NEW YORK (Billboard) – It’s no longer just the hardworking women who make money at strip clubs. These late-night hangouts, with their booming sound systems and gender-mixed crowds, have become big business for the record industry, particularly for hip-hop labels.
“Strip clubs have become the main breaking place for records, especially in the South,” says Jermaine Dupri, president of urban music for Virgin Records.
The music industry increasingly has embraced the strip club out of necessity and convenience. Tighter radio playlists mean it’s harder than ever to break a track on the FM dial, and regular dance clubs—where songs get played for a moment and then lost in a mix—tend to play what’s already on the radio. At strip joints, DJs are able to play full tracks and can take a chance on underground and unproven