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Old 07-10-2012, 09:43 AM   #1
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Default The Death of the Hip Hop Group/Label

I wrote this, and I wanted to share it. Comments are appreciated.

Well, I was thinking of this while I was at work the other day. Rap groups/Labels...ALWAYS fall. It is pretty much the way it is. There are enough examples of this from the past. Within my years of listening to Hip Hop/rap. I have saw the rise and fall of pretty much ALL the ''Empires'' of the genre. And it happens for one reason of another. Whether its a successful artists bringing in his comrades and that success hold the rest back, money issues, or just the flame of popularity going out. Heres some examples of the ones I've seen.

1) Bad Boy: This is the earliest I can think of, that was a group/label I can remember that really had a solid run. They had Craig Mack, Biggie, Total, 112, Mase, Lox, Lil Kim, Black Rob and Puffy himself. Many things ended this run, and some is their own faults. Biggie was killed, Craig mack was shelved and pretty much ignored because Biggie was the number 1 priority, Mase Retired, Total didn't sell as well as expected, nor did any song not featuring a rapper do well. Puffy was an attention whore, who did ANYTHING to put himself over, and no one else after Biggie was killed. Black Rob went to jail, not that anyone noticed. Lil Kim split not too long after Biggie died, and left negatively. The Lox never fit on the label in the first place. Death of label number 1

2) Wu Tang Clan: One word comes to mind in the complete and utter destruction of Wu tang's rep and popularity. OVERSATURATION. I listened to, (and still do) since 93, and anyone who knew me in the 90s knew I tried my HARDEST to get ANY cd with a Wu tang symbol on it, from La the darkman to Killarmy, to Sunz of Man, and of course, the Wu members themselves. From 95-97, Wu tang was nearly untouchable. But they kept pumping out albums, post-rza producing mind you, and they failed left and right. Not for lack of trying, but for lack of quality. And internal money strife ruined themselves nearly beyond repair. Second label death.

3) Death Row: What can be said about Death Row that hasn't been said about Satan and Kim Kardashian. They had a solid run, a solid roster of Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Nate Dog, Tupac and the Dogg Pound (I omitted Lady of Rage and Danny boy because...honestly...who cares) They imploded after Tupac died. Dr had already left, Snoop was on the way out, Suge kept getting into law trouble, and the rest of the roster was no where near strong enough to stay afloat. Tupac was the labels biggest star, and when he died, so did the label. Third label/group death

4) Bone Thugs n Harmony: NO group, has imploded more internally, than Bone Thugs N Harmony. Though MOST people don't know anything they've done after crossroads, they usually put out good efforts. But Bizzy's off and on relationship with the group (and drugs), Flesh always being in jail, Krayzie/Layzie and Wish had to carry the torch long past the expiration date. I for one, and a huge fan of the group, as I am a fan of fast rap, but the over dependance on weed songs, and general lack of focus ruined them. Now, Krayzie AND Bizzy have left the group, pretty much signing the death toll on the fourth label/group on this list

5) No Limit Records: And I thought the Wu Tang oversaturated the market, dear gods of gods, you couldn't go ANYwhere without a very ghetto poster of one of their sub par artists up coming albums. I was NOT a fan of No Limit, period, no ifs ands or buts, I thoughht they were terrible. But people bought the albums in flocks, and they ruled the charts for a while. But legal issues, over saturation,and the eventual waking up in the minds of the fans occurred, and they faded into obscurity. Death of number 5.

6) Cash Money Records: I know what people may think ''Aren't they still going'' ''isn't young money a part of this'', Wait for it. In high school, Cash money and one other label (my number 7) ruled the charts for a while. This was when Cash Money was Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Turk, Baby, B.G., and yes, Lil Wayne. I had ONE cash money album, Juveniles first, and I will admit this, I also listened to it about a year before it got huge, and I look back..and think...WHHYYY. But I digress. They themselves imploded, Turk went to jail, Juvenile had money issues with Baby, B.G....had issues with crack. And Mannie Fresh jumped ship. They may have evolved into Young money years later (more on this later) But they eventually failed as Cash Money the unit. Six death toll (sorta)

7) Ruff Ryders: Besides Wu,Roc a fella and Bone, this was a label/group that I DID like on this list, and STILL enjoy a few of the artists. And honestly, they did NOT implode, nor did they oversaturate the market. They just simply fizzled out. DMX, arguably had the greatest debut solo album of all of Hip Hop of the late 90s, and followed it up with a very good sophmore album. Along withe Eve, The lox, and Drag on (bwaahahaha) ahem. They had a nice niche that was waiting to be filled for quite some time. Hip hop evolved, Eve went into Acting, Drag On failed miserably, The Lox focused more on D-block than the Ruff Ryders, and DMX..was DMX, which made for a very LONG stretch of embaressing jail terms. They just faded, which was sad, because they were actually very talented.

8) Money Inc: Career suicide, and legal troubles DESTROYED this label. Ja Rule created this whole Pop/Rap hook driven nonsense we ''enjoy'' now, no matter how much people want to disrespect him now, he was ontop for a few years. Ashanti was respectable in her role, they pretty much were the only two that made a showing at the label. But they were enough. When 50 came out, it was ALL she wrote for Ja, he was done, forever. And ashanti was soon to be replaced in the minds of the r&b community by the likes of Keri Hilson and Keisha Cole. Irv Gotti's legal issues did nothing but disintergrate the label, and they never recovered.

9) Roc a fella: I will not go into too much detail about this, as the true downfall is debated. Is it the dependance of Jay-z? Business decisions gone wrong? Jay-z's selfishness? Or just a mixture of all of the above. They had possibly the most talent of all the labels here in number of members (barring Wu tang). You take State Property, Dipset and the rest of Roc a fella, you have a ''dynasty'', the problem is, NONE OF THEM sold records, except for Jay. Sure Dipset sold respectable amounts and sold a lot of mixtapes, but nothing close to Jay. And after the label fell, the blame game started and ALL fingers pointed at Jay-z, the only one who is still relevant and successful, thats saying something

10) And finally....G-unit: I was debating if I wanted to have Shady records as a whole, but, since they are currently staging a slight resurrection, I let it slide (Obie Trice left, D-12 broke up after Proof was killed, and creative differences blah blah) But for G-unit, they were riding HIGH on the success of 50. I wasn't a huge fan of 50 or G-unit (besides 50's first album) but I will not deny their success. They didn't oversaturate OR implode. They just made really dumb decisions on who they added to the group. Mase, MOP and Mobb deep were horrible decisions, but the dumbest and WORST ones, were The Game, and Young Buck. They did NOT share the loyalties of Yayo and Banks, and left the group fast when they realized if you didn't bow to 50, you were exed out. They faded after a few albums that flopped, and 50 is sticking to his solo thing, not that THAT is that lucrative anymore either.

In closing, I bring this up because no matter how popular Young money is, it is only a matter of time before they fail, and eventually are forgotten, that is when the next group/label takes over, and the cycle continues.They have Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, successful, beyond my personal opinion, but they are.But many better labels have failed at the same height of success young money is enjoying now.

Labels/groups can NOT depend on ONE person for success, it DOOMS them. Look at d-12 , Roc a fella, Bad Boy, Ruff Ryders, and G-unit.

My personal Favorite label right now, is Strange Music, but if you look at it, they are falling under the SAME faults of the labels I mentioned. They ALL would fail, if Tech N9ne doesn't have some sort of precence on their albums (ala Roc a fella with Jay-z, and D-12 with Eminem) so, time will tell, if they can break this mold, better labels have tried in the past, and failed.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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You ever heard of Esham? He did a documentary called 'Death of an Indie Label', and it's pretty good.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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Labels fall off. Groups fall off too but it's not the same. In 20 years from this day everyone will remember Wu-Tang Clan but who will care about Ruff Ryders or G-Unit?
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
I wrote this, and I wanted to share it. Comments are appreciated.

Well, I was thinking of this while I was at work the other day. Rap groups/Labels...ALWAYS fall. It is pretty much the way it is. There are enough examples of this from the past. Within my years of listening to Hip Hop/rap. I have saw the rise and fall of pretty much ALL the ''Empires'' of the genre. And it happens for one reason of another. Whether its a successful artists bringing in his comrades and that success hold the rest back, money issues, or just the flame of popularity going out. Heres some examples of the ones I've seen.

1) Bad Boy: This is the earliest I can think of, that was a group/label I can remember that really had a solid run. They had Craig Mack, Biggie, Total, 112, Mase, Lox, Lil Kim, Black Rob and Puffy himself. Many things ended this run, and some is their own faults. Biggie was killed, Craig mack was shelved and pretty much ignored because Biggie was the number 1 priority, Mase Retired, Total didn't sell as well as expected, nor did any song not featuring a rapper do well. Puffy was an attention whore, who did ANYTHING to put himself over, and no one else after Biggie was killed. Black Rob went to jail, not that anyone noticed. Lil Kim split not too long after Biggie died, and left negatively. The Lox never fit on the label in the first place. Death of label number 1

2) Wu Tang Clan: One word comes to mind in the complete and utter destruction of Wu tang's rep and popularity. OVERSATURATION. I listened to, (and still do) since 93, and anyone who knew me in the 90s knew I tried my HARDEST to get ANY cd with a Wu tang symbol on it, from La the darkman to Killarmy, to Sunz of Man, and of course, the Wu members themselves. From 95-97, Wu tang was nearly untouchable. But they kept pumping out albums, post-rza producing mind you, and they failed left and right. Not for lack of trying, but for lack of quality. And internal money strife ruined themselves nearly beyond repair. Second label death.

3) Death Row: What can be said about Death Row that hasn't been said about Satan and Kim Kardashian. They had a solid run, a solid roster of Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Nate Dog, Tupac and the Dogg Pound (I omitted Lady of Rage and Danny boy because...honestly...who cares) They imploded after Tupac died. Dr had already left, Snoop was on the way out, Suge kept getting into law trouble, and the rest of the roster was no where near strong enough to stay afloat. Tupac was the labels biggest star, and when he died, so did the label. Third label/group death

4) Bone Thugs n Harmony: NO group, has imploded more internally, than Bone Thugs N Harmony. Though MOST people don't know anything they've done after crossroads, they usually put out good efforts. But Bizzy's off and on relationship with the group (and drugs), Flesh always being in jail, Krayzie/Layzie and Wish had to carry the torch long past the expiration date. I for one, and a huge fan of the group, as I am a fan of fast rap, but the over dependance on weed songs, and general lack of focus ruined them. Now, Krayzie AND Bizzy have left the group, pretty much signing the death toll on the fourth label/group on this list

5) No Limit Records: And I thought the Wu Tang oversaturated the market, dear gods of gods, you couldn't go ANYwhere without a very ghetto poster of one of their sub par artists up coming albums. I was NOT a fan of No Limit, period, no ifs ands or buts, I thoughht they were terrible. But people bought the albums in flocks, and they ruled the charts for a while. But legal issues, over saturation,and the eventual waking up in the minds of the fans occurred, and they faded into obscurity. Death of number 5.

6) Cash Money Records: I know what people may think ''Aren't they still going'' ''isn't young money a part of this'', Wait for it. In high school, Cash money and one other label (my number 7) ruled the charts for a while. This was when Cash Money was Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Turk, Baby, B.G., and yes, Lil Wayne. I had ONE cash money album, Juveniles first, and I will admit this, I also listened to it about a year before it got huge, and I look back..and think...WHHYYY. But I digress. They themselves imploded, Turk went to jail, Juvenile had money issues with Baby, B.G....had issues with crack. And Mannie Fresh jumped ship. They may have evolved into Young money years later (more on this later) But they eventually failed as Cash Money the unit. Six death toll (sorta)

7) Ruff Ryders: Besides Wu,Roc a fella and Bone, this was a label/group that I DID like on this list, and STILL enjoy a few of the artists. And honestly, they did NOT implode, nor did they oversaturate the market. They just simply fizzled out. DMX, arguably had the greatest debut solo album of all of Hip Hop of the late 90s, and followed it up with a very good sophmore album. Along withe Eve, The lox, and Drag on (bwaahahaha) ahem. They had a nice niche that was waiting to be filled for quite some time. Hip hop evolved, Eve went into Acting, Drag On failed miserably, The Lox focused more on D-block than the Ruff Ryders, and DMX..was DMX, which made for a very LONG stretch of embaressing jail terms. They just faded, which was sad, because they were actually very talented.

8) Money Inc: Career suicide, and legal troubles DESTROYED this label. Ja Rule created this whole Pop/Rap hook driven nonsense we ''enjoy'' now, no matter how much people want to disrespect him now, he was ontop for a few years. Ashanti was respectable in her role, they pretty much were the only two that made a showing at the label. But they were enough. When 50 came out, it was ALL she wrote for Ja, he was done, forever. And ashanti was soon to be replaced in the minds of the r&b community by the likes of Keri Hilson and Keisha Cole. Irv Gotti's legal issues did nothing but disintergrate the label, and they never recovered.

9) Roc a fella: I will not go into too much detail about this, as the true downfall is debated. Is it the dependance of Jay-z? Business decisions gone wrong? Jay-z's selfishness? Or just a mixture of all of the above. They had possibly the most talent of all the labels here in number of members (barring Wu tang). You take State Property, Dipset and the rest of Roc a fella, you have a ''dynasty'', the problem is, NONE OF THEM sold records, except for Jay. Sure Dipset sold respectable amounts and sold a lot of mixtapes, but nothing close to Jay. And after the label fell, the blame game started and ALL fingers pointed at Jay-z, the only one who is still relevant and successful, thats saying something

10) And finally....G-unit: I was debating if I wanted to have Shady records as a whole, but, since they are currently staging a slight resurrection, I let it slide (Obie Trice left, D-12 broke up after Proof was killed, and creative differences blah blah) But for G-unit, they were riding HIGH on the success of 50. I wasn't a huge fan of 50 or G-unit (besides 50's first album) but I will not deny their success. They didn't oversaturate OR implode. They just made really dumb decisions on who they added to the group. Mase, MOP and Mobb deep were horrible decisions, but the dumbest and WORST ones, were The Game, and Young Buck. They did NOT share the loyalties of Yayo and Banks, and left the group fast when they realized if you didn't bow to 50, you were exed out. They faded after a few albums that flopped, and 50 is sticking to his solo thing, not that THAT is that lucrative anymore either.

In closing, I bring this up because no matter how popular Young money is, it is only a matter of time before they fail, and eventually are forgotten, that is when the next group/label takes over, and the cycle continues.They have Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, successful, beyond my personal opinion, but they are.But many better labels have failed at the same height of success young money is enjoying now.

Labels/groups can NOT depend on ONE person for success, it DOOMS them. Look at d-12 , Roc a fella, Bad Boy, Ruff Ryders, and G-unit.

My personal Favorite label right now, is Strange Music, but if you look at it, they are falling under the SAME faults of the labels I mentioned. They ALL would fail, if Tech N9ne doesn't have some sort of precence on their albums (ala Roc a fella with Jay-z, and D-12 with Eminem) so, time will tell, if they can break this mold, better labels have tried in the past, and failed.
WU TANG CLAN ISNT A LABEL U BITCH ASS NIGGA, SOME OF THERE PROJECTS WAS LOUD RECORDS AND THAT LABEL HAD ILL ARTISTs
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad View Post
You ever heard of Esham? He did a documentary called 'Death of an Indie Label', and it's pretty good.
FUCK THAT RAPPER
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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^Esham is a legend, sit the fuck down.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by COLUMBIANA View Post
WU TANG CLAN ISNT A LABEL U BITCH ASS NIGGA, SOME OF THERE PROJECTS WAS LOUD RECORDS AND THAT LABEL HAD ILL ARTISTs

FUCK THAT RAPPER
If your dumb ass learned to read, CLEARLY the thread states the death of the hip hop GROUP and label. Dumb fuck
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Rodimus Prime, good topic. I agree with everything you said. Most rappers and singers don't stay in groups because of money and group members arguing about the type of songs they wanna do. That's why a lot of artists do solo albums. Most artists don't stay with one record label because of lack of promotion and money. It's very rare that you'll see some artists stay with one record label for a long time like LL Cool J and Too Short. Too Short's new album No Trespassing is on his own label but his previous albums are all on Jive.
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