As a former General Manager and Senior Vice President of No Limit Records, I already know what it's like to be on the business side of music. Creating my former music label Me & Mine Entertainment also gave me even more insight on how independent labels work. So it's fascinating to watch a realistic version of it come to our television screens every Wednesday night.
Anyone with a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account has run into independent artists trying to make it in the music industry. But so many of us see it from the artistic standpoint: we hear songs, we watch artists, we give selective head nods to a few nice-on-the-eyes models posing for those covers, and we bob our heads to the beat. But what "Empire" does is educate people about the business end while still showing off the sexier side of the hip-hop and R&B music industry.
On recent interviews with The Dream, Tyga, Timbaland, Serayah, Jussie Smollett and Quincy, artists have told their views on how they feel about the TV show and the contractual agreements. From a business perspective, I'll answer a few questions I keep hearing about the professional side of the arts.
Do you think an artist who already has a reputable name should do a show like "Empire"? Or, are artists getting too focused on television and not enough on music?
Reputable artists should consider doing a television show like "Empire." It gives them an opportunity to promote themselves in another form of entertainment. If they are trying to expand on their career by being versatile and proving that they have the ability to be actors, it is a great opportunity for them to do so. Artists need to look at ways to promote their brands. The music industry’s income has declined significantly over the last 10 years, and artists who have always struggled financially have to focus on additional ways to generate income (i.e., acting, concerts, merchandising).