Most youngsters these days say they wish to be rap artists. As a product of the hip-hop generation and one who may have been inspired by rap songs for a few decades, a number of these teenagers are followers of the art form and its cultural impact. However, the rap game is not the opportunity that it once was for young Black artists and business owners. As a matter of fact, the music market is a sinking Titanic.
The truth is, most rappers, singers and entertainers are broke or financially-challenged. The picture of success is what is for sale so record professionals will finance the cars, jewelry, clothes and other trappings that represent the look of prosperity. There are only a couple of rap artists that have the money that they brag about and those few have diversified domain portfolios. Jay-Z and 50 Cent did not make it to the top of the Forbes list just by making music. They made the list by doing business.
Many rappers have resorted to selling prescription drugs just to make a living. The world may be singing their songs, but their kids can’t secure a pair of shoes because someone else owns their intellectual property. Back in the day, when children were in elementary school almost everyone wanted to be a cop. Lots of people have second thoughts about joining the force, because of corruption among police officers. The music industry is just as, or more corrupt than any police department.
Rap music is truly an American minority artist creations of which college students need to be proud. Unfortunately, rap music is not perceived by many Americans as an art form, but as a trend which they hope will soon fade away. One of my intentions with my unit is to show that rap music is not a fad, but a musical art form that has been close to for over 20 years in the United States. One cannot study American rap music without studying what is known as the ‘Hip Hop’ culture. Rap is an integral part of this sub-culture that did not evolve or exist in isolation from its other main elements. Own your music and do music because you love it, then you must learn the enterprise so that you can protect that which you love. Your music should probably be your plan B. Your plan A must be a profession where you can apply the same brilliance that you put into the music, build a good career and control you own destiny.
Rap artists and executives got wise. Brothers like J-Prince of Rap-a-Lot Records, Master P and others outsmarted the major labels and went the independent route. This took plenty of hard work, but they were successful and created possibilities for many other young entrepreneurs. But, when the mainstream industry saw how much money these siblings were making without them, they did everything within their power to stop them. The music market is suffering horribly because it claims consumers are “stealing” its music off of the Internet and affecting the industry’s bottom line.