Considering James’ tumultuous relationship with record labels, he offered up an interesting perspective. As many will remember, Def Jam signed James back in 2012 for a reported $2 million joint venture deal off the success of his breakout hit, “All Gold Everything.” Two years later, he declared he was broke and had been dropped from the label.
These days, it seems as though the Atlanta rhymer wants to prevent the same thing from happening to other artists.
“Now they’re preying on the young children,” James told BuzzFeed. “They’re not giving them a chance to fully develop. Their songs that are popping, they already popped in the underground and the clubs—that’s what the DJs are playing. They’re already turnt up. So what they need is just a good investor, not a major label, just a respectful, loyal, worthy investor, somebody who gets what’s going on and let them be the label.”
Notably, now incarcerated rapper Bobby Shmurda signed a deal with Epic Records last year off the strength of his “Hot N*gga” single.
Although he didn’t specifically name Shmurda, James said he sees this happen too often with rap acts.
“I think that’s a problem with hip-hop,” he said. “I don’t really see it happen like that with singers and overseas artists. In my entire life I had never heard one ounce of news about Lorde, and then she came out of nowhere and had the hardest summer ever and been turnt up ever since.
“She went from nothing to Taylor Swift in one summer,” he added. “But when you look at the background, they’d been coaching her and teaching her and nurturing her to be ready for it. I feel like that doesn’t happen with young hip-hop artists that get signed.”
James said he now focuses on pushing projects as a whole as opposed to simply putting out singles.
Do you agree with Trinidad James? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.