Symba alleges that while the Hip Hop game has evolved immensely over the last decade — with artists learning to harness the power of social media and tap into their diverse skillset — branding has become the priority.

During a recent episode of the RapCaviar Podcast, the “Ain’t Sayin Shit” recording artist had some choice words for the music industry, alleging that being “dope” has little to do with whether one is successful in the game.

A lot of us just be making music and we be having fun. It just be fun. It just be the homies. And then you attach the industry to it,” he concluded.

“The rap n— is getting the least money off the rap n— 99 times out of a hundred,” interjected MAVI. “The drug dealer, the jeweler, the stripper hoe in the club, the publicist, the airlines, the CEO of the label — he gonna put so many people’s kids through school before he puts his kids through school.” He added, “Even the rapper that get a whole bunch of money from the industry directly, cash out.”

You cash out 30 million, 40 million for an album. N— that’s not just because you so good at making music or that you’re so good at making money. It’s that you advertise to the audience a lifestyle that go along with what the industry is trying to sell.”

Of the lifestyle the music industry is trying to sell, MAVI continued, “The industry is trying to sell liquor in the club. Tickets to the club. Tickets to the show. Like all this shit.” To which Symba added, “You’re the billboard.”

Symba, who is currently signed to Atlantic Records, has had quite the journey to recognition himself. During an exclusive chat with HipHopDX after signing with his former label, Columbia Records, the artist opened up about the traditional path he took in landing his first big deal.

“It was actually a real old-school, organic process. I met my manager about six years ago, Chelsea Blythe. At the time she was an intern over at Interscope and I was in the studio with Nic Nac, I was working with him, and she had came in [and] heard me rap.

She was like, ‘Yo I’m interning over at Interscope [but] I’ma be an A&R one day. Stick with me, believe in me and I’m going to believe in you,’ and I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ At the time I didn’t really have a team, I didn’t have a manager, I didn’t have a support system. I had my mom and a couple people from back home. So she kind of moved me out here.

“[She] Just schooled me on the ropes and making bigger songs and finding my identity – knowing who it is I wanna be as an artist and what we’re going for. Four years later she ended up getting an A&R position over at Columbia and her first A&R meeting she played one of my songs. The rest was history. They called me up for a meeting, I went in there with Chelsh, and it all worked out.”

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