DJ Green Lantern recently spoke on the overall shift of hip-hop artists from major record labels to independent deals and which artists have been able to benefit.
With the popularity of record companies like E1 (formerly Koch Records), Green 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)
Rap newcomer Drake, who recently said he had a record deal on deck, previously 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)
Cassidy has also addressed his reasons for preferring to avoid major record labels.
“The focus and direction of artists [has changed],” he explained in an interview last month. “It’s bigger than it’s ever been…People [are] making business music as opposed to making good music…Yeah, I don’t want a deal right now. I’d rather have my freedom without people over me telling me what to do. If you was ever in the industry, you’d know what I mean.” (Rolling Out)
G-Unit producer Sha Money XL recently called out Interscope Records for their poor efforts as of lately.
“Honestly, G-Unit is going through a new phase right now and Interscope right now is not the best home for them,” Sha said in an interview. “It’s a point in time where employees and everybody just not ethused enough to making things move forward and the staff…honestly, everybody rode off the G-Unit wave. They didn’t have to f*cking work, we f*cking created the wave and they rode it. So soon as it’s time to work and they gotta show and prove, ain’t nobody show and proved and f*cking getting radio and nobody doing what they gotta do ’cause it’s a f*cking c*ck sucking industry, aight?” (The Urban Daily)