There were a lot of stories by the media on Jay’s “unwillingness” to feature Cole and some as petty as the number of pictures or videos Jay had with Cole. Big Sean on a record openly recounted his frustrations with his label Boss, Kanye. I remember hearing Big Sean rapping over “Say You Will” “But honestly I wish that I could take you off tour, Put you in the studio so you could focus more on my shit.”
This is the attitude of most artists that sign under a bigger artist; they have certain expectations, and it turns into a waiting game.
Let’s bring it home, do we recall the Samini-Stonebwoy music relationship, Stonebwoy had to move to become huge. Same with the Daddy Lumba-Ofori Amponsah music Story. Why should your boss put his career on hold to focus on you. It rarely works out when you are doing the same thing as your boss especially when your Boss is way bigger than you are. Again do you recall how Samini and Kinaata worked out just fine till the latter decided to walk away, that’s because Kinaata and Samini were doing different genres.
2. Sign to Kill
Many pundits also believe certain big artists sign an artist on the come up just to kill his career especially when they feel the emerging talent is a threat to their career. Scientifically we cannot prove this but many stories are out there to back this up. Would you believe a big artist in Ghana told his protege not to file for a category in this year’s VGMA because the Boss was going for that category? Honestly this young protege would have won that category hands down. That’s a classical example of not allowing your protégé to do better than you!
Some of these big guys also do not want you to beat their legacy and many believe that messed the Cole & Jay’s union musically.
3. Creating your own path and Heightened Expectations:
Many of these emerging talents have high hopes when they sign for these Moguls. They perceive the journey should be all smooth because they believe the big guys have enough experience to walk them pass the hurdles when they arise. However these icons also want their signees to gather some experiences on their own and this often turn to create some frustrations for these young guys on the come up!!
The other thing has to do with features and collaborations. Many Big guys often do not give artist they’ve signed enough features, some for good reasons some for reasons best known to these guys.
One of the reasons could be the fact that, these signees will always live in the shadows of their label Boss if they continue to spoon feed them through features/collaborations. This is why most musician/Label Bosses back off with features and collaborations. The public often turn to misconstrue this reason. It’s not because they do not want to help, it’s because they want their signees to create their own path.
Now let’s talk about Sarkodie and Strongman briefly. My standpoint of that union has always been that “It will never work”. Sarkodie I believed would you have been a great mentor rather than a label Boss.
Stop blaming Sarkodie for this, there are thousand and one similar stories out there. We will always be here until we are able to separate the label from the Artist.
However there are a lot of success stories as well, like Ross and Meek, Lil Wayne under Birdman, Young Money under Wayne.