Exclusive: Joe Budden, Fabolous & More Debate Drake's Indie Chances, "It Could Be Monumental"

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 2:27PM

Written by Danica Dow

With his independent buzz at an all time high, Drake has many industry insiders speculating about whether or not he'll sign a major label record deal. SOHH caught up with Joe Budden, Fabolous, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9 and Alchemist to see how they think his choice will affect the industry.

Royce Da 5'9 told SOHH that Drake is in a very unique position.

"This is the first time that somebody has had a national buzz of this magnitude and is thinking about going independent. Normally it's the opposite. I think it's the first time that we've ever seen this in hip-hop." (SOHH)

Earlier this month, Drake spoke about the possibility of releasing his upcoming debut album on his own.

"I think if I did put out an album with no label, I think I could really prove a point which is the changing of a generation," he said. "I feel like if I sign to a label and go platinum the first week, they'll be like 'Oh, it was the label push,' but if I did it without, people might say this is really changing, the Internet is a powerful tool. And when you use it the right way, you can make magic happen. I really think it would be legendary, I don't know how possible it is, because there's different things you have to consider like distribution, marketing budget and what not. But we have a pretty strong team so I'ma see if we can make it happen." (Semtex TV)

Joe Budden and Fabolous agree that Drake going independent would be big.

"I think it'll definitely have some type of effect on the independent hip-hop scene," Budden told SOHH. "In what way? I'm not sure exactly but it's certainly fun to watch." (SOHH)
"That could be monumental," said Fabolous. "I think it's actually a dope idea. There's certain structures though. On a level of selling and marketing and promoting I feel that's where majors have the upper edge on independent. Of course, they have way more marketing dollars. They also have connections through cross promoting and different avenues that you just can't obtain on your own. It definitely will be interesting." (SOHH)

West Coast rapper Crooked I also questioned the logistics of an indie release.

"What's going to be the form of distribution? If you doing it totally independent that means no company. Are you going to get an aggregator for each [distribution channel like] iTunes [and] Amazon. You're going to be the person that deals with? You're going to have a staff dealing with? How independent are we talking? There's a point where independent still becomes company behind you. I definitely wish him the best but its an interesting conversation." (SOHH)

Alchemist agrees that it would be difficult to operate without a major corporate push.

"No matter what. In order to have a huge record and have huge record sales you need a huge machine behind you," he said. "Even if you're not officially signed to a label you're going to be spending a lot of money, the same amount that a record label spends to get your shit out there on that level and I think Drake knows that and everybody in his camp knows that. Regardless it's going to be the same type of thing." (SOHH)

Drake promised to reveal his official plans within the next few days.

"I'm like, maybe, five days away maybe," Drake said about making a record deal announcement yesterday (June 18). "Just give me five days, I'm sorry, I can't. The burning question will be answered in five days..."(WGGC)

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