Tuesday, May 4, 2010

*NY Mag Article* Hip-Hop’s New Business Model: Major-Label Rappers Stay ‘Independent’

Extremely interesting piece about how some of our favorite "independent artists" might really have been signed for some time now. Presumably stating that there's a sort of cool factor about being on the grind dolo, without any help from a label. Hmm. I don't think I'd hide the fact I got signed but I can see what you can do with a power like that. Like, they talk about Drake already being signed to Young Money/Cash Money but still flirting with the labels like he was a free agent to get all the accolades of taking those meetings. Something like that definitely makes sense.

"This phenomenon existed before Drake. “I was over at Interscope when we signed Souljah Boy,” recalls Archibald Bonkers, manager of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and A&R for HHH Artists from 2004 to 2007. “At the first radio meeting after he was signed, [the label decided to] do nothing. They didn’t want to mess with the grassroots.” But recent examples of rappers who have secretly signed to labels while continuing to market themselves suggest that the trend’s truly taking hold among those still trying to make their break. The idea is simple: Artists market themselves gradually, via social networks and blogs, avoiding oversaturation. They make their music using low-budget production techniques. And then, once their “indie” success wins notice in the mainstream, their label backers come out from behind the curtains."

Read the small New York Magazine piece here

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