In the age of digital music, blog and YouTube popularity can be far more influential than radio play for an up-and-coming artist. At least that’s the gospel. But it hasn’t been so for Richmond, California hit-maker iamSU. The kid is just one of those artists who’s talented beyond measure at making “that sh*# that makes the club go crazy — so much so that he transitions between making his own style of music and embodying the next artist’s style, with ease. He’s the type of artist that’s built for the “machine” of the mainstream industry.
But even as a post-millennial, digitally native artist, iamSU!’s rise looks strikingly familiar to the path of a hip hop artist back in the early aughts.
Here’s the breakdown of his trajectory. Su makes a hit song (though technically, for whatever reason, it wasn’t his song). Radio stations in the SF Bay Area can’t ignore the demand from listeners, it gets regular rotation and becomes one of the most popular songs of 2011. Powerful people somewhere shake hands and re-release the song with 50Cent. Song then gets nation air-play, artist gets signed to a major label for an undisclosed amount. Meanwhile, Suzy is on his third mixtape (released digitally, which is the equivalent of a street release in the 90s), making a name for himself and his crew HBK Gang as potential superstars. Now Su is on mixtape number five, entitled KILT, sponsored by culture and fashion company Karmaloop, has another national hit with Bay Area legend E-40 and L.A.’s YG called “Function,” but remains unsigned.
“Labels try to sign me/I need 2 mill for this shit!” – iamSU!
Enough said. Watch iamSU! and Jay Ant with DNas on Streets Is Talking Radio to promote their upcoming collaborative mixtape “STOOPID”. Download the full interview with iamSU! and Jay Ant HERE.