April 23, 2011
It depends if you're talking about the mainstream record labels or the indie labels. For mainstream labels, all they care about is the ability to mold someone to make the highest dollar possible. This is true for every genre, though, and shouldn't be limited to hip-hop. Indie labels; however, are a whole other level. And nowadays, everyone is starting a label. To get "signed" to those labels, yes, street cred is an incredibly important part of the rapper/emcee/DJ's image. The biggest way that the indie label sells its albums is on the streets. So, to make money, it needs an artist that has a lot of street cred and that has a lot of fans. So, you see, not much separates the mainstream and the indie recording industries...just money, much more money.