Archive for May 17, 2011

Music News: Nas Announces His Tenth Solo Album by STEVEN J. HOROWITZ

Esco reveals he’s inspired by Odd Future, Frank Ocean and Drake for his forthcoming LP.

Nas may not be putting out Lost Tapes 2, but promises to deliver with his forthcoming solo album. The Queens, New York rapper spoke with Billboard.com about progress to the follow-up to 2008’s Untitled, claiming that he’s in a new state of mind and is inspired by new cats in the game.

“The last record I did was, I was in a different place than I am now,” he said. “Now, I’m happy to express that different place and I’m just happy about music. I’m watching everyone do their thing, young guys, women, artists just doing they thing.”

Naming Odd Future, Lil Wayne, Drake and more as current influences, Nasty Nas said that his tenth solo LP doesn’t yet have a concept. “My new album that I’m working on is free flowing,” he said. “At this point, there’s not one concept that sums up the whole record. I’m just flowing. It’s really too early to tell who I’ll be collaborating with.”

He also acknowledged that Untitled wasn’t an entirely solid record, and that he’s learned from his mistakes. “I don’t want to look back on this record – because I can look back on my last record and I know that record, some songs didn’t belong there. I really overthought it. I don’t want it to be like that on this record,” he continued. “I want to be able to play this next record after it’s done and feel like I did it. I have to do something that’s new. It’s just in me. I have to do something that feels like it’s right right now, and it could last.”




Nicki Minaj wants to take her career to the next level and she doesn’t want any help from Sean “Diddy” Combs. Minaj was rumored to have signed a management deal with Diddy sometime last year, but it looks like she’s skipped out on the hip-hop mogul and has gone with management company Hip Hop Since 1978 instead.

XXL.com is reporting that the Queens native fired Diddy because he wasn’t “hands on enough,” and signed with the management company owned by Gee Roberson and Kyambo “Hip-Hop” Joshua. Ironically, Roberson and Joshua once worked on Lil’ Kim’s 2005 debut, ‘The Naked Truth,’ when they were employed as A&Rs for Atlantic Records. Kim and Minaj have been engaged in a verbal beef for the last year or so, with the brunt of the blows coming from the Queen Bee, who feels that the 26-year-old jacked her style.

Past history aside, Minaj’s new representation has a pretty good track record, which includes managing Kanye West, Young Jeezy and her Young Money family members Drake and Lil Wayne. According to sources, despite her new business decision, her relationship with Diddy appears to be in tact as the two parted ways amicably.

This is the most recent shake-up in Minaj’s management team, but not the first time that she has hired and fired people on her team. The rapper was originally represented by Debra Atney, mother to Waka Flocka Flame, whom she fired in 2010.



Music News: “Dougie” Rapper M-Bone Killed in Drive-By Shooting by WHITNEY ENGLISH

M-Bone, a So-Cal hip-hopster with the Dougie-happy Cali Swag District, has died after being gunned down in a drive-by shooting late last night.

Police in Inglewood confirm that a man was killed by two gunshots to the head around 10:30 p.m. The victim was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when another vehicle pulled up alongside and unloaded “at least two rounds” into the car, according to Lt. Michael Marshall.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. He was just 22.

Was there a motive?

“It looks like they knew each other,” says Marshall. “It was not a traditional drive-by.” However, investigators don’t have any suspects and are asking for tipsters to call in.

Police didn’t immediately identify M-Bone (aka Mante Talbert) as the victim, pending notification of next of kin.

But a publicist for the group has confirmed to E! News that indeed the performer, who was the group’s comedic presence, was the one killed—and claims he wasn’t being purposely targeted

“Cali Swag District member Mante ‘M-Bone’ Talbert was the victim of a random act of violence last night,” the rep says, calling M-Bone “an inspiration to his family, friends and fans.”

Formed last year by M-Bone, C-Smoove, Yung and JayAre, Cali Swag District immediately hit the charts with the huge crossover hit “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

Says the group’s publicist of M-Bone: “He was a hardworking, passionate artist and dancer that will be deeply missed.”



EVENTS: “Salute to Hip-Hop” featuring EPMD / Funkmaster Flex

Presented in Association with Globe Star Media.

When: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 7:00PM
Where: Betsy Head Memorial Playground

EPMD (“Erick and Parrish Making Dollars”) are famed as one of the pioneers of hip-hop. Their debut album, Strictly Business, topped the R&B album chart and went gold, as did their follow-up, Unfinished Business. They continued releasing hit singles such as “It’s My Thing,” “You Gots to Chill,” and “Rampage” which revealed their talent in rhymes and their feel for a good groove. Although they split to pursue solo careers, the duo reunited with the album, Back in Business. While working on their solo projects, they continued to record as EPMD, bringing them to the studio in 2008 for the acclaimed album, We Mean Business. With their rhyme delivery over minimal beats, EPMD influenced gangsta rap as they took listeners on “a funky joy ride through a gangster-fantasy universe,” according to Rolling Stone magazine.

For more than a decade, DJ Funkmaster Flex has reigned as America’s number one hip-hop radio personality and reaches more than two million listeners a week on his Hot 97 show. Join Funkmaster Flex as he hosts Salute to Hip-Hop, a nationwide series of concerts that celebrates hip-hop and honors the generations of artists that have shaped it and carry on its influence today.


(212) 360-2777

Article: The Real Power Behind The Music Business

I had an interesting discussion with a group of readers at the recent ASCAP Expo in Hollywood that kind of opened my eyes a little. I thought that most young artists were of the DIY mindset, but there’s still a sizable contingent that believes that being on a major label is still the way to score in the music business.

Their opinion changed when I described the real power behind the throne of the music business, which brings us to today’s post. It’s an excerpt from my Music 3.0 guidebook regarding who actually pulls the strings of the music business. Be forewarned, it’s not who you think it might be.

Although it may not be readily apparent, Wall Street and Madison Avenue indirectly control the remaining Music 2.5 music industry through their tremendous influence on the financial bottom line of record labels, record stores, concert promotion, radio, and television. If you’re owned by a publicly traded conglomerate (as all major labels, major concert promoters, and radio and television stations are), then you’re in the business of selling stock, not servicing the consumer. What that means is that nothing matters more than quarterly earnings. To keep those earnings as high as possible, Wall Street turns to Madison Avenue to devise the best marketing strategy for keeping the profits high. Madison Avenue (in the form of the major advertising agencies) can bring in the big ad dollars, but only under certain content conditions (like programming that is tailored around the advertising), and the process repeats itself over and over. The advertising industry (Madison Avenue), not the music industry, therefore drives the music cycle in the United States.

In Music 2.5, it’s all about passing focus-group tests, which have separated listeners into the distinct demographic groups that advertisers are then able to tell stock analysts they have micromarketed their products to. As a result, radio, television, and live performances are no longer about aggregating and entertaining large audiences, but rather just a group of market niches. The bright side to this fact is that there’s one heck of an opportunity opening up for folks who don’t get hung up on trying to sell advertising.

Wall Street and Madison Avenue have tried to redefine what music means to people, but most people are voting with their wallets by refusing to buy any new recordings. The view of the vast majority of consumers is that very few new recordings are worth buying compared to those released a couple decades ago, and this has become the dilemma of the industry. You have to sell product to survive, but it’s impossible to develop that product while trying to please your corporate masters. It might work when selling soap or clothing or any other consumer product, but a creative endeavor like music just doesn’t work that way. It’s too personal, both to the artist and the consumer, to be a mass-market product.

source: bobby owsinski

Article: J.Cole Clears Up Rumors

“J. Cole recently caught up with Hot 93.7′s On-Air Idiot Show following a performance at Central Connecticut State University. During the interview, the Roc Nation signee responded to rumors that Jay-Z is upset with him for taking as long as he has to release his debut album. Cole said that while he finds it funny that the rumor actually exists, it’s absolutely false.

“Y’all believe that?” he joked. “That’s not true. That’s so not true. It was a cool rumor, I guess. It didn’t really get too big, but I’ve seen. It’s just funny to see how rumors work, like, they don’t even have sources. But it’s the furtherest thing from the truth.”

J. Cole also discussed how signing with Jay has affected his work ethic. He said that while some artists may feel secure about joining forces with such an established artist, Cole says that it has only pushed him to work even harder on his debut project.

“My attitude has actually been the opposite [of many of my peers],” he said. “Even though I’ve with Jay[-Z]…from the minute I signed, I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I’m on now, I’m good. I’m with Jay.’ If anything, I’ve felt at a disadvantage because that’s a big shadow to live under…When you’ve got the type of goals that I’ve got and you want to be where I am, you’ve got to understand, there’s going to be a long journey and no man can get you there. I just realized, Jay-Z’s not going to be the one to get me there. It’s gotta be me, it’s got to come from me.”

source: hiphopdx