The Game has been around for nearly twenty years, having spent time at his fair share of record labels: Aftermath, E1, Geffen, Interscope, and many smaller subsidiaries. With nine studio albums under his belt, Game has earned the right to drop gems and lead by example. It’s no secret that the music industry landscape has shifted to a drastic degree, with the arrival of streaming having a major impact on record deals. Not to mention the rise of social media as a promotional platform — one that lends artists a refreshing amount of control. And yet many young rappers have still fallen prey to predatory record deals.
Evidently, Game has had it up to here. He recently took to Twitter to fire off a passionate warning to any young artist looking to sustain a lucrative and long-lasting career. “This rap shit will KILL YOU. Literally,” he begins. “The labels sign young artists to slave deals & their only concern is how they can use you to make more money. They don’t even advertise or market you no more, they let u do it yourself on IG while they sit back, steal & wait 4 the next you. Stay INDEPENDENT. OWN your masters. Do the work yourself & the payoff will be worth it. Almost 20 years in music & not once did anyone tell me this. Shit, I’m still waiting on them to tell YOU.”
It’s unclear as to what prompted his rant, but it’s not uncommon to see artists begin to veer away from the major label route. Royce Da 5’9″ spoke in-depth about ownership on The Allegory, warning rappers to focus on the art lest their investments fail to last. Russ has continuously preached the importance of self-sustainability, essentially rebranding himself as an independent guru of sorts. Game’s point falls somewhere in the middle, his incendiary language emphasizing the importance of acting fast. Otherwise, there’s no telling what might happen when that dotted line is signed.