Let’s have a moment of silence for the musical career of Jennifer Lopez. The multimedia superstar started out humbly as a dancer on “In Living Color” and eventually made it big in movies before exploding in the music game as part of the “Latin explosion” that spawned hit records by Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and the man who J. Lo would eventually marry, Marc Anthony. Early in the past decade, she routinely hit the top of the charts with songs like “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, “I’m Real” and “Jenny from the Block”.
J. Lo’s 2005 release, “Rebirth”, was the first sign that something was slipping-selling 738,000 copies after a string of multi-platinum records. Two years later, “Brave” sold an anemic 165,000 copies. Lopez tried to launch a comeback late last year with the songs “Fresh Out the Oven” and “Louboutins” (anyone remember the nude catsuit on the Ryan Seacrest New Year’s Eve show?). However, radio interest in those two songs has been minimal, and with good reason. They suck.
Anyway, J.Lo was recently dropped has parted ways with Epic and Sony Music, and is reported to be close to signing a deal with Island Def Jam Records, the company headed by L.A. Reid. IDJ has recently been basking in the success of Justin Bieber, but recent albums by Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson have all performed below expectations, and it seems like most of the label’s big hits lately (including Rihanna along with Ne-Yo and Kanye West) were from artists signed by the since-departed Jay-Z.
Reid also has reportedly offered a multi-million dollar deal to hip-hop artist Shyne. Those of you who are not hardcore hip-hop heads might remember Shyne (if you remember him at all) for either a) being a vocal dead ringer for The Notorious B.I.G., and b) being the fall guy in the NYC shootout that involved his former label boss, Sean Combs and his then-girlfriend…Jennifer Lopez.
So now that Shyne’s been sprung from the pokey (and deported to his native Belize), he’s walked into a sweet deal that makes you wonder if record execs have been paying much attention to the charts these days. Shyne’s 2000 debut sold just under a million copies. The 2004 follow-up, “Godfather Buried Alive”, released amid much media attention and hysteria, only sold 461,000 copies. The record business was a much different animal in 2000 (and 2004) than it is in 2010. In a year when you have to be a major, major rap star in order to even sell half a million records (hell, 50 Cent’s latest album just broke the 400K mark this week), do you even think Shyne has a chance? Do the kids right now who are listening to Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane know (or care) who Shyne is? Does he have some dirt on a Def Jam exec? Because if I was L.A. Reid, the only way I could see myself handing out a million bucks to this dude to make records would be if he he had pictures or video of me orally servicing Jay-Z.
If Reid is out of touch with the music biz enough to offer a washed-up never-was that kind of cash, then maybe I need to start rapping and call Def Jam looking for a contract.
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