It can’t just be me, but the music industry as of lately is ASS. Typically I would soften my feelings towards things, as most are opinion… but this shit sucks. Although the music industry was always profit based, it was profit based on TALENT, which record label secured the best talent… who held the stronger roster. That’s why we had pride in maintaining CD jackets with inserts… labels were like sport teams and we collected their best artists, opening up your music book was like showing off a deck of old school baseball cards.
Man, every song had it’s moment. The labels had the power no doubt, DJ’s held just as much power. Never the artist… Why was this? Quality control. Flooding the media-waves with an onslaught of music would not only lessen the power of the labels, but it would saturate the power the music had on it’s listeners.. in turn music would lose its buying power no matter how great the products became.
As technology moved forward (fast AF out of nowhere), labels had to make a decision as social media began garnering more of the audiences attention… people were not just absorbing quality, they were absorbing everything. The gateways of DJ’s, A&R’s, and record labels were removed as people found Social media as a way to gain almost 10x the attention labels were offering.
We all realized that bullshit and extraordinary acts of stupidity were becoming increasingly popular… even if people were not physically buying many of these new artists music, the attention they were amassing opened the eyes of alternative industries, which found a way to use this attention to create income. Labels obviously wanted in because just like the blockbusters of Yesteryear, they saw their downfall in this new age of addiction, they just needed a way to sell the music that people otherwise would never buy, …and here comes…. DRAMA. THEATER. EXPLOITATION. Everything that helped shape the struggling music industry of present.
Think of Trick Daddy from back in the day, think of Bone Thugs, Nas, …Hell, even think of the artists that were heavenly involved in drama like Tupac, Biggie, R. Kelly, etc… my point is, think of anyone back then… what do you think of? I can almost 90% guarantee with all certainty it would be a thought of a song or album… even those with rough pasts, I guarantee the drama was the last thing that came mind.
Now think of all these Tattoo wearing, colorful, mumbling artists today getting so much love, and play… what comes to mind? Not a song, not a single, a mixtape, nor an album. It’s likely drama. We’ve become so infected with it that a powerful song is weakened because we have this instinctive urge to side it with this new addiction we have.
We’ve recieved glimmers of hope, but they either became lost in the noise, or joined the variety show for survival by any means. With the recent quakes thanks to Eminems beef with now likely known MGK, it presented a possibility alot of people thought died in the satin sheet softness of a beef between Drake and Meek… but if I were to play devils advocates, that was more of a mainstream theater beef, at least in terms of the products each artist presented.
That beef didn’t inspire music, nor a change. If anything it promoted more of the gutter trash we’re swamped with now. For real.
Right now the industry is silent compared to where it was. The mess quieted down, everyone is on edge; whether it’s regarding their style, their impact, or their ties. People are now more afraid of being exploited because this time it doesn’t produce upward mobility. The whole “living two lives” using social media as an engine is now invalid, because everyone does it, so everyone is partially aware that just about everyone is fake, this just makes anything real appear even less valuable in content. Crazy..
Side Note/Rant: Pretty much like the entire advertising industry, we’ve grown accustomed to box ads and the routine they put in place, so they invaded social media to inject themselves into our every day actions, and now they found a way to buy people, in turn people became hungry for this “perceived reward” and they all turned into literal online ad personas. So now the ad industry realized it’s no longer competing with products, its competing with real people who sun tsu’d thier tactics.. so everything we see online is a figurative rendition of someone’s projected imagination… and we’ve accustomed ourselves to living in it and making it an accepted reality. End rant.
Tides may be turning… it wasn’t long ago we were blessed with airwaves full of J. Cole, Kendrick, Em, Hov, …it feels like after everyone accepted Desiigners “Panda” even in all its illiteracy, everything went bookoo nuts.. Let’s all pray that Eminem holds to his promise of “Being Back”, that Wayne resurfaces Young Money to a respectable stronghold… that Kanye stops rapping about Hoe shit.. that kendrick (bless his heart) stops trying to be a mainstream common and starts rapping again.
Side High Note: I pluck with you Nicki Minaj, but please don’t let your platform turn into a young Wendy Williams in the making. The end.
This new industry is full of stress, depression, and all kinds of mental health crises. While we attempt to highlight these issues we subsequently support all the processes currently in place that fosters its growth. While I am aware the the music industry is, and will always be in a constant state of change… it’s not the changes that are the problems, it’s the states it finds itself in. Will it ever find balance? return back to the days where music was damn near magic that way it moved people. Maybe I’m just an old soul.. they tell me to accept it for what it is, is that what it’s come to? But why though?