Toledo got next: Is the industry gathering talent from the Glass City?Written by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo is looked at by neighboring cities as slow, country, and very behind the times. Can this be said about the hip hop artists here as well? Do they not work just as hard for the top spot as an artist in a major city? Obviously they do, because several of them have signed recording contracts in the last few months.
But … because it’s Toledo, a lot of people will have a hard time believing that an artist from here can “make it.” It’s a catch-22: being from Toledo, you have to work twice as hard to reach the top, but when you accomplish something, people doubt you because of where you’re from.
When someone dares to go against the grain of what’s popular or socially accepted, they’re often called “haters.” If someone has the nerve to go against the grain and question a situation, instead of sparking thought-provoking conversation, they are immediately shut down for the fear of a new truth emerging. This could very well be the case with the Toledo artists who have recently acquired major recording contracts.
The artists who have gotten signed didn’t have the most buzz in the city, and the usual formula for success is to have your city behind you, so it was mighty peculiar that these specific artists got signed. In 2012, is a record label really going to give a deal to an artist who doesn’t already have a movement? The money isn’t flowing the way it used to, so there’s very little room for artist development and an even smaller budget for promotion. So is it really possible that an artist without those two key components can really sign a major deal?
But on the other hand, there are plenty of artists who have gotten deals that didn’t necessarily have a huge buzz beforehand. A friend of mine is a manager for a young R&B group, Dollhouse, and they just got signed to Universal without a huge buzz. Who had heard of J. Cole before he was signed to Roc Nation? So perhaps, with enough talent, the label will believe in an artist enough to sign him/her and put the necessary tools in place to create a strong buzz.
Toledo seems to be torn by this. There even seems to be some animosity amongst the artists who have gotten signed. Some have digital distribution deals, some have album deals, but everyone has questions. How did he get a deal? Who would ever sign her? That’s not a real record deal; why are you lying to everyone?
My question is simple: why are you so quick to judge something you know nothing about? Have you seen any of these artists’ recording contracts? So how do you know it’s not legit? In my next article, I’ll be speaking to each artist from Toledo (and southeast Michigan) and asking him or her everything that every Toledoan wants to know. Hopefully this will clear up any confusion as to whether these record deals are legit or not. Until then, can we try to support each other? Is that so hard to do?