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You’re a creative, an artist, a rapper. You have talent. So, what’s stopping you from popping? Why are less dedicated and perhaps even less talented artists moving ahead of you?

Maybe it’s time to ask yourself one of the key questions of the rap game: Who backs you?

Photo: Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

Joe Budden’s insightful industry knowledge is a useful tool for any aspiring artists who is at the point of asking this vital question. As a hip hop veteran, his first hand account of trials and triumphs in the history of the industry balances the discussions centered on the current state of music. Joe Budden’s hip hop commentary consistently bridges the gap between old school and new age.

On the “Eucalyptus” episode of  Budden’s “I’ll Name this Podcast Later,” he recounts hip hop’s relationship with street life + culture. Since its inception, its been a functional and fundamental piece of the genre’s genetic makeup.

Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Urban life + culture isn’t just about the type of lifestyle an artists obtains once their check clears. It starts at the top of the family tree. The OG’s who hustled hard to reach new heights. They were the original entrepreneurs before it became this new social phenomenon.

They want nothing more than to empower themselves and their community. The luxurious lifestyle is pleasing, but in hip hop these seasoned shot-callers run the streets. They invest their money into artists who, largely, become mega superstars.

Budden pieces together the connection between street life and hip hop “thinking back to early as he could remember when the streets were involved in hip hop, starting with Grandmaster Flash,” then running through a list of notable acts like EPMD, Run DC, Eric B and Rakim, N.W.A, down to Puff, Birdman and Baby, and Master P who were supporting factors in running and maintaining the hip hop culture.

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As the podcast continues to review the Drake vs. Pusha T rap beef, Budden takes a quick dive into the idea of this “thin line between hip hop and the streets, because the streets have always governed hip hop,” and the younger artists are unaware of who backs who in the industry.

Recently, amidst the anticipation for Drake to respond to Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon” freestyle strategically done over Jay-Z’s 4:44 “The Story of OJ,” the internet had mixed reviews about J. Prince getting involved.

Those who know and study hip hop, understand that J. Prince is one of the top “investors” within Drake’s camp and Pusha T’s “surgical summer” could have had detrimental effects on the credible reputation Drake has built over the years.

Who backs you is the most important question in the industry. Better yet, understanding who the “investors” are in relationship to some of the biggest and popular acts will help you see how people are able to navigate the landscape with more ease allowing them to execute their ideas on a grander flawless scale.

This isn’t to deter artists from pursuing their goals of being a creative, but to use this as a motivator to be very discerning of who you connect with and what they are capable of doing on your behalf.

You can’t execute your ideas alone. Be open to positive and productive support with those who are willing to back you up and assist in getting your foot in the door. The music and ideas are the opening statement. Your investors are the firm handshake to achieving your goal.


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1 Comment

Moguls, Money, and Impact - PopEd World · February 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm

[…] Read Next: The Most Important Question in the Music Industry: Who Backs You? […]

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