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  • 28Feb

    YMCMB, Limp Bizkit and lessons on sustainability.

    On Friday morning, 2001′s best band, Jacksonville, FL natives Limp Bizkit signed to Cash Money Records. Many found the move to be shocking. After all, it’s 2012, and Limp Bizkit’s 2011 release Gold Cobra¬†matched the band’s name, selling a paltry 63,000 copies domestically. Cash Money Records? Also the home of Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, a monolithic label that has sold over 12.5 million albums since it’s inception. Adding not only the seemingly irrelevant Bizkit, but also Busta Rhymes and Christina Milian to the label’s contracted talent feels strange on the surface, but also like extravagant overkill. But, if you’re thinking this way, I strongly advise you to think a bit deeper about the situation.

    In 1998, Korn were on top of the nu metal universe. The sound was white hot, and their dominance was seemingly unstoppable. Thus, the idea of their Family Values tour, wherein the nu metal kings would join with other nu metal acts, aggro hip-hop legends like Ice Cube and heavy metal favorites like Rob Zombie felt a tad bit absurd. However, everyone was proven wrong to the tune of untold earnings and the band shifting from yearly album releases to a less frenetic recording schedule since 2003. When Korn shifted from being just a band into an iconic marketing brand, they achieved perpetual sustainability, which should be the ideal for anyone who wishes to record music as a professional occupation.

    YMCMB has reached a level of largess rarely seen in the history of hip hop. An independent label has spawned an equally successful independent offshoot. Furthermore, in an incredibly economically depressed generation, both labels exist as wildly successful and nearing sustainability in the face of impressive overhead. It’s the new age Def Jam, Bad Boy Records on steroids, Diddy’s dream to the nth power. However, instead of capitulating to the prohibitive cost of remaining fiercely independent, Bryan “Baby” Williams has turned his penchant for rubbing his hands into crafting the mystical magic that positions both labels for growth that portends to eclipse rap music’s wildest expectations.

    Neither Limp Bizkit nor Busta Rhymes were necessarily signed to be singles or album artists. They were likely signed to be concert draws. Pop music is no longer about selling records, it’s about making inherently hook-powered music and having a back catalog that can sell out live shows. In identifying two of the most commercially volatile and still relevant to the mainstream sounding acts from the enormous money era of music expansion, YMCMB has contracted guaranteed money. There’s a backlash coming to the electro revolution. Just as The Knack sang “My Sharona” and the world could scream that “disco sucked,” I’m positive that there’s some white-bread Americans that are going to be really happy when Lil Wayne makes the calculated step away from David Guetta and daps up our least favorite dude “doin’ it all for the Nookie” in a trademark red Yankees cap and shell-toed adidas.

    I’m all for a YMCMB Family Values-type tour. I attended in 1998. 15 years later? I’ll gladly attend again.

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