Future Sales: NME starts off very strong in terms of sales but seems to slow down once you begin to move down the roster. Not saying the Wu Tang label members aren't great artists with strong fan bases, but I'm not sure if they can maintain the consistency in sales to sustain the label. RRR asserts itself as a pretty consistent label from top to bottom in the sales category. They won't break any records but they will remain consistent and move some units.
Future Critical Acclaim: NME establishes itself as a label that looks to give the critics and fans alike what they want to hear. If done right, they can garner plenty of critical acclaim while making some really dope sounds. A few tracks of some Wu legends may be all it takes. The sub label has tons of potential. RRR once again proves to be very consistent but I believe the potential that NME has gives them the edge.
Longevity: Once again I have to be a fan of experience in this category. The NME team has a roster full of artists that have continued to be relevant in the game and can continue to make an impact with the right management. The RRR team is slightly younger but they definently have the potential to make some noise with good management, marketing and production. I am just a fan of experience in the longevity department. Show me what you have already done. NME does just that.
Album Covers/Tracklists: I love the way that RRR has the same feel to all their album covers. They come across as a team and it shows in the covers. NME just has some brilliant covers though. They may not have the same "team" feel to them but they are creative and capture the vibe of the artists. Tracklists look good on both sides and have a good mix. The album covers just stand out to me. This was close but I have to go with the creativity and looks of NME. I don't think RRR should sway from that team feel though. It works for them.
Cohesion: As I have had an issue with the entire tournament, I don't know how the different tiers of NME will work. It could be genius or it could just backfire. As with the covers the RRR team has produced, they show they are just that, a team. They also pass my eye test as a label. I don't see cohesion being an issue with RRR. I just can't take the risk involved the the NME team.
This was what I expected and this was a battle. It was a lot closer than it looked. Great job by both labels.