Archive for January, 2010

The Drake Effect: “So Far Gone’s” Impact on the Industry

Posted in Drake, Hip-hop, K-Lo, So Far Gone on January 26, 2010 by KLO - Young Tunna

With the recession and illegal downloading plaguing the record industry labels can not afford to take financial risks and develop a new artist. Labels are instead searching for artists with experience, polish and a proven track record of success.

Artists who release mixtapes have the same opportunity to have their songs played on the radio alongside songs produced from major label releases. Developing such a quality product on their own saves labels from overpaying for beats and allows them to use that extra money to assist artists in other ways.

The Internet and illegal downloading have forced both the artist and the industry to enhance the quality of their product. Aspiring rappers must have a much more impressive resume before heading to employers while labels must do more research before making risky signings.

The monetary struggles of the music industry have changed the way most major labels offer deals. Just a few years ago, labels would take roughly 87 percent of the income while paying the artists 12% of the money after the artist paid back the money spent on them from that 12% share.

Labels are now offering new artists 360 deals. Most 360 Deals share in endorsement income (15% to 30% depending on the artist), performance income (10% to 30% depending on the artist), merchandising income (20% to 50%) and Film/TV money (15% to 40%). Labels justify this taxation because they are working to establish, build and brand an artists career. But if a new artist were to approach a label with a steady fan base, quality music and production team one would not have to sign such a ludicrous contract.

Rap’s newest star, Drake, complied a disc of 16 songs, where he alternated between R&B and hip-hop. “So Far Gone,” featured original production from October’s Very Own, his team of producers and assistants, as well as features from Lil’ Wayne, Lloyd, Omarion and Bun B. Noah “40” Shebib, a member of October’s Very Own, produced six songs on the mixtapes and has since worked on projects for Lil’ Wayne and Alicia Keys.

Following in his mentor Lil’ Wayne’s footsteps he began to flood the internet with Drake material. His official fan site, All Things Fresh provided exclusive interviews, pictures and concert footage in order to keep fans up to date on his progress along the way. The mixtape, turned EP, eventually spawned the hit single Best I Ever Had which reached the number two spot on top of the Billboard 200. Drake eventually signed a very rare deal that provided him a 2 million dollar advance, major label distribution and the rights to all his publishing.

New artists need to generate their own buzz prior to searching for a major label deal. Their work must resemble the same quality of work you may hear on an album. Having a strong work ethic is also an ingredient to success. The internet has also resulted in a strong promotional outlet where rappers are provided the opportunity to keep their own buzz going by doing what they do best, releasing quality music.

While Drake has yet to release his first official studio album entitled Thank Me Later, he has already earned two Grammy  nominations for his hit single “Best I Ever Had.” According to Nielsen SoundScan, Drake’s offical mixtape turned EP, “So Far Gone,” has sold 344,000 copies in the United States.

If Thank Me Later sells well we may be looking the new blueprint for aspiring artists. While the internet may have seemed a threat to artists early on it may now be the best marketing tool artists have ever had.

I’ve created a monster!!!

Posted in Hip-hop, K-Lo on January 26, 2010 by KLO - Young Tunna

After years of being on the sidelines I’ve decided to step into the game. As a fan of hip-hop I’ve read far too many blogs that showcase the average fan’s lack of true knowledge of the art form. Inspired by the bloggers, popular blogs and I’ve decided to aid in the search of good music through a treacherous place we like to call the internet. My job is to make sure only the best content makes it from your iTunes to your iPod, so check back here every week for the best in new music and mixtapes. Don’t blame me if your recycle bin fills up faster then your iTunes!

Stunt 101

Posted in Hip-hop, K-Lo on January 26, 2010 by KLO - Young Tunna

The emergence of the internet has drastically changed the hip-hop landscape as we know it. With just the click of a button artists are able to upload new songs, mixtapes and music videos. Unfortunately this has allowed lesser talented artists to flood the net with junk, junk and more junk. That’s where I come in. Every week I will be posting a new mixtape and Q&A with the artist, making sure you enjoy only the finest hip-hop and R&B music the internet has to offer!