Is Cash Money’s Signing of Paris Hilton Going to Pay Off?

May 23rd, 2013

(Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

(Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

By Jacob Rohn

I guess technically, you can call this a comeback. It’s been almost seven years since infamous socialite Paris Hilton released her debut album to less than stellar reviews. Now, Lil Wayne and Cash Money CEO Bryan “Birdman” Williams have signed Hilton to a deal that makes her part of the hip hop juggernaut that includes Tunechi himself, Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Drake.

What makes this move different is that Paris’ album will be mostly house music (though she does promise collabos with hip hop artists), ensuring that YMCMB’s credibility in the hip hop world — their bread and butter — remains unblemished. This isn’t the first time Cash Money has taken a risk in signing an artist that might not match their brand. Artists like TQ, Black Porcelain and even Teena Marie have all been a part of the hip hop heavy roster. But is it ridiculous to think that they would sign someone whose first album was fed to the wolves and remains a footnote in many people’s jokes? Not as much as you might think.

Though critics slammed Paris’ eponymous debut album, its numbers actually were not terrible. To date, it has sold over 200,000 copies. And with the backing of a roster full of heavy hitters, it stands to reason that Birdman thinks he can revive the gregarious heiress’ career. Here’s something else to think about. Kim Kardashian has since superseded Paris as being the “numba 1 stunna” socialite. Kim also tried her hand at music, but rather than release an entire album she tested the waters by dropping the single “Jam (Turn It Up)”…and drop it did. A critic for Yahoo said the single “was so awful it made Heidi (Montag) sound like Adele.” Damn! The writer even quipped that Kim got engaged just to make us forget about the abysmal attempt at making music. So maybe Paris can live up to the hype that comes with being a part of the all-star roster at YMCMB.

But here’s the challenge:

Paris’ relevance in pop culture has seen a serious decline since her debut album was released. She used to be reality TV gold but these days she is more like scrap metal. Her first album sold some units but, considering the budget was similar to that of a Britney Spears album, it is still in the red. Remember, Scott Storch, who was one of the hottest producers in the music industry that year, produced most of the album (the two were dating at the time). She definitely seems to have a better shot doing house music than she did as a pop “star” but the EDM community did not seem to thrilled a few months ago when she announced that she wanted to be a DJ.

Hopefully for her sake, Weezy and Nicki Minaj will help her out. But even that is no guarantee that Paris’ album will be a success. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, cause if the sophomore album doesn’t work out, the sophomore sex tape might be her only option.

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