Are Industry Plants Real? | Genius News

Are Industry Plants Real? | Genius News

[HOST] In many ways, today it's both easier
and harder than ever to become a successful musician and sometimes it feels like stardom
happens practically overnight, leading some to believe that this is a grand conspiracy
from a record label, then an artist is deemed an ‘industry plant.’ Like in the case of Chicago’s JuiceWRLD. He rocketed into the Billboard Hot 100 over
the span of a few months in 2018 on the back of his lovelorn hit “Lucid Dreams,” which
led to a 3 million dollar deal and the “industry plant” title on message boards and social
platforms. The logical reason for his success could be
opportunity, talent and luck. But for some hip-hop fans? It's much darker than that. [LEOR] The conspiratorial nature of industry
plants suggest that there are puppet masters, if you will, behind the scenes who are part
of a nefarious plot to get these musicians off the ground. [HOST] That’s Leor Galil, a music reporter
for the Chicago Reader and the author of “How Did The Industry Plant Take Root?” In it he writes quote. Almost any rapper who experienced a sudden
surge of popularity without help from a label got slapped with the tag… Essentially, the term “industry plant”
is used to explain the sometimes unexplainable around how an artist becomes successful and
it grew out of message boards. Like all conspiracy theories, they begin with
a kernel of truth because a label’s job *is* to make their artists successful – but
beyond that, the industry plant theory can go off the rails. This is Rostrum Records Vice President of
A&R, Nicole Plantin and Epic Records A&R executive, Jermaine Pegues. [JERMAINE] I heard industry plant was probably
growing up, like in high school when I was like real active on message boards
[HOST] We spoke with them about how the idea of industry plants aren't completely feasible
and that's really all just artist development. [JERMAINE] You're saying that, "Oh, we're
going to hide this artist and then bring them out and they're going to have a number one
hit"? Who controls if it's a number one hit or not? [HOST] Development means sharpening an artist's
raw talent and teaching them how to be an entertainer. As Salaam Remi, the legendary producer behind
Amy Winehouse and more, tells it: [SALAAM]…their studio skills
over a long period of time. To develop their performance skills and everything
else. [HOST] But the music needs to stick and sometimes
an act’s rise is straight-forward. For example, the Bronx’s Cardi B had two
mixtapes, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol 1 & 2 and then dropped “Bodak Yellow,” which became
a number one single and led to the chart-topping album, 2018’s 'Invasion of Privacy.' She’s been open about working with writers
like Pardison Fontaine and lashed out at a commenter after being called a plant, saying
BUY THAT! In today’s world of meme driven songs, a
song can rise from relative obscurity to the top of the charts in a matter of weeks. For instance, Texas singer Khalid’s 2016
Soundcloud hit “Location” found its way into a Kylie Jenner Snapchat which helped
it reach no. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and snagged him
a deal with RCA. He also faced "industry plant” allegations
and shot them down, saying quote: Don't be mad at me bc I work hard LMFAO you
should work hard too [JERMAINE] I don't believe in
that term industry plant, because it's hard work for each artist. Some people it just happens faster for, [HOST] Like in the case of Chance the Rapper. He came on the scene in 2012 with “10 Day”
and made waves in 2013 with “Acid Rap.” But instead of signing a deal, he decided
to stay independent and in 2016 released the Grammy-winning “Coloring Book.” To some, this all defied expectations and
therefore Chance must be an industry plant – but Leor believes they just weren’t paying
enough attention. [LEOR] I think it's pretty easy for anyone
making the claim that he is a quote unquote industry plant to completely overlook the
years of work that he put into building up his career. But, faking independence does happen.. [NICOLE] Part of that strategy is, let's make
this come across as if you emerged from SoundCloud and this was all so organic
Take Memphis’ Young Dolph, who sat down with Genius in September 2018 and said this. [DOLPH] I'm a part of the new wave the, the
independent wave and it's like I know what I'm doing I got something going on with it [HOST] But in January 2019, Dolph walked that
back, saying quote. I have a confession. I signed 2 deals in 2018 and signed a deal
in 2015 So, why lie? Well because as Nicole told us earlier, it’s
all about positioning – and Leor agrees. [LEOR] It's a marketing thing. And part of marketing in some contexts is
a lack of transparency. [HOST] Rappers aren't the only ones called
industry plants — the term is very close to the general term of “sell out”
— but the slur particularly stings in hip-hop because of how the genre prizes being real. [JERMAINE] I feel like that's the basis of
the whole genre, is being authentic and true to yourself and true to the story that you're
portraying out there. [HOST] This is why sometimes the contemporary
process of breaking a new artist can leave fans feeling a certain type of way. [NICOLE] It's kinda like fake news, you can't
tell what's what. [JERMAINE] I don't think you can be considered
an industry plant unless you're successful. [HOST] But *even that’s* not always true. [RAURY] Once people loved me. I started getting called an industry plant. [HOST] That’s Raury, who gained quite a
buzz after releasing his Indigo Child project in mid 2014 and he and his crew, Love Renaissance,
signed to Columbia Records. Raury’s sound was unique – channeling influences
like Kid Cudi, Andre 3000, Queen and more. [HOST] But for some, his music found success too
quickly. In early 2015, he was included in the XXL
Freshman List where he famously wore a shirt emblazoned with the words, “industry plant.” [RAURY] It did not matter to me so much that
I wore a t-shirt on my XXL shit that said it like, fuck y'all call me an industry plant. I'll wear a shirt saying it. [HOST] In 2015, he released his sole major
label album All We Need, and it didn’t do as well as expected. He believes the “industry plant” label
put would-be fans off of his music. [RAURY] So some people who might discover
the rumor before they discover the music and discovering me come in like came towards me
with the rumor are already in their head. [HOST] In 2018, he left Columbia and later
released “The Woods” for free on Soundcloud. And according to him, he’s better off. [RAURY] Raury wasn't never no damn industry
plant. Raury is one of the realest artist to ever
come around. [HOST] Industry plant is a slur that was born
from a kernel of truth. But if an artist makes music that resonates,
does it really matter how they started? [SALAAM] Every artist has the opportunity
to do it it's about what comes out those speakers. The music will last longer than your feelings. [HOST] I’m Jacques Morel with Genius News
bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music. Peace!

28 thoughts on “Are Industry Plants Real? | Genius News

  1. can we all be honest here. Memes are the reason most musicians become successful
    (like Lil Nas X, 6ix9ine, blueface, etc)

  2. labels will try to make their artists as marketable as possible. From ghostwriters to face tattoos, the problem with industry plants is that they take the art from rap. I understand that the term is overused, but artists like babygoth and Jumex have nothing to offer besides being a cash cow for these corporations. 🧐🧐🧐🧐

  3. Why don't these labels support underground artists with actual talent and who are real. I know why, it's better for those in power to dumb down upcoming generations with these puppets' music. They sure don't want 'another' Tupac to wake up the masses huh?
    It's sad that these ppl are putting out music, essentially changing what hip-hop really is meant to be. Although, there is underground artists with real stuff to spit they don't get the opportunity to blow up, but it's rather better to stay real than to be fake and rich.

  4. People who benefit from industry plants: What?? That's so silly, now listen to this rapper who had only 2 songs before signing to a record and immediatly having a hit single

  5. response to the guy who said who decides if it hits number 1, pretty easy to get a top hit in the current industry have nick mira produce the beat and just have someone else help with lyrics, have internet money promote and it'll blow up

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