Def Jam Left


The big Jay-Z related news this week is that he’s trying sign The Roots to a new label called Def Jam Left he’s about to launch. I remember hearing about this a while ago and it seemed like it was too good to be true, but now it looks like it may actually happen.  The idea behind the new imprint is to sign more underground artists to smaller money deals than they would get with a major label, allowing them to focus on the material and not their Soundscan numbers.

People like throwing around the phrase "This could save Hip Hop", but I honestly think a label like this could. The biggest problem in Hip Hop these days is the limits placed on artists by the need to put out music that is ‘radio friendly’.  I can think of so many albums by dope artists that sucked and you just know that the material was watered down by the label execs to appeal to radio and pop music fans. By eliminating the pressure to perform on the charts you allow artists to make the music they want to make, and I really think that’s what alot of fans, not all of them though, want to hear. 

It’s gotten so bad that even fans are caught up in the sales game. I’ve actually had arguments with people where they say an album is wack because it didn’t sell! Then when you tell them, "Yeah but the music is dope", they don’t want to hear it because it flopped on the charts. Seriously, what the fuck does the amount of units moved have to do with the dopeness of an album? And who’s to blame for this attitude? If you ask me it’s the artists themselves. All you hear in songs nowadays is rappers talking about how many cd’s they moved or how many times platinum they went, which then gets into the brains of the fans and they start to use that as a standard to measure the artists work. 

I can’t blame it entirely on rappers though, because it’s also the nature of hip hop. For instance, how many aspiring rappers do you know personally? How about D.J.’s or producers? Chances are you know a few. Hip hop is a major part of our culture and a big employer of our generation, and so we kind of look at it as the family business.  And like any business, success is measured by the amount of money earned, so therefore if you can’t sell, your a failure.  It’s a shame because you don’t hear rock music fans talking about how many units that new Coldplay record moved or how many times platinum the damn Maroon 5 cd went. There’s nothing wrong with eating off the industry, it’s just too bad we can’t always seperate the money from the music.


(Oh I almost forgot…In the same article, Jay basically admits he’s gonna come back and do another album.)


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2 Responses to “Def Jam Left”

  1. T Nelson Says:

    Something doesnt feel right withe the roots on def jam just seems awkward

  2. VESYBNVS Says:

    i think JIGGA just started something BIG

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