When two employees enter a job, neither one of them should have a mindset of complacency inside of their head. There should always be a hunger to climb that corporate ladder, because no matter what your status is, if you’re not the head man in charge, you can be kicked right off.If second fiddle is ok with you, then at least understand you should always have some level of paranoia about your status. Understand that no matter what you have done for your company if the right person wants you gone you can leave. So with that thought in hand you should know everything you need to know to keep your situation at float. If you fail at that, don’t blame others for your failures. Its doesn’t take a genius to figure it out; it’s just a common sense thing.
After years of faithful service to Def Jam records, LL Cool J seems to be fed up and ready to leave. When asked why, he cited the current Def Jam president (Jay-Z) as his main reason. Saying, “How am I gonna re-sign with competition, I’m not an idiot. I can’t depend on that man to promote my record while he’s somewhere writing rhymes. ... I’m LL Cool J. I ain’t doing that, B.” Then just recently in the song “It’s a Queens Thing” he went on to throw some subliminals:
“I don’t slide like Usher, I don’t make no bands, I ain’t a frontin’ ass coward, I don’t rig Soundscan./ I wish Rick and Russell was back, I miss the old Def Jam. ‘Cause them new monkeys act like they don’t know who I am./ The promotion and marketing wasn’t worth a damn. /Now they on the balls again ‘cause 50’s my man? It’s a Queens’s thing, doofy; this is how we do…”.
After so many words being tossed in the Def Jam President’s direction from mister Todd Smith, its hard not to see that he may just be little bitter.
Lets think about it though, does he have a reason to be? LL’s first studio album came out in 1985, it is now the year 2007. Over those 22 years he has released 12 studio albums (including upcoming release Exit 13), won two Grammy awards, and has starred in several movies. Despite all of this success, LL has never introduced any artists, or even showed an interest in the industry outside of selling records. Like it or not this was one of the main reasons Jay-z was given the position of President and not him.
While one was taking his shirt off in countless videos and expanding towards an acting career, the other was building his empire, signing quality artists, and becoming a global icon. He has surpassed LL in almost every aspect of Hip-Hop. The nail in the coffin was him (Jay-z) being given the oh so glorified President position at Def Jam.So now after his last album did less than stunning numbers, LL is angry all of a sudden and has a problem with Jay-Z? For a man of 39 years old who has been in the industry for over twenty years, and has such massive status why would you rely on another man to make your album sell?
We Don’t Know When Jay turned into a little white girl
LL is right when he says he is one of the best to ever do it, and he is the reason Def Jam made it through those infant stages, but this is 2007 and what he did for Def Jam is nothing but a fond memory. Other than his album sales he has not really brought in much revenue for the label nor has he shown that he can build revenue from anything other than himself.
He’s Hip Hop’s very own Jose Canseco, as he has the ability to hit a home run (when it comes to record sales) but other than that he’s pretty useless and as the years go by every power hitters’ numbers will diminish. Knowing this, why would Def Jam put in an exuberant amount of money into his album, seeing that it was the most poorly received album from LL since “14 Shots To the Dome”. With a general album consensus rating as low as 2/5, does that sound like a home run hit to you?
What is LL really angry at? Is he mad that, in less time, President Carter has the position that LL was promised so many years ago? If so he has no stable ground to stand on. Promises are broken everyday, credentials influence those in power, and these days ones’ money making abilities are the only thing that guarantee results in this industry.
Should Jay Z have given his last album more attention, better promotion, and a “Kingdom Come-like” marketing plan? Probably, but if your going to get a Kingdom Come” marketing plan you have to pull in Kingdom Come” numbers, and the last time Mr. Todd smith went double platinum it was 1997. Combine that with declining rap sales, and the marketing plan used on his album made sense financially. Its been a little over a year and the album “Todd Smith” has only managed to go gold. Those numbers have nothing to do with a marketing plan, but they speak volumes about his popularity.
Yes LL is bitter, but honestly from the facts stated above he really has no right. He’s not a superstar in the Soundscan, he has never really seem to show the corporate skill, or desire to be an executive, and to be quite frank his last album sucked. He did more for hip hop than any one that I can think of, because in all honesty if he does not sign with Def Jam, Jay might have never comes into, half of the people who are here now might not be where they are.
He had an eleven year head start and still managed to fall behind. Don’t get mad now, its too late. He had his chance, but opportunity sped right past him, and from what it looks like, he probably just licked his lips and left it be.