Jadakiss Calls Out Record Labels For Gambling With Artists’ Lives

Over his near-30-year career, Jadakiss has recorded for several storied record labels, including Bad Boy, Interscope, and Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records. In the mid-2000s, he made headlines for calling out labels for mishandling his music and financial affairs. Nearly 20 years later, the Yonkers, New York MC condemns record companies of late for careless gambling with artists’ lives.

Appearing on Brandon Marshall’s I Am Athlete podcast, ‘Kiss said that labels are deeply responsible for disseminating violence in lyrics and music but not receiving any of the blame.

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“Record labels are being successful off nonsense,” Jada’ said just after the 29:00 mark. “Somebody went out, did something stupid, recorded a song about it, and was able to get a lot of streams, and that became a thing with the whole Drill scene.”

He reiterated that some of this lyrical content is based on actual street acts. “[People are] actually going out, gettin’ active and doin’ stuff and then go into the studio and make a song about what they just did. That should get nipped in the bud as soon as it got created.” The platinum-selling veteran pointed out that the labels do not receive the blame surrounding the violence and tragedy. “But nobody’s going to these labels saying they [are] wrong for this. We [are] just blaming it on the kids. So, like my brother said, he don’t like to just put all the blame on these young artists because the radio stations are making them the top songs of the playlist. And the labels are still signing them.”

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Jadakiss elaborated that some record companies have policies in play that allow them monetary gain upon an artist’s death. “They [are] puttin’ out life insurance on these young kids now. Others were surprised at the revelation, but it’s been common for some time. The labels. ‘Cause they gamblin’ on you to do something dumb, so they can profit after you die. So, this is getting ridiculous.”

Jada’s point is discussed and analyzed in episode #102 of the What’s The Headline podcast. There, the Ambrosia For Heads team agrees with The LOX MC. That discussion begins at 55:50, which some additional context on when labels have taken it too far and why Jada’s point is timely and unique.

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Jadakiss’ comments come in a year where Rap artists, including Takeoff, Trouble, and PnB Rock were all fatally shot. Last year, the D-Block artist created a strong video single on DJ Khaled’s Grammy-nominated God Did LP.

AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also features interviews with Rapper Big PoohCormegaMeyhem Lauren & DaringerDiamond DJoell OrtizAZBlu & Mickey FactzKuruptEvidenceSkyzooPharoahe MonchPrince Paul & Don NewkirkStatik SelektahLyric JonesMC EihtHavocDuckwrthphotographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse.

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#BonusBeat: What’s The Headline‘s 2020 interview with The LOX, including Jadakiss: