observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Wheel Is Broken

The Wheel doesn’t work

Still thinking about the FMC Conference. I have come to the conclusion that the whole thing is messed up. For all the complaining artists do about their deals and the industry how many hip-hop artists were at this conference.

As far as I could tell, one, and he was with me, Blue Black.

How many Hip-Hop labels: 2 (3, if you count me, but I no longer count Seven Heads as a traditional label), and one of those cats was on a panel

One management company. A real cat we met named Enrique, who was definitely on his hustle.

There may have been more, but I was more in educational mode than networking (shame on me)

So with all the complaining, the grief labels get (unfortunately myself included), the disgruntled artists, the laid off execs and junior execs how many took the time to build with the commissioner of the FCC or the head of the RIAA.
Four cats.

And the four that came were not even four of the biggest dogs in the indie or major scene. No rep from Def Jam or j or Stones Throw or Swisha House or BME or Def Jux. No artists who felt they have been chewed up by the system. No El Da Sensei (smile), no J-Live, no Slum Village, no Leela James.

This whole industry simply works at such inefficient levels it is a surprise the wheels are still on. 9 out of 10 projects do not recoup.
9 out of ten artists make no money on album sales. Labels are batting .100. Numbers like that get you bounced out of the league and gets your franchise contracted like the Montreal Expos.
Not in the music business. In the music business those numbers attract more lemmings to the edge of the cliff in hopes that will be the one cat who makes it.

Hopes that they will be Madlib, El-P, Young Jeezy or Kanye. That they will be PB Wolf, Dame, Jay, or Michael Watts. Never realizing that they will most likely end up like Zhigge, Leaders of The New School, Guesswhyld or Jay Biz. (The last couple of mentions were some cats who should credit for this whole indie thing but are lost in the annals of history because they couldn’t repeatedly score in that 99th percentile).

Here is a mews bulletin that everyone from Young Buck to George Clinton will clue you in on.

THERE IS RELATIVELY LITTLE OR NO MONEY IN SELLING RECORDED MUSIC.

ARTIST MAKE MONEY ON THE ROAD

LABELS MAKE MONEY FROM LICENSING

We must stop measuring our success by how many records we sell. Kanye sold 3 million and will tell you that is not what pays for the Sonny Crockett blazers. If you wanna be a real capitalist, let’s measure your net worth. Tally the whole pot. That’s who wins.

I don’t want to hit y’all with all of this at once. So tomorrow will be:

-The Media needs to stop perpetrating the myth
Then…………….
-Musician vs. celebrity

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