The Internet has changed the genre of hip hop. It has given hip-hop artists the ability to create and share music at incredible rates. Through the constant influx of new music being posted online by artists, new styles and genres of hip hop have been created.
According to media analyst Kembrew McLeod, before hip-hop artists could upload music online to be shared with large audiences, they had to rely heavily on record labels, which agreed to sell an artist's music, under certain conditions which usually gave the record label more money from each sale than the artist. To this day, hip-hop artists still make only a small percentage of profit from the royalties of record sales. In some cases, creating and selling an album leaves an artist in debt, because they are responsible for funding the recording of the album, as well as the production of the music videos that are used to promote these albums. Some hip-hop artists end up only breaking even with record companies after they produce an album, because of all of the expenses that they pay to effectively market and produce their albums and the small percentage of royalties received.
At the beginning of the 21st century, record sales began to dip quickly, because of the rise of peer-to-peer file sharing. In order to offset the revenue lost to illegal downloading, record companies began restructuring the traditional deals. As a result, fewer record deals were offered to hip-hop artists, and those that were offered were even more favorable to record companies. A common deal offered to artists was the "360 deal", which gave the record company complete artistic and business control over their artist's music.
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