“Hip-hop is in the most exciting place it’s been in years,” says Derrick Aroh, Senior Vice President of A&R at RCA Records owned by Sony Music.
While we saw lots of exciting moments of innovation in rap last year, there are some things that A&Rs want to be left behind in 2019.
Dallas Martin of Atlantic Records urges artists to move in a way that doesn’t portray rap music in a bad light. As an example, he speaks about people who focus too heavily on social media beefs. “You’re doing stuff that degrades the values of urban music and what we’re trying to do,” he says.
“It just makes the game seem like there’s a lot of clowns, but there are a lot of people who have respect for the music, respect for the craft, and really are in it to make hit records and make an impact in the music world.”
Derrick Aroh wants artists to stop putting everything but the music first. “I’ll say that I hope more artists are true to the music that they’re making, and not the spectacle of it,” he says.
“What I mean by spectacle is them putting the hype of what they’re selling over what they’re actually selling. At the end of the day, we’ve always got to remember it’s about the music. Yes, everything else matters, but it’s secondary. The music is first.’
Wayno says that he wants artists to put more effort into their “real-life documentaries” and take the craft more seriously as a whole. “It’s like all these things are left on the iCloud,” he says. “So what I don’t want to see happen is artists just using it as a hustle. What I do want to see happen is artists taking it a little bit more seriously.”
Finally, Jason Peerless wants multi-hour projects and over-saturated release strategies to stop. He believes that selectiveness can still be key. “If you’re not a superstar artist like Drake or Justin Bieber, I don’t think people want to hear your 25-song album. Especially as an A&R, I don’t want music coming in where I don’t even know what to click on.”
“I think it’s better to be more selective. If we could leave that in 2019, there would be more strategic, exclusive content from the newer artists. I feel like the industry is so saturated.”
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