It's common knowledge that the popular music industry is dominated by a few huge companies, sometimes referred to as the Big Three: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. It used to be the Big Four, until EMI was subsumed into the other three. Before that, it was the Big Five, which followed the Big Six, etc. As time has gone on, the music market has becoming more and more restrictive in the choices you can actually make as a consumer.Of the top 25 charting hip-hop singles in 2013, Universal Music Group had a hand in 20, and when you look at the hip-hop landscape as a whole, the reality that one company is completely running the game is almost unavoidable. Cash Money, Def Jam, Aftermath, Roc-A-Fella, GOOD Music, TDE and Bad Boy are all in Universal's stable.Most heads will tell you unequivocally that the monolithic music industry is and always has been a problem in rap's evolution. As hip-hop has become more and more commercial, certain traits that have always been a part of rap have been elevated to primary importance: materialism, misogyny and ultra-masculinity, to name a few, because these are the qualities, for whatever reason, that make money
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