Canton Jones is the face of Cajo Music. Lecrae has effectively grown the 116 movement and morphed it into a robust and relevant label dubbed Reach Records. Mr. "Lit Lit"aka Bizzle, has taken God Over Money from obscurity to now a brand that is co-signed by NBA super star Steph Curry. These are just a few independent labels that are at the top of the Christian rap food chain yet many regularly vent via social media that labels are the devil and anyone not with one should not seek to find one and should run far away.
Contrary to popular belief, every artist seeking growth or money or both at the same time will need a label or an entity that operates like one to get to the next level.
Here are the top three reasons why labels are still relevant in 2019:
1. An artist cannot do everything on their own. They cannot possibly, make all the phone calls, send out all the emails, handle bookings, petition to perform at a festival or even market and promote on their own. Burnout is likely to happen.
2. Labels can help spread the word about an artist and their music faster than an artist can. Most labels have connections, massive reach and even know how to negotiate deals for an artist.
3. Most labels have budgets to spend on artists. Correction, most businesses operating as labels will have money on hand to invest in an artist, but that artist must also be a good investment that can yield a return.
Oftentimes artists will sign with an independent label, which specifically states in writing that they are responsible for releasing a certain amount of mixtapes, albums, making appearances at award shows and maintaining a social media presence, and the like. But, as time progresses they realize that the aforementioned takes work and a team. At that point most jump ship without ever realizing their true potential as an artist. Some (a very small percentage) seek the knowledge required to do what that label attempted to do, but most never get schooled and never truly realize their goals.
Every facet of the music industry has it's positives and negatives. Signing with a label can be used to propel an artist to the next level, if they are patient and work alongside the label to reach the desired goal. Yes, there are many negatives to marrying a label but an artist should make it their personal business to get all the necessary knowledge to getting to the next level. While signed, they should ask questions, take on the role of an intern and get to know every facet of the business.