An industry plant typically refers to an artist that gains popularity over a short period of time, as the artist is normally backed up by a label with a substantial injection of funding and marketing. The term industry plant has gained mainstream popularity in recent years, as more and more artists seem to fit the description. An artist without a come-up is not nearly as respected as an artist who went through the struggle to attain the status he now holds in the rap game.
For the past few years, rappers and singers alike have been popping up in the hip-hop scene seemingly out of nowhere. Many of these artists have been causing more of an uproar around their supposed ‘come up’, or rather lack thereof, than their actual talent in the first place. Unfortunately, these artists normally have the minimal talent to speak of with only a handful actually having any noteworthy skill. The main reason many of these artists are chosen is more so due to their persona, marketability, and appeal they might have to a label’s targeted viewers.
A label generally has basic criteria for what they want in an artist they’re willing to pump their money into, mainly to be sure they’ll make a profit before making an investment. These artists are commonly offered a record deal, that gives them a substantial advance along with marketing and high-end production. This is almost certainly a guaranteed way of pushing an artist into the mainstream with listeners not knowing any better. The idea labels have when funding an industry plant, is to get them in front of as many viewers as possible. Once they’ve been heard by well over a million people the rest of the game is easy, only relying on fans, artists, and brands to show interest. It’s not long before record labels start seeing a return and the artist becomes sustainable on their own, but in this case, the label continues to make money until the deal has run its course. Most industry plants find the deal way too tempting to even question, and to the struggling artist, who can really blame them.
The number of artists who have recently been accused of being manufactured by labels unsurprisingly run in the dozens, though that’s not to say that all of them are. The most popular would include names such as Jumex, Baby Goth and most recently Iann Dior who is currently affiliated with the infamous collective Internet Money. These are some artists who show the telltale signs of industry plants, with a sudden spike in popularity, high profile features, and high budget music videos, etc. While the music they produce is of incredibly high quality, it’s often lacks anything unique or particularly special in an artistic sense. The unfortunate truth is that if these artists keeping getting manufactured at the rate that they are now, the quality of rap music will continue to deteriorate, and the hip-hop scene will lose its credibility. In the end, it’s up to the music community to decide whether or not they choose to listen to what’s being put in front of them. Ultimately we hope that they choose not to support the constant flow of label made artists in order to eventually block the path for industry plants to enter the music scene.