So close yet so so far. These are the words that resonate with almost every #VaalHipHop Artist whenever they drop new Music. The reach has now extended to Mainstream Television, Mainstream Radio, the Streams are growing, even gigging outside Vaal. However, when it comes to topping charts, Music Awards, necessary Headlines in the Music Industry, including Mainstream Events, our absence is very loud. 

Without a shadow of doubt our Music can shake the world, however, there is a lot that is still not in place in terms of structure, as well as the Business side of things. 

Amongst many of these things, allow me to touch on just one in particular, and that is a Key Record Label to put the talent forth so that it can reach where it should be or needs to be. I am talking about a Mabala Noise, Ambitious Entertainment, Outrageous Records, 999 Music, Kalawa-Jazmee, Ghetto Ruff, Afrotainment, Native Rhythms, that is Vaal based. 

The theory is also evident in studying independent American Record Labels, such as Death Row Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Ruthless Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, Ruff Ryders, Murder-Inc, Aftermath, Loud Records, No Limit Records, just to name but a few. These are independent Record Labels who managed to partner with major Distributors to enable their MUSIC to be released on a larger Mainstream platform beyond their personal reach. 

The Vaal does have independent Record Labels who are really putting in the work that is very noticeable in the Industry; the likes of EasternVille Music, MoneyWay Records, Raw Music Group, Ground Level Up Entertainment. However, the truth of the matter is, one common factor behind the success of most of the aforementioned independent Record Labels [both locally and abroad] is a major funding behind them. Funding is  a major key to unlock the required resources for #VaalHipHop Artists to make a breakthrough in the mainstream industry. 

A lot of Record Labels are being run from the depths of our pockets, whereby the pockets are not really that deep, or even deep at all. Simple things such as the ability to attend Radio Interviews in Johannesburg at night are a real hustle, never mind the gigs, and just doing basic hustling at the doors of the National Broadcasters and Associations. 

A lot of events happen at night and something as basic as transportation is still a stumbling block. I haven’t even touched on paying for PR and Marketing, Branding, as well as Graphic Designers to ensure that whatever we put out is on point and attractive to the eye. At this point, doing a National Tour is an impossible task, not to even mention a local tour in the Vaal to take the music straight to the people. 

We don’t have the Motsepe Money, or even the Drug Money as most Hip-Hop Affiliated Record Labels claim in their lyrics,  required to push us to be where we need to be. It’s going to be a long way up to the top, but eventually we’ll break the code. We’re a lot closer to the price than we think. 

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