10 Music Industry Heads Who Should Be A&Rs

Andrew Barber

Organization: FakeShoreDrive
Instrumental in the rise of: Chief Keef, King L, Lil Reese, Lil Durk

[Ed. Note—Andrew Barber has written a number of articles for Complex's Music Channel. Furthermore, FakeShoreDrive is part of the Complex Media Network.]

Andrew didn’t “break” anybody. But here’s the thing, the Chicago scene is huge right now. Granted, these artists are pretty much building themselves like King L and Chief Keef. But they want Andrew’s support so badly. It's hard to explain. In every other market, there’s nobody like that.

Andrew isn't even from the city but he found his lane. He understands what’s hot in the city, and he’s paying attention to what’s in the market. Every A&R and label head should be watching Chicago like a motherfucker because it’s hot right now. 2012 was the year of Chicago. He’s so in tune with the market that he wrote the list of 10 Chicago Rappers To Watch Out For and nine out of 10 got signed. Even if he’s not breaking guys, he’s telling you what’s hot in the city.

 

Andrew deserves a job. Just like how Warner Bros. cut a check to a dude named Alex Wilhelm who ran a pop blog called Crazed Hits and gave him a Director of A&R title, Andrew deserves his own indie label or something because he knows what’s hot in the city before anyone else.

 

Anyone outside of Chicago isn’t in Chicago. All of these label dudes live in penthouses in New York, L.A., and Atlanta. They don’t go to Chicago ever, unless they’re going to chill with Kanye or R. Kelly. Chicago blew up on its own. It was a long time coming, most people thought it was going to happen when Lupe and Kanye was coming out but it didn’t.

Andrew is the face of Chicago tastemakers. There’s no tastemaker bigger than him in that city. There’s other dudes sure, but who just got hired to do the morning radio show out there? Andrew because he knows what’s hot in Chicago before anyone else. If you're running a label, you need to be talking to him. If you want to know what’s hot in Chicago then ask him and no one else.

Andrew deserves a job. Just like how Warner Bros. cut a check to a dude named Alex Wilhelm who ran a pop blog called Crazed Hits and gave him a Director of A&R title, Andrew deserves his own indie label or something because he knows what’s hot in the city before anyone else. And on top of that, everyone in the city loves him and they want to be on his site. They’re dying to be on it. He'll be like, "Anyone in Chicago send me your music right now and I’ll post it," and then complain about being flooded. In Chicago he’s that guy.

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