Thursday, August 20, 2009

Year of The Independent Rap Artists; Memphis Bleek, Joe Budden, Saigon

It used to be all about the record deal, getting that major label support to properly promote and market your hot rap music to the masses. Hip hop on the other hand embodies the independent values of Do-It-Yourself ethics, much in the same way punk rock made such an impact in the United States during the 1980's. Rap music business is the hustle, it has always been synonymous with one's own self-reliant struggle for success.

This strive for independence is more prevalent now more than ever in hip hop music, especially considering how many independent hip hop labels have shaped future of the music industry. Let's take a look at some of the rap artists currently taking the independent route to music business prosperity.

Memphis Bleek, formerly of Roc-A-Fella Records, is dropping a new album, "The Process" which is the rappers 5th studio release. The album, executive produced by Jay-Z (Bleek's long time label-mate and friend) will have feature the outstanding production of Just Blaze and No I.D. as well as appearances by other notable producers and artists such as Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and Rick Ross. "The Process" will be distributed collectively by Get Low Records, Bleek's indie label and Mass Appeal Entertainment and should be released sometime in the month of November.

Joe Budden is currently riding the wave of the Slaughter House album as well as his solo EP. That's obviously not enough for the rap artist, who has announced that he is ready to release a new studio album through his online label Amalgam Digital. E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records) will provide distribution services for the record which could be released in October. Joe is getting LOADS of publicity right now, all this momentum is clearly being used to his advantage. Buddens is touring with the international hip hop festival Rock The Bells along side his Slaughter House counter parts. It is clear that the independence Joe Budden has as an artist is working well for him.

Also ready to drop an album is rapper Saigon, who is also signed to online label Amalgam Digital and distributed by E1 Music. "Warning Shots 2" is set to be released sometime in late September. "Warning Shots" was released by Saigon through the indie label after his departure from Atlantic Records, where he never actually released a record.

Rap artists have done a great job of stepping up as the creative entrepreneurs of the music business. Independent artists and labels continue to carve out profitable niche markets for their music to successfully reach millions of people world wide. Can you think of any other labels or artists who have experienced a great deal of success independently ? There are many that can be named, what are some of your favorites ?


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Manuel “Manny” Alcantara is a rising star in the world of R&B and hip-hop. And while the music industry remains an uphill battle, the multi-talented nineteen year-old Lynn, MA native has watched as his fan base has expanded around the globe. Manny’s songs have been on the radio and he has performed to crowds that are growing in both size and enthusiasm. But now he is being asked to climb an even higher mountain to engage a fierce enemy…Drunk Driving.

    Manny was recently named the 2009 New England Hip Hop and R&B Spokesperson for the Ground Control Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign. This first of its kind program uses up-and-coming talented musicians to educate American teenagers about the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

    Manny’s association with Ground Control has afforded this Lynn, MA. resident a unique insight into the ways drunk driving effects American society. Says Manny, “I feel privileged to be able to make a difference. Being a young adult I am on the front lines. Kids my age are dying everyday and for what? I think it is amazing that I have been asked to use my music to draw attention to the fact that these terrible tragedies are preventable. If my music can save even one life, then I will feel I have accomplished a lot.”

    I hope we can count on you to help us shine some light on both this amazing and talented young artist and this important cause, in the form of a quote or media attention. Your involvement with our cause is vital this season in helping Manny and GROUND CONTROL save lives.

    Both Manny and the President of the Ground Control Campaign are available for phone interviews at your convenience.

    For more information on Manny's album please visit:

    To learn more about Manny, please visit his official website and Electronic Press Kit:

    For more information on Illumina Records and Promotions or GROUND CONTROL, please visit:


    Nicole Van Eden
    Director of Publicity
    Illumina Records/GROUND CONTROL


Rap music business - Marketing and Promoting the Future of Hip Hop