The Times has a good article about new artists breaking into the scene without the help of major record labels as Mac Miller joins Wiz Khalifa as a recent chart topping artist from Pittsburgh.
First, the good news: A new generation of rappers is actively trying to build a new business model in which releasing oodles of free material online builds a fan base that paves the way for revenue streams: touring, merchandise, even something as old-fashioned as a record deal.
“Blue Slide Park” (Rostrum) is the first independently released album to top the chart since Tha Dogg Pound’s “Dogg Food” (Death Row), in 1995. But Tha Dogg Pound was affiliated with Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg, the heavy hitters of the day.
Later, the article, points out the importance conventional radio play still holds in giving careers staying power.
But once the loyalists have spent their money, then what? Be mindful of the drop in sales from Week 1 to Week 2 — these artists have so far had only moderate success on radio, which is where albums go to not die. In their second week on sale, Wale and Mr. Cole’s albums each sold just a quarter of their first-week numbers. Without the singles to guarantee them consistent exposure and, by extension, consistent sales, these first-week figures will be a historical blip, a trivia question 20 years from now.
Good read. Please share your thoughts.