American radio personality, broadcaster, and disc jockey Ebro Darden has recently shed light on an intriguing perspective within the hip-hop industry. Ebro revealed that major record labels are currently showing limited interest in hip-hop, deeming it “boring.”
Ebro shared insights from a revealing phone call he received about the present state of the music landscape. In a tweet posted on August 17th, Ebro, the host of “Ebro in the Morning,” highlighted the shifting focus of major record labels. His tweet quoted, “‘It should be noted many major record labels have deprioritized signing Rappers.’ The focus is now African Music & Latin Music… Rappers better stop being boring and talking about the same shit over and over, chasing TikTok success and comment sections.'”
2023 has seen only two hip-hop albums, Lil Uzi Vert’s “Pink Tape” and Travis Scott’s “Utopia,” secure No. 1 positions on the Billboard 200 chart. In contrast, Colombian singer Karol G achieved a No. 1 with “Mañana Será Bonito,” and Peso Pluma’s third studio album debuted at No. 3 in June. On the Afrobeat front, artists like Burna Boy, Tems, Wizkid and Davido are gaining international recognition. Notably, there hasn’t been a solitary No. 1 hip-hop record on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart this year.
Although 2022 featured several No. 1 hip-hop albums, including releases from Drake, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar, and Future, the year was marked by Bad Bunny’s dominance with “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the year’s top-performing album. A recent Billboard report echoed the industry’s collective sentiment, depicting mounting frustration among record executives. An anonymous executive candidly shared, “Each person I talk to in the industry is more depressed [about this] than the person I talked to before them.”
In the current landscape, breaking new artists proves to be more challenging due to platforms like TikTok, which both ease entry barriers and potentially lead to oversaturation. Notably, Coi Leray and Yo Gotti have previously voiced concerns about industry saturation. Yo Gotti emphasized the lingering impact of COVID-19 on the energy and dynamics of the rap scene, expressing a sentiment shared by many within the industry.
I got a call saying ….
“It should be noted many major record labels have deprioritized signing Rappers.
The focus is now African Music & Latin Music
Rappers better stop being boring and talking about the same shit over and over, chasing TikTok success and comment sections”
— the Old Man Ebro (@oldmanebro) August 17, 2023