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Noticing that solo rap acts today are unlikely to land a life-altering record deal, aspiring MCs better find a team, quick.

Long-gone are the days of “the machine” working for its artists. It’s the other way around nowadays. Hip-Hop has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry over the years, and as such, has to market acts with a gimmick. Hence, all these collectives we’re seeing as of late.

Via Ozy:

Wannabe MCs are increasingly turning to collectives: loosely organized groups of artist-friends who hustle their way to hip-hop stardom with swagged-out videos, a heavy social media presence and a steady stream of music. Take Black Hippy, which launched Kendrick Lamar, who later landed on Forbes’ Cash Kings 2013 list of the top 20 hip-hop earners and raked in $9 million after releasing his debut album; or A$AP Mob, which catapulted A$AP Rocky’s now-booming career. The appeal? It’s half-mentorship, half-protection in a savage market full of oversized egos — not to mention the brand power that helps young bloods stand out amid endless DatPiff mixtapes and SoundCloud tracks.

Read more on today’s Hip-Hop collectives over at OZY!

Photo: Instagram

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