The music industry is a weird beast with a shaky temperament. Picture this – you’re living out your dream, recording a major label album. Features are rolling in, money is flowing, ads are printed. It’s all in place and a release date is announced; however, that date comes and goes. Days go by, the buzz wears off and fickle fans move on to the next artist in line. This happens, a lot. Here are just a few examples of promising artists or were (extremely) pushed back, and in one case shelved.
Let’s go back in time – Charlie Baltimore was in a great place in the 90’s. She was the girl in the Get Money video and considered to be Biggie’s “protégé”, she was down with Horse and Carriage Cam’Ron and, shit, she was even rumoured to have been in the ill-fated “Commission” with Biggie and Jigga. Things looked up and up. She was in the studio working on her Cold As Ice album, that included singles like Stand Up featuring Ghostface Killah and Feel It feat Teddy Riley – not to mention numerous ads/posters. So what went wrong? Creative differences between Baltimore and the record label (Untertainment), and further complications forced the album to be shelved; however it was leaked online. Charli released the album on iTunes herself over a decade later – better late than never.
Newark New Jersey native, Young Zee, was/is a member of the Outsidaz – a team that boasted members like young Eminem, Rah Digga and Pace Won. Zee seemed primed to be a breakout artist, with a unique style/voice, a single in rotation on BET and The Box and even a feature on the multi-platinum Fugees album The Score. His debut album on Perspective Records, Musical Meltdown, featured production by Ski Beatz, KRS-One and Twista with appearances by Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, and KRS-One. So what went wrong? Well, back when the Source had mad integrity – and pretty much ran the magazine game – they gave Young Zee a less-than-glowing review. In fact, that’s putting it mildly, they basically tore the album up so bad that the label eventually decided to shelve the project; however, the album is actually ridiculously dope. Tracks like Stay Gold featuring Lauren Hill and Electric Chair feat Pace Won are must listens!
Big Pun is a legend, no argument. When he started out, he was in a crew called Full Of Clips with partners in rhyme Cuban Link and Triple Seis. Obviously Pun stuck out, but Cuban was his right hand, and was a part of many projects. Being part of the Terror Squad eventually led to a solo project entitled 24-Karat, which featured Pun, Ja Rule and many more heavyweights and close Terror Squad affiliates. Everything was falling into place – and then we were faced with Pun’s untimely death. Unfortunately for Cuban, his relationship with Terror Squad capo Fat Joe virtually fell apart without Pun, and so did his deal, leading his album to be indefinitely shelved; although a few singles/videos did surface from the project, including Still Tellin’ Lies featuring Tony Sunshine, which actually faired quite well. If you google it out, you can find a copy of the album advance, it’s actually a decent listen.