Hopsin, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, SwizZz, DJ Hoppa and Funk Volume CEO Damien “Dame” Ritter are among those who appear in the forthcoming Funk Volume documentary Independent Living: The Funk Volume Documentary. Filmed during the imprint’s Funk Volume 2012 Tour, which featured 44 performances in 50 days, the documentary showcases the work ethic Funk Volume artists display as they play to sold-out crowds throughout the country.
In the trailer for the doc, which says that it is “Coming Soon,” Hopsin appears to relish in Funk Volume’s status as a successful independent label. The company has garnered more than 1.5 billion YouTube views, gotten more than 1.5 million Facebook Likes and has had Top 10 debuts on iTunes and Billboard. “People always say, ‘Well that’s the industry standard,'” says Hopsin, who co-founded Funk Volume with Ritter. “Fuck that. We are the standard now.”
Dizzy Wright reflects on the responsibilities he feels while on tour. “I’m a daddy, so when I’m on the road, it’s like this is my job,” Dizzy Wright says in the trailer. “This is my dream.” “Not only is this a lifestyle and a passion but at the end of the day, it’s a job,” adds DJ Hoppa. “You can’t just be dope, you have to be dope and hustle.”
Funk Volume has several other projects arriving soon. Jarren Benton is slated to release his My Grandmas Basement album June 11. Dizzy Wright’s “Golden Age” mixtape is scheduled for a July release and Hopsin’s Knock Madness album is expected in Fall 2013. SwizZz is also working on his next project and Ritter is writing a book to help independent artists understand what it takes to build a career in music.
Funk Volume’s business plan centers around doing as much as possible in-house, including production, touring and video content creation while also focusing on artist development. “We’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done in a while, bring it back to the artist,” says Ritter, a Stanford business school graduate who worked with Fortune 500 companies. “From the beginning, we concentrated on building a fan base and concentrating on social media. We knew booking agents, press and other industry people would come knocking eventually, and once they saw what we were building, they did.”