Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Slave to The Rhythm? Label Deal vs. Independence

Do artists need a record deal to be successful?

Peace Fam!

So, I was browsing the internet the other day and I came across these video clips with Dame Dash dropping science about “the industry” to Redman.

I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t expecting Dame to be so profound; but, he was and his words moved me. I was moved because I finally heard someone echo the sentiments that I’ve had for years – artists don’t need to rely on a major record label deal to achieve success!! The advent of the internet made this is reality for everyone willing to give it a try. Seriously, what the Hell do some artists think the www means?

It means that from the seat in which you are sitting, you are actually connected to everyone else on the planet who is logged into the same medium that you’re using. Once you’ve created your music and/or video, you can upload it for the entire world to see. Like Dame said in the Youtube clip, you can establish your own team of people to help you promote and market your music. Those folks can work your Twitter, Face Book, Instagram, and email marketing campaigns to attract and build your fan base and to push your brand! All of the things that the major labels said they could do for you, you can do YOURSELF!

The independent artist and lyrical genius, Talib Kweli, broke it down to cats in an interview on MSNBC when he talked about the tremendous success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Read: Talib Kweli Says Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Independent Success Is The "Story Of The Year"

When talking about how the independent artists went from being unknown to winning a Grammy, Talib said:

“Macklemore & Ryan Lewis did not do this with a major label. They did it on their own, with their own label, and it got so powerful that they had to employ Warner Bros. to promote their records. Me as an independent artist, me as an artist without a label and all these independent, underground Rap artists, we should be paying attention to the blueprint that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis set up, rather than the racial overtones of them winning a Grammy.”

Those are wise words in my opinion. Basically, don’t hate the player. Hate the game! Instead of folks hating on those dudes being White, they need to focus on the formula used by those two to make sh*t happen!! Word!!

Make sh*t happen...

Furthermore, in this digital age in which we live, you don’t even have to go to a traditional studio to make your music. The studio might just be your bedroom or your rec room! Don’t believe me? Well, peep this clip of Lil Jon’s crib and checkout the studio, especially the “ghetto” (excuse me…I mean low budget) vocal booth in his multi-million-dollar spot.

The moral of the story is this: GO FOR YOURS!!! 

If you’ve got music on your mind and you want to produce it and show it to the world, then you can, albeit ON YOUR OWN, without the infamous label deal. Like Dame said, some people are afraid of venturing out on their own because they are afraid of the unknown. In my opinion, many people are “Slaves To The Rhythm” in the sense that they are dependent on the illusion that a label can take them where they want to be instead of realizing that through the use of digital technology and the internet, freedom is literally at their fingertips.

Fear of the unknown makes people dependent on something “safe”, like the deep pockets of a major label. Fear makes people steer clear of going independent. Some fortunate people now know that once you face your fear and conquer the unknown, you’ll probably see that it ain’t that bad. So, what was the fear for in the first place? It was just an illusion!!

What you used to need a label to pay for – Distribution and video for example – you don’t need them for that any more. This is especially true for modern day legends like Meth and Red, and even older dudes like KRS-ONE and Big Daddy Kane. All of them are still eating because they’re capitalizing independently from the brand that the labels helped them to create back in the day. They broke the chains of industrial servitude (aka slaves to the industry aka Slaves To The Rhythm) and they are making a living on their own.

Why can’t YOU do the same?

Love and Beats! 
DJ Scientific aka Markie B


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