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Precious Metals
By BOB
 

I was born in an era when going Gold was a very serious accomplishment for a hip-hop artist. Groups and solo artists based milestones of their careers by receiving a gold plaque. There is something about having that gold edition piece of vinyl on your wall and at your record labels office. The evolution of hip-hop as a genre has totally blown the sales plan out of the water.

As the marketability and the worldwide acceptance of this particular music form have grown, so has sales but in this rare particular instance it has almost grown exponentially. With artists becoming more prominent on MTV and the emergence of BET, at that time, there record sales really started to pick up we also had the all video pay for play entity known as The BOX. With the addition of the artists that you were bouncing your head to being visible on the TV and not just heard on the radio, parties etc. Finally the almighty consumer could associate the face with the voice, which also increased the sales of the albums.

In the 90's you see commercial mainstays and new emerging stars in hip hop reach Platinum status a whole lot easier than in previous years. The 90's had such Platinum efforts from such artists as Dr. Dre, Snoop, Biggie and The Wu Tang Clan. This new level of success raised the stakes in the game we all know and love. The money that artists were receiving increased due to marketability of the genre. Def Jam, DeathRow and BadBoy.... Loud too were some of the biggest owners of high-powered rosters. These labels were striving to push the envelope.

Now it is the new millennium and every label has at least one artist who has went Platinum on the rosters. But due to the fact of the leaps and bounds that technology has made in the last 10 to 15 years, we have seen smaller labels whose artists receive a larger portion of profit achieve a high level of success. Now a very important area of music is the underground success of many "mainstream artists", if you can sell 300,000 out of your trunk there is only a minimal difference in the level of profit for the artist. The technology has also posed a problem for the labels. File sharing has dipped into the pockets of these big record labels. Artists still go Platinum and Gold but the labels are not making as much as they should. The growing pressure from all of the file trading online has all of the majors making contengency plans to avert the demise of the record industry as we all know it. There will be outlets to burn a artists album's or just record single songs. With this imposing force from all this piracy the reaction to counteract that is to sell way more records so the majors can still exploit the most profit that they can out of the artists. So now the new level of success is having is Diamond. Now emcees are pushing there art to a level where they can sell 10 million units. Every five years we attain a higher goal, so we must continue to watch are culture grow and succeed. Pretty soon we will have emcees on the senate.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions email me at: bob@geoclan.com


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