the industry

Odd Future Signs a Record Deal

Well, sort of: The divisive hip-hop contrarians just got major-label backing, via RED Distribution/Sony, for their own Odd Future Records. Explains manager Chris Clancy:

It’s based on getting the distribution deal we’ve always envisioned that allows the group to ‘sign themselves’ to their own company and keep their masters. They will have 100% creative control of all aspects of their music, art, and release schedule with no 3rd party participation in outside business. Freedom and ownership was the whole point. Red and Sony know that its in everyone’s best interest to maintain the group’s authenticity and control. They built it, they deserve it. There’s no cheesy hooks or fluorescent liquor product placements in the works. It’s about to be fun. and different.

This is the kind of weird thing that happens in the music industry in 2011: an act designed and destined for feverish cult fandom gets a corporation to give it money without then having that corporation tell it what to do. Pre-collapse, the industry would have either: (a) given Odd Future a much bigger budget, along with a constrictive deal, or (b) more likely, ignored them altogether. Now, though, because Odd Future are generating legitimate excitement, they get on the industry’s radar without having an immediately apparent mass-culture commercial appeal. And because the group and its management know Odd Future could continue to do their thing without major-label support if they had to, the major that offers the deal has to do so in the practically embarrassing terms stipulated above.

The question that’s left is whether Odd Future carrying out their vision exactly how they want to, and then having that vision supported in a major financial way, will actually translate into sales. For now, though — and it basically goes without saying: Damn. Good job, guys.

Odd Future Strikes Record Deal ?

Odd Future Signs a Record Deal