Archive for the Drake Category

This what u been waitin for ain’t it: Wax Q&A

Posted in Drake, EOM, Hip-hop, K-Lo, Uncategorized, Wax with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by KLO - Young Tunna

Q & A: WAX

KLO: You’re based in Los Angeles, California. Are there any artists in that region that have influenced your music? What other artists have helped influence your musical stylings?

WAX: I am not from Los Angeles but I definitely listened to a lot of Los Angeles artists growing up.  NWA, The Pharcyde, Cypress Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers just to name a few.  I probably listened to just as much west coast music as east coast music growing up in Maryland.  Tons of artsists from many musical genres have influenced me it would be impossible to name them all.

KLO: The internet’s impact on the industry is undeniable. You’re heavy on Youtube and MySpace, explain how that’s helped to further your career.

WAX: Well youtube has been really big for me.  It still is crazy to me that you can record something at your house then make it available to the whole world instantly. It’s a great outlet for creative people.  In my case a good amount of people now are entertained by the stuff I put on there and every day new people discover it for the first time.  My manager, who is currently making some really good things happen for me, found me on youtube randomly.

Wax killin’ it:

KLO: The internet actually introduced you to EOM the producer of your album “Liquid Courage.” Will the two of you continue to work on future projects together?

WAX: Yep.  We’re working on a new album right now (slowly).  I’m really swamped with shit right now and I’m really focusing hard on my youtube page and some collaborations and such, but yeah we’re working on an album.  No matter where my career goes EOM will be a large part of it.  That’s my dude!

KLO: You’ve also worked with producers such as Nottz (Busta Rhymes, Snoop, The Game). Describe the experience working with someone with a resume as extensive as Nottz’s

WAX: Nottz is a cool humble dude who happens to be a musical genius.  He’s laid back and his studio in Norfolk, VA has a very friendly atmosphere to it.  I got there and we listened to some of my music, then some of his.  The beats he played for me were all incredible and I felt like a kid in a candy store.  We knocked out a few tracks and I’m still not exactly sure when they will be released.

Wax in the booth or in the car same shit:

KLO: Trying to become a rap star at this day in age is very difficult because of the state of the music industry, economy, and Internet. What were some of the struggles you experienced early on in your career?

WAX: I still struggle.  I am late on all my bills and I can never afford to do anything.  I am broke as fuck.

KLO: What are your thoughts on the industry right now? What would you recommend to aspiring artists shopping for a deal?

WAX: The industry is changing.  Don’t rely on the big companies you have absolutely no choice but to build up your own thing.  Even if your goal is a major label record deal, in most cases they don’t give a fuck unless you’re already doing your thing.  They want to take a slice of the pie you’ve already baked.  They are not looking to take risks with unproven artists.  The best thing to do is not to worry too much about deals and shit.  Perfect your craft and use all these tools.  The internet is powerful as shit.

KLO: You’ve also collaborated with artists such as Dumbfounded and Prince EA. Are there any other collaborations we should be checking for in the near future? And who are some of the other young artists you’re feeling in the game today?

WAX: I don’t really have any collaborations like that lined up right now, most of the collaborations I’m gonna be doing are with producers.  I ain’t gonna say shit about them until they actually happen haha.  I don’t get much of a chance to check out new music like I used to….I spend most of my free time working on my own shit.  I love Wale’s album though and I’ve heard some hot shit by Jay Electronica.  I think Drake is tight too.

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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.