How would you like to release an album on a label with absolutely no deal in writing? Does it sound risky? Or is the real risk in this climate making a deal, and signing on the dotted line?
Take, for example, the case of Curren$y. Don’t let the dollar sign in his name fool you. This New Orleans-born emcee is hot, and he’s not the clueless commercial rapper his name implies. In fact, he’s probably learned more about the rap game over the last decade than more folks learn in their lives, and for the release of his first album, the already highly acclaimed Pilot Talk, it was no-deals no-contracts all the way.
Pilot Talk was released on July 15th through the newly-resurrected Roc-A-Fella Records label. Sort of.
Setting The Stage For Indie Hip Hop Heroes
You remember what happened with Roc-A-Fella, right? The label was started by Jay-Z and friends Damon Dash and Biggs Burke because they couldn’t find a major label willing to get behind Jay-Z (hero moment #1). Then, once they hit it big, Roc-A-Fella got bought by Def Jam (boo!), which made Jay-Z its CEO and president (boo!), and saw Dash and Burke quickly go their own way after they realized they had nothing like control of their label anymore (hero moment #2).