As I write this blog I am zoned out listening to the MC that my first love blasted in his old school Chevy and had everyone yelling GOON SQUUUAAAD! This artist changed the game and had people looking at a different Chicago in which the world wasn't familiar. However, life happens and this artist fate changed the direction of his career.
Hip Hop has its bad boys in the industry with many artist being faced with trials and spending time in jail ranging from Snoop Dogg to Tupac. Recently, artists such as Lil Wayne and TI served time in jail and has remained as successful artists. Hence, Lil Wayne made more money this year while he was in prison then he did last year while he was out of prison. Lil Wayne survives as an artist while in prison through his Young Money label where he has the two hottest artists in heavy rotation, Nicki Minaj and Drake. His voice is still heard through his influence in these artists flow and has many features on their tracks. Lil Wayne is even in Drake's newest video for his "MISS ME" track. TI left his mark with his wife, Tiny from Xscape, and Lil Wayne's ex Wife BET reality show where both rappers are the key subject subliminally.
The latest and undisputed lyricist to be placed in prison is Chicago's BUMP J who had over 20,000 downloads of his newly released mixtape REMEMBER ME hosted by The Aphilliates DJ MOONDAWG. The success of this mixtape raises the question of how can artists brand themselves while incarcerated.
Bump J sticks out to me because he is an individual that wasn't privileged to only serve a year in prison (He was sentenced to seven years) like Hip Hop favs Lil Wayne and TI. His fame and street cred has shown why BUMP J brought a different flava to the industry and why his imprisonment came at a time where he was about to blow in the mainstream scene.
I personally feels that with no promo at all and the success of his latest mixtape, REMEMBER ME, shows that the "streets" are a important factor in branding. For instance, will Justin Bieber have the same amount of supporters when if he was imprisoned for the same accusations as Bump J? Bump J was an artist that could give 16 bars of street poetry that touch the soul, giving accurate descriptions for Chicagoans and all individuals that resides in Urban America.
The key to branding artists such as Lil Wayne and Bump J is creditability to their target audience. If the target audience, urban communities, views an artist as someone who is really living the life that they are spitting our speak lyrics that the "streets" live.
Shyne was just realesed from prison and his anticpation as an artist died. The failure of his brand was the lack of exposure hence his last album being released in late 2004 and the lack of resources such as social media, exposures via magazines (letter to fans, columns etc.) and the drive to keep hold to his fans he accumulated during his BAD BOY days.
An artist that wants to survive while in jail needs bars that speak life, realness giving the people something that the mainstream fail to give in song: THE TRUTH. Bump J is Chicago and gives the real through his words in a way most artist fails to deliver. Artists like Lil Wayne, Bump J and TI is proof that you can't kill hot bars behind bars.........
DOWNLOAD BUMP J'S MIXTAPE REMEMBER ME HOSTED BY DJ MOONDAWG HERE:
BUMP J'S LETTER 2 MY COMPETITION:
LIL WAYNE IN DRAKE'S MISS ME VIDEO:
SHYNE'S BAD BOYS: