The Music Business 101: How to Break an artist (In Theory)
“Def Jam lost they soul, they forgot how to build an artist” – Redman
That’s the problem with the industry in a nutshell. The record industry got fat and lazy during the 90’s. When the economy was booming, everyone was buying CDs and tapes all the industry heads did was sit back and collect fat checks. They missed the digital revolution. Slumping sales had nothing to do with the quality of music
(which is a common excuse). It’s the simple fact that the luxury of buying CD’s became something that the people could get for free. Anytime you have something that you can get for free with the same quality not many people are going to pay for it. Stealing music is still considered a victimless crime.
Because of shows like Cribs, rap videos with artists spitting out $500 bottles of champagne, and artists driving half a million dollar cars, it gives people a sense of Robin Hood. The labels find themselves at a point where their sales are declining, budgets for albums are being cut, and they can’t stop the bleeding. What’s a label to do? Do what any other self-respecting business does, place band-aids on the wounds and pray that it stops. Unfortunately for them, in all the years of big business that solution has yet to work.