Producer Swizz Beatz has offered his opinion on the etiquette of the music industry, and why artists are starting to become more free-spirited with their careers.
Swizzy believes the return to hip-hop’s rebellious and artistic roots is becoming more evident in rap music.
“I don’t think artists nowadays are paying attention to any like, particular formats,” Swizz said in an interview. “Because the industry is not what it used to be — you can’t predict a Top 40 record or a #1 Urban record. You just gotta just do what you feel is hot. It’s just like you feel like you don’t want to rap no more [or] you wanna keep going past the hook, just keep going past the hook. That makes it real hip-hop…People don’t understand that hip-hop got started from being rebellious to any rules. Hip-Hop has no rules, and the only reason hip-hop started getting rules [was] because of radio airplay, sales, different spins and trying to reach out to another audience. But [Jay-Z] and Kanye [West] got the audience already so they can do what they want to do, and I think that’s what they doing [with ‘H.A.M.’], which is a great move.” (MTV)
Last spring, 50 Cent talked about artists having to take a different approach to promoting their music.
“I don’t think the music business is dying,” 50 says in the interview. “I think we’re just experiencing technology and we just have to pass new laws, eventually, to change how music is being distributed. There’s no lack of interest in great material, I don’t see people ‘not’ going to the night club or enjoying themselves when the son comes on. It’s just about re-developing what the music business is. It’s easier to download a song that’s three minutes long, probably about three or four seconds for you to download it, it’s easier to steal…The technology is so new and what we’re actually doing on the web that we have to develop that. And those things won’t actually happen, the effective laws won’t happen until it starts to damage film. When you got your blockbuster film doing $120 million in a weekend and then that blockbuster film that they spent $120 million comes out and nobody goes to see but everybody watched it because they could pull it off their computer and see it on HD at home on a theater. They’ll change those laws.” (“50 Cent: The Lost Tapes”)
In February 2010, Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco detailed the music industry’s faults.
“I’m hoping soon, I actually have a new sort of outlook on the music business that I hate so much,” Lupe explained in an interview about an album release date. “I don’t want to be cynical or turn anybody off but at the same time too, as an artist in this business, there’s definitely a system that’s between you and your fans. And I do my work as an artist and I turn it in blindly, I give my child to the record label. Is it gonna be a slaughterhouse today or is it gonna be a day care center? You never know. It’s either a day care or slaughterhouse. Either your baby is gonna come out the other end in pampers and shiny…When you give your music, it’s on them. If they want to put it out, put it on the shelf, take six years to put it out, it all depends on the record label, if they wanna chop it up and re-arrange it and do whatever they wanna do. That’s just one of the sadder parts of being on a major record label. At a certain point, it’s out of your hands. As far as a date for Lasers, it’s truly on the record label. I have no idea what they’re gonna do.” (“Triple J Radio”)
Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx recently talked to SOHH and shared his thoughts on hip-hop’s biggest weaknesses.
“I don’t know [what’s going on in hip-hop] but I know I’m going to be original,” Bubba told SOHH when asked about his take on the state of hip-hop. “Any music people hear from me, from this point forward in my career is going to be original. It’s going to be music that only I can make and if I get frustrated with what’s going on when I listen to hip-hop, it’s with carbon copies. I like Soulja Boy because what he did was original. I’m a big Ying Yang Twins fan but I get [mad] when I hear so many carbon copies of what the last person was doing because of it being successful. That’s when I get a little frustrated [with hip-hop] because I’m like, ‘We’re all individuals here.’ Every person that’s been born into this world was born as an individual with things that separate them from others. For me, that’s what music or just art, period, is about. It’s about making that translate, whatever is unique about you, it’s about making it translate.” (SOHH)
Check out some recent Swizz Beatz footage down below: