I know it’s not really coming as that much of a surprise to you (especially since our post about the Roots struggling at Def Jam), but a lot of emcees out there are not impressed with the big labels.
Instead of investing in them and their talent, the big labels tend to cut people loose if they don’t perform as well as they had hoped. It’s all about sales.
This article from Inside Nova fully illustrates that. Citing specific examples, Dennis Winn really seems to take aim at major labels. He starts off with a pretty big accusation:
“Nothing is more evident of this fact than the recent split between Atlantic Records and the Brooklyn emcee Saigon. Saigon, who signed with Atlantic in 2004, achieved considerable success as an indie artist prior to his major deal. After a number of mixtape releases, including the incredible “Warning Shots” LP, Sai was never able to capitalize on his momentum. Or better yet, maybe it was Atlantic that couldn’t capitalize on a raw emcee with tremendous poten-tial.”
He even points to current hip hop’s biggest commercial successes. Kanye, Jay-Z, 50, all do well and move a ton of units, so big labels should be quite pleased. But Winn’s assertion is that these emcees had to grow and be nurtured before they were able to do this, and had to earn their dues somewhat.
Some of it seems to make a little bit of sense, but some of it seems a little ranty at times. Read the whole article and decide for yourself.