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

Monday, October 16, 2006

David Letterman style

Ten Things that make running a label suck

1. Returns. And the damn reserve against returns. Got a room full of duds. No love for Tower Records going out of business
2. Selfish artists who think it’s everyone in the label’s job to be at their beck and call while they feel they can be late to every appointment with no consequences
3. Marketing budgets – the amount of money you have to spend just to get in the game is ridiculous
4. Distributors – they are the end of the line in terms of the process but wield an inordinate amount of power. And in a contracting business their accounting practices get stranger and stranger and it rarely benefits the label. Then they go bankrupt and hold your money
5. Unqualified staff who think that by watching videos and reading okayplayer make them qualified to execute a campaign. And what is worse is when it takes the boss too long to figure this out
6. Debating Hip-Hop with interlopers in various positions of power who don’t know who Common is
7. Writers who will give bad reviews and then refuse to have a discussion about their rationale
8. Independent promo companies who take your money and then blame you for their failures
9. Net 60 and 90 day terms. I understand why, but damn
10. Salespeople who don’t think sales is their responsibility

Ten Things that make you stay regardless

1. Artists that inspire you. MC’s, producers, engineers, graphic designers, illustrators etc...
2. Found money. Licensing music to TV, Film, and video games. Nothing better than getting a phone call saying, “The Wire is interested…”
3. Helping a young hungry cat go from an intern to a VP
4. Artwork. With all the covers you obsess as a kid it is the best to work on creating your own
5. Writing credits and liner notes
6. Having people around the world recognize your logo
7. Touring. Although I can only last 5 days before I am exhausted
8. Seeing your joints in the store and then seeing a customer bring it to the register
9. The end of the net 60 or 90 and the check finally comes
10. Doing what you love


Blogger ian said...

Pretty on-point as alway, Wes. Re: #7 ("Writers who will give bad reviews and then refuse to have a discussion about their rationale") though: isn't this largely irrelevant in the US with the exception of maybe a XXL rating in "XXL" mag (holla, Rashid, Pusha & Malice!) on the rap side and real negative or real positive reviews on Pitchfork on the indie rock side?

October 16, 2006 7:51 PM

Blogger Swifty said...

I actually had an experience with XLR8R where one of our records got a bad review and I knew the writer. So I hit him up and asked him to elaborate.

He caught an attitude and claimed he did not have to explain any of his writing. I believe the quote was something like "You just have to take criticism from critics."

Lost mad respect for this cat. Just like the artist has to put himself out there and back up his words so should critics.

October 17, 2006 7:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More complaints huh? How about instead of blaming your staff you hold the mirror up to yourself a little? Isnt the "CEO" ultimately responsible for the entire office? I mean if the label hits a homerun doesn't the praise fall on the boss and he then praises the staff? Also your cheap ass gets what it pays for. You cant spend $20,000 and expect to get a Benz. Pay your people better, and then you will actually have a right to hold them to the rediculous standards that you already do. I mean how many diamonds in the rough do you realistically expect to find? You know, there are business schools out there, FYI.

October 17, 2006 11:18 AM

Blogger Swifty said...

I was wondering where you were Grumpy Smurf. thought you weren't reading anymore.
good to know you still care

let me know when you are ready to come out from your anonymous mask

October 17, 2006 11:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, cant beleive you published a negative comment. I thought Brooklyn went comunist for a sec there.

Props for putting it up.

And I aint grumpy, just pointing things out. And giving opinions, with intentions of getting you to think. You will know soon enough.

October 17, 2006 4:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has a right to their own opinion... though you do have to wonder about the people who constantly complain. Is it that "The Man" keeps doing them wrong? Or are they just losers who are too afraid to take control of their own destiny? That's an opinion that will make you think...

October 18, 2006 8:55 AM


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