During a performance in San Diego, California, Chance the Rapper performed his hit song “No Problems to the back round of images that very anti Record labels. Chance changed the labels names to insulting terms, swapping out Sony for Phony, going from Def Jam Recordings to Don’t Join Recordings, and from Aftermath Entertainment to Can’t Do Math Entertainment. If this is a sign of things to come, record labels will be a thing of the past in five to ten years.
For the past 40 years, hip hop has been a pop culture trend setter. It is the music of the youth and the youth are the people in charge of setting trends for the future. The trend now in hip hop seems to be independence. Artist now seem to want to take control of their own business and reject the control of record label. All of which are signs that the days of record labels in hip hop are coming to an end.
The emergence of music of music streaming services like Apple and Spotify, have changed the way people receive music. These companies act as distributors the same way labels use to. An artist doesn’t have to go to a label to get their music put out. The artist could go to apple, spotify, or most commonly the internet and put it out for free. Social media allows individuals to become stars on their own. A label simply cannot do anything for you in the internet based world we live in.
Look at someone like Chance the Rapper. Chance has become one of the biggest artist in hip hop. He recently won a Grammy for a free mixtape and is doing arena tours with music he made using his own money. Chance is the future of hip hop, and he did that without the help of a label. I think more and more people will follow Chance’s lead in the future and leave no more room for record labels.
The artist of this generation will take the power back from the labels. Independence is the new wave.