Lyor Cohen: the Doctor Evil of rap music

The disproportionate relationship between corporate forces and creative forces in the world of showbusiness has always rubbed me the wrong way. The fact that the talent behind the business of show takes a backseat to untalented suits with less taste than a Covid symptom should be a crime. The internet has augmented this arrangement for the better, allowing new artists more agency over their masters, tours, merchandise, and release schedule than ever before. In some cases, record labels like United Masters are calibrating for this change by only serving as the artist's distribution arm while allowing them to retain the rights to their masters. However, there are still predators lurking in the music world, and one of the biggest and most surly monsters is Lyor Cohen.

Rap music is more vulnerable to villains like Lyor Cohen, as a majority of the artist in the genre come from impoverished and bedraggled backgrounds. As a result, rap artists find it harder to resist the gilded lure of a nefarious record company that's offering fame and instantaneous wealth. Enter: Lyor Cohen. Cohen's draconian rule over the lives of hip-hop artists has been a point of contention for decades. One of the most noteable examples of his tyranny came during Lupe Fiasco's infamous struggle with Atlantic Records. Cohen's control over hip-hop is a pretty complex story, but luckily the video linked above explains it better than I could.

The YouTube channel Helloyassine provides an in-depth look at Lyor Cohen and why he's feared and revered in the world of hip-hop. Please give it a watch.