News: Saigon On NY Rap Newcomers, "We Got To Get Our Records Played Against Jay-Z, Nas & Busta Rhymes"
Monday, Oct 26, 2009 11:00AM
New York rapper Saigon recently spoke on the difficulty rappers from the Big Apple face and explained why 50 Cent was the last successful artist to come from his hometown.
According to the "Yard Father," labels focus their attention on the ability of an artist to generate radio play.
"All of us got caught up in the emergence of the South movement," Sai said about the delay of New York rap newcomers. "All of us came on the scene when the South was really makin' their move to take over. The record companies was like 'F*ck the New York n*ggas, the South sh*t is where it's at.'...All labels look at are radio spins really. If you can get a record up to 400, 500 spins on your own, they gonna come give you a record deal right away. They don't even have to listen to the song, they just need to see how many spins you got. Us from New York, you're not gonna get 500 spins on your own unless your name is Jay-Z, unfortunately now Drake or Lil Wayne but even before they came out New York is one of the biggest cities in the world and this is our backyard. It's much easier for somebody from a smaller market where you're the local hero, we New Yorkers and we got to get our records played against Jay-Z, Nas, Busta Rhymes, the biggest artists in the world. When you're a new artist it's not easy to break in New York, it's easy to break in Atlanta, it's easy to break in Chicago even because they support their local artist, but our local artists Jay, Nas, Busta, 50 Cent, and we gotta compete against them. Who's gonna get the spot, immediately at the beginning of the discussion somebody like me would get knocked off. I love being from here but it's hard to break here. The last artist to break from here really was 50 Cent because all the stars lined up for him, [Eminem] co-signed for him." (Q The Question)
New York's DJ Kay Slay recently said record labels are more interested in Southern acts.
"[Papoose] is grindin', you know, he's just putting everything back in order," Slay said in an interview about the New York rapper. "He's in a different frame of mind now. We recorded a whole lot of records. Putting an album out ain't a problem, it's about putting an album out through a right situation. I think [Papoose would] rather [prefer] an independent than a major. It really don't make no sense to do a major in this time in age...Papoose would do better on an independent right now because majors are really geared towards Southern artists or high profile artists that's been known for selling records. They don't wanna gamble too much with no new artists." (XXL Mag)
With the popularity of record companies like E1 (formerly Koch Records), New York's DJ Green Lantern previously expressed his thoughts on the independent hustle.
"With major labels shrinking down because the record sales are decreasing, they can't afford to pay this overhead," he said in an interview. "It's getting back to a more independent game...There's like five people who are strong names that are independent. Jim Jones to Fat Joe, there are a bunch of people who can do things on their own, with no label clearances...The point is we're moving towards the independent game and independence is always the best thing. Take your destiny into your own hands...Nine times out of 10, if you're dong what you do for the money...your art is wack and it is going to suffer. You're not going to move forward and it's not going to be anything that anybody is going to look at years later." (Hip Hop DX)
Prior to signing with Lil Wayne's Young Money, rap newcomer Drake spoke on the advantages of possibly releasing his debut album independently.
"There's a lot of [labels] trying to put a bid in but I refuse to let this album be about politics," he said in an interview earlier this month. "A lot of people argue about my buzz, 'Oh it's just the Internet buzz' or 'Oh it's not real, it can't materialize,' so 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 because we don't have the same marketing tools Roc-A-Fella used years ago, that Master P used to sell albums. We don't have those tools, the game has changed. 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." (Semtex TV)
Check out Saigon's "Eyeball" record below: