Monday, January 22, 2007
Arcangel's label woes
As we say in PR, "que revolu"! Translation: what a friggin' mess! This kid's got a lot of drama considering he's just a newcomer in the game. He already split from De La Ghetto (the two were originally a duo) and now, he's asking to be released from Zion's Universal-distributed Baby Records. Arcangel alleges that he signed to Baby Records for $10,000 and that his contract outlines a two-year tenure and the completion of a solo record. But apparently, he's not content with Zion's management and feels like he's in limbo, especially since no solo album has been dropped...
Thing is: it takes time and money to put together an album and, if it's a new artist you're trying to break, you have to build buzz before dropping a record if you want to reach decent sales. Yes, Arcangel has been buzzing like crazy in PR, but in the States, he's still a new cat with a few dope tracks here and there on Las Gargolas V, Los Benjamins, and Sangre Nueva. Most US audiences don't even know what he looks like... Which is all to say, he needs to be patient and learn from others' overeagerness. After all, Nengo Flow dropped an album shortly after the Sangre Nueva album and where is he now?
But in a way, Arcangel's anxiety is understandable. It appears that Universal is dropping the ball on Zion's upcoming solo debut (Don't know if Zion himself is aware of this, but a recent call to some execs left me with the impression that no one knows Zion has even been signed -- never mind the fact that it was allegedly slated for a March/April release). And, as we all know, if someone of Zion's stature can't get love from the Latino illiterate major labels in the US, where does that leave Arcangel? How long will he have to wait? Also, Zion is asking that dude either complete the year he has left on his contract or that somebody buy him out (he estimates a mil would be a decent figure)-- obviously, Zion knows good and well that the odds of someone shelling out a cool million are, uhm, none, so he's clearly just proving a point.
It's a point I understand though. In a recent interview, Zion said Arcangel has too many vultures around him trying to suck him dry and that he thinks life is easy when it's not. He also states that there's a contract to which he's bound by law and that that's completely separate from any issues of friendship (which it is).
Most of all, I think Zion is also operating from a place of pride. After all, Arcangel had the nerve to tell Primera Hora that he hopes to sign with Don Omar and that Don is his favorite artist. What kind of disrespect is that? He may be cool with Don, but Don didn't sign him when he was an unknown. If Don gets involved (which it looks like he is, given that Arcangel is touring with him in certain locations), this might cause a rift between him and Zion (as if Don needs any more beef!) That is, unless he shells out that $1 million, but I'd say that'll happen when hell freezes over OR when he actually starts getting along with Yankee -- whichever happens first.