Samuel Pritchard 12.3.2018
Being in the spotlight isn’t always the favorite choice, but it can’t be denied that publicity often gives extraordinary opportunities. A lot of skilled artists are never able to have the chance to put their work out in the world. There are many artists that do minimal work, but because of publicity or other reasons, they blow up and make a lot of money. Labels only want to sign the flashiest artists that they think would generate the most amount of profit for the company.
A lot of Soundcloud rappers have important ideals and morals which means they would never do some of the things mainstream rappers do for attention. Most underground rappers are out of the spotlight, so they are independent or signed to independent labels. Soundcloud rappers still do tours and one thing they do often is meet and greets where fans can meet the artist for free. Popular social media apps used by them are YouTube and Soundcloud, where anybody can make an account and start posting work.
Some popular mainstream artists making music now, which you may have heard of include Migos, Drake, 21 Savage, Kanye West, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp and Lil Xan. Some talented Soundcloud artists that you probably haven’t heard of are Robb Bank$, Sheck Wes, Comethazine, Emorysofye, CHXPO, and Thouxanbanfauni. The Soundcloud rappers that are popular now have reached a bigger platform and are making large amounts of money from it. They have created a new wave of these Soundcloud rappers, but most are only a waste of time. After Soundcloud rappers began producing acceptable streaming numbers, they rose again which lead to lucrative record deals for a majority of the starting artists.
Most artists are signed to big label companies and receive an early payment of anywhere from $10,000 to $1,000,000. Most artists are excited and eager to sign with companies such as Columbia Records, Capitol Records, and Republic Records. These are companies that sign artists based off the capability of the artist. These deals are determined by the label company and determine just how much the company will give them.
The artists don’t get the money for free, in return for the early money they give away their current and future work and the record companies take large sums of the artists profit. The main reason rappers sign with independent labels is to ensure they receive the majority of future profits. Today's mainstream rappers take advantage of the wide social media platform and attempt to distribute their flashy music and often receive large amounts of money.
The mainstream rappers weren't always that way. In fact they even created a new wave when they used Soundcloud to become popular and get signed. Lil Pump and Smokepurpp are two perfect examples. They started their careers on Soundcloud and when they became famous it encouraged a whole new wave of rappers trying to use their image of them to become popular themselves. The pair have now signed to large popular labels for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The companies have secured their future profits by essentially buying the artist. Before the birth of social media artist previously used traditional methods of expanding their work. They had to self market themselves and offer their music for free just to get the word out. Instead of surfing the web they would be surfing the low time areas where they could perform. There was a high value of word of mouth, and they knew that. When iPhones came out rappers could easily post their music regardless of the content. Back in the 90’s rappers did not have this opportunity.
There have been many celebrity icons recently that have passed away from drug overdoses, and some could be related to fentanyl, such as Lil Peep. Peep was a very important music icon and died from an overdose on fentanyl after his Xanax had been laced, and he took several. There have been other important celebrity overdoses, but some haven’t been directly linked to fentanyl. Yet.
The mainstream rappers today directly influence our culture. They create an image of what it means to be successful. Whether it’s expensive cars or women the rappers always create their own vision of what successful is and it often makes us think the same way. It is important to remember the values of human communication and with underground rappers being active they are taking a stance. We must not turn an eye to artists because of their label status. We must all give them the same chance because sometimes the styles can get weird.