*For those of us who are old enough to remember when Rap Music first hit the nation’s airwaves, I am quite sure none of us in the recording industry would have ever envisioned the effect this music would have on our culture and in our lives as a whole.

This was a genre of music that was insulted, degraded and ridiculed by record company executives, radio programmers and business people in
general.

It was also a style of music that moved the youth in our country and it gave a voice to a generation of “audio poets” whose style and lyrics captivated millions of people in a very short period of time.

As the years progressed, those same music industry executives that shunned Rap artists and their style of music, were seen having lunch and dinner in Beverly Hills restaurants and they were seen pulling out their company check books faster than an old west gunslinger to sign these artists to their labels. Why the switch in attitudes towards Rappers? Well, it has to do with “Greenish Colored Paper.”

There was no pivotal moment in time where record company CEO’s suddenly thought to themselves. “You know…Rap is just another form of musical expression. We should embrace it, finance it, promote it and market it just as aggressively as we would a Pop/Rock/Top 40 record.” No. The reason is so simple… “GREENISH COLORED PAPER.”

So now, let me get the facts right here. We have a parent company that will distribute, market, promote and finance your Rap products on a world-wide basis and THEY will tell you HOW MUCH PRODUCT YOU SOLD AROUND THE WORLD AND HOW MUCH THEY OWE YOU. Right? RIGHT.

Ok, now from what we have been told and shown for the past 25 years, the Major Recording Companies really do not like Rap music and they really want to bar all Rap related artists and companies from coming to their door steps because history proves that the genre brings DRAMA WITH IT. Police activity, criminal charges, drug dealing, gang violence, RICO charges, murder & mayhem and the most feared of all negatives as far as the Major’s are concerned… The peeking into their financial records by the Feds and State authorities to see if they had a hand in FINANCING any of this drama!

And Rap artists and Rap company owners also know and have been told on numerous occasions by the Major’s that “We will continue to eat off of you for as long as we can, but the MOMENT YOU SHOW ANY SIGNS OF ECONOMIC WEAKNESS OR YOU BRING MAJOR TROUBLE TO OUR DOORS .. YOU’RE GONE” Yet, knowing this, you still tie your economic future to these corporations and play into their hands by continuously making negative headlines based upon your foolish behavior in your personal and business lives. I relate that to a marriage where one spouse says to the other “I’m staying with you as long as the money you give me stays FIRST CLASS. But … the moment my money gets funny… I’M GONE”. You know The Majors feel like this about Hip Hop in general, so WHY do so many artists and company owners in this genre of music continue to give them the opportunity to shut down or inhibit their money flow by beefin’ and degrading one anothers skills and bringing the police to their and your front doors?  That ain’t Gangsta. THAT’S STUPID”. You already see you have low record sales to deal with across the board, but now you want to make things harder on yourselves by shrinking the outlets where you can market your products because people are scared to deal with you because of your BRAZEN criminal activities. Slow your rolls and DO IT LIKE YOU”RE USE TO IT.

It amazes me how so many of you extremely talented and blessed individuals in the Rap community continue to shoot yourselves in the feet by warring with each other and refusing to alter your criminal behavior. Why is it that headlines across the country are filled with stories of how one Rapper has beat down or degraded another Rapper and they or members of their “crews” have been arrested for violent outbursts.

I could just hear some racist commentator saying “Well folks, Black on Black violence and ignorance is at an all time high !Warring Rap artists and their companies who are associated and financed by OUR MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS, are assaulting and murdering each other on a daily basis. Criminal investigations now number in the hundreds and we are getting GREAT INSIDE INFORMATION on these people from listening to the lyrics of their songs ! They’re naming names and telling us how and who they’re doing this illegal activity with ! They also are calling themselves “BOSSES”,but they are being PAID BY OUR CORPORATIONS! LOL!” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s only a matter of time before this ugly Rap game collapses from within. Proving once and for all that Mr. Willie Lynch was RIGHT in his philosophy !”

My young Brothers… I humbly ask you to think about your actions before you move. Hasty decisions that go wrong from lack of planning can devastate the best of us. Believe me I know… been there and done that.

Rap Music was never meant to be a platform to launch gang wars or to kill each other.

This music was born out of LOVE and a desire to express alternative ways of thinking concerning social issues, culture, style, and inner-city politics. It also was supposed to be FUN.

This music has made it possible for THOUSANDS of young people and their family and friends to have a beautiful existence financially speaking and it also gives HOPE to young artists and business people who without this avenue would find it harder to succeed in entertainment circles.

Please don’t tarnish your own brand and diminish the effectiveness of the way you and those around you do business.

I will leave you with this thought.

I constantly hear the word “BOSS” thrown around every day in Hip Hop circles and now that term is getting as TIRED as the term PIMP.

Please understand, having a hit single and a couple of sold out shows and a couple of million in cash doesn’t make you a BOSS!  Unless you are making your own cash and you don’t rely on company paychecks, YOU ARE BEING PAID BY ANOTHER COMPANY FOR YOUR SERVICES. THEY CONTROL YOUR PURSE STRINGS. YOU ARE JUST A HIGHLY PAID EMPLOYEE. YOU ARE NOT A BOSS!

You are NOT an unstoppable, powerful street organization leader who can’t be taken down in 24 hours if the Feds REALLY WANTED TO. You are RECORDING ARTISTS and SMALL RECORD COMPANY OWNERS who have a wonderful opportunity to make a living doing what you want to do.

Do the UNEXPECTED. When you have a beef with someone… sit down and discuss it. If the Arabic Countries and Israel can sit down and negotiate with one another, WHY CAN’T WE?

Pool your resources and JOIN FORCES with the other powerful people in your genre of music and let these SUITS at the Major labels know the people in your network are ORGANIZED and are WORKING TOGETHER TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS. FORGET THE DARN VIOLENCE.

With a plan and an organized business approach, you young men and women can extract more money for your services and these corporations will respect you more and bring out their “MAXIMUM MONEY CHECKING ACCOUNTS” to pay you what you RIGHTFULLY DESERVE.

That my friends are the moves of “TRUE BOSSES”

Case closed.

Special note: Stan Sheppard has managed the careers of the Platinum Rap recording artists “DJ BATTLECAT”, “DJ QUIK”, “SUGA FREE” “MAUSBERG”, “KOKANE”, “QUE” “GLOCC SINATRA” “BY ALL MEANS” and “BIG UNC”. Stan Sheppard also served as Co-President of “JACKSON COMMUNICATIONS” which is the entertainment company owned by the world famous JACKSON FAMILY.

To reach Stan Sheppard email: [email protected]