The writer once wrote about hip-hop, a lot. In this limited series, he takes a look back at pop culture through a hip-hop lens.
The Demo. The Showcase. The Co-Sign. For years, those three ways were the main methods for rappers to get signed to a major label deal. Most of the biggest rappers in the world were discovered by the ways described. And, up until the Internet came along, it seemed that there wouldn’t be too much of a change.
Then the Internet did hit rap (and it DID hit rap music), and the game changed. Rappers (unsigned ones) could post music on their webpages, their blogs, their social networks. The Hip-Hop industry (label heads) wasn’t too happy, nor impressed with the Wild West-frontier aesthetic of Internet Rap music. It didn’t look like new stars would be found on the ‘net.
Then a funny thing happened. Soulja Boy got signed to a major label deal. By Southern legend Collipark (A Hip-Hop producer). Soulja Boy was discovered on MySpace. Then the floodgates opened. Rappers started getting signed directly off the ‘net. And then, this year, Dayton, Ohio‘s own Jola was seen on You Tube by none other than Jermaine Dupri. Dupri later signed Jola to his So So Def imprint.
The point of this article is….if you are a rapper these days, it’s easier to get on than it’s ever been. Probably in the history of the music business. As a matter of fact, if a rapper is really savvy, they can make money and get noticed without a major label.
Case in point: Pittsburgh’s own Wiz Khalifa. This kid ended up on “XXL Magazine“‘s 10 Freshmen issue for 2010. He’s been all over Hip-Hop media. And he’s on an indie label. If you want to know how popular this guy is, check out this video of his album release party. See that line in Pittsburgh for his show that looks like the line to “Star Wars”? You see the number of his You Tube hits (average number, 1,000,000)? He did it by 1. Posting hard on You Tube, and 2. Touring and promoting himself savagely. He’s not alied with Bad Boy, Def Jam, or any big label/clique. And, he’s from a non-traditional Hip-Hop town.
Rappers, DJ’s, and producers. If you want to blow up….your future is in your hands.
Ain’t technology cool?
Originally appeared at Examiner.com
Photo Ulisses Barbosa Flickr