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Could TDE Become Bigger Than YMCMB?

Cash Money Records is on top of the Hip-Hop game.
But, could TDE match or exceed their competition?
(pictured  left to right: Ronald "Slim" Williams, Bryan "Birdman" Williams, CEO's of Cash Money Records
Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Ent.)
Reported By @KlearJ
After doing research of TDE, I have come to a conscious conclusion that Top Dawg Entertainment may become as big as or even bigger than the currently leading Hip-Hop company, YMCMB.

We understand that some of the fans of YMCMB may disagree, but before you jump down my throat and become hostile, let’s check out the facts. You then can tell me if my conclusion is right or wrong.

YMCMB's lead artist Lil Wayne,
Mack Maine, Drake & Nicki Minaj
If you are a true Hip-Hop or Day One fans, then you will know the humble beings of Cash Money Records like the back of your hands. You know that Cash Money was founded by brothers Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams in 1991 with a handful of artist (U.N.L.V., Kilo G, Lil Slim, PxMxWx) which released multiple hits that only gained regional attention. Most of their attention was directed towards the group U.N.L.V., who released albums like “Uptown 4 Life (1996)” which brought them much success in New Orleans. All of their earlier music was produced by in-house super-producer Mannie Fresh. It wasn’t until signing Juvenile and B.G. in 1997 that Cash Money Records would really get the attention of major labels and A&Rs. The two artist’ lyrical abilities worked the imprint into a deal with Universal Records where they signed for a $3m advance, $30m contract. From that point, Cash Money Records would become one of the most infamous Hip-Hop labels around, releasing music from powerhouses such as The Hot Boy$, Lil Wayne, Drake & Nicki Minaj.

TDE's "Black Hippy" that consist of
ScHoolBoy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock & Kendrick Lamar.
Let’s check out Top Dawg Entertainment now. Founded by Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith in 1997, around the same time that Cash Money Records signed with Universal, Top Dawg started producing for Game (who is now signed with YMCMB) and Juvenile. Along the way, he also worked with indie rap artist, producing for them and helping them build a name. One in particular, Kendrick Lamar (aka K-Dot), a 16 year old lyricist with an impeccable flow that made Top Dawg want to push his name in a new direction, hence starting a record label and signing him after the release of his first mixtape in 2004. In 2005, he saw his label grow from local buzz to industry buzz. After signing Jay Rock to TDE, he was fortunate to sign joint ventures with Warner Bros. & Asylum Records. But, because of neglect from the label over the handling of Jay Rock’s debut album “Follow Me Home,” Top Dawg had no choice but the leave both joint ventures alone. Top Dawg continued on as an independent label. Between the years of 2007-2009, his imprint released more music from Jay Rock and K. Dot along with signing Ab-Soul and longtime affiliate ScHoolBoy Q to the label. In 2010, TDE presented Kendrick Lamar’s Overly Dedicated mixtape to the world. TDE gained much attention for the mixtape by using Internet mediums like ITunes to broadcast it. Other mixtapes, like Jay Rock’s “Black Friday,” and ScHoolBoy Q’s “Setbacks,” were parallel in success. TDE then, finally, released Jay Rock’s “Follow Me Home” studio album. It put TDE in place along with the major’s selling 5,300 copies in one week and ranking #83 on the Billboard charts. The label then signed joint deals with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment and are where they are now.

The Hot Boy$, which consisted of solo artist B.G., Juvenile,
Lil Wayne & Young Turk, generated multiple hits for Cash
Money Records from 1998-2002.
Both labels has had humble beginnings. Both has had growing pains after signing with major labels. Cash Money’s growing pains began in 2002 when both B.G. and Juvenile left the label after citing financial mismanagement. Their rebuilding process came after Lil Wayne acted upon himself and dropped mixtape after mixtape of nothing but free, quality music. This paved the way for many artist to follow suit and quickly put Lil Wayne at the top of the game.

I know that by now some of you are saying: ‘KlearJ, if you just said that Lil Wayne paved the way and is now at the top of the game, doesn’t that mean that YMCMB is at the top of the game? So, why do you think TDE could become bigger than that?

Yes, it does mean that YMCMB is on top, but does it mean that TDE cannot become bigger? No. Here is why! Since both labels has already seen there growing pains (Cash Money rebuilding; TDE leaving joint ventures and rebuilding), we both know that you become better from them. YMCMB got to see them earlier in time than TDE and has been a blueprint for what labels are not supposed to be. You can tell that TDE is taking notes and is not missing a beat. TDE has formed the group ‘Black Hippy’ which can be compared to a modern day Hot Boy$. Lil Wayne has created the blueprint for artist like Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rock to grow their fan base through multiple free mixtapes, and it has been successful for them. But, TDE has an advantage that wasn’t as popular in 2002 as it is in 2013. They can sell music directly to fans online and they have done this successfully. Even though YMCMB has implemented this tactic into their plans, don’t you think that if the Internet boom was as popular in 2002 that YMCMB would have been able to reach a bigger fan base already?

TDE has studied Cash Money’s formula to the letter and has successfully branded their name into the minds of every black boy and girl in the hood. Not to mention, they’ve also reached a lot of white girls and boy and other cultures using the worldwide web. Kendrick Lamar is like the crowned savior for West Coast music and is building his buzz even more through massive album sales and industry beef just as Lil Wayne & Juvenile had. They have no problem branching out to work with other artist and signing artist like Isaiah Rashad & SZA from other regions of the U.S. Unlike Cash Money, in the beginning, who was reluctant to work with anyone else outside of their signors. These facts will only encourage more people to learn to love TDE’s sound and grind.

In Conclusion, this is my prediction. By 2015, TDE will be the top of music discussion on the lips of all music critics just as YMCMB is now. YMCMB may have to branch to another genre or form a distribution company to keep up with TDE. As the advancement of music technology push the Compact Disc into oblivion, you will see TDE become the powerhouse of the MP3 world. If they continue to sign more artist, like Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock, from different genre? You will see TDE rule the world of music to their fullest potential.

Don’t believe me? Just Watch.



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