Rap Markets

I could never understand why rappers try to sign someone to their label that attempts to sound like them.  What kind of sense does it make to build a label based solely on your rap style?  Label mates are meant to expand the brand not duplicate the main attraction.  Think about it in market share, by signing people who do the exact same music as you then they could never do as many numbers as you because they are going off your fan base; they in fact have a limited number of people they can reach so they can’t grow.

When you are in the game and are in position to put someone on it is always good to get the artist who is the polar opposite of you.  This is why the combinations of Jay- Z, Kanye West and Dr. Dre, Eminem worked so well.  They had completely different fan bases that fed off each other to make both artists even bigger.  This is also why all other artist in Roc a Fella Records couldn’t even reach gold status because they were compliments to Jay-Z not stand alone artists.  This concept crosses into all music as well, why do you think Usher and Justin Beiber is making such a killing right now? 

There are exceptions to every rule, let’s look at Lil Wayne and Young Money.  I believe Nicki Minaj to be a female crazy version of Lil Wayne and Drake being a monotone singing version of Wayne as well.  Yet both of them have seen huge success and I believe it’s because they are Wayne duplicates for new fan bases that Wayne didn’t originally have; mainly towards women.  Nicki has all the young girls or the immature and Drake has the grown.  Yet everyone else who is in Young Money has yet to come into their own because they are exact copies of Wayne.  Also many Lil Wayne fans have no respect for many of them or even know they exist so there is no way they could sell anywhere near Wayne numbers.

Here is some Business 101 when a market is created whom ever created it has full market share.  All those who enter the game trying to deliver the same goods are trying to take over the market by taking percentages of the market share.  Keep in mind the market hardly ever expands with the inclusion of these competitors; it just makes the market more difficult for people to earn dollars.  Yet if another market is crossed with this market then the growth is exponential based on the size of both markets combined. 

Moral to this story is I don’t care if you fully believe in an artist, even if they are better than you, if they don’t bring a new market to the table it won’t matter.  Markets are all that matter because it is directly tied to how many records you can sell.  Don’t waste time or promotional dollars on someone trying to capture part of your market.