Is hip hop dead or is it simply changing? A lot of high-profile hip hop artists are getting close to the end of their record contracts, usually this would mean the artists deciding which major label to sign with now, but it seems like the real question is should they sign with a major label at all.
Jay-Z became one of the first prominent artists to leave a major label. Jigga signed a long-term recording, publishing, management and touring deal with Live Nation. Although a Def Jam spokeswoman says Jay-Z has one album left on his contract, new Def Jam label head Shakir Stewart recently said "we're still working it out."
Other rappers who will soon be at the end of their contracts with labels include 50 Cent, LL Cool J and OutKast. Although it's most likely that they will sign with a major, their camps have said they are thinking about the possibility of a future without one. Although Lil Wayne just sold over a million copies the first week of his release, most rap albums are lucky to sell an average of 35,000 in the first week.