West Coast rap newcomer Wax has opened up on Def Jam Recordings recently releasing him after signing a contract last year and his internal problems with the iconic label.
According to Wax, his creative freedom got compromised while at the Def Jam empire.
“I’d been signed to them for a while, and I’ve been working on songs. They really wanted me to make a radio single. You know, I gave them songs I thought were singles, but the last batch of songs, they didn’t believe in. So they dropped me,” he explained in an interview. “They were putting me in with songwriters that were known to make hits. The songs I was making with these people was stuff they would write for some 16-year-old pop star kid. Most of the things they wanted me to do were gay. I just wasn’t into it.” (LA Weekly)
He also stressed the music industry’s reliance on copying a pop formula.
“When was the last time you paid for an album? It’s getting harder and harder to make money. You don’t need a major label if you’re not Rihanna or Lady Gaga. You can get the word out yourself,” Wax added. “The labels really need you to be a huge pop success, and they just follow the formula from the last hit. Everyone is operating off fear. Fear of being fired because something failed. So they go the safe route. They tried a song of mine, and it didn’t work. So, it’s not totally their fault. It’s my fault, too.” (LA Weekly)
Last month, Wax released a video revealing his disassociation from Def Jam.
“After a while, everything you do is so put under a microscope,” Wax explained. “All the songs that you make are put under a microscope by 20 people. The point is, after a while, you second-guess yourself to the point where you don’t trust your own instinct anymore. Your instinct is really what gets you to that place in the first place.” (Wax & Her Balt)
Back in March 2011, the rapper made headlines after inking his major deal.
Wax has been signed to Def Jam in what has been described as a joint venture between Wax’s label imprint, Scrublife and the legendary Hip Hop label, Def Jam which will allow him release his debut album via “Scrublife/Def Jam”. To coincide with the announcement, Wax also released his long-awaited DJ Skee-presented Scrublife mixtape to serve as a precursor to his major label debut album. Wax first came on my radar in 2008 via his collaborative album with Virginia-based producer EOM titled Liquid and Courage which was one of the first records I reviewed for We Plug Good Music. (Soul Culture UK)
Check out Wax speaking on Def Jam below: