It is said that a small leak can sink a great ship, and that is what happened with Funk Volume. They were making progress as a record label that had even managed to land a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Just when we thought that they were going to be the biggest label of all time, we woke up to an Instagram post by one of the co-founders, Hopsin saying Funk Volume was dead. Hopsin left two months after that post and founded his own company. So what caused the sudden death of Funk Volume? Read on to find out.
Coming Together to Create Funk Volume
Destiny played a hand in bringing the founders together. According to BallerStatus, Hopsin and SwizZz were friends from high school. While SwizZz was looking to do music full-time, Hopsin was signed to Ruthless Records, and he felt they were not making any progress with his music. On the other hand, Ritter had just been laid off from his job, so the three of them got together with the mutual goal of starting a record label since they were all interested in music. Hopsin was the brains behind Funk Volume, but because he was still signed to Ruthless Records when they released “Haywire,” a mixtape, it was free. They wanted to sell it on retail, but that would have been against Ruthless Records’ contract with Hopsin.
Hopsin came to appreciate that Ritter knew the workings of the industry more and trusted him with the business side of the label. It was Ritter who constantly churned business ideas that Hopsin thought were genius. Ritter could also not ignore the raw talent that Hopsin brought on board. Since, at first, the label did not have a lot of resources, Hopsin helped them get by coming up with his own album, having done all the work. However, it took a while before Hopsin could allow Ritter in; with a history of being thrown under the bus, it was logical for him to take his time to get to trust Ritter. In 2011, the label discovered the talent of Dizzy Wright, who had been admiring Hopsin performing. As he told HipHop DX, Wright was impressed by Hopsin’s style, which did not sound like the rest he had heard. Funny enough, when Funk Volume also saw Wright perform, they were impressed with his stage presence and his rap style. So they signed him up and got him to start recording.
Becoming a Renowned Record Label
With time, Funk Volume also signed Jarred Benton to the label after seeing him online and becoming impressed by his work. Wright bragged that before him, Funk Volume was yet to sign any contracts. However, at first, the label’s fans were not showing any love to the new additions. Wright especially had many haters who did not bother to hide how unfit they thought he was to be with Funk Volume. With time he developed his own fan base. By 2015, Funk Volume had a distribution deal with Warner Bros. their confidence level grew so high that they put up a challenge of $500,000, claiming that they could defeat any Hip Hop record label at the time. Despite the distribution deal with Warner Bros, Wright claimed they were not happy with the results. He was used to independence, but the distribution deal had them turning their projects earlier constantly. Yet, when it did not meet the expectations of Warner Bros, excuses started. Unfortunately, it got to a point where everyone was frustrated, and Wright said he felt Funk Volume was not going all out for the good of the label. Still, he hoped the internal issues they were undergoing could be fixed. Ritter shared the same hope, saying that they were on the brink of something more unique, but miscommunication happened.
Although everyone was uncomfortable with the Warner Bros’ deal, Hopsin was the one who could not stand it. The main internal issue that Wright was talking about was that when they went out to meet and greet fans, the audience that turned up was not hitting a number that Funk Volume was comfortable with; hence disappointments began. Hopsin also was never one to like to go on the meet and greet tours, but he did not have a choice. By the end of Funk Volume 2015, the tension had risen so high that it was only a matter of time before it exploded. Explode it did when the tour ended, and the members had to discuss the profit-sharing as they had always done. Ritter was the manager; thus, he was to have a larger share of the profits, which did not sit well with Hopsin. Ritter tried convincing him by stating that Hopsin did not even work hard. Ritter later clarified that he was not talking about the energy Hopsin put in his music but rather the things that followed after the project, such as press and promotions. On the other hand, Hopsin did not take it that way; the comment hit him hard, and he cussed Ritter before hanging up the phone.
The End of Funk Volume
Hopsin later sent an email to Ritter detailing his demands if Funk Volume was to continue being a partnership. Among the requests was to bring an A & R and stylist, lose the company logo and do away with the color orange, to which Ritter agreed. However, he did not agree to Hopsin’s demands of Ritter not managing anyone else on the label or having SwizZz in any of Funk Volume’s platforms. Due to the disagreement, Ritter said one of them had to go. It did not take long before Hopsin went on social media and posted that Funk Volume was officially dead. According to the post published by DJ Booth, he called Ritter a monster and idiot who wanted to control everything. He said he had gone fully independent and apologized to Funk Volume’s fans but gave them hope for a brighter future with #undercover prodigy, which is Hopsin’s company. Ritter remained silent but later acknowledged that telling Hopsin, he did not work hard triggered the breakup.