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.