From a recent Wendy Day column, What I’ve Learned From The Music Business:

IT’S A BUSINESS, NOT A CULTURE Cultures aren’t for sale. So the very first day some enterprising young rapper decided to try to get paid for his or her artform, it became a business. The day some rapper decided to attach a price tag to his or her songs, it no longer was about skill on the mic, but about sales in the stores. What people are willing to buy has nothing to do with the level of talent an artist possesses. Every now and again we get lucky and the two meet: The Fugees, Whitney Houston, Drake, Mary J Blige, Jay Z (look at me giving Hova props! There is hope for me!!), and many others… Because it’s a business, money became more important in the equation than the talent, and therefore the talent waned. Labels began pushing what would sell, not what would advance the culture. We did this to ourselves (those of us who know better). When a producer made a beat and sold it to a label or artist in order to get paid, it became a business—and now it’s an over saturated business. Everyone seems to be a rapper or a producer now. The market went from having a talent that was exclusive to selling a gimmick that’s over saturated by any means necessary. Fans went from buying CDs to making their own!

via RapCoalition