Hip-Hop Executives Disappearing
So I got wind of a rumor that a high positioned executive at a record label may or may not get fired along with other major executives…and the first thing I thought was, who will replace them? You see towards the end of the year a lot of major record labels start to evaluate their staff and performance, especially due to the current decline of sales. Unfortunately this usually leads to mass company lay offs of not just regular staff employees, but big shot executive positions as well. In the last few years it seemed like some of the major executives that we’ve known to steer Hip Hop music has been shuffled from label to label or even shuffled out of the game. The worst part is…where are the new execs to take their place?It seems like along with the lack of good new artist pushing Hip Hop forward there is also a lack of new executives with new ideas to push the business of Hip Hop forward…and yes, I say Hip Hop because I can’t really speak too much on the business of other genres of music. At this rate, it makes me wonder where Hip Hop and its business are going. Just the other day I took to twitter and tweeted how Hip Hop is looking to fizzle out like disco music. Some agreed, but of course you have your die hard saying it’s alive and well.
I disagreed on many points.
Hip Hop Culture
First of all on a hip hop culture level, if you break down the elements of Hip Hop (MC’n, Dj’n, break dancing, graffiti and b boxing) most no longer exist. MC’n isn’t the same, you know longer need to say anything to be heard, the art of Dj’s isn’t as creative with the blends, mixing and scratching like they use to. I honestly cant even tell you the last album, mixtape or dj I heard do some scratches. Break dancing…well I would say it morphed into this new era of dance, and graffiti and b boxing well.. sheeeit, it doesn’t even seem to exist. Some R&B artist are even abandoning the hip hop sound and feel to their records and are going straight Pop, which is having a better success rate.
On a sales level, nobody is selling… from wack ring tone rapper to gangster, to the lyrical MC aren’t selling. So no matter what category or rap music you subscribe to it all looks like its hooked up to a machine on life support right now. Some of yall still disagree?…well…think about this.
Do you remember a time when everyone was selling? Do you remember when Bad Boy, Rocafella, Ruff Ryders, Death Row, Cash Money, No Limit, Wu Tang, Nas, Mobb Deep, Big Pun, T.I, OutKast, etc could all push out gold & platinum selling albums all within weeks/months of each other? That isn’t happening now…first off you can bearly get out 3 artist to sell platinum in the same year. Let me go a little deeper, NY as we all know is the Mecca of Hip Hop….and all we got to rely on coming from the Mecca of Hip Hop is one 40 plus yr old rapper ??? That’s it? WTF??
I remember I use to pick up a CD and look at the back credits to see who the Executive A&R and Executive Producer were. I often shook my ahead like yep! They got the right person overseeing this project, it should do well. Not anymore, where are the new Lyors, Liles, Lightys and Irv Gottis? Where are the new Steve Stouts, Dame Dashs Sylvia Rhones, Steve Rifkinds,? Now a days it seems like these behind the scenes key people behind an artist, making critical decisions are gone or getting old and their clock is ticking. Without new execs getting into positions with fresh ears and new ideas, discovering new talent and pushing Hip Hop and the business of Hip Hop forward ……..then sad to say Hip Hop and all of its counter parts can easily get played out like disco music and eventually disappear.
Something to think about and maybe inspire.