12-year-old Philly rapper Matt Ox, whose viral single "Overwhelming" recently passed 14 million views on YouTube, has signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Earlier this month, the label re-released the single, which is currently available on iTunes.
Word about Ox's signing comes one week after Atlantic Records announced the signing of another young viral act, 14-year-old Danielle Bregoli (a.k.a. the 'Cash Me Outside' Girl a.k.a. Bhad Bhabie).
While news of Ox's signing, like Bhad Bhabie before him, might wrinkle the feathers in more than a few hip-hop purist caps—including mine—it's important to remember that this is the music business. Labels, above all else, care about one thing: making money.
That said, don't be fooled into thinking these are long-term development plays by Warner. Despite youth being on their side, time is already running out for both Ox and Bhabie. Signing largely talent-less viral acts that offer momentary "cultural relevance" is a merely a cash grab. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Ox is being milked.
Warner Bros. and Matt Ox management did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DJBooth.