Newly signed Epic Records recording artist, Bobby Shmurda, performed for his bosses a few days ago. I watched it and I couldn't help but cringe. The perfomance reminded me of a buck on the slave auction block, in which the observers were less interested in what the slaves could do, but rather more so concerned about how they could profit from exploiting them. (Bucks are what they called the male African slaves, and the females were called does.)
I mean, let's be honest: look over those in the audience and tell me how many of them are likely to have Bobby Shmurda or an artist of his ilk on their playlists. I am no record executive, but I can surmise that if you want to test the viability of a product, you should test said product with the targeted demographic that he/she will be marketed to. If Epic Records was truly interested in gauging the appeal of its latest signee's music, they should have held a private performance with an audience comprised of potential purchasers of his releases.
It's pathetic that Hip-Hop artists have to endure such indignities just to get a deal. Hopefully, more artists will follow the lead of 50 Cent and others, and pursue the independent route. Dr. Boyce Watkins brilliantly offers further insight on the Bobby Shmurda Epic Records performance. You can read it here. And let us know what's your take on this subject in the comments section.