Do labels orchestrate rap beefs? Should they?
We joke about the TIs purposely orchestrating beefs between rappers, but I doubt that's really the case, even though it probably should be.
The closest thing you might find to a major label beef department would be the goons who work for Fiddy Cent. Fiddy goes out and gets into beefs on his own, because what else is he gonna do, and then they help him mock people in songs and videos, and promote them on his social networking site. But those guys are their own separate entity, apart from the label.
It makes you wonder if there actually are guys who work for the label whose job it is to promote Fiddy. I bet there are and they get paid out the ass. I remember reading a while back that, even though Fiddy's got ThisIs50, there's some other bullshit Fiddy social networking site. The guy who runs it is probably one of the TIs' nephews or some shit. Maybe Fiddy will read this and have him cut off. I'm sure he's got the balls to; he just might not be aware of the graft that goes on inside these major labels.
But I digress.
I read yesterday on Twitter that sales of Rick Ross and Fiddy Cent's albums have increased by 62% and 74% respectively since the two of them began going at one another, and I'm gonna go ahead and assume it's true. It seems like it might be anyway. The two of them have received more press than anyone (other than maybe Asher Roth) in the past few months. And lest we forget, Rick Ross had the best-selling album in the country last week.
Granted, the new Rick Ross only did somewhat better than the new Jadakiss. But number one is number one. And you have to wonder what Deeper Than Rap would have sold, if it wasn't for the beef. Yeah, those first two Rawse albums sold better than this new one, but that was a couple of years ago. For all we know, 150,000 copies sold might be the '09 equivalent of 500,000, say, five years ago. You can't really compare album sales from one year to the next like you used to.
The thing that's really interesting to me is the fact that Fiddy's album sales went up way higher than Rawse's did, and he doesn't even have an album coming out any time soon. Before I Self Destruct has been rumored to be released at various points going all the way back to the end of last year, but I don't think anyone really thought it was going to happen. Fiddy even said himself (and I'm paraphrasing) that he could give a rat's ass if the album ever comes out.
Given a choice, I'm sure he'd rather just continue to fuck with people, on his blog. (Funny that a guy who has the means to be doing almost anything else would rather talk shit over the Internets. I thought this was only something you did if you didn't have a choice?) In that sense, the album is just an excuse to make a buncha YouTube videos mocking people - just like it used to be an excuse to go out on tour, where you make all of the real money.
Rawse, on the other hand, hardly played any role in boosting his own album sales. The bump that he did get is probably almost completely due to Fiddy fucking with him. I know someone else pointed this out recently (my bad that it wasn't anyone I cared to remember), but it's ironic that Fiddy set out to fuck up Rick Ross' life, and he mostly ended up making Rick Ross' pay day. I mean, his kids were probably gonna find out that their mothers are hoo-ers anyway. They'll just have to console themselves by rolling around on a pile of money.
I wouldn't be surprised, though, if the next time Rawse has an album coming, he somehow ends up getting into a beef with Fiddy. The question is whether it'll be his own doing, or if the label puts him up to it. In a time when 150,000 copies sold is the new 500,000+, you'd have to think it's only a matter of time before these labels start trying to purposely orchestrate beefs between rappers.