Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hip-Hop's "Independent" Business Model

Young Money's Drake, before he was part of Young Money, was credited as an independent artists. Drake's credit spans from releasing So Far Gone as an independent mixtape, becoming Grammy nominated, and reaching 2,000 downloads in 10 minutes of the release of his album, but how independent was he really? There is word that he was already signed to Young Money/Universal when all this hype was going on. The same thing is rumored to have happened with Souljah Boy and recently with Spree Wilson. Spree Wilson signed to Jive Records without disclosing the deal because they wanted him to market himself and put out mixtapes and pre-projects to create buzz.

I think this is an interesting way to go about things considering it has always been the buzz an artist creates for themselves that gets the attention of the major labels, so this seems a little backwards. It gives artists credit to be successful on their own, but then they have the major label to back them and help them make money.

It's quoted about Souljah Boy that "At the first radio meeting after he was signed, the label decided to do nothing because they didn't want to mess with his grassroots." This could be good because fans' loyalty will grow and everyone wants to see their favorite independent artist make it big on their own. On the opposing side, fans may feel betrayed for being made to believe the artist made it on their own when really a major label helped them out.

Source: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/05/hip_hops_new_business_model_ma.html
by Rebecca Weyhrauch

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