The Real Reason For Hip-Hop's Declining Sales :The Death of Music Retail

AllHipHop Staff

Editor's note: The

views expressed inside this editorial aren't necessarily the views of or its employees.Hip-Hop, there is a need for me to be serious and state some facts that may encourage you to do things a little differently.

At a very rapid pace, music retail is dying. There are many reasons for this and we have our opinions on where to point the fingers. Right now that is not important. However, it is very important for you to know what genre of music this death will affect first.

Hip Hop is probably the most influential type of music there is. It has more than put its stamp on pop culture. But that is not good enough, because it is getting harder to find your favorite new hip hop disc in stores. Here are a few examples of what is happening to Hip Hop.

* Last week, Wale came out to a harsh reality. He thought he was hot, but some non traditional music retailers thought he was not and therefore bought very little to absolutely none of his debut cd. Fans relied on twitter to point them in the direction of the nearest music store to find Attention Deficit. (#attentiondeficit)

* A couple of weeks ago, Rick Ross's group Triple C's came out and sold a little over 12,000 copies. About 70% of these were sold at traditional/independent music stores.

* After calling three Mass Merchants inside the city of Atlanta, none of them had the newest Lil' Boosie Cd. It was released on September 15, 2009. They pull you off the shelf pretty fast there huh? (While on that call a customer asked for the Wale CD, I told the employee to send him to the West End. She relayed the message and said..."We never got that CD.")

* Then I decided to go on a hunt for an underground artist. Brooklyn MC Skyzoo's debut release "The Salvation" was only available at 1 Mass Merchant out side the city of Atlanta. But they could not locate the disc in the store.

It is very important for me to say that this is not a shot at any store, record label, or artist. This is the harsh reality of the situation you may be in if you are a hip hop artist. And it is even more unforgiving if you are a hip hop fan.

70-80% of hip hop music is sold physically in stores and not digitally online. Where does that leave the artist with the major record deal if there is no music store and one mass merchant? Where does that leave the artist that just needs distribution if there is no music store and one mass merchant? Last but certainly not least, where does that leave the fan that just wants to go to the store and find their favorite new Hip-Hop CD? 

I do believe that things will change one day. Change is inevitable. However as we wait for change to take place, Hip Hop will suffer. The real question is will it be able to survive?

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