Over the last couple of years, hip-hop has come up with this term called an industry plant. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, don’t worry, we’re here to break it down.
I’d like to first point out that industry plant is a conspirators term. There are no real facts, or I should say no blatant facts when applying this term to an artist. It is all speculation.
The term is used to describe an artist who is believed to only be in the fortunate position they are in because the higher-ups of the hip-hop industry placed them there, not because hard work got them there.
Flags are raised when listeners aren’t able to document an artist’s come up or when there appears to be no visible building blocks being laid for the artist to be in the elevated position they’re in. If an artist is garnering a ton of buzz, but song plays are low, there’s not many comments, no one retweets them, or no one bothers to like their Instagram posts, some would say these are industry plant red flags.
In a recent interview, Russ suggested that Chicago native, Chance The Rapper may be an industry plant.
Other artists whose names have been attached to the term have been the likes of Logic, Toronto’s, Nav and ironically enough, Russ.
Quote from Russ
“On his Acid Rap mixtape he had Justice League beats and Jake One beats…it’s definitely some shit. You’re coming out party, your debut mixtape, when you have 25,000 followers, you have Jake One beats and Justice League beats and Twista and Ab-Soul in a video…that type of shit – I mean it definitely raises my eyebrows.”
Others suggest Chance is an industry plant because as an independent artist, it is difficult for them to believe Chance has reached his level of success by way of his own efforts.
While I believe Chance has laid the right foundation and nurtured the right relationships to not be associated with the term, it’s hard to say the same for Toronto artist, Nav.It was less than a year ago a homie brought Nav to my attention. I had never heard of him. Never seen a tweet, never seen a picture, never seen a video, and most definitely had never heard a song.
But then I saw him featured with Travis Scott and The Weeknd. Then I saw his debut project, and not only is it executive produced by Metro Boomin, it’s chalked full of features from Lil Uzi Vert, A$AP Ferg, Playboi Carti, Offset, 21 Savage & Gucci Mane.
While I believe all of these things are raisable flags, I’m not so sure Nav is an industry plant as much as he is a product of a Weeknd co-sign. You could say Nav was discovered by The Weeknd, and when you’re a mega star like The Weeknd is, I imagine there aren’t many strings you can’t pull. So while Nav’s rise has been quick, it would seem a large part of his success is due to his backing by The Weeknd.
Tweet from Nav.
I recorded "Myself" at my moms crib in Rexdale. Ain't no industry plant here ????
— Nav (@beatsbynav) September 8, 2017
Do you think artists like Chance and Nav are legitimate industry plants? If not, who do you believe to be industry plants in hip-hop? Do you think industry plants are even a real thing? Definitely get in the comments and let us know your thoughts.