Diddy Signs With Interscope- What Difference Does It Make?
spotted at Nahright
What good is it jumping from one sinking ship to another? Either way, you’re going down. That’s the thought that came to mind when I started reading the hooplah about Diddy signing with Interscope Records last week. The way the partnership is explained, Diddy signed a joint venture agreement with Interscope for his label, Bad Boy, which he will release his next LP, Last Train to Paris, through. Future projects, whether they be Diddy albums or reality television pop acts, will also go through Interscope, by way of this new business alliance. The artists that were previously signed to Warner Music Group through Bad Boy’s deal there, they will stay at Warner Music Group. Makes enough sense.
The thing is, Diddy seems geeked about the deal. He’s making videos, he’s tweeting, and basically the blogosphere/rap industry is caught up in the hype. My question is, who really gives a fuck? I’m not so sure I wanna pat Diddy on the back for his latest move. I applaud this man for a lot of what he’s done. I even worked on his Making His Band TV show a few weeks ago (episodes I worked on should be airing soon), so it’s not like I’m being biased for no reason here. When it comes to the business side of things, Diddy is that dude.
But to me, Diddy signing with Interscope makes him a dinosaur. It made someone who was once a forward thinking executive, who revolutionized many aspects of the rap business, seem even more out of touch. For one, Interscope has had very little success with urban music as of late. Outside of Eminem, who is arguably not even an urban artist, there are few acts Interscope has on the urban side that have done well in recent years. Whereas urban was the foundation Interscope was built on, with Deathrow and the like, the past few years have seen the label transition into more of a pop powerhouse, with Lady Gaga and the Pussycat Dolls at the forefront. Interscope’s promotion/marketing muscle was and still is legendary, except now it leans more towards top40 than anything else. Hear any Game singles lately? 50 Cent? I thought not.
So Diddy’s making this sort of weird electro funk soul LP that has him singing and shit, and basically he’s going to attempt to cross over like he did in the old days. He’s Danity Kane without the catty singers involved. This way, if things don’t work out he can only blame himself, not some crazy blonde chick who goes all paparrazi nazi on the music industry. Whether or not people take Diddy as an artist seriously anymore (did they ever? hint: “don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks”), that’s debatable, but the motive makes sense. If you’re going to cross over, get with the machine that can cross you over- Interscope.
But that’s what an artist needs. What Lady Gaga needs, what the Pussycat Dolls need, what some unestablished pop rock act needs. That’s not what Diddy needs. Diddy, like Jay-Z, is bigger than hip-hop and bigger than the record business. He’s bigger than what some corporate TI can do for him. Sure, he may not be as hot as he once was, but that’s actually a benefit. Why? Because the expectations are lower. And right now, the only thing you can look forward to in this receding record business is lowered expectations, coupled with either shrugged shoulders when you miss your mark, or celebrations when you overachieve. Because of this, Diddy could have ventured out, he could done some creative partnership between Bad Boy, a new media company, and say Live Nation, like Jay did. Considering Diddy just spent an entire reality show looking for band members, it’s clear that he’s looking to capitalize in the live space. But why link with a label to distribute dinosaur-like records when it’s clear the business is elsewhere. Getting with Interscope just seems archaic.
Take that, take that?