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Help Me Sweet Baby Jesus, I’ve Got to Pay Attention to Dominic Lord Now?Posted by Nathan S. on 07/06/12 | Filed under Features, Videos, Dominic Lord
If you haven't heard about Lord yet, there's a good reason. At the moment, his entire musical catalog consists of one video. (Yep, one fucking video.) That's it. Oh, well, I guess he also designed these t-shirts and hoodies. But there are no tracks, no mixtape, no album, just one video. And that video dropped well after that aforementioned bidding war started.
So consider this post both a warning - expect to be seeing Dominic's name popping up with increasing frequency, so you might as well know who he is now - and part rant. Here comes the rant.....
For all I know Lord's music, whenever it actually comes out, will turn out to be dope, and there's no doubt about it, that "Pierce" video is pretty ill. But sweet baby jesus help me if this isn't the latest sign of the interwebs music apocalypse. If you thought the A$AP Rocky deal was quick, A$AP was a grizzled veteran when he got signed compared to Lord; a comparison all the more fitting considering Lord was once a minor figure in the A$AP crew.
Ask your favorite unsigned artist and I guarantee they'll tell you they sat in major label meetings where the exes said, "We like you, but you need to prove you have a following first. You need to show us numbers, we can't invest in unproven artists." That's the standard line, and it makes sense. The labels are bleeding money and they simply can't afford to develop artists like they once did. That's just the reality of the industry today.
But then, while they're turning down your favorite rappers, the rappers that have been working for years to put out dope free shit, the rappers that are working day jobs and recording all night just to do what they love, they're also throwing millions of dollars at guys like Lord based off pure hype.
Al least in Chief Keef's case there was an established local fan base to point to, but for Lord, we don't even have that. What we have instead is the increasingly common hype feedback loop.
1) A site, aiming to look cool by posting an artist essentially no one's ever heard of, does a post on an artist essentially no one's ever heard of.
2) People see the post and think, "If [site x] is talking about this artist he must be worth talking about. I'll start talking about him too."
3) Label A&Rs start hearing the hype. They don't want to miss out on the next big thing, so they invite the artist to a meeting.
4) Word gets out that major labels are meeting with the artist. Well if he's meeting with majors there's got to be more to the artist than just hype, right?
5) They don't want to miss out on the next big thing, so more sites began writing about the artist.
6) More major label execs start seeing the artist's name on every site, invite him into more meetings.
Etc., etc., etc.
So I'm not angry at Dominic Lord in the least. If someone's going to throw some huge money at him off one YouTube video with 30,000 views, good for him. I hope he takes that money and sets himself up for life. And if three years from now he's proven to be one of the best new artists working, I'll happily be playing his music all day. This isn't really about Lord, this is about a schizophrenic music industry that rewards hype over everything.
So for now, as far as the general public is concerned, Dominic Lord is nothing but hype, and I don't know how to comment on the hype without further feeding into the same hype feedback circle that's unnecessarily hyping him up. Sweet baby Jesus help me, when did it get this complicated?
See Also: Chief Keef & The Making of The Internet’s Latest False Idol