I have been a fan of Tech N9ne for the past 5 years. He is my favorite rapper of all time, and I don't think that will ever change. He is also the most successful independent artist of all time, as most of you probably know. However, as successful as he is, I feel like he and Travis don't really know how to manage a label and utilize their artists in the best possible way.
Mac Miller proved this year how ineffective Strange Music is by releasing his debut album (independently) and selling more than Tech's 14th. That's sad. That needs to be a wake-up call. I recently stumbled across a Strange Music blog post that said, and I quote, "2011 was an outstanding year for the #1 independent hip hop label in the world". I laughed out loud when I read that. What about 2011 was outstanding for Strange Music? All 6's and 7's placed at #4 on the Billboard charts and did about 50,000 the first week, and that's great for Tech, but that's about it. The problem isn't really with Tech, its with the other members. Strange released 4 Non-Tech albums this year (Preserved, Follow Me Home, Coathanga Strangla, and Damn Fool) and 2 Non-Tech EPs (S.I.C. and Red-Headed Stepchild). Out of these 6 projects, I feel like none of them could be considered "successful" by any means and were mainly only heard/bought by diehard Tech N9ne/Strange Music fans (with the exception of maybe Follow Me Home).
Ask anyone at school, work, church, the bus stop, etc. if they know anything about Strange Music or any of its members. 90% of the time, they won't. Why is this? It probably has something to do with the fact that most of Strange Music's very limited promotion goes directly to Tech N9ne, which kind of makes sense seeing as how Tech is their #1 priority and cash cow. So how do the other artists create a buzz/popularity? Easy: THEY HAVE TO DO IT THEMSELVES. Jay Rock is easily the second most popular member of Strange Music, and that is simply because he has created his own buzz along with the other members of TDE/Black Hippy. Actually, Jay Rock would probably be in the same place he is right now (popularity and sales wise) if he DIDN'T sign with Strange Music. Look how well Kendrick is doing (yes an underground artist people actually KNOW about, crazy huh?).
I understand that a big part of Strange Music is touring. And that's cool and all but if the artists want themselves and this label to be relevant, they have to do more. What have we heard from Strange Music since WTSL was release? Nothing. No singles, no release dates, nothing. When is Kutt gonna drop those mixtapes? What happened to Lynch's EP that he just decided not to do? When are Stevie and Mayday gonna put something out? It seems to me like either the label or the artists themselves just aren't doing everything they can and that frustrates me because I know there is a TON of talent there and I hate to see it wasted. Thank you for reading. Flame away lol
Long story short - I feel like Strange Music is an irrelevant label with irrelevant artists and something needs to be done (either by the label or the artists) in order to produce some buzz for these very talented individuals.
They could more be more popular and get more sales. Yes it is shitty marketing when comes to the other artists. Musically though Strange Music came out strong this year. As a fan to me thats what matters the most. 2012 it looks like Brother Lynch Hung,Prozak,Stevie Stone will release albums 1st/2nd quarter 2012,Kaliko with Kickin and Screamin next summer. Of course Kabosh and Kutt Calhoun will release a mixtape and be on features...I don't see him releasing an album maybe by the end of the year. Mayday they say is Quarter 4 for their debut strange album.
I actually read the whole thing because you made some intelligent points. I agree that something needs to be done promotion-wise for artists on the label not named Tech N9ne. And also agree that the artists have more control over their album's sales then they think. Cognito's album didnt sell a ton of copies, but I guarantee it would have sold a lot less if it wasnt for the 5000 Ustreams he did before the album dropped. I like that Kutt did 2 EP music videos on his own. Even if they were low budget, still a step in the right direction. Strange Music is a very successful independent label. But if they want to make that jump to big time, they gotta step it up. And they definitely have the money to do so.
Thank you for finally saying what I've always thought. I for one try to show my friends some Strange Music, but they're stuck on garbage like wiz kahlifa and Mac miller. Do this is obviously a problem that needs to be fixed.
As far as Mac Miller goes, Rostrum Records is in on the Snoop Dogg & Wiz - Mac + Devin Goes To High School soundtrack, Mac definitely has a broader reach 'n like Nick said ppl are fixed on their bullshit. But I also agree 100% about promotion, I mean look at Big Scoob's No Filter EP (which you forgot to mention, guess it's not that surprising) we didn't hear ANYTHING about it until a few days or so prior to it being released. And it's sad that Kutty has to go out 'n make videos on his own, it's good he's doing it for himself 'n not sitting on his ass, but it's sad that he has to. Strange does need to step it up becuz if they were worth $11mil back in '08(?) OF COURSE they have the money NOW especially with the surge in (Tech) fans, if they don't step it up in 2012 I'll be disappointed. Music wise though they always come correct so it's hard to criticize them there. But Tech's getting older, he won't be around forever. To anybody who's ever followed wrestling, look at WWE. A lot of their top stars left 'n they've been struggling making new ones, granted it's a bit different but at the core it's essentially the same. If Strange doesn't build up and hype Kutty, Kaliko, and more importantly younger acts like Stevie Stone, MayDay, Ces Cru, Irv Da Phenom, etc. they're gonna plummet quick after Tech retires. Tech can still be #1 on the label, but if he's the ONLY 1, Strange is fucked in the long run.
Thanks for reading and commenting guys.
Another point I forgot to bring up: We live in the internet age. Strange Music and its artists need to use this to their advantage. Tech already gets pretty good coverage on most rap sites/blogs, but Strange needs to make sure (even if they have to pay) that ALL of their artists are getting reported on by those sites/blogs. Also, Strange NEEDS to clean up their websites. All of them look pretty bad, imo (except maybe the store). For example, if I go to the Strange Music Blog site and click "artists", all they have are pictures of Tech, Kutt, Krizz, BLH, and Scoob. Seriously? Show some pride.
And on a minor note, when is Tech (or anyone else from Strange) going to get reviewed by Pitchfork? They are basically the leading voice in music on the internet right now and pretty much dictate what's cool (to many people, not necessarily me). Tyler the Creator, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar - all blew up this year and have been reviewed by Pitchfork. I think if someone like Krizz got a glowing Pitchfork review, it'd do wonders for his career.
Oh snap, I didn't even know it got released lol. My bad.
Charles Weis said:
I mean look at Big Scoob's No Filter EP (which you forgot to mention, guess it's not that surprising) we didn't hear ANYTHING about it until a few days or so prior to it being released.
i think tech and trav are stuck on the tour and grind game, because that's what worked for tech, and not using the internet to the full extent on promoting these new artists. i think mayday has the most chance of blowing up soon, just because they regularly leak some shit onto youtube or put together music videos. they have an online presence that the other artists don't (added to the fact that they are extremely talented of course).
i think in the long long run, the main acts are going to be mayday and stevie stone. because let's face it... tech, kali, kutt, scoob, and lynch are old.