your mothafuckin boy.

  • mr.martin

    amen. the fact ll is still yappin about def jam, while ice cube is moving more units independently proves that the g.o.a.t. is mentally stuck. as for janet, the fact that at her stature she doesn’t have a company is mind blowing. damn soujah boy is putting on artists already.

  • ri067953

    Yo, you also forgot to mention that most of the artists bitching about album sales are the ones who have been around for 15-20 years or more already. Their time has come and gone. As far as LL is concerned, when was the last time anybody gave a damn about one of his records. Jay said it best, about LL’s last project, saying why was he gonna push a product that nobody was checking for? As for Nelly, that fool is lucky he had more then one hit, nobody is checking for his nusery rhyme ass anymore and he needs to focus on other aspects of the business. These guys cannot continue to blame record labels for the lack of quality content that they are putting out.

    • Pierzy

      I’m a big LL fan but he just doesn’t have it anymore. His new album has a few good songs but there’s a TON of girl records on there (he used to balance them out better) and every “rap” song is all about his longevity. Stop resting on your laurels, L.

      • BIGNAT

        LL needs someone to take jabs at him to bring out his knockout music. if someone makes a good effort to fuck with LL his mind will change and he won’t rest until he proves himself. the problem who wants to fuck with LL he ethered himself with his own shitty albums. it’s not like you stealing fame from him just wasting your time. I hope LL can make some more good stuff but i don’t think he up to it.

  • http://www.pmpworldwide.com AZ

    #5 proves the point that its easier to flop and blame your label than it is to put a couple of million of your own cake up which shouldn’t be a problem since everybody is so sure they will blow lol. Good job homie, you sound like the Hip Hop Bob Lefsetz

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com/ DJ Daddy Mack

    GREAT POINTS. I WAS GOING TO WRITE A BLOG ON SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I THINK I MIGHT DO IT WHILE QUOTING THIS.

  • capcobra

    EVERY 10 YRS IT’S TIME FOR A COMPLETE CHANGE…IF EVERYBODY RESPECTED THAT THEN WE’D ALL BE ALRIGHT…SO IF AN ARTIST WAS SHINING IN 98 OR ANYTIME BEFORE THAT..IT’S OVER NOW…THEY GOTTA BOW DOWN OR BOW OUT…REAL SIMPLE!….THEY SHOULD BE SUCCESSFUL BY NOW OR IN ANOTHER PHASE OF LIFE..RIGHT?

    • iLL G

      Co sign!!!!! shit is exactly what i was thinking… i mean look at jayz, that dude is the opitamy of where u should be now. He doesnt rap as much cus he owns a fuckin team, restaurants, clothing lines i mean get ya hustle up …

      lol @ LL threatening to quit rap. it aint a threat nigga quit already we dont care!! lol

  • yoprince

    couldn’t have said it much better.

    one thing i would add that you touched on is how alot of these artists are trying their damnedest to make hit records, instead of looking in their souls and making good records that sound unique and individual to the artist.

    make good records that appeal to your fanbase and the bandwagoners will jump on EVENTUALLY and you’ll get your sales, even if its on the NEXT album.

    take a lil wayne for example. you, random rap enthusiast, might not be a fan but look at what he’s done with his career. he just continued to grind, over time he developed his own swag and style and then boom! Lollipop. You gotta love the fact that lollipop is not a song any other rapper would have made. this includes the rappers who he supposedly swagger jacked i.e. jay-z, gillie.

    on the other hand, ll’s “my baby” record with the dream.. cookie cutter record, decent i guess, but downloadable

    ashanti “good good” sounds like a Mariah song.

    janet jackson feedback not memorable.

    basically, your music should sell yourself, not the flavor of the month, if you want to influence people to actually buy your record.

    artists who will be getting major sales soon: LUPE, BOOSIE, T-PAIN, PLIES (even tho he sucks)

  • Gary

    @mr.martin

    While I agree with your main points, Ice Cube is a unique case. While it’s true that Cube is moving units independently, he’s able to do so because he’s one of the biggest players in Hollywood being the writer and star of the Friday and Barbershop franchises.

    He has the star power and wealth to leverage the right distribution deal to get his album in the right places. Like he has the contacts to talk to the CEO of Best Buy and be like, “put my shit in the front and make it a loss-leader.” Do you really think DJ Unk or any of those indie suckers can get that?

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    Well, finally someone goes off and says it.

  • Mean Greene

    Please.
    Blog.
    More.

    -Thanks.

  • bongolock

    ^ i agree with mean greene

  • balaramesh

    perfect… absolutely perfect

  • harmen

    that’s the truth right there
    daaaaam!!!
    nelly sold 43 k!?
    i thought he could still muster up some support!
    fat joe out sold nelly, WOOOOOW