Social Networks, blogs, and mass media...
Are the best ways to find new hip hop music today. Social networks let you hear and see things instantly, the blogs are the new "experts" as far as who is hot or not, and mass media gives music a major cosign by using the songs for movies, award shows, etc.
However, there was once a time when the record labels really decided who the best artists were. The ability to record, market, and sell the music was all wrapped in that record label's "brand" and gave each its own identity. I went to my Twitter followers to vote for the best hip hop record label of all time.
First we voted on the candidates...
I polled my Twitter followers for their favorite record labels and these 8 labels appeared the most often. Each record label is known for their signature style, sound, and appearance. It was interesting to place them head to head and see who the people would crown the best.
The Top 8...
1 Roc-a-fella Vs 8 GOOD Music
Almost like the teacher vs the student in this battle. Jay Z built Roc-a-fella Records with Dame and Big and started a very iconic, dope wave in hip hop. He also signed Kanye West as a producer and artist who went and created GOOD Music later on. GOOD Music also boasts a nice roster with 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Common, John Legend, Pusha T, and more.
2 Bad Boy Vs 7 Aftermath
Puff Daddy was very popular in the 90s with Bad Boy and was very consistent in making hit groups, artists, and records. Puff Daddy also introduced us to the Notorious BIG one of the most memorable rappers of all time. Aftermath was a west coast powerhouse which included the legendary Dr. Dre and also artists like the Game, Eminem, Busta Rhymes and Kendrick Lamar. Aftermath was a favorite choice for those who like lyricism.
3 Cash Money Vs 6 G Unit
Cash Money taking over for the '99 and the 2000. One of the most recognizable record labels in rap because of their flashy lifestyle and original sounding music. The home of Lil Wayne, Baby, Mannie Fresh, Juvenile, BG, and Turk. G Unit was another dope movement in hip hop as they ushered in a new era of gangster rap. Headlined by 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks, G Unit also went on to expand, sign more artists and develop regionally.
4 No Limit Vs 5 Death Row
No Limit was a very successful hip hop record label, known for their consistent releases and for generating a lot of income for their artists. Master P is still known as a marketing and promotion genius for his work with No Limit and went on to sign many artists including Snoop Dogg. Death Row was known for their big 4, Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, and Snoop Dogg. Death Row was very iconic with their music and movement, was known for their competition with the East Coast and for being "real" when it came to living their music out.
1 Roc-a-fella Vs 7 Aftermat
It's very hard to compete with Jay-z, Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and the Roc-a-fella team. However, Aftermath records did a decent job in collecting votes. Many people cited Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Dr. Dre as their reason for voting but the Roc-a-Fella team held on.
3 Cash Money Vs 5 Death Row
The closest battle of the entire poll. I honestly thought Cash Money would make it to the final round but they were upset by Death Row records. The legacy of 2Pac and what Death Row accomplished meant more to the voters over the Cash Money movement.
The Final Round...
And the winner is... Roc-a-fella Records! Death Row surprised me by making it all the way to the final round but thinking on it, it does make sense. Roc-a-fella and Death Row are very iconic hip hop record labels. Aspiring rappers everywhere wanted to join these ranks and be the next artist to learn from the legends and be the young rookie to carry the flag forward. The pride and motivation you get just seeing those logos or hearing the records they produced really inspired you as an artist to be great.
It's a feeling I wish we could bring back to hip hop and I think it's one of the reasons the genre has gotten a little stale. Now it seems like the artists are just out for personal gain, to make a hit, or to make a lot of money. It would be nice to go back to a time where each camp had their own methods to promote, originality, and sound. This type of competition is healthy for rap music and actually creates more creativity as each group does their best to stand out.
Thanks for reading and thanks for voting! Follow me on Twitter @Sicksteen_216.