26 Oct

“Sounds Like a Broken Record Deal”

Posted by, Areial Callieham

How many of you would feel comfortable signing your life over to the executives pictured above? I know I would not even begin to consider the possibility. However, many of our favorite artists have decided to sign their independent careers over to major record labels, and it has been very beneficial to their success.


Major labels are for artists who genuinely know they are going to be received by a huge audience, and that can usually be determined by independent sales. I’m not a fan of major label Gucci Mane at all, but since he signed his deals with Atlantic and Warner Brothers, he has been on a consistent rise in the mainstream. Gucci Mane was able to make that jump because his huge following practically guaranteed his decision would be fail proof. Although the money is in those major markets, it also costs more to be a part of it, so signing a major deal can be beneficial in terms of financial support. Once a label has backed an artist with millions of dollars, they expect to make a profit or at least break even. A lot of artists make deals with the devil, and as a result end up in the lake of fire also known as dropped because album sales didn’t do as expected.

Many artists also choose to remain independent, and like a major label there are many pros and cons. Independent artists don’t have nearly as much money for marketing and branding as a major label, but the risks are much lower. Artists who choose this route are not obligated to anyone, but themselves, so when things don’t go as expected, money is lost, but they don’t owe major labels millions of dollars. Also, independence allows the artist to maintain creative control over their brand, and the outside influence is a lot less harsh.

I personally believe the quality of music from independent artists is usually better than that of the mainstream because there is less influence, and more creativity. However, some artists like Young Jeezy are able to defy the odds. Jeezy was an independent mix-tape hustler for years, and his music has always been on a consistent level of quality free of all gimmicks. I appreciate the independent hustle, and as difficult as it is to make it as an independent artist, once a fan base has been solidified, you’ve made it.



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