Posted in hiphop | industry | music on November 6, 2007

American Gangster, out today
Jay Z - American Gangster

So, I (Wendy Day) see three ways to get a deal (that you'd want to have) in this industry (hip hop):

1. Get put on by an established artist (but bear in mind that you may only be as successful as that artist. It's rare that someone puts you on and you blow up larger than they are). This means coming up under Busta Rhymes, Jay Z, Kanye, BG, Jeezy, T.I., 50 Cent, Nelly, Eminem, Dr Dre, etc. With any luck, the artist who puts you on is fair and doesn't do to you what was done to him when he was coming up.

2. Create a buzz. In a perfect world, you want everyone in the industry and on the streets talking about you before you get signed. Young Buck was a perfect example of an underground artist who had a very strong buzz when he was coming up. The trick is to keep it going til you get signed and then turn it up a notch so that the whole industry is buzzing about when you're going to drop (50 Cent is a great example of someone who kept up the buzz). This option usually takes many years to land a good deal.

3. Sell units. This is, of course, my favorite method because it proves to the labels you can sell, which reduces their risk and gives you negotiating leverage. Therefore, you have more control over the "fairness" of your deal, and often a choice of labels to sign with. In a perfect world, you want to be with a label that not only believes in you, but has an experienced hard-working staff in every department that can really make your project happen. Plus, a nice bidding war never hurts… [All Hip Hop]

Here's some (mostly non-hip hop) artists who recently received record deals....
 Man Man
* Man Man signed to ANTI
* Bob Mould signed to ANTI
* The Raveonettes signed to VICE
* Murder by Death signed to VAGRANT
* Story of the Year signed to EPITAPH
* Margot & The Nuclear So & Sos signed to EPIC
* Hilary McRae signed to HEAR MUSIC
* Bon Iver signed to JAGJAGUWAR
* Annuals signed to CANVASBACK
* No Age signed to SUB POP
* Blitzen Trapper signed to SUB POP
* Black Kids signed to ALMOST GOLD
* School of Language signed to THRILL JOCKEY
* Quinn Walker signed to VOODOO-EROS
* Russian Circles signed to SUICIDE SQUEEZE
* Growing signed to SOCIAL REGISTRY
* Thao Nguyen signed to KILL ROCK STARS
* Clipse signed to COLUMBIA
* The Cool Kids signed to CHOCOLATE INDUSTRIES
* Radiohead signed to XL RECORDINGS

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Comments (28)

I'm glad those plucky Radiohead kids got themselves a deal. Should keep the van running, amps in good shape, etc.

Posted by Aretha Franklin's Pussy | November 6, 2007 3:57 PM

yeah guys, just become Jay Z's protege. it's not as hard as it sounds.

Posted by jason | November 6, 2007 4:15 PM

black kids didnt sign with almost gold...they signed with the mgt company that owns almost gold.

arcade fire rulezzzzz

Posted by Anonymous | November 6, 2007 4:21 PM

I heard Bigga Haitian signed to Walkup Records. His new single "Gi Me Da Weed" is off the hook!

Posted by Anonymous | November 6, 2007 5:02 PM

me love honus

Posted by Anonymous | November 6, 2007 5:26 PM

me love honus

Posted by Anonymous | November 6, 2007 5:27 PM

as someone who works at a major label, and also is a performing musician, fuck record deals. dissolve all labels, yes the indies too, make digital recordings free, produce physical records for the purists when you have the demand to warrant it. alas, its an imperfect world. i've seen my label waste so many resources and so much money on promotional bullshit and singles for records no one ever wanted and forgot even existed for years now... its pretty disgusting. i do like my job(which has nothing to do with the music, just a corporate cog, could be any big company really) and love a steady paycheck but as a musician and music lover, i'll be all too glad when someone renders it irrelevant.

man man rules, cant wait to hear their new one when i "steal" it

Posted by Anonymous | November 6, 2007 7:27 PM

as a graphic designer I would have to agree

Posted by graphic designer | November 6, 2007 8:03 PM

What a fucking useless blog post.

Posted by alex | November 7, 2007 1:59 AM

^MEANY FACE

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2007 10:05 AM

I'd like to see all of the labels listed go out of business (yes even labels that didn't make this list that are supposedly "indie" as well). There's nothing 'indie' about working with '$3,500 a month publicists' and trust-fund-kid-bands from Brooklyn/Portland/Seattle etc who are all about networking and no musical substance. A label like Subpop for example is about as indie as Starbucks, it's just called a good BS-PR campaign. It's pretty comical to me that people working in labels can even still cash a paycheck at this point. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out guys.

Posted by Sandra | November 7, 2007 10:33 AM

Sandra, but then what will become of Fischerspooner?

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2007 10:55 AM

Ok, you got me, I'm one of the 20 people who read this blog. Capital did a lousy-ass job with that second LP if you ask me, so see? I admit my own gaffes. ;)

Posted by Sandra | November 7, 2007 11:10 AM

Maybe you mean to say only 20 people bought the last Fischerspooner record?

Posted by drewo | November 7, 2007 11:25 AM

Sandra does have a sense of humor, so those in that other post are proven wrong.

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2007 11:43 AM

sandra I'm proud of you. but your whole every indie kid is someone with a trust fund is bullshit. Yes there are PR agents, but there have to be in such a crowded market. You are a purist sandra, which I admire, but I'm still baffled by your allegiance to Fischerspooner. What did Casey struggle his whole life?

Posted by Sandrawatcher | November 7, 2007 12:32 PM

The Jealous Girlfriends signed to Good Fences.

Posted by maryprankster | November 7, 2007 12:48 PM

I like Sandra, too. I was stung when she called me a douche- I thought we were becoming friends.

Now that BV remembers personal info, let's follow Sandra's example and use names! It might encourage community spirit or accountability or something.

Love,
Pickles

Posted by pickles | November 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Right on Pickles. I'm sorry I called you a douche. Also, I like other bands other then FS. I'm listening to the Zombies as we speak...

Posted by Sandra | November 7, 2007 1:17 PM

hey sandra I'm BOBO

I like grizzly bear and don't like fischerspooner
you are the opposite
we can be friends!

Posted by bobo | November 7, 2007 1:20 PM

I love the Zombies! "The Way I Feel Inside" is one of my favorite (sad) songs.

Posted by pickles | November 7, 2007 1:28 PM

Hey guys, Im chris. And i mostly listen to T-Pain. Mostly on the TV program House. Anyone else catch it?

Posted by chris | November 7, 2007 1:29 PM

Georgie James signed to Saddlecreek.

Posted by Monkeynutz | November 7, 2007 1:35 PM

Hey Sandra why you hoping we go out of business! Growing's budget involves more stamps, man hours and meeting with growing twice a week on our end over 3500$ publicists. Booo.

You should go by Growings house some time....if growing were trust fund kids they would probably have a window and some natural light in their apartment.

Posted by Rich Zerbo / TSR | November 8, 2007 5:30 PM

it took a really fucking long time for man man to get signed then didn't it? they've gotten pretty big over the last three years.

Posted by Mandy | November 8, 2007 5:34 PM

yeah, the new Bigga Haitian single is CRAZY!! i heard it on waah gwaan radio

Posted by Jean | December 3, 2007 4:31 PM

You're talking about "Gi Me Da Weed" by Bigga Haitian? Yeah wow, the best ganja tune I've heard it a long time!

Posted by JahLove | March 14, 2008 4:43 PM

That's not Carlos Santana on lead guitar, is it???

Posted by Jean | March 17, 2008 4:38 PM

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