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

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Jigga man is unemloyed

The title of this post is the most false true statement I have ever written. As you have heard from your homeboys or read on sohh or nahright, Jay Z stepped down as head of the house Russel built on Christmas Eve.

How cruel to fire a man right before 6lb 8oz baby Jesus' birthday. LA Reid, thou name is Ebineezer (sp?). I mean the man needed to buy Kwanzaa gifts for his nephews and former business partners. What the hell is he gonna do now?

A 30 something year old Black man with no college degree and a criminal record. The system will chew him up. Not long before his name is added to the rolls of the unemloyment list. Before you know it he will be on drugs. Comitting petty robberies and end up on Rikers. What a shame.

But seriously, his tenure at Def Jam was much better than I anticipated. Who had more hits? Not Interscope, really. Their run ended with dissapointments from The Game, Will.i.am and 50 (numbers wise 50 was no dissapointment by any means but PR/branding wise that record was a mess).
Jive had their hits but Jive as a brand does not hold the same cache as Def Jam. I think has to do with the diverse and un-connected roster. Britney, The R, Justin, UGK, Chris Brown, Clipse. All earners but what binds them is simply the money and the hitmaking ability. No real artistic thread connecting them.

Anyhoo, the Carter admin produced 1 great Jay record and 1 overhyped but decent record. A very good (but not his best) Kanye record, Rhianna's weird ass, Ne-Yo's short ass. And didn't Luda get a Grammy under Jay?

On the 'not so stellar sales but good record nonetheless' side there was Fab, Rick Ross, Freeway (personal fave), and 3 Starks records.

There were duds - Redman, Meth, Bobby Valentino.

And no shows - Joe Budden et al.

Not a bad three year run. As anyone who has put out records can tell you three years is not a long time.

The biggest knock would have to be that outside of Rhianna I believe all of those acts were there when Lyor and Liles left. That does not diminish his accomplishments very much for me. Finding the talent is most certainly a tell tale sign of a great exec but not f@cking it up is just as valuable.

Think of all the talent that never reached its full potential - Rakim, OC, Kool G Rap
And think of all the talent that could have (and on paper should have) flopped - Missy (overweight female artists are not suposed to win) , Kanye (stick to making beats), Prince (androgynous Black man from MN?)

Anyway, polish up that resume Hov. I am sure you can find something to do with yourself.

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