All Articles Tagged "music industry"
Well, I suppose this was his moment of clarity.
In an interview with Vibe, EURweb reports that rapper The Game was reflecting upon his career and really wished he hadn’t dissed Jay-z (along with seemingly every other popular rapper at the time) in a few of his songs a few years ago.
“I think I f***ed that up early in my career. I’m probably one of the only cats that went at Jay-Z’s neck and had a career after.”
He’s probably right. Much like Biggie did the polka dot wearing rapper Kwamé back in thr day, Jay-Z does seem to have that rap power to make sure either your music doesn’t see the light of day or that no one really buys it if you cross him. Of course, he does it all with one of those boyish grins and the “it’s nothing” attitude.
The Game said he even got into an argument with his kids’ mom (not sure they’re still in a relationship) because she knew the power Jay possessed:
“I remember having a real altercation with the mother of my children. She was like, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. He’s going to come back and we’re not going to be able to survive.’ Jay and Beyonce are a powerful couple, they will turn your whole family against you.”
Hilarious! I don’t if the Carters will turn your entire family against you but they can get to your fan base. Luckily for The Game, he’s been able to maintain a decent career, even if he is more popular on the West Coast.
And who knows: maybe Jay will hear about this and grace him with a verse for a song in a couple of years. Yeah…probably not.
Last week, Rihanna added another accolade to her resume, becoming the first artist in the history of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart to tally ten number one songs. No disrespect to Mariah Carey, who had at a handful of number ones before Billboard launched the chart in 1992, but, Rihanna’s achievement cements her status as the quintessential pop star of the 21st century.
Say she sings like a goat. Say she dances like she’s on the last five minutes of her shift. Pan her side projects. But fix your lips to say that Rihanna hasn’t mastered the business of music. The numbers don’t lie.
How is the Barbadian provocateur pulling off massive success in an industry changing so quickly even veterans have trouble keeping up? If you pay attention, she teaches lessons everyday. And we’re taking good notes.
Bow Down? No Thanks. But I Will Salute The Underrated Women In Music Who Keep It Humble And Real At All Times
Ah, you thought this was going to be a shade-throwing, Beyonce/Beyhive-bashing free-for-all, huh? No. It’s been done before; probably a million times alone since “Bow Down” dropped. But this is not that. That’s boring and really very non-progressive.
The lyrics that H-Town Stomped their way down my Twitter and Facebook timelines were enough. I didn’t need to hear the song. I got the gist. Shock value. Getting the rumor mill spinning. Debates about feminism. Press. Media coverage as far as the eye can see. Buzz got stirring in the belly of the Beyhive. Mission accomplished.
What all the media attention steered my little old truth-seeking self toward is the world of down-to-earth artists who’ve proven themselves in an equally effective yet totally counterintuitive way: a baseline of truth-telling and humility. Many of them have not secured as vocal a cult following as some contemporary artists, but all things considered, does that even matter? I can sit at an Amel Larrieux show at the Blue Note and listen to an entire set that will speak to any number of situations going on in my life, a millionairess’s life, a poor girl in India’s life. I can tweet her and see her respond, genuinely. How dope is that? I can watch Melanie Fiona’s “Creating of the MF Life” Youtube videos and understand exactly what she puts into her music from her own lips. Not a pre-packaged explanation, but a heartfelt narrative about each song and the process. No gimmicks. Just truth.
I can peruse an Erykah Badu interview and see her respond, “I don’t know. I’ve got to think about that.” Badu, who has TIME IN with music and success in the industry doesn’t try to sugarcoat her way to a “good” answer, but instead offers honesty. Consistently. That’s just her way and music fans respect that. Though the person must evolve, their transparency is what fans vibe with more than anything else. It never fails. The artists who have already and will continue to secure the most meaningful kind of longevity (may not be the most visible or lucrative) are the ones who don’t strive to be untouchable. They just want to make music that is truthful and evolving and says, “Yo, I been there/am there too.”
We often try to weld together the ideas of true artistry and entertainment. And while the two can come together to create a transcendent experience, they aren’t one in the same. Just as processed foods satisfy us for the moment – natural, healthful food vibes with our body chemistry much more because it sustains, it cures, it invites us to be better, to live. There is no difference in music. The processed kind is cool and fun in moderation, but what stands the test of time and elevates us as individuals is in the $40 -ticket, smoky, dimly lit blues club set. It’s a simple “Thank you so much” to a fan’s praise. It’s the “I’m human too” interviews that make us understand that these folks are just on a journey like the rest of us. They’re not untouchable, they’re relatable.
The Behind The Musics and E! True Hollywood Stories and Unsungs show people who were/are so deeply in love with music but pushed to create everything/anything other than what feels real to them. Sell units. Sell out tours. Win Grammys. Be the best. Then, artistry and truth-telling suffers at the hands of being on top and staying on top when Lauryn Hill told us years ago that EVERYone has seasons of “learning and mastership.” No one is going to be on top forever. So what then are most fans going to crave for the long-term? The memory of one crazy hyped show, which was off the chain but cost them a car note? OR album after album of authenticity with track after track that speaks directly to any and every situation they face?
I salute consistent authenticity. Humility. Transparency. That takes courage and I can vibe with that. We vibe with those who come from where we’re from and refuse to pretend that they are larger than life. They leave their not-so-glamorous photos floating around on the Internet because, hey, they’re human too. They show us their scars and let us show them ours too. What they create may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is their own and you can’t help but to dig that.
So, quite frankly, no, I won’t bow down to any entertainer, but I will stand tall and salute my sistren who are consistently affirming themselves and others, evolving, living honestly and giving me good music to last a lifetime.
La Truly is just encouraging thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
Tags:affirming women singers, Amel Larrieux, appreciation of consistent artists, authentic lyrics, authentic music, Beyhive, beyonce, Bow Down, concert tours, controlled by the music industry, Entertainment, erykah badu, honest musicians, honest singers, lauryn hill, Melanie Fiona, music industry, selling albums, youtube videos
Want to break into the music industry? Open a new tab in your browser and find your way to your favorite video-sharing site. Millions of people browse YouTube every day, discovering new acts through music videos and live performances. The site’s related videos section makes it the perfect tool for musicians to get their music in front of a receptive audience.
For hip hop artists, YouTube videos have become the new mixtape. The perfect fix for audiences with shrinking attention spans and an industry that favors a hot single to a good album. Savvy musicians are converting video views into new followers, ticket purchasers, and song downloaders.
If there was any doubt about video’s place in the future of the music industry, media research firm Nielsen recently reported YouTube as the number one place teens go to listen to music (64 percent). YouTube isn’t just making performers stars. The digital landscape is ripe with opportunities behind the scenes, for those strategic enough to spot them. Case in point, Simon Cowell just this week launched a YouTube audition channel, The You Generation.
Artists Catch Up With the Times
Established brands have already seen the light, and accept short-form video as the future of marketing. However, independent artists often miss out on basic parts of these marketing initiatives like brand partnerships, advertising dollars, and technical tools that boost their visibility due to a lack of knowledge.
Enter Volume Visual, the recently launched multi-channel network brainchild of digital
entrepreneurs Jabari Johnson and Benoni Tagoe. Both are YouTube veterans: Jabari for his documentary series chronicling music’s hottest rising stars and Benoni as a producer of the hit online series, Awkward Black Girl.
“One of our main goals is helping artists’ channels develop their audience,” Jabari said. “We come from YouTube backgrounds and have a lot of knowledge about the space. At the same time we have a space in L.A. that artists can come and shoot videos for free. We empower the artists with the tools to help them create the visuals on a more frequent basis and help to cut costs.”
Staying Ahead Of The Curve
Think of multi-channel networks (MCNs) as the digital era’s answer to Viacom, affiliating with multiple YouTube channels and undertaking business areas like promotion, funding, and partnerships so creatives can focus on what they do best. Rather than having a few dozen-cable networks under their umbrella, MCNs have thousands of YouTube channels.
The top MCNs rack up views that rival some cable networks, with the most successful companies targeting mainstream music, gaming, and pop culture. Hip hop culture, Volume Visual’s target, is noticeable absent from the mix. The venture highlights a clever strategy for staying ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing business of entertainment: pay attention to what’s shaping the landscape and figure out how to make what works for similar markets work for you.
The key to cementing a place in the future of entertainment industry may lie in creating your dream job, rather than applying for it. Technology is changing the landscape of countless industries. Odds are embracing those changes will help you anticipate trends before the old guard catches on.
“I always say that it’s never smart to bet against technology,” says Jabari. “Technology is not only at the forefront of this industry, but our culture. Finding ways to have technology interact with the normal human experience – that’s always going to win.”
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Pass Or Play? Chris Brown Gives Glimpse Into Chaotic Lifestyle And Longs For Pre-Fame In Video For New Single, “Home”
What do you want from him? That’s the question Chris Brown is asking (or more like, “Whaaaat the f******ck you waaaaaant from me!?“) in the song “Home,” the debut single off of his upcoming sixth studio album, Carpe Diem. In the video, Brown can be seen jet-setting all over the world, including Paris, Germany and South Africa, performing for his many fans and hitting up clubs, boats, bikes, and beautiful women. Doesn’t seem to out of the ordinary right? Almost sounds like an amped up version of “Beautiful People.” We know that “follow-me-on-my-wacky-tour-life” videos are the new way to promote songs and get people to either relate better to artists or be more envious. But the song was very different from the debut singles we’ve heard Brown drop in the past. No pop-heavy jams best suited for dancing, nothing fun, just Brown being honest about his issues with the industry, those who come in and out of his life and the perils of being an entertainer in the public eye, especially one as controversial as he is. Maybe that’s why he curses so much in the track–he’s getting some things off of his chest. A mix of singing (some with auto-tune unfortunately) and rapping, the song definitely isn’t bad, but I will say that all the F-bombs and N-words are a distraction. But aside from that, we would choose to play it. What about you? Check out the video below and let us know if it’s a pass or play for you m’dears.
*Note: Please excuse some of the language, there’s no clean version of the video up as of yet.
Eve was the first lady of Ruff Ryders back in the late nineties, back when DMX’s bark was all over the radio and before Swizz Beatz wore skinny pants and fedoras (both former members of Ruff Ryders by the way). And she surprised us by being one of few women in the game whose content focused more on her lyrics. Eve released “Gotta Man” and “Love is Blind” and fought for her shine as a one of the top female artists in the game despite competition from Foxy Brown and Lauryn Hill.
So if you missed Eve, she’s on her way back! The Grammy-winning artist has not released an album since 2002′s “Eve-Olution.” But the best part about the comeback is it will be on her own terms. Her album will be released under her own independent label, the recently formed FTR Music, or From the Ribs Music. The album, “Lip Lock,” will be distributed through Sony/Red on May 14 and feature Snoop Dog and Chrisette Mitchele. In an interview with Billboard, she also talks about her troubles with her former label Interscope.
Eve recently gave a taste of what to expect when she dropped the single “She Bad Bad,” this past October. The video, posted on January 8, has over 1.2 million views on YouTube.
She revealed that we should expect a new single, “Make It Out This Town,” to drop in the new few weeks.
“It is a track about being in a dark place — or you could literally say being in the town that you’re in but you have bigger dreams or bigger hopes… just making it out of that situation and knowing that you can do whatever it is that you put your mind to. It’s a song that I’m dedicating and using with my partnership with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America,” Eve told Billboard.
I, for one, am looking forward to another comeback from a familiar face. Eve is making a power move by starting her own label and calling the shots.
However, we are living in different times, and there is a high correlation between comebacks and your social media following or reality TV presence. So hopefully Eve’s got some tricks up her sleeve over these next couple of months to make her relevant again before her album is released in May.
After the jump, check out the “She Bad Bad” video, ICYMI.
Many stars dream of having a Las Vegas run. Boyz II Men have achieved it. They have just announced a deal to perform weekend shows at the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage starting March 1. Tickets, which are on sale now, start at $40. It’s not a full-residence gig like Celine Dion, but they have signed on for a healthy number of shows. The Grammy-winning 1990s R&B trio will perform 78 weekend shows through the end of the year, reports The Grio.
“Vegas residencies are usually reserved for seasoned or veteran artists; legacy artists. Boyz II Men have been around 20 years now. They are a bit younger than most of the entertainers who do Vegas residencies,” explains David Mitchell, publisher of music industry trade publication Amalgamation. The group’s broad appeal — across demographics, genre, and even families, is their biggest asset. “They would attract thirty-somethings who grew up on their music, and that audience is prime target for Vegas shows and nightlife. The cool thing about Boyz II Men is they have a string of pop crossover hits so their appeal will be across age and racial lines. They can appeal to the entire family. And not every group from the ´90s era can replicate this move.”
Some artists turn to Vegas to revive their careers. Toni Braxton is a case in point. After her half-year Vegas residency at the Flamingo, which was interrupted due to her health problems, the singer was back into the spotlight. She went on to snag a reality show and become a media attraction — financial drama aside. There aren’t many opportunities for artists without current hits and Vegas gives them an option.
“Opportunities in the music industry aren’t what they once were, especially in the States, so a Vegas residency isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Mitchell tells us in an email.
Vegas can also give bigger-name acts a chance to do more extravagant stage shows. It’s costly to take shows with special effects on the road, but if done in Vegas at one location, the costs are kept in check. “A Vegas move could place Boyz II Men in a position to create more spectacle since they are in one place night to night. I would think an Usher or Beyonce tour, featuring all of the stage effects, could be a cost benefit from being in one place nightly,” Mitchell points out.
It’s also a big pay day for major acts. Celine Dion’s first five-year residency in Vegas from 2002 to 2007 was a multi-million dollar deal. She performed her “A New Day…” show for more than three million fans and the series of shows grossed more than $400 million, reports Ace Showbiz. Dion re-upped in 2010 — again for a multi-million-dollar contract — for a three-year run at the Caesars Palace theater, which was originally built for her concerts.
But there can be some downside to playing in Vegas. Braxton says her financial troubles started with her stint in the city. According to TMZ.com, “[W]hen Toni’s heart condition started to act up – in the middle of the show’s run — she had to pull the plug, but she was still on the hook to the hotel for big bucks.” The singer expected her insurance policy to cover the bill, but reports TMZ, the company claimed “Toni had an undisclosed, preexisting medical condition, rendering the policy void.”
Braxton’s case is unique, but Mitchell says there are other downsides to a long-term Vegas gig. “Some critics think once you’ve done Vegas, you’re old. I think that notion is changing, especially since seeing an artist like Toni Braxton leading the same path.”
And for big name acts, they “miss a large part of your audience by not touring. Not everyone is going to make a pilgrimage to Vegas,” he adds.
Would you go see Boyz II Men in Vegas?
We’ve got to give props to Mona Scott-Young: she’s had us ready for this season of “Love & Hip-Hop: NY” for months. Now that we finally know the cast, they can get fully involved in the charades and give us more to chat about.
There had been rumors flying left and right that Erica Mena and her manager/boyfriend Rich Dollaz were suddenly engaged. That was fairly surprising because they haven’t really been a couple very long (probably just the length of the show taping). Well, Global Grind was able to talk to both of them the day after the screening of the premiere last week and…well, somebody is lying. To be clear, Rich was allegedly the one who mentioned the “engagement.”
They spoke to Erica first who seemed to be caught off by it but not for the reason you may think:
“I didn’t know that we were going to tell people about it! I guess Rich decided to blurt it out. It wasn’t done intentionally. I didn’t know we were gonna announce it last night. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we were going to keep it on the DL, but I guess he felt it was the right time.”
So that we’re on the same page, Erica says they’re engaged but thought it was going to be on the low (that should tell you something right there). But see, here’s Rich’s side of the story:
“No, I’m not! I’m not engaged. Rich Dollaz is not engaged.
What happened was, I ain’t gonna say shorty was lying or nothin’, but Erica had taken some pictures on Instagram of some wedding magazine. A girl [at the party] asked her about it and asked if she was getting married and I SARCASTICALLY said ‘Yeah, we’re getting married. Uh huh, next week we’re getting married.’ She took that, and I don’t know if the music was loud and the liquor was flowing, and she could be serious. But I was not. I was not.”
His side of the story sounds way more believable, even if he does speak in the third person in the beginning. We know they have to keep up appearances for at least a few episodes. The “reality” is that they’ll probably be broken up by the end of the season.
Love & Hip-Hop: NY premieres Monday night on VH1. Will you be watching?
Why in the world does the city of Los Angeles keep allowing Frick and Frack to run aimlessly around with no supervision?
Okay, so we just reported this morning that Katt Williams was arrested Friday on child endangerment charges. Well, hours after he was released – hours – it appears he was a primary witness in a huge brawl involving his friend and tour manager, Suge Knight.
There are no details as to what exactly started the fight but someone sent a video in to TMZ where you clearly see him in some type of heated “situation” with a group of people. After a few security people are able to break things up (with one young man ending up on the ground), Suge walks a few feet away and ends up punching someone else in the face. We can only assume that the person must have said something Suge didn’t like because Suge landed the first punch.
Katt Williams was hiding between dumpsters during the exchange and once blows were thrown, he was ordered by someone who looks to have been part of his security team into a black truck. They immediately sped off.
As the video continues, other security guys are urging Suge to get into a white truck in order to leave the scene. Without giving notice to the packed parking lot of onlookers, Suge sped off and almost hit quite a few people.
How do these two find so much trouble? Suge is almost 50 years old and Katt is knocking on the door of 40 – when does this end? If you can’t figure out how to avoid having a fight at those ages, you don’t ever need to go out. I would say “grow up” but somehow, that doesn’t seem applicable.
Bilal Sayeed Oliver, known to most simply as Bilal, was a young (19 years old), Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter flush with cash. He spent his money to help his mom, but he also spent a good deal on things like clothes and jewelry.
Fast-forward to today, and he’s a 33-year-old husband and father working with an independent Canadian label. According to Bilal, it affords creative freedom, but costs lots of money to choose this musical path.
In this latest article from Black Enterprise, Bilal talks about the more modest lifestyle he’s living, and the financial lessons he’s learned, related to both his personal and professional life.
Learn more about his career path, and what he’s up to these days on BlackEnterprise.com.