That's because the clientele that comes into Tha Bomb isn't looking toward the leading edge of rap—there's no Odd Future in here. Instead, DJ Caps says, what sells in the hood is what's already been done before. And, so long as the production is solid and not too different from what's been done in years past, it will sell. Like hotcakes, even.

Yes, it's something of an anomaly, how the derivative music and methods are able to make all this money change hands. But, then again, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down any time soon.

A perusal through the titles of the mixtapes around Big T give off a fair idea of what's going on here. Sometimes it's a riff off of a popular movie about time travel (Back to the Hustle), an old sitcom (Married to the Hustle), a game show (Deals of Fortune) or even a hardware store (The Hustle Depot). Sound ridiculous? Don't mock it: This retro mentality is about the only thing that moves a significant amount of physical CDs in the music industry today.

Big T Bazaar is Dallas' one-stop shop for all its urban culture needs.
Kyle Confehr
Big T Bazaar is Dallas' one-stop shop for all its urban culture needs.

Take a step back and look at how human beings work, and what's going on here starts to make perfect sense. People like what they are comfortable with. Making strides in new directions takes work. In this world, the casual customer can tell what's new not by the freshness of the sound of the music, but rather by the timely references on the covers of the CDs. You see something subtitled The Charlie Sheen Edition, and you can be sure that you're gonna hear some stuff that you've never heard before.

It's marketing genius, to a degree. And it's a beautiful thing. In a world where artists with "Lil'" and "Big" at the beginning of their rap names continue to proliferate, vendors like Tha Bomb and the local artists that they support are doing something that very few in the year 2011 can accomplish—they're moving units at a decent pace.

At Big T, using street-level promotions—where fliers are still printed and passed out in huge numbers, where hard-hitting bass lines are all you need to sell records, where cash is the only way to make a purchase, and where "shoplifters will be dealt with on a street level" (an actual sign you'll see at Big T)—is still a successful model.

Because at Big T, the future is the past. Just ask Big Chief.

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1 comments
Captain Dip
Captain Dip

Great article, been reading them here and there for some time now, as for online media outlets i've as well as other local rappers are just to busy with work, home, kids, school to be sitting in front of a computer or fumbling with our blackberries or Iphones for hrs on end

.I truly believe that diferent things work for different people, creating a street buzz is just as important as an online followng, I do also believe both are not fully needed.The streets are still mean, beef is all around us, "who's the bigger baller or better rapper" it can get ugly at times when the battle to the top is within reach of several at a time so online media and promotion is a safe route to use when competing with other rappers for sells and attention.

The competion does'nt have a control online over whats bought, liked, played as one does in the streets, peopel are always plotting on another because they dont wont to miss their chance not everybody is that way, however many are - onine its a fair shot by all, no one can try to ruin it for another u and coming rapper. I would seem that "In the street" is just a down south thang als alot of people in the south dont really us the internet much for anything these days. Most metworking is done withing close circles that been formed at work, neighborhoods, school...ect

Then again its all about timing, location, genre and a few other factors which would help propel any good rapper too the fore front of the local music scene.

Right now and for the last yr we have been using word of mouth, my assistants web savvy knowlege of sites such as twitter, blackplanet, mayspace, datpiff, indymixtapes, cdbaby, reverbnation and a few others to promote our music we're gaining a large following somewhat the old fashion way. We had mainly decided that word of mouth was best as had been mentioned to us by several people already in the music industry such as promoters, radio personalities such as Jkruz over at 97.9 the beat as well as many others, we trying a different mix is aways a good till we find that right formula that puts "us" where we need to be or at least close enough to it.

People are taking notice but we're not letting any of it go to our head, we're rolling with our time will come, everybody gets turn.

If my groups Certified Pimps was interested in having you guys do an article on us soemtime in the future what steps would we need to take first to aquire a write up or an interview?

if you be so kind to check us out, have a listen to our music and get back to me Hernandez it would be greatly appreciated. In all honesty before even seeing this article we had thought about contacting you guys a few months go about the matter. Well in any case get back us when you can http://bit.ly/g9y4h0 you may contact me directly or my assistant at your convience.

great article again

 
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