"[Def Jam] probably got rid of projects like mine to spend the money on [Rihanna]."
I'm a little late on this, not because I didn't read the Rap-Up excerpt that the above quote came from a week ago when it dropped, but because it's not really an important story. Were you guys desperate for a Christina Milian update? Didn't think so.
It wasn't until I read the entire Rap-Up article that I took a little more interest in Milian's argument that Def Jam let her go to finance Rihanna. That's probably the truth, as Rihanna is one of the most highly publicized (read: promoted) artists in the industry today. With all of the attention she gets, you'd think she was actually selling albums, which isn't the case. I suppose when you release your entire album single by single, there's really no need for anyone to go out and buy what they hear on the radio every hour, but even when Umbrella was at it's hottest, Good Girl Gone Bad wasn't moving shit. Damn near three years and 30 singles later, it's maybe platinum, and that's off the strength of three (yes, THREE) different releases.
But sells have nothing to do with quality, which leads me to wonder if Rihanna was worth the loss of Milian?
Christina Milian has never been too commercially successful, but I think I may have been a fan nonetheless. I wasn't too impressed with her while she was singing hooks for Ja Rule, but Dip It Low sort of won me over. Say I, the first single from her last album was also a favorite of mine, even as most people brushed it off as wack. I have both of those albums, and they're not bad. Far from remarkable, but not bad at all.
I mention all of this to say that if Milian had seen even a fraction of the promotion RiRi has received, she would have had a decent amount of success. You had to look for Milian's new music; really be a fan to even realize she was still in the game. We know Rihanna's every move, and it's not just because she's had a hugely successful two years, but because Def Jam keeps her in our faces. Back when she was still on her Reggae grind, they had her in Nike commercials, Bring It On sequels, and releasing an album every year. The most Christina Milian ever had going for her was Nick Cannon.
I'd argue that there was room enough for both ladies on the label, and Teairra Mari too (yes, I'm still on that). Realistically Def Jam is a mess of late. They may have helped Mariah hop back on the scene in 2005, but her follow-up hasn't done nearly as well. Janet's Discipline was the record to put her back on top, and Def Jam couldn't give the project the boost it needed to catch on. Shit, you know times are hard when LL Cool J moves toward greener pastures. I suppose Rihanna is what keeps that ship somewhat sailing, along with Ne-Yo and Kanye, and in that regard she's either a very wise investment, or a complete waste of money that could be better spent on keeping stronger artists afloat.
That being said, Good Girl Gone Bad was better than either Christina Milian album. I'd still ride for Milian any day though. She's SO FLY.
Rihanna or Christina; what do you guys think? More importantly, why is Christina still on any magazine covers?