VIBE: What does it mean to be blacklisted in the industry?
TUBBY: It’s like when you develop some sort of reputation or prejudgment where people feel a certain way about you and they’re going to stay away from you, not do business, and not even give you an opportunity to do business. Somebody could have the next Eminem, but because they’re blacklisted, you don’t even want to give them an opportunity to be heard. You don’t want the headache.
JOJO: It’s like a state of mind, like, “I’m not gone touch that” because the majority of the people around something, or the energy around an issue is such that people don’t want to go near it. So if you have ten people who are saying, “We not gon’ rock with somebody,” then chances are the eleventh person is not gon’ rock with you either.
SICKAMORE: People don’t get blackballed, they just get cold. What happens is, when people start getting cold, you don’t have to treat them the same way as when they were hot. That’s the only difference. Nobody’s really gonna say, “Yo, don’t mess with him.” The digital age takes that away. The streets determine if you’re hot or cold.
"Nobody’s really gonna say, “Yo, don’t mess with him.” The digital age takes that away. The streets determine if you’re hot or cold." —DJ Sickamore
VIBE: So does being blackballed even exist?
TUBBY: It has to exist. It’s too much extortion, it’s too much drama… It’s a lot that people deal with behind the scenes that people don’t really know about.
SICKAMORE: It used to exist when it didn’t matter. [But] some people’s talent will bring them to the top no matter what, where they can shit on everyone on the way up. But when they come back down, the thing that’s going to keep them afloat when they’re cold is their relationships. It’s impossible to actually blackball somebody who has talent. You can be the most horrible person in the world, but if you have talent? It’ll get you through, because you’re just hot.