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Jay Z sold CD's out of his car, no record label would sign Kanye West and one actually dropped Beyoncé. Believe it or not, everyone gets knocked back before they make it. Together with Coca Cola, we think you should #ChooseHappiness and follow your dreams just like these artists did, whatever hurdles you may come across!
Beyoncé was always destined for musical success but her story wasn't as easy as getting a record deal and releasing 'independent Women.' In fact, her family had a really hard time trying to help Bey pursue her dreams. Matthew Knowles quit his job to manage the group, the financial difficulties it lead to meant Beyonce's parents temporarily split. Destiny's Child finally got signed to Atlanta Records, then cut, then signed to Grass Roots Entertainment.Tumblr/iam.beyonce.com.
Before 'Ye's debut album The College Dropout was released and he became a household name, the rapper worked as an in-house producer at Roc-A-Fella records and is often credited for much of the success Jay Z's 2001 album The Blueprint found. Kanye's aim was always to make it big as a rapper, but being an established producer everyone saw that as his role first and foremost. In the end, Damon Dash reluctantly signed Kanye to Roc-A-Fella Records, just to make sure he didn't lose him as a producer.
Pharrell Williams started off as a producer, saying that he wouldn't release solo material. But he didn't stick to his word and released his debut album 'In My Mind' in 2006, which was pretty average. After that Pharrell disappeared from the forefront of the music world for a while. But it's a good things Pharrell believed in himself, or he might not have come back with 'Happy' and his second album 'G I R L' eight years later.
Before she made it big as a solo act, Missy was in an r&b group called Sista, who signed to Elektra Records through the Swing Mob imprint. Timbaland produced one of the group's albums in 1994 and a single and videos were released, but the album ended up shelved. By the end of '95 Swing Mob had folded but Missy continued to work with Timbaland but as a producer, not an artist, producing many Aaliyah hits including 'If Your Girl Only Knew.' Eventually Missy signed with East West Records.
Everyone knows Eminem got his big break when he signed with Dr Dre and released 'The Slim Shady LP.' But few realise that Eminem had previously signed with Web Entertainment in 1996 and released his solo debut album 'Infinite' – which sold a mere 1000 copies. Imagine Eminem called it a day after that flop? He wouldn't have continued to make underground music that eventually caught Dr. Dre's interest.
50 Cent has been knocked down more than once. 50's early career summed up: He signed to Columbia Records, then was shot nine times and dropped from the label whilst stuck in the hospital for months. 50 then made the song 'Ghetto Qu'ran' which got him blacklisted from all record labels. What's a man to do but give up at this point? Not 50. He released independent material and got his attorney, who was also working with Eminem's manager, to give it to Em.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis achieved the first US number 1 that didn't have the support of a major record label in almost 20 years. Which just shows, if you don't get a record deal, there are still other ways to do it, even if it does mean working an awful lot harder. The duo released and promoted music on their own after every single record label on the planet rejected them. When they started to get traction, record companies came running back to them, but they were happy doing it themselves.
In 2002 Jhené Aiko featured in a ton of B2K songs and videos before recording her debut album that her record label never ended up releasing. In the end, Jhené asked to be released from the label, she focused on school and had a daughter before returning to music five years later, releasing her 'Sailing soul(s)' mixtape, then her 'Sail Out' mixtape – and now Jhené has released her debut album 'Souled Out' after signing with No I.D's Artium Records imprint through Def Jam.
When he was just 17-years-old J Cole stood outside of Jay Z's Roc The Mic Studio for three hours because he wanted to give him a beat, but when Jay Z left the building he didn't look twice at the now star. But J Cole didn't go home with his head in his hands, he picked himself up and tried again and eventually, Jay Z became the rapper's mentor and friend.
You know what they say; the best way to predict the future is to make it. Well, the best way to get signed it start your own record label! That's exactly was Jay Z did when no one would sign him. He sold CD's out of his car and hooked up with Damon Dash and Kreem Biggs to create 'Roc-A-Fella Records' as an independent label in 1995. Hov released his debut album 'Resonable Doubt' on it, which Rolling Stone now calls one of the 500 best albums of all time.