Interview with VL Troy, Head of Internet Promotions for Rap-A-Lot Records

Now you won’t see me post too many interviews on this blog. There are two main reasons for that…

One reason is that it’s not really the purpose of this site. I’m really doing my best to pretty much provide news and commentary that affects individuals like myself. Basically this would be musicians in the urban music domain who are fed up with the damage the major labels (and the RIAA) are doing to the music industry in general.

I’m also trying to provide something of a “web documentary” that provides insight into the life of a musician who decided to take the bull by the horns and start his OWN label. (Of course, I’m gambling with this concept, because if my venture turns out to be a failure, then it’s pretty much out there for the world to see. But hey, that’s what makes it interesting!)

Another reason I don’t really seek to do a lot of interviews is because too many individuals that I come across in this business are possessed of the “what’s in it for me” mentality. Which usually leads to a “how much are you gonna pay me” conversation.

I feel that paying for interviews with these kind of people would almost amount to a tacit sort of approval on my part. I spend too much of my time railing against the corruption and stupidity so currently pervasive in this industry to turn around and comply with it, no matter how many hits it would get me in the search engines.

That being said, I’ve decided to publish an interview I did with a close friend of mine, Mr. VL Troy, who’s currently head of promotions for Rap-A-Lot Records (the popular independent Hip-Hop label that counts Yukmouth and Bun-B among it’s roster). Mr. Troy is also something of a “renaissance man”. In addition to his position at RAL, VL also operates his own Hip-Hop blog over at http://www.coffeemag.wordpress.com.

I feel that this interview was informative to all those ‘DIY’ers out there, and so, without further ado, here we go!

Iceman: What’s up V, how you doing, man?

VL Troy: Im grindin like its no tomorrow homie, just out there doin my job feel me? Getting ready for releases.

Iceman: Okay, for all my readers out there who might not be familiar with you, or Rap-A-Lot Records, please, introduce yourself, and tell the people exactly what it is you DO at Rap-A-Lot?VL Troy: Sheeit I’m with the street team and basically we go out and promote our artists and market for them, post posters and stuff, and do press. I do it for the east coast. Its nothin! Rap-A-Lot 20 years in the game ya digg!

Iceman: Sounds great, man. How is it that you came to be hooked up with Rap-A-Lot?

VL Troy: It was actually through MySpace, they said they were looking for interns and street team people and I called em up and flew out to H-town and met with Big Cheif and Island Dredlock (head of the RAL street team).

Iceman: What’s it like working with such a successful independent label (especially in a time where we’ve seen other successful indie labels like TVT Records go down in flames)? And how would it differ from working with a major label?

VL Troy: With Rap-A-Lot we are the true definition of indie, only thing we get help on is distribution (cd pressing, etc) but we do everything else on our own. We answer to nobody. Working for RAL is a great teacher too for folks trying to start their own indie label. Lil J tells us the do’s and dont’s. You cant put a price on info like that coming from him. We have been through every obstacle a label can go through and we are still here. That’s why all the labels, especially black and latino owned record labels, look up to us.

Iceman: That’s what’s up. I know that you have some really unique and candid thoughts on the state of the A&R game in Hip-Hop. Care to share your views?

VL Troy: My thing is you should let the artist pick the direction of the music and give them full creative process. I have no faith in A&R’s. Me having faith in an A&R is like me jumping into someone’s vehicle that’s running, and getting pulled over and telling the cop I found it! It makes no sense at all. We dont need them. The only A&R I have respect for is DJ Sickamore, and you see why he left (Atlantic)! He didn’t wanna sell out! Here is an other example. Someone like Spice 1, who made mobb music his whole career, then re-signs to a major and now he’s making love songs and wants to make you dance! Its bullshit! Their job is to sell you to the mainstream when you should be selling yourself and giving what the people want. They dont do shit for you.

Iceman: True enough. Now, obviously in this day and age, with music sales dropping off as rapidly as they are, you hear a lot of talk from major labels and the RIAA about illegal P2P downloads being the principal cause? Do you agree? Why or why not?

VL Troy: It is what it is. In my (and alot of other people’s) opinion, its like “Fuck the Internet” I dont agree with everything the RIAA does ’cause they are some dirty motherfuckers. They have some ridiculous laws. At the same time they are trying to stop downloading cause it takes money out of their pockets. Imagine someone who ONLY knows how to do music and this industry just dies out, what are they gonna do? Downloading ain’t bad as long as you pay for it feel me? On the other hand, records ain’t selling cause there is too much trash music. Would you buy a CD that only had one good song? Digital is the future.

Iceman: Speaking of the industry, do you have any advice for any young rappers that are trying to get into the game?

VL Troy: Yes, be original. Dont follow a trend that has been followed by 30,000 other rappers, ’cause its gonna make you look like a fool. People will turn away from you and wont give you the time of day. Look at Young Jeezy, how heavy did the trap talk come in after he and Gucci Mane got deals? Be original, learn to be indie, and remember being signed is not all its meant to be. Last but not least GRIND! You dont work, you dont eat.

Iceman: Tell us about some of your plans for the future!

VL Troy: I plan to learn as much of the game as i can. Get some cash together and take my homie’s label Red Zone to the next level!!!!

Iceman: That about does it, fam. How about you? You get the final word. Anything else you’d like to add? Any shout outs, or whatever?

Yea shout out to you for this interview ICE! Shout out to J Prince and his kids for holding us down. RIP to Pimp C, i still miss that dude. I wish the best of luck to Yukmouth and Devin the Dude in their future business endeavors. Fuck all these Internet bangers out here, and all these haters trying to put good people down. Im out homie!

2 Responses to “Interview with VL Troy, Head of Internet Promotions for Rap-A-Lot Records”

  1. 1 Mr. Hold It Down
    February 28, 2008 at 11:47 am

    do it big!

  2. 2 coffeemag
    February 29, 2008 at 11:39 am

    What it do!

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