P. Rico is steadfastly against signing a record deal with the mainstream industry. Rico accused the record industry of working with the police and prisons to profit off keeping the minority community down.
“Sign fa wat? 2 B N dis fufu a-- industry? so dey can use me.dey workin wit da police & prisons 2 keep us down & dey can stay rich? Fuckem,” he wrote.
P. Rico’s words may hold some truth. It is hard to dismiss the disproportionate number of Black and Latinos in prison. African Americans and Latinos combined comprise nearly 60% of the prison population despite making up only a quarter of the U.S. population.
It must be noted the prison system in the United States is a multi-billion dollar business. The states and federal government spend about $74 billion a year on incarcerating citizens, according to CNBC. The prison system additionally employs 800,000 people.
The U.S has the highest incarceration in the world with 7 million individuals under some form of correctional control, according to report probing racial disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System.
Prison is the United States’ form of new Slavery. MSNBC reports there are more African Americans in prison or “under watch” in the judicial system than in Slavery in 1850.
It is the unjust drug laws that unfairly target drug users and dealers in predominantly African American communities that keeps this steady stream of Black men heading into jail cells.
The law hands out stiff sentences 100 times greater to dealers of crack c------ more than distributors of powdered c------. Those from privileged backgrounds are more likely to use powdered c------.
Plies memorably took aim at the United States’ unjust drug laws in the hard-hitting song “100 Years.”
“How in the f**k can fo’ birds get you a life sentence? But give a cracker seven years for money launderin’ millions,” Plies raps.
It was in the early 1970s when President Richard Nixon coined the “War on Drugs” phrase and upped efforts to incarcerate the distributors and users of the drugs through the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
Crack-c------ coincidentally hit the predominantly black inner cities of America hard a few years later in the early 1980s and continues to crumble these communities.
President Ronald Reagan took Nixon’s program a step further in 1988 by creating the National Drug Control Policy to coordinate drug-related legislative, security, diplomatic, research and health policy throughout the government, according to Politico.
Since Nixon’s measure was implemented, there has been a 700 percent increase in the U.S. prison population, according to MSNBC.
The allure of selling drugs comes from high unemployment in the African American community. African Americans have long been shut off from well-paying employment opportunities.
P. Rico hails from Chicago, a city that boasts one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
In 2011, African American unemployment in Chicago ranked third highest in the country, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.
Huge disparities continue to exist between black and whites as it did pre-Civil Rights era.
The poverty rate amongst African Americans in Chicago stands at 34.1 percent, more than triple that of Whites, according to statistics compiled by Chicago Reader. For Whites, the poverty rate is 10.9 percent.
The unemployment rate for African Americans in Chicago is 19.5 percent, more than double that of Whites, which is 8.1 percent.
A family member of slain Chicago rapper Lil JoJo accused record labels of prompting disadvantage young rappers to go to great lengths to get a record deal.
“Without these record labels being regulated the right way, they are going to continue to spread poison,” the family member, who chose to remain unnamed, told Hip Hop News 24-7.
These kids, he said, think they gotta reach a certain level they really don’t.
The family member said a lot of artists want to portray they are the “realest” and the “toughest.”
“It’s a façade because if you look at anyone that’s making money in the music industry they couldn’t afford to do that,” he said.
The family member said the content the record labels put out need to be “regulated,” so “kids know they got standards.”
Labels, he said, need artist development to teach young rappers.
It was previously revealed that three labels were interested in Rico.
According to videographer Fly Ty, the “Hang Wit Me” rapper was not interested in their proposed 360 deals and declined their offers. He would rather remain independent.
“WHY DO ARTIST STILL TRY N GET DEALS WEN ALL THEY’RE GIVEn OUT IS WEAK A-- 360’s!!!!!! @6775rico TURNT DOWN 3 ALREADY #FuckEm INDEPENDANT
In the music industry, 360 deals commonly receive a bad rap. Record labels generally finance the artist for miscellaneous expenses, including, studio, wardrobe, travel, etc.
But the artist must reimburse the label for all of their expenses, in addition to giving the label a percentage of their income earned from music sales, concert performances and any other forms of income.
These expenses can sometimes leave the artist penniless and in debt if they aren’t successful.
“YOU CAN EITHER BE FAMOUS n BROKE or INDEPENDENT wit BREAD!!!! WHO NEEDS A LABEL!!!!!” Fly Ty added.
P. Rico’s buzz rivals that of many other popular artists with record deals. Rico has posted several videos to YouTube that have garnered well over millions of views, including the viral hit “Hang Wit Me.”
Rico went on record to slam record labels.
“DESE LABELZ AINT TALKN MY LANGUAGE… #F---’EM
“I GOT MY OWN MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! #FUCKADEAL,” he wrote.
Head over to iTunes to purchase P. Rico’s “Welcome To Puerto Rico” by clicking here.
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