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Radio Politics 101: West Coast Motivation

Next up, not many West Coast artists have recently had true hit singles. I don’t believe it’s necessarily a regional issue, but rather a combination of things. Labels haven’t signed many artists from the West Coast in recent years, and those that have never really been “pushed” or released a true single with big budgets behind them (yes, it costs money to market, shoot videos, tour, and hire radio promoters—all necessities in breaking a major record).

More recently, the “West Coast” sound hasn’t been popular in the masses as the South seems to have a chokehold on what music consumers want to hear. L.A. also doesn’t have the true street outlets other markets/regions do that break records before radio, a la how mixtapes used to be in every corner in New York City, or how most Atlanta records usually break in strip clubs before radio.

Add to that the fact that L.A. is a jaded market, where consumers are used to being able to see the biggest artists and shows in the world every night, or even run into a celebrity at a club. The incentive and desire for most locals to go out and watch new talent isn’t the same as it is everywhere else (even big name artists often have trouble selling out venues).

In addition, I do feel that certain artists who are successful can step up and do more. Many artists (not just West Coast) don’t want someone to come in and outshine them and are hesitant to open doors because of this. What they fail to realize is that if someone blows up under them, it actually makes them bigger—just look at Dr. Dre and Eminem. Em has sold more records than Dr. Dre ever will, and Dr. Dre has become bigger than life largely in part because of Em’s success.

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