It was all good just a week ago.
In an almost unbelievably fast turn of events, it appears that Funk Volume, inarguably one of hip-hop's most successful independent labels, is now completely over. Unlike when Jarren Benton joked about leaving Funk Volume for a non-existent No Limit Records, there's been nothing funny about recent statements from label leaders Hopsin and Dizzy Wright.
The first real cracks in FV's armor appeared four days ago when label founder and star Hopsin wrote in an Instagram post that he was angry with co-founder and business partner Damien Ritter, writing that Ritter "all the sudden built up the courage to disrespect me and tell me I don't work hard when I've made him Extremely wealthy over the years from my music." Frankly, as serious as those words sounded, I assumed they were a storm that would pass, just as Hopsin's retirement announcement months ago passed. But tonight Hop doubled down and wrote a lengthy Facebook post in which he seemed to put the nail in Funk Volume's coffin:
Funk volume is officially dead now thanks to the monster Damien Ritter. There is nobody else to blame at all. I have officially separated myself from everything and I am fully independent now. It's very sad but idiots like dame wanna control too Much and now he end up destroying a great fuckin team. Having a crew like FV has been my vision since I was 14 years old and this man just destroyed it. Jarren, Dizzy, Swizzz, Dj Hoppa and I are all still on good terms. They will forever be my brothers and I support them in whatever they do. I will let u guys know the full story soon. You know ama keep it RAW for real. Ain't no holdin back. Im so sorry to all the FV fans. There's a brighter future though.#undercoverprodigy
For his part, Damien Ritter has so far stayed completely silent, he hasn't updated any of his social media channels since New Year's Day, and Funk Volume's official social media channels have yet to acknowledge any trouble at all, let alone a break-up. Although Hopsin's labelmate....I guess now former labelmate...Dizzy Wright also spelled out his thoughts in an Instagram post that apparently confirmed the label's demise:
"I'm not sure when everything got so bad on our end but I wanna apologize to the fans... I did everything in my power to keep Fv together but because the foundation is so broken we've decided to go our separate ways, sad to say but It all happen extremely fast. I'm just upset cause I know how much I believed in this legacy, but I can't let this stop me from growing my fan base and having a big year. I can only hope the people that fuck wit Dizzy Wright always remember what I contributed to this label and hold me down for that in the end. So peace and happiness and may that funk volume love never die everything is just not meant to last forever. I'll be on tour wit Logic starting Feb 4th for 2 months so if u catch me at a good time I'll be happy to explain but this is all I got for social media...
Oddly, so far the most detailed explanation has come from rapper Daylt. Jarren Benton tweeted that Daylt's video explanation was the real deal, and sure enough, Daylt breaks down how Hopsin and Damien were fighting over the possibility of signing to Funk Volume, which revealed a long-standing disagreement between the two about what kind of music to make and how to spend Funk Volume's profits.
While to the outside world it seems like the Funk Volume implosion happened essentially overnight, it's clear that this is merely the public detonation of a bomb that's been ticking for a long time. Only time will tell where each of Funk Volume's respective actors will go from here—if that Daylt video's correct Hopsin might soon be moving to Africa—but for now, it seems sadly clear that the label that began six years ago and rose to impressive prominence in its time, is now officially dead. RIP FV.
Photo Credit: Instagram