Archive for September 9, 2011

Article: The Lucrative Side of Hip-Hop Beef – 10 Rap Feuds That Fueled Sales (1 of 10) by Alexis Garrett Stodghill

1 of 10 lucrative hip-hop beefs

In the Biggie Smalls song, “What’s Beef,” the legend answers his question by rapping, “Beef is when I see you/Guaranteed to be an ICU.” Of course meaning members of warring rap factions will attempt to send each other to the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital should they cross paths. But why would grown men (and a few women), many of whom are millionaires with a lot to lose, seek to publicly threaten each other with death? They didn’t get to the top of the hip-hop game by making silly moves. No — these days beef is more than a string of verbal threats. It is the premiere marketing tool for rap stars’ albums. It’s free, viral, engages the public emotionally, and turns the creation and promotion of any LP into a drama better than any soap opera. Here are the top ten hip-hop beefs in the history of rap — and how the artists involved managed to turn rage into cash.


Lil’ Wayne vs. Jay-Z
In August of this year, Lil’ Wayne’s camp leaked a track off of his post-prison album “The Carter IV” that dissed Jay-Z. Why? According to rap gossip impresario , this beef actually began in 2009 when Wayne’s mentor Birdman stated that Lil’ Wayne is more talented than Jay and has more money. In January of this year, Jay-Z leaked a track in response off of “Watch the Throne” putting Lil’ Wayne in his place with the lyrics: “Really, you got baby money. Keep it real with n-ggas, N-ggas ain’t got my lady money.” This of course spun into a cycle of beef by all parties involved, leading up to the official releases of both of the superstars’ albums this summer. The beef between Jigga and Weezy drove organic consumer interest in their projects helping “Watch the Throne” by late August. Funny thing is, “The Carter IV” moved of its August 29 release. Looks like starting beef with Jay really paid off — for Birdman’s protégé.

Winner in this beef: Lil’ Wayne. Numbers don’t lie. He might have less cash than Jay-Z, but Wayne is slaughtering him in the departments of record sales and fan loyalty.



Party Rock Anthem-Kia Soul Hamster Commercial [HD]

Article: Apple iPads and iPhones finally get Flash video By David Meyer

Media publishers can now stream Flash-based video to iPhones and iPads, Adobe has announced.

Adobe’s Flash Media Server 4.5 will allow publishers to stream Flash-based video to iPads and iPhones. Photo credit: James Martin/CNET News

On Thursday, Adobe released Flash Media Server 4.5, which introduces support for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. It does this by letting broadcasters stream Flash-based video content in an Apple-derived format, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

Apple’s iPhone and other mobile devices are well known for not supporting Flash, so in April Adobe said it had come up with a workaround.

Flash Media Server usually packages video streams using MPEG4 fragments, in the F4F file format. However, the new version adds support for a different protocol, HLS, which Apple created for QuickTime and iOS.

Where the media server system detects a lack of Flash support on the client device, it delivers the content in an MPEG2 stream, using the HLS format. HTML 5-capable browsers also support HLS, so using it makes it easier for broadcasters to reach a wider audience.

The end result is that Flash-based video content can now be delivered to iOS devices by using Apple’s technology, in a way that requires almost no extra effort on the part of the publisher. Microsoft has been doing the same thing to get Silverlight-based content onto Apple mobile devices since 2009.

However, the advent of Flash Media Server 4.5 only enables Flash video streaming to iPhones and iPads. Flash-based games, animations and advertisements will still not work on such devices.



Article: So, You Want a Label Contract? by Apryl Peredo

“I wanna get signed!”

How many bands or musicians say that? Perhaps not as many as in past years. These days, an independent musician has access to tools that allow them to self promote through a giant web of online resources and then sell their music through the same. Certainly some musicians have no desire to sign to a label contract – their musical style is one that may not be saleable to mainstream audiences, or they prefer the self-control of handling their musical career independently. Some major artists were label signed, and having already gained a large audience share, they feel their own team can now market and sell to those same fans, without the controlling relationship certain labels may offer.

As one who works in the music industry, I would never tell a musician that either choice: sign to label, or remain DIY, is the right or wrong one. It is really a personal choice. I do try to educate musicians on the pros and cons of each side, encourage them to see signing to a label as a “tool,” not an ultimate “goal,” and then ask what they want to pursue.

Over the past few months, I have met with representatives from major labels (Sony, Avex, EMI), mid-size sub- labels (labels which are run as though they are independent, at one time were independent, but are actually owned by a major label), and also mid-size independent labels. I wanted to find out, what do labels look for in an artist/band to sign?

So, what do label reps have to say when it comes to considering a band/musician? Here are some of their informational nuggets:

1. We don’t sign “newly formed” bands.

Labels do not want to sign a band that just formed last week, last month, or even six months ago. Labels want to know that the band has been together long enough to have developed a good working relationship. The members can handle internal problems on their own. They have learned each others’ quirks and know how to write music together. Time together gives the label some intangible evidence that the band isn’t going to break up right after signing and receiving a possible advance.

Check a band’s bio: you will usually see that the band was together for 5-7 years prior to being signed. The few times a band is signed after only 1-2 years together, most

times the members were “together” longer than that as they were school or university class mates.

2. We don’t sign undeveloped bands.

Ah, the innocence of a newly formed band! “We just need to get signed and then we can start making great music!” or “When we get signed, then we can play some cool gigs/live shows.”

If you do not already have great (“greatness” evaluation is subjective, of course) music written, you won’t get signed. Labels no longer have a huge development budget, and cannot afford to sign the garage band they heard practicing last Saturday, with the idea that they can be developed after signing. To get signed, you need to have at least 10 well-written original songs, already in your band’s catalog. You need to have gotten your “live performance chops” from performing at every bar, festival, event, and house party that will let you play. The label hasn’t the time, desire, or money to sign you and then wait for you to learn.

3. We don’t sign unknown bands.

What counts as “known” depends a bit on size of the label. A major label may want to see that your band can draw at least 200 people to your shows, on a regular basis. They may want to see that you have self-sold 10,000 units in the past 18 months. Perhaps they want to see that you were able to get enough fan votes to get yourself on a major “indie artist” stage at SXSW. Possibly they want to see that your streaming music sites are getting 500 plays a week.

A sub-label or independent label may feel that you are “known” if you can regularly draw 40 people to your shows, self-sell 500 units in a year, you got good write-ups the past 3 years running for your excellent performances at the state fair, and you average 15 new fans each week on your reverbnation profile.

Again, this is also where length of time together is crucial. Drawing 40 people to your first two shows as a new band may be simple. Drawing in those 40-200 ticket buyers to your shows when you play once a month, over 2 years, is more difficult. Can you do it? If not, you aren’t going to get signed.

4. (a) We don’t sign people/bands we meet at parties.

One executive stated, “When I’m at a social function, I’m at a social function. Don’t come up to me and tell me you’re in a band and try to give me your demo. I might take it to be polite, but your band’s name will be noted, and the demo will go in the trash can. Submit your demo the right way.”

Readers, please assure me that you know the “right way!” If not, it can be addressed in another article. After all, there is some flexibility and a few ways to do it the “right way.”

4. (b) We don’t sign based on oral “favors.”

Ah, it must have been great to live in the 1960s-1985! Pretty girl with a certain skill – recording contract!! Sorry, no more – there is no unlimited budget for signing and maintaining artists. Labels have to sign based on music quality or the perceived saleability of that music, not on “favors.”

Actually, I was rather surprised that this was even mentioned, but girls still try to gain meetings, demo reviews, and signings based on sexual favors. The two reps who brought this topic up said that 85% of the “executives” who accept such a favor are not even in a position to make a signing choice. Of the ones who might accept the offer, and do have the power, they won’t sign you based on their own professional reputation – and you have also just shown them how little you actually believe in your own music as being a product worth signing. Also, in general, reps from one company are likely friends with reps of another. So, the EMI guy you met, will tell a Beggars Banquet guy, who will tell a Universal rep, who will tell…You get the idea. Basically, it won’t get you signed, and it will make you AND the rest of your band members lose any respect they might have had for you going forward.

Lessons gleaned?

Certainly, this one article can not give you every bit of advice on what a label does or doesn’t want. But one thing is clear, getting signed to almost any size or type of label is not going to happen magically. While there may be, upon occasion, the story of a band/musician who was signed after a label rep saw them one time playing to a crowd of 5, in front of the bus station, this situation is so rare, that to base your rock-and-roll dreams on the same hope of a “lucky” signing, is asking for disappointment.

Just like any other goal, the path to a label contract, consists of persistence, practice, professionalism, creative development, and hard work.


Article: How Lady Gaga, The Gourds & The Chemical Brothers Grab Fan Attention – hypebot

A recent article about got me thinking about a different approach. Lady Gaga, The Gourds & The Chemical Brothers all share one characteristic, that of achieving success via creatively shifting the context of aesthetic content and surprising audiences.

So, instead of going for the shock, one goes for the creative surprise.

Lady Gaga is the most complete example because so much of what she does is lifted from avant garde & performance art then mixed with high fashion and presented in the context of pop culture.

For example, her much remarked has many art and performance world precedents from to “. More generally, is a popular reference point.

But there are other ways to catch people’s attention and then refocus it on one’s work without taking such extreme paths.

One of my favorite examples is The Gourds’ . It’s a surprise whose shock is rather pleasant, especially as one realizes what a great song they’ve revealed! Rather than parodying themselves or Snoop, they’ve ended up with a song that entertains fans and newcomers alike without confusing their own identity.

Changing the context can also be used in a marketing campaign, as Astralwerks did when to America, and moving the context away from the rave:

“Exit Planet Dust…redefined how an electronic-dance album looked — specifically, nothing about the album’s packaging suggested ‘rave.’ There were no floating gobs of color, no videogame-reject graphics, no winky-winky references to MDMA (except, of course, the Chemical Brothers’ name)…Wohelski refers to the Chemicals’ packaging — and subsequently, that of Astralwerks’ cannier groups — as ‘scene-neutral.’”

The idea of changing the context of aesthetic material may sound rather academic but is clearly powerful in the hands of someone like Lady Gaga.  However, in practice, as The Gourds and The Chemical Brothers have shown us, it can also be a powerful way of giving audiences a fresh look without betraying one’s values for short-term attention



Industry Tips & Advice: 8 Low Budget DIY Music Promotion Tips From Kosha Dillz – hypebot

Rapper Kosha Dillz shares some wisdom on self-promotion when you on a limited budget. It’s a nice mix of specific suggestions and general principles for any DIY promoter.

post at offers some great tips:

1. Social Media Campaign

“If you can learn how to develop your own identity on…[Twitter and Facebook], its almost the same…[as] hosting your own morning show.”

2. Clever Song

“The song “I love Jews” made it into Spin Magazine because it was genius idea more than a great song (sampled the Delphonics la la la la i love you song).”

3. Message Boards

“Although you think that they may be obsolete, they are free zones to post music share links and start threads on what is hot and what is not.”

4. College Radio

“Send links to college radio (just google it) and contact your local station via phone.”

5. Be the Local Hero

“If you want to save money, build locally.”

6. Favors for a Favor

“The key here is to do more favors than you receive.”

7. Keep Showing Up

“I can only tell you how i showed up to reach out to a guy from Holland that later popped up at my SXSW show in 2010 and put me on tour with Snoop Dogg.”

8. Be Relentless (w. boundaries)

“In terms of publicity you must also realize that any press is good press. Can you make it?”


Article: 4 Most Popular Facebook Apps For Musicians – hypebot


Facebook is fast becoming a hub for music discovery and marketing, That growth should accelerate when the social network announces its music plans on . All of this makes engaging with fans on Facebook more important than ever, and a number of apps are helping to make that easier.  The four most popular apps to help musicians do that according to are:

  • BandPages By Root Music is the #6 Facebook App with 32M+ MAU (monthly average users).
  • ReverbNation‘s Facebook app is gaining impressive traction reacing #25 with 12.5M MAU
  • Bandsintown‘s live music app is at #117 with 3.4 million MAU
  • SoundCloud charts at #281  with 1.4 million MAU


Music News: Rumors Have It Jay-Z Forces Tenants Out Of Luxury Building In Philly.

Residents of a Philadelphia luxury building owned by international rap star Jay-Z claim that they are being harassed by the mogul’s legal team, so that they will ultimately vacate the premises.

According to FoxNews, Jay-Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, is a co-owner of the company SCC North American Realty, LLC, which owns and operates a 24 unit condominium complex, which was purchased January of 2009.

Several tenants contacted FoxNews to complain about the treatment they have been receiving, claiming that they are being forced out of their apartments, with frivolous lawsuits, and other harassment tactics.

“The whole thing has been so unsettling,” a former tenant named Liza Tedeschi told FoxNews.com. “I’ve been in tears over this…They filed a lawsuit against me knowing that I had paid the rent. The lawyer admitted it to me, yet they still filed the lawsuit against me…It’s total and utter harassment.”

Tedeschi told FoxNews that Jay-Z’s real estate company even gave out the personal cell phone numbers of tenants to realtors to show off apartments that are not even up for sale.

According to residents, Jay-Z’s ultimate goal is to evict all of the tenants from the property and it seems to be working – 15 tenants have left the building since May.

The tenants in the building became so angry that they called Pennsylvania Sen. Larry Farnese, who sent Jay-Z’s lawyer a letter, on August 12th.

Sen. Farnese expressed concern over the treatment of the residents in the letter.

“He expressed his concern about what was happening in the building and asked that the management thoroughly investigate each complaint and handle each tenant on a case-by-case basis, and determine if eviction was appropriate, or if it was not,” Senator Farnese’s Communications Director, Kathie Abookire, revealed. “The latest that we heard is that Liza was issued a stay while the matter was investigated further. Our concern is for the tenant, that they’re being treated properly, fairly and in accordance with the law. The owner of the building is immaterial. The fact that someone may be famous is not our concern.” source: www.Allhiphop.com

Industry Tips and Advice: Finding Your Niche Market.

Niche Marketing – How to Find Your Perfect Niche Market
Written By Herman Drost

If you don’t find a niche market for the product or service
you offer, you will most probably fail. Most newcomers who
wish to do business on the Internet often market to
everyone they can find with the expectation that everyone
will do business with them. This is the same as throwing
mud against the wall and hoping some of it will stick. They
have not yet found their niche market.

What is niche marketing?

A niche market is composed of individuals and businesses
that have similar interests and needs, which can be readily
identified and that can be easily targeted and reached.

Finding a niche for your business means finding a great
product or service for a highly targeted audience.

Here’s the process to find your niche business:

1. Find a niche product or service you are passionate about
- this will greatly improve your chances of being
successful. Why? Because it’s the only way you’re going to
be able to devote the kind of time and effort to create a
meaningful web site, build up the right traffic, generate
worthwhile income, and enjoy what you’re doing.

2. Choose a niche product or service you are knowledgeable
about – reflect on what skills, hobbies or products you
know the most about. If you don’t have the knowledge yet,
then choose a niche product that you would love to promote,
then spend the necessary time to research it, so you can
eventually become an expert in your marketing niche.

3. Define your niche market – do the necessary research to
see if there is a market for your niche product. To create
a profitable business for your niche product, you need to
ask yourself these questions:

a) Is there sufficient demand for it? – if you choose a
field that is too broad it may be hard to stand out from
the competition ie camping equipment is your niche product.
Well, unless you are a large corporation such as Sports
Authority (a large retail store in my town), you won’t
stand out from the crowd. However, a more highly targeted
niche product could be Coleman Camping Equipment.

b) Keyword research – use keyword tools such as the
overture suggestion tool or wordtracker to how many people
are searching each month on keywords related to your niche

Here’s an example:

According to overture (at the time of writing this
article), the keyword phrase “camping equipment” was
searched 76164 times in one month. If you do a search on
Google.com for camping equipment you will find 1,610,000
web sites show up – heck, that’s too competitive.

However “coleman camping equipment” generated 1242 searches
in one month according to overture. Google.com shows 93,200
competing websites. That’s much better though still somewhat

Tip: Notice how not many web sites (even the top ones),
don’t have “coleman camping equipment” in their titles.
This is just one way to create a high ranking on the search
engines for your newly targeted web site. This will then
provide lots of targeted traffic to your site.

c) Take a survey – you may already have products or
services that you selling to your customers. If so, ask
questions within your survey about what product/service
would help your customers business. If it can help them
save time by gaining more knowledge or automating tasks,
you could have a winner.

d) Create Your Own Unique Selling Position (USP) – study
your competition to find out what they emphasize about the
product which makes them stand out from the crowd. Then
decide on something that will make your business unique
from the others. It could be something unique about the
product (ie discount coleman camping equipment) or you
could choose a more highly defined target market
(ie boyscout organizations and clubs throughout the USA).

4. Build and promote your web site – to develop a
profitable web site for your niche product you need to
create a number of informative pages that will not only
attract visitors from the search engines, but inform and
move them to purchase from your site.

Niche marketing is the key to developing a profitable
business that will make you stand out from the crowd. By
doing the necessary research and building an informative
web site, you will become an expert in your niche marketing.

Industry Tips & Advice: Music Street Team Marketing Tip #4: Wear T-shirts

Build a street team to promote your music so you can sell more music & get more people to your shows. This tip shows you how to get more exposure as a musician.To learn more street team tips: http://www.musicsuccesscoach.com/musicstreetteammarketingplan/ Distributed by Tubemogul.

Quote Of The Day

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
Charles Darwin


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.