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Monday, April 29, 2013

50 Cent, ESPN Criticized By NY Post

''N-Word Spouting Gangsta Rapper...''

Controversial New York Post writer Phil Mushnick has blasted ESPN's NFL Draft coverage--due to the network's decision to include 50 Cent as part of the broadcast. Mushnick criticized the "offensive rapper."

"Last year, even more than the year before that and the year before that, college and pro football were overwhelmed with criminals and by criminality. Or, as TV folks call it, 'distractions,'" wrote Mushnick. "Yet, the same men and women who report the arrests and the convictions while making 'tsk, tsk, tsk' have no better idea or instructions than to keep flooring it, sustaining the inescapable message that bad is good, but worse is even better."

"ESPN, now the home of double-murder investigation obstructionist Ray Lewis, opened its NFL Draft show Thursday with vulgar, gay-bashing, women-trashing, assault weapon-cherishing, N-word-spouting gangsta rapper 50 Cent making threatening noises and gestures while boasting that he is one bad mother," Mushnick added.

Mushnick previously criticized Jay-Z's ownership role with the Brooklyn Nets.

Lil Phat Murder Suspects Taken Into Custody

One of Four Men Has Ties To Russian Mafia
Teenage rapper Lil Phat was shot and killed in an Atlanta hospital parking deck in the summer of 2012. Four men have been taken into police custody regarding the killing of the 19-year old, and one of the men has ties to the Russian mafia.

Atlanta's Channel 2 news reports that the man, Mani Chulpayev, is accused of hiring hit men to kill the Louisiana native. Phat, born Melvin Vernell III, was supposedly planning to speak about Chalpayev's dealing in stolen cars.

Chulpayev’s attorney, George Plumides, staunchly denies his client's involvement.

“Mani had nothing against this kid, and grieved when he found out he got killed,” he said. “They put him out of business and they have nothing.”

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

kCAne MarkCO goes after MtvJamz 1st then Bet's 106andPark will debute Anti-Bulling Anthem Video May 3rd!

kCAne MarkCO makes his World Video Premiere on MtvJamz May 3rd for Anti-Bulling Anthem 
story by Oliver DjBigO317 Jackson

When you think of Hip Hop now days one of the 1st things that comes to mind is Bet's 106andPark. Yeah with me too, but not with this new blooded savy rapper whom hails from St.Louis,Mo. he goes by the name kCAne MarkCO. Unlike other St.Louis artist before him like Nelly and Chingy who did there video debute like other kats before them always went after Bet, why cause it was the "Black thang to do".

Well not kCAne Markco he is locked and loaded on MtvJamz for his World Premiere of his Anti-Bulling Anthem video titled "You didn't wanna to be a Hater" which just happens to be sponsored and pushed by the Dj JohnnyO of Nerve Djs based out of Cleveland,Ohio. I asked kCAne MarkCO on a phone interview, 1st of all why MtvJamz not Bet's 106andPark? He stated why do what everyone else has already done before me, I know im different so I let mt actions speak louder then my words. Then I asked him, kCAne MarkCO you are from St.Louis,Mo right? Yes! So why do you have the Nerve Djs pushing your music and not your home town Dj crews and Radio? Hahahaha easy my friend Nerve Djs have been down with me from Zero Day, meaning when I needed a real feed back they were dare no questions asked, like how much is your budget?! So when I signed one of there own to my label NuOrder Entertainment Music Group llc. to head my Radio Commercial Music Dept. Nothing against the other djs crews from St.Louis but I am not a Street Rapper, or part of there Clique so I know how they all roll, I grew up there. Plus 90% of my Fan Base is White and the Dj Crews in St.Louis caters more to Blacks. I'm in this to make money and feed my family, its nothing personal only business.

So why go with an Anti-Bulling Anthem type video? No one is making music for the people, I am the people's artist kCAne Markco! I've been out on my own sponsored tour since Dec 28th 2012 tring to build my fan base by hitting open mics after open mics, driving from city to city in snowy icey conditions everyday. While other artist were at home waiting for the April Thaw my team and I wear already out pushing hard during the 4th and 1st quarter. While I was out on the road we stopped a local gas station in Ohio I think it was and one of my guys was standing by the door reading the new paper. I was like wats good fam.. he was like kids are hanging them selves do to Bulling! That was my motivation plus the song and video was already recorded all I did was do some minor editing to really drive home the message. With that been said make sure yeah check out my World Premiere on May 3rd on MtvJamz "You didn't wanna be a Hater" follow me on twitter

New release Xs10magazine with @TheRealTBOZ on the cover 2am Saturday morning

Download the new issue of @X10magazine with the lovely @TheRealTBOZ on the cover

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

kCAne MarkCO & Alpha Pak performing Live in Washington,Indiana for MtvJamz Video Shoot

kCAne MarkCO & Alpha Pak performing Live in Washington,Indiana for MtvJamz Video Shoot 
by DjBigO317

St.Louis,Mo native and artist kCAne MarkCO continues to grind as he gets ready to end the month of April of with another major show this time down in Washington,Indiana were he will be shooting his lastest video for MtvJamz to Alpha Pak single titled "Jump" all we wanna do is. For more details and media or booking contact or contact 

Salute to NerveDjs own Dj JohnnyO CEO & President for the 1st Annual National Kidney Walk

Welcome to the Nerve DJs Kidney Walk Page

story by DjBigO317 (Nerve Djs)


Welcome to our Kidney Walk fundraising page!  We (The Nerve DJs) are participating in the National Kidney Foundations Kidney Walk to raise money to improve the lives of all people affected by chronic kidney disease and to bring awareness to those who are at risk. ALL of US!
I am asking for your support.  Please donate to our fundraising efforts.  By doing so, you can help us make a difference for millions of people.

I walk because:
  • 26 million Americans ? 1 in 9 ? are living with kidney disease
  • 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for developing kidney disease
  • diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of chronic kidney disease
  • once kidneys fail, patients need dialysis or a transplant to survive
  • early detection can slow or even prevent the progression of kidney disease
  • more than 92,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant
  • Watch the Video
Please consider supporting us and the National Kidney Foundation as we work together to fight kidney disease.
Thank you for your support!

 DJ Johnny' O

The One-Sheet & Why You Need One

The Record Industry as a whole cried itself to sleep the first few years after the turn of Millennium in denial that the infrastructure it had so graciously abided by for the past 50 years wasn’t working anymore. We all know that unless you are Katy Perry or Eminem you can no longer make a living off of your album sales and airplay alone, but even they have their labels telling them to tour for months on end to support it.

Being a successful artist today is about you, maybe a little about your music, a little more about your live show, and alot about your persona. Why is that? Because what is most important today, is not your music itself, but what people are saying about it. The world of technology has made its users a community of nosey gossipers! Good or bad, is makes news travel faster than ever and trends spread across the globe over night. The connection you make with your fans has to be more personable than ever, even if it does mean tweeting what kind of cream cheese you had on your bagel this morning!

Making your album art catchy to the eye on a shelf isn’t nearly as important than producing a song that could play well behind a commercial or sitcom intro. With so many changes happening in the music industry from physical to digital you do not need to be backed by a billion dollar label to make it happen for yourself. Yet many of he same principles are there and it is important for you to know how to do it yourself, both efficiently and accurately. Promotion is what you are striving for. In order to have a loyal fan base that will come see you play shows, watch your videos, and buy your material, they first need a way to find out about you. There are people who can help you, by just spreading the word, and they wont ask for much in return! Those that do it best today are college radio DJ’s, indie radio station DJ’s, editors, podcasters, and the true taste makers of our day, Bloggers!

There is one item that these people need from you, it was the same 50 years ago in the old model and through all the changes, is still the same today. This is The One Sheet. A one sheet is just what its named, no need for confusion. A brief, organized, strategic layout of information that anyone could ever need to know about you to think they’d love your music without even hearing it. It states album tracks, a promo picture, very short bio, album tracks with singles highlighted, recent specific stats on social media sites, sales, recent or upcoming touring dates, website links, and past review highlights. Whenever you send out a press kit a one sheet should be included. Most labels and radio stations still prefer to receive them over anything else. Today when sending information over the web, the use of an EPK has the same essential use. The One Sheet’s digital equivalent, the Electronic Press Kit.

An EPK is what viewers see when they go to your main page where you host your music. Most musicians do not realize just how important the look and layout of this page is for the future of their career. The Internet is an open circuit.You never know who may be surfing the web and stumble upon your page. Colors count, professionalism counts. Does the accurate portrayal of your image,persona, and musicality bleed through? Your tracks should be in order of quality and should have the best representation of your music and vision. Your pictures should be creative and artistically pleasing. All of your important links should be placed easy to find; facebook, twitter, and main music player site are a must. Any positive press you have ever gotten should be linked to or quoted, as well as tour dates, and available tracks for purchase or download. You should update and connect with fans and other musicians on a regular basis through your EPK. This page is your haven for success and you need to nurture it! So go out there and DIY, but utilize the basics tools that were there 50 years ago and are still there today. People WILL listen.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Derby weekend with DjQ1212 of B96 will be rocking the 2 Hottest Partys with Young Jeezy & Master P

 Derby weekend with DjQ1212 of B96 will be rocking the 2 Hottest Partys with Young Jeezy & Master P

The week of the Kentucky Derby the only place to be is with DjQ1212 of B96 Radio in Louisville,Ky !!! Come party with the Hottest Dj in the city he will be rocking the Ones & Twos at both events!! Make sure you all follow him on

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DjBigO317 grants 1st Intervew after 30 yrs in Music Business.. He is Raw & Real on everything he says

DjBigO317 is one of the Rawest & Realist Djs to speaks on the Music Industry
by Charleesmiles

Hey everyone it's me Ms.Charleesmiles I am going to be sitting down with an old friend of mine who is a very out spoken on life and the Music Industry. This interview is not for everyone so this is my disclaimer to you the reading public. Hello DjBigO317 how are you? Im good just koolin Ms.Charleesmiles how are you. So how is your company been doing? Oh Trucker Bangin Ent.Llc is been doing great, its that time of year everyone is tring to get there music heard. I see your always out on the road. 

So tell the people what you have been doing in 2013 I keep seen major things poppin off for some of your past clients, like Friedel Pinkston aka Sy Yung? DjBigO317: Yeah back in 2009 when I meet Sy Yung I told him to always make him self marketable to get into Acting, Modeling to help his Music career push his visual presents out there since he was residing in Atlanta,Ga. Long story short on April 12 2013 he was featured in a major motion picture titled "42" The Jackie Robinson Story staring Harrison Ford & Chadwick Bossman. Charleesmiles: Ok your been real relaxed like its nothing to you? DjBigO317: Naw its not that I can't say to much because he is signed with a record label, there responsible to do the (PR) if they know what there doing. They not paying me so I'm not doing nothing but what I want to do! Charleesmiles: Oh my, I take it you are really mad? DjBigO317: Honestly I'm like Pissed & Disappointed cause Sy Yung has so much talent but its the wrong people around him that are really holding him back, People only hold you back if you let them. Charleesmiles: What is the money song for Sy Yung that would break down the doors to the labels? DjBigO317: His single from a couple years ago called "Bring it Back". Charleesmiles: Why "Bring it Back"? DjBigO317: Its had that (AC) appeal or as black folks say the crossover appeal. Charleesmiles: I remember he was always coming up to the midwest for the longest of times, what happened? DjBigO317: I have no clue to be honest. Charleesmiles: Do you and Sy still speak? DjBigO317: We have not for a few months now. Charleesmiles: If you say anything to him Sy Yung, what would it be? DjBigO317: I still want that video for "Bring it Back" and I don't know whats going on but I wanna wish you the best in your career moves! Life goes on so keep shooting for the moon, if you miss you will hit the stars.

Charleesmiles: Wow that was Raw & Real from DjBigO317, I think more personal cause all the years they had been working toagther so I am goin to flip it a bit.

Charleesmiles: Rep yo city and tell the readers what it has been like for you in the Music Industry? DjBigO317: Hahaha well currently I Rep the Midwest I live in Indianapolis,Indiana. I grew up down south of here in Fort Knox,Ky that is south of Louisville. Well I got my start in Djing by way of Louisville,Ky thru a guy named Dj Bam. When I was a shorty I used to watch Dj Bam and his crew rock out on the weekends on the westend at Shawnee Park. Djing happened to me by a freak accident, I used to be a (B-Boy) a pretty boy and a damn great Break Dance, I got hurt it was a freak accident while dancing, the doctors said your break dancing days are over. I was sick to my stomach cause break dancing was keeping me out of the streets. I still wanted to be apart of my crew but I didn't know what I wanted to do or could do. One weekend my crew had a battle (dancing) at Broadway Skating Rink I meet the Dj, i forgot his name but he asked me to help him dj, he wanted to take a break he said "Don't let the music stop" & I didn't! I interned at WLOU 1350 am off of 22nd & Broadway right there in Louisville, we didn't have a Fm station that would play Hip Hop Music. Hip Hop Music in the 80's was really untested so radio stations were scared to play it or were just not allowing it period in a market like Louisville.

Charleesmiles: What is your thought on the state of the Music Industry? DjBigO317: Can I lie? Its perfect everything is all gravy........ yeah right its really Fucked Up, Serious you have Dj's in the South talking cash shit & over charging Indie Artist. You have the record labels who don't respect the the dj's worth. I mean I can go on and on, long story short its all Fucked Up Period.

Charleesmiles: Wow those are some strong feeling that you just expressed, ok so you been around involved in the music industry for many moons just how long have you been in volved? DjBigO317: Since 1986 on the serious side, I got just about got 30 years on the scene of this thing we call the Music Industry.

Charleesmiles: What are some of the most (OMG) I can't believe that just happen in front of me while touring, djing and working at the radio staions? DjBigO317: The ladies when I traveled around the world  with artists will do anything and everything... just so they can get with the stars!! I am gonna leave it at that.

Charleesmiles: How long do you plan on staying in the Music Industry? DjBigO317: Well I retired back in 2007 after been shot in a Atlanta Nite Club while djing with another dj. But in 2009 I came back out of retirement because I heard this artist named Friedel Pinkston up in Catersville,Ga his stage name is Sy Yung. Thats when I knew I was not ready to leave the Music Business along, its apart of my soul its who I am. I am going to stay involved until the day I pass on. My youngest son (15) Marquise Jackson aka DjSquad574 is up next so he is my personal project, I am going to tech him everything I know & support him 100% for him to succeed in this nasty biz.
Charleesmiles: Lets talk Dj Coalitions, how do you feel about them are they really effective? DjBigO317: 1st I wanna Salute the O.G Dj Johnny O of Nerve Djs, for even extending an invitation for me to join a great family environment, I didn't use the word coalition cause its miss used and miss understood. So I'm a proud member of the Nerve Djs. Now as far as the others, my big mama always told me if you don't have anything nice to say then just keep your mouth closed period!! I still feel djs are still effective because they are the "Spinal cord" of the entertainment field.
Charleesmiles: Let talk about some big things I been reading about involving Mr.DjBigO317, would you care to tell these readers what your cooking up? DjBigO317: Sure I was just signed as the President of Operations & Radio Placements for NuOrder Entertainment Music Group llc. Simply put I make sure the labels radio ready music gets out to all the media outlets, ensuring that all music is encoded in BDS, Mediabase & ready for Itunes, Amazon and all other Digital Media Retail outlets. Insuring that videos are MtvJamz ready, Vevo ready among other things like setting up interviews at radio stations.

Charleesmiles: So if you had to give any advice about this music biz what would it be? DjBigO317: Well understand what your about to get into, research create a business plan of plan of action. Always build relationships and don't trust everyone you meet period always remember action speak louder than words always. In the 30 years I have I can say I have less then 10 Real True contacts in my phone out of 3500 phone numbers I have. It tells you there are that many snakes out there so keep your grass cut low!! For example look at Gansta Boo & Drumma Boy they are doing things on the Indie side & making great money do to the relationships they have built over the years.

Charleesmiles: With that been said I wanna thank you for taking the time out of you busy busy road schedule were can the readers find you at to hire you for your services? DjBigO317: Thank you for even taking an interest in letting me speak on a few things.. alot of folks are scared to really speak to me by doin an interview with me cause I'm like really Raw & Real.. No Politics over here! But you all can look me up on my website thanks my company I own run & operate with my son DjSquad574. All you can find me on you can like my Facebook Fan Page Media and Booking Inquiries contact 317-701-5285 "Serious Inquiries"

Charleesmiles: you all can follow me on

Talented young lady Bernisha with a bright future

At the age of six Bernisha discovered her voice.She learned about music as she watch her parents performed at churches and social events.At the age of eight her father saw her playing his piano. He taught her a few chords and the rest is history. She wrote many songs at a young age but her first completed song was called "Long ago". Now at the age at 22 she's considered a grounded and talented vocalist, writer/poet, pianist and producer, writing and producing her songs. She has performed in places such as, Cafe 290, Wild Wing Cafe, Moonlight Lounge, The famous Underground in downtown Atlanta and many more places. Although in Competition, sometimes performing with tracks she recorded and a lot of times performing live, she always received positive feedback from the judges, producers as well as the competitors. She worked with different producers like B-rich, Noise Beats and more and have also been requested to work with other producers. The compliments received always talks about her creative words, music and beats. Today her music imitates her life and may very well imitate yours. If you Listen to her message in song and music you will, love and feel her positive message and be able to relate to it in some part of your life.
Be on the look out for this beautiful young lady..

We're CD Baby. And We Want to Fix the Songwriter Royalty Mess, Once and for All...

The following comes from CD Baby president Brian Felsen, who has an ambitious plan to help independent songwriters get paid on all their global activity.

Whenever music is used in TV, radio, internet, live performance, video games, film, and more — royalties are owed to the songwriter. But signing up for a performing rights organization like ASCAP or BMI is not enough.

A seemingly endless number of organizations around the world collect royalties for songwriters. The challenge is actually claiming your money.

Until now, it’s been virtually impossible for independent songwriters to collect all the royalties owed to them on a global level. So we aim to remedy this with a comprehensive royalty collection service called CD Baby Pro. CD Baby Pro is designed to give independent artists the same royalty collection resources that major label artists have benefited from for years, plus the benefit of worldwide music distribution.

You can't knock on all those doors yourself. That's why we created CD Baby Pro; we’re doing all the door-knocking for you.

How are we going to pull this off? CD Baby has partnered with digital publishing service SongTrust to interface with performance rights organizations and collect royalties on the artist's behalf.
Here's an example: anytime you sell a download overseas, you're owed mechanical royalties that can only be collected from the local performance rights organization. Any time your music is played on streaming sites like Spotify, you're owed publishing royalties in addition to the normal streaming fee you're paid by the retailer. Any time your music is placed in a TV show you're owed performance royalties beyond the fee you've already been paid for the sync license. With CD Baby Pro, we’ll make sure you get paid every time.
Let me go into more detail. CD Baby Pro includes 4 primary services.

(1) Worldwide music distribution (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more).
(2) Songwriter affiliation/registration with ASCAP or BMI
(3) Song registration with ASCAP or BMI, as well as collection agencies from around the world.
(4) Global Royalty Collection on the artist’s behalf.

Right now, CD Baby Pro is now available for all US-based artists. It costs just $99 per album and $39 per single. This one-time submission fee also includes the full arsenal of CD Baby's distribution services: sales on download and streaming sites like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, and more; physical distribution to over 15,000 brick-and-mortar record stores worldwide; CD Baby’s Sync Licensing program; and all CD Baby's promotional tools, such as their MusicStore for Facebook app and their HTML Music Store widget.
For existing CD Baby artists, CD Baby Pro is now available as an add-on. The upgrade to CD Baby Pro takes minutes to complete and costs $59 per album or $39 per single.
I'm really interested in knowing what you think. Leave comment

The Music Industry Has 99 Problems. And They Are... Thankfully, this isn't one of the music industry's problems (yet).

But these are (sorted by category):

1. Overall recording sales continue to decline, pretty much every year.
2. Digital formats continue to grow, but not enough to overcome broader declines in physical CDs.
3. Vinyl continues to grow, but remains a tiny niche compared to broader album, download and streaming sales.
4. Streaming continues to grow, but potentially at the expense of more lucrative downloads.
5. A-la-carte downloads continue to grow, though the broader impact on CDs has been disastrous.
6. Post-album, labels have failed to establish a lucrative, reliable bundle to monetize their recordings.
7. Most consumers now attribute very little value to the recording itself, and most consumption (through YouTube, ad-supported piracy, or BitTorrent) is at little-to-zero cost.
8. A generally lukewarm and uncertain economic climate only adds to consumer resistance against paying for music.
9. Important artists that were largely developed by major label investment frequently leave the major label system. In the case of Metallica, they continue to enjoy substantial profits after these deals are over. Or, in the case of Amanda Palmer, catapult to much higher success.
10. Other times, artists refuse to deliver new material to their labels, even under contract. Or, they demand a contract renegotiation once successful.
11. Labels, which create and develop the content, often have little control over its subsequent distribution. For example, labels will often pay (in one form or another) for traditional radio play, while radio station conglomerates reap the advertising benefits and pay nothing in recording royalties. They also determine when to add or drop these songs.
12. Traditional record stores have largely imploded, with holdouts like Amoeba now relics of an earlier era. And for the chains that have held on, the picture is grim: HMV, for example, is soiled in bad debt and bait for vulture investors like Apollo Global Management.
13. So-called 'big box' retailers like Walmart often have strikingly-small music collections, often with heavily-discounted discs (ie, $5). This compounds the downward spiral on CDs by lowering availability, even though older demographics are often still receptive to the format.
14. Major labels never quite pivoted, forcing extremely uncomfortable mergers, continued losses, and an aversion to signing risky bands or trends. That includes the recent acquisition of EMI by Universal Music Group, which featured heavy concessions and ultimately, a very questionable valuation.
15. Most artists, understandably, have very little trust in major labels. And oftentimes, outright anger for them. All of which makes it difficult for labels to rally artists around their goals and agendas, or engage in collaborative, experimental, or more flexible deal structures.
16. Oh, and labels frequently forget to pay their artists, thanks to highly-complicated and deliberately-opaque accounting practices.
17. And when they do decide to pay their artists, it's typically in paltry amounts. For example, try 8 cents on a 99-cent download, for starters.
18. And thanks to heavy financial pressures, the creative process at major labels has become increasingly formulaic, overly refined, and often unsatisfying to the artists involved.
19. A large number of legacy artists are now suing their major labels, arguing that downloads should be classified as 'licenses' instead of 'sales'. And, thanks to a monumental victory by F.B.T. Productions, this shift will create a massive financial obligation for labels.
20. Most people who work at major labels have very low job security. Which makes it difficult for them to develop longer-term artist careers, while also making it difficult for the signed artists themselves.
21. Instead of enjoying some theoretical resurgence, indie labels are mostly getting squeezed by devalued and declining recordings, piracy, and far greater leverage from artists themselves.
22. A once-promising shift towards 360-degree models never quite generated enough money for major labels, even though major labels generally insist on broader rights deals with all new artists.

23. The average consumer goes to just 1.5 shows a year (per Live Nation). Songkick's Ian Hogarth pegged that number closer to 1.
24. Ticket prices to superstar shows (ie, the one or two shows that people actually want to attend) often soar into the hundreds of dollars. This is often pumped by an aggressive and/or rigged secondary ticketing market.
25. And, because fans are paying so much for these one or two shows, there's often heightened expectations and demand at these shows. Which means, a lot more pressure for the artists and everyone else involved.
26. And, the secondary ticketing market is often fed before the actual market, thanks to bots, aggressive scalpers, or the artists and ticketing providers themselves.
27. Fans frequently miss shows from their favorite artists, even when these artists roll into their hometowns.
28. But wait: despite an onrush of apps and services like Songkick and Bandsintown, attendance at shows hasn't really increased.
29. And despite rhetoric to the contrary, touring is actually extremely difficult and expensive for most artists. Even for more established artists like Imogen Heap.
30. Meanwhile, service fees continue to outrage fans, even though artist guarantees and advances are often a culprit (but it's complicated...)
31. Classical orchestras and ensembles continue to struggle, thanks to a continuing problem invigorating younger audiences. That has forced lots of smaller-market orchestras to downsize or discontinue, while applying plenty of pressure to bigger-city orchestras as well.
32. Merch table CDs, once a very solid source of on-the-road revenue for developing bands, has now basically evaporated.

33. An extremely high number of music-focused startups fail, even those that aren't reliant upon major label licenses. It's almost a death trap.
34. Oftentimes, specific sectors of the startup space are wildly oversaturated. That includes the artist DIY space, which still has fresh entrants despite numerous overlapping competitors and heavy concentration among leaders like ReverbNation, CD Baby, Bandcamp, and TuneCore.
35. In the case of digital label services, oversaturation and tepid consumer demand for the end product has forced consolidation. That includes the Orchard, which has swallowed competitors like IODA and Iris Distribution. Which has also led to layoffs.
36. Unfortunately, artists seem mostly hesitant when it comes to the purchase of higher-end DIY offerings like analytics packages. Part of that is rooted in tight budgets, though the irony is that artists frequently spend thousands on gear like guitars and amps.
37. Startups that are reliant upon major label licenses typically have trouble establishing a meaningful and sustainable profit level. In fact, that is a continuing concern for one of the most well-financed music startups today, Spotify. Others have crashed-and-burned in tragic ways.
38. Many investors, including David Pakman of Venrock, have decided not to invest at all in music startups based on licensing issues. Others, like Union Square Ventures, have decided to largely avoid financing startups that rely on expensive label licenses.
39. Even the largest music companies (far past startup phase) have difficulty launching in foreign countries. That includes iTunes, Spotify, and VEVO, thanks to a maze of licensing pitfalls and complications. That makes global scaling difficult.
40. The music startup space often falls victim to fantastic bubbles that quickly pop. That includes ad-supported downloads (ie, Spiralfrog), ringtones, anything Long Tail, and full-track OTA downloads (and many things mobile music). In the current environment, it might include tech-based, algorithm-oriented discovery.
41. Even highly-successful startup concepts can enjoy a very short shelf life, thanks to incredibly fickle and distracted audiences. The best example of this recently might be, a company still struggling to regain its peak from the summer of 2011.
42. Acquirers of hot startups often suffer from buyer's remorse, thanks to a gross misread of the value proposition and long-term prospects. CBS' $280 million aquisition of sticks out as one example.

43. The artist has greater and more direct access to fans than ever before in history. Unfortunately, so do millions of other artists.
44. Indeed, the typical music fan is flooded with music, not to mention videos, games, ebooks, and porn, all of which makes it extremely difficult to win and retain the attention of future fans.
45. This also puts pressure on the artist to shorten the release cycle, and pump out content at a quick pace.
46. The artist currently lacks a centralized hub online that is a default for music fans, thanks to the erosion of MySpace Music. Facebook was once viewed as a replacement for MySpace Music, but has since steered heavily towards OpenGraph.
47. Incidentally, Facebook's shift to OpenGraph also caused serious problems for a number of band-focused startups, most notably BandPage and FanRX, among others.
48. 99.9% of all artists cannot make a living wage off of their music, based on stats gleaned from TuneCore.
49. In fact, David Lowery, a top thinker in the space and an artist himself, feels that artists are worse off now than they were in the analog era. And, he points to lower payments, less control, a shift in revenue towards tech companies, and less secure copyright protections to prove his case.
50. Most artists are overwhelmed with tasks that go far beyond making music. That includes everything from Tweeting fans, updating Facebook pages, managing metadata, uploading content, interpreting data, managing Kickstarter campaigns, and figuring out online sales strategies. All of which makes it harder to smoke dope backstage, and enjoy one's groupies.
51. The average musician is underemployed. According to a musician survey conducted by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) earlier this year, just 42 percent of musicians are working full-time in music. The rest are complementing their music with day jobs that have little or nothing to do with music.
52. Musician salaries are low. Also according to the FMC survey, the average musician makes $34,455 a year from music-specific gigs, with overall incomes (music+non-music) averaging $55,561.
53. Musicians are increasingly playing free shows, in the hopes of getting paid work down the line. According to a recently-released report from the UK-based Musicians' Union, more than 60 percent of artists have played at least one free gig in the last year.
54. The idea that artists can survive off of non-recorded assets and experiences remains speculative (at best). That includes everything from "selling t-shirts" to playing in-person concerts for big bidders. It doesn't seem to be paying the bills.
55. Even monstrously-large video superstars like OK Go can have trouble generating significant revenue (based on their own admission). And, big sponsors like State Farm can only attach themselves to so many videos.
56. Artists live under the constant threat of leaks, especially popular artists. The worst result is often the leak of an unreleased, half-baked recording, an issue recently experienced by both Skrillex and Ryan Leslie. For both, the thefts significantly disrupted their creative processes.

57. Music publishing, once thought to be insulated from digital disruption, continues to experience marked declines from mechanical licensing (based on imploding CD sales).
58. Actually, performance royalties are also getting disrupted as well. Societies like ASCAP and BMI are suddenly facing a huge threat from direct licensing technologies, with mega-publishers like Sony/ATV leading the charge.

59. Traditional radio tends to play the same 14 songs in heavy rotation, with mind-numbing regularity and lots of commercials.
60. And, this repetitive playlist is often cloned throughout the United States, thanks to formatting homogeneity and heavy ownership consolidation.
61. Even worse, a lot of listeners don't seem to mind. Which means very little music actually gets into rotation and discovery becomes harder.
62. Traditional radio doesn't pay for the performance of recordings. And, if they're forced to, they'll probably play fewer songs, or sign more direct deals with labels like Big Machine Records.

Internet Radio.
63. Songwriters are increasingly getting screwed by digital formats, most notably, internet radio. In one disclosure, songwriter Desmond Child reported more than 6 million plays on Pandora for "Livin' On a Prayer," only to receive a check for $110. Ellen Shipley, a songwriter whose biggest hit was "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," received $39 for more than 3.1 million plays.
64. Yet Pandora, the largest internet radio provider, still can't make a consistent profit.
65. Which is why Pandora's stock is in the crapper.
66. But that hasn't stopped Pandora executives like Tim Westergren from cashing in tens of millions in stock. Which compounds problems #65 and #70.
67. Oh by the way, almost every other music stock is also in the crapper (including traditional radio stocks).
68. And, Pandora still can't effectively license in most countries outside of the US. Most notably, that includes the UK (though the company recently found a way to enter Australia and New Zealand).
69. But this isn't just Pandora's problem. Others, most notably, have been severely curtailing their internet radio services based on licensing costs.
70. All of which is why in the US, Pandora is asking Congress to lower the royalties it pays to labels (via SoundExchange). But artists already feel like they're getting screwed, which is why they now hate Pandora.
71. And, the royalties that are being paid to SoundExchange often end up in massive, unpaid piles. That is, hundreds-of-millions-large piles of unpaid collections. Which of course, SoundExchange doesn't like to talk about but collects interest on.

72. Streaming services like Spotify offer very little transparency on their payout structures, which makes it a low-trust partner for artists.
73. Indies and smaller artists also complain that their rates are lower than bigger, major labels. Some have pointed to different tiers of compensation, though few have a concrete idea on exactly how payouts are structured.
74. Payouts to artists are not only hard to figure out, they are almost universally low. Which is why artists like Rihanna and Taylor Swift have opted not to license Spotify. And why Taylor Swift's label, Big Machine Records, has indicated that no future, frontline releases will be licensed to Spotify.
75. Spotify actually pays the labels, often with huge, multi-million dollar advances attached. But labels frequently don't pay their artists, either for legitimate (ie, the artist is unrecouped) or illegitimate (ie, they're screwing the artist) reasons.
76. The number of people actually paying for streaming services remains quite low, at least compared to the broader population of music fans. That could change, though YouTube remains a massively huge, and free, competitor. In fact, YouTube listening volumes absolutely eclipse those of Spotify.
77. Downloads remain a more lucrative purchase for artists (and labels), despite rhetoric indicating otherwise. Sorry, most fans aren't streaming songs thousands of times, even on their favorite tracks.
78. The priorities of streaming services like Spotify skew towards acquisitions, IPOs, and other liquidation events, not towards the interests of content holders and artists. And if you doubt that, just ask Goldman Sachs (a $50 million Spotify investor). Which means artist payout issues may improve somewhat, but probably not dramatically.

79. The DMCA, once considered a reasonable method for flagging and removing infringing content while protecting online companies from liability, has now become an unmanageable and dysfunctional process for most content owners.
80. Even worse, the DMCA has become a highly-profitable, aggressive, and artist-unfriendly loophole for companies like Grooveshark.
81. Even Google, perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the DMCA, is now complaining. The search giant is now getting flooded by nearly 3.5 million takedown notices a week, causing Google legal director Fred Von Lohmann to oddly question its fairness.
82. Yet Google also remains a huge part of the problem. Searching for torrents and pirated material is not only easy, it's frequently auto-completed for the user in Google's searchbox.
82. The RIAA, a group with only limited success fighting piracy and more powerful tech, radio, and other lobbies, remains a questionable luxury for labels. In fact, top RIAA executives like CEO Cary Sherman are still somehow pulling multi-million dollar salaries from their major label constituents, despite questionable effectiveness.
84. The RIAA has also burned endless amounts of money chasing defendants like Jammie Thomas, who is challenging a recent fine of $222,000 for downloading 24 songs to the Supreme Court. That case is now more than 7 years old, with a near-zero impact on file-sharing and piracy levels.
85. Enter iTunes Match, which is offering to upload user collections for a modest yearly fee. That sounds great, except one concern is that Apple is effectively validating and granting amnesty on massive collections of illegally-downloaded music.

Music Conferences
86. Music conferences are often expensive, both in terms of time and money.
87. There are also too many of them. Which is why music conferences frequently repeat the same information, over and over again.
88. Music conferences are sometimes held in far away, difficult-to-reach places, and last for days. Which also means that music conferences can be giant distractions from work that needs to get done back at your office.

89. Headphones are great, and the world has progressed past the white earbud. The only problem is that lots of users are blasting them non-stop, with little regard for near-certain ear damage ahead. Which is why numerous reports continue to ring the alarm on future hearing loss.

The Environment
90. One thought is that digital formats and cloud-based access is an environmentally-friendly step forward for the music industry. But some environmentalists theorize that the digital transition may actually be more damaging to our Earth. Part of the reason is that cloud-hosting requires massive server facilities while comsuming massive amounts of energy and pumping out lots of waste.
91. On top of that, digital formats only coexist alongside physical devices like iPads, iPhones, laptops, and sophisiticated headphones, all of which gets thrown away and replaced after a few years (or shorter).
92. Other, more traditional music assets, like vinyl, t-shirts and merchandise, are also damaging to the environment yet a major revenue focus for artists and labels.

93. Conservatories and music schools like Berklee charge exorbitant amounts for their programs, though post-graduation job and income prospects are generally dim. Indeed, the cost of attending Berklee College of Music for one year is $62,319, according to the school, which is actually on-par with institutions like Julliard and Oberlin.

General Disruption & Misguided Thinking
94. Most of the innovations upsetting the music industry are coming from the outside, typically from Silicon Valley. That includes everything from Twitter to Facebook to apps to the MP3, with the industry typically scrambling to adapt or otherwise keep up.
95. The Long Tail may have minted Chris Anderson a lot of speaking fees, but it never quite panned out in reality. Instead, rankings like the Ultimate Chart are clogged with heavily-promoted, mainstream acts like Katy Perry and Pitbull. And, that goes for top rankings across platforms like iTunes, YouTube, and Spotify, as well.
96. The concept that great music naturally finds its audience seems elegant in theory, but is ultimately unrealistic. Buried gems remain in the digital era, while the most successful artists still seem to be those with the best backing, team, or combination thereof.

97. Established music companies often overpay their executives by a wild margin, despite massive and ongoing losses. That may have the effect of skewing the executive focus towards personal enrichment, while sending red flags to investors. Glaring examples of this include Warner Music Group, Live Nation, and Pandora, among others. The RIAA also suffers from this convoluted compensation problem.
98. Facebook Likes are often useless to artists.
99. Very few music companies actually make a solid, consistent profit

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Huge Benefits of Licensing Your Music

With all the changes that have been going on in the music industry over the past decade, one of the biggest and most lucrative has been the rise of music licensing. It is now very common to hear your favorite song not only on the radio, but on tv shows, commercials, and video games as well. This can only be great news for artists and musicians whose goal is to share their music with as many people as possible. Despite all this, there are still some musicians who feel that licensing your music is similar to “selling out” to corporations. So we’re going to discuss a few of the benefits of having your music licensed.
The number one most important benefit of licensing your music is exposure, exposure, exposure! One of the main reasons people write and record their music is so that others can listen to and enjoy it. Sure, some people may be in it just for the money, but any band or singer who’s played a great show where the audience was really into your music knows that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment. Before the dawn of the digital era, it was very difficult to get your music out to the masses except for the traditional distribution methods like radio and cd stores. Now, you can literally write and record a song on your computer and share it with people all around the world in five minutes. That should be a clear indicator to skeptics that the business has changed and it’s time to get in to the licensing game. Having your music placed on a 30 second iPod commercial today has the potential to jumpstart your career in ways never before imagined. Even if it’s just for a small independent film, the people who are watching those movies are the exact kind of people that you will want to expose your music to. And now thanks to the internet and song id apps, anyone can listen to your song, find out who you are, go to your website, join your fanclub, and buy your whole album in a matter of minutes. All of these steps are essential to building a strong foundation of fans, and you’re only helping yourself by exposing your music to the masses

Another benefit of licensing your music is the money! Of course you’re not going to just give away your music to a video game for free; you get paid! And for many struggling musicians, this can be the difference between being able to pay next month’s rent and not. While all placements differ in the amount of money paid (some won’t pay anything at all, but the exposure could be great!) you can usually expect to get anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a song placement. And for the big films and tv shows, that number can jump up to 20-30 grand. You’re also usually paid up front for your song placement so there’s no long waiting period to get your hard earned money.

Another benefit that is akin to gaining exposure is building up your resume. If you’re an independent band who is looking to take their career to the next level, securing a manager and publicist are two very important steps. If you’re able to secure several small song placements, it can go a long way in building up your resume and showing potential managers that you are serious about your work, and that other people have noticed it too. And you never know, maybe a potential manager or publicist heard your work through various projects and decides to seek you out. The only thing that’s guaranteed in this business is that there is no single path to success, so you should be doing everything you can to try and succeed. If you put yourself out there enough times, the odds are that someone, somewhere will take an interest in your work. So don’t leave it to chance; get out there and make your music work for you!

If I Never Made a Dime....

I understand how frustrating the music industry can seem at times. Sometimes it's like you are shouting into a void and you hear no reply except your own echo. But you have to ask yourself something and then decide:

If I never made a dime from my music, would I still do it?

I asked myself rather recently and decided yes. Nothing will make me stop (permanently), even if I never become rich, famous, etc. A lot of people get into music because of how others make them feel when they play. I know I had a moment like that when I was 17. I was onstage, in a band, and fans (okay, my classmates) were screaming my name. That's when I knew for sure that that's what I wanted to do.

But as I continued on the path, I found so many other rewarding things that kept me in music. It’s different for everyone. For me, the challenge of writing a song that is different from all the others, and then delivering that song to unsuspecting ears (regardless of their reaction) is worth it.

When you know that you would choose it no matter the outcome, then you have taken a step toward success. That’s when you stop chasing your tail--and other people’s ideas of perfection--and do what you love. People love seeing that genuine passion and are drawn to it.

And if the answer is no, that’s okay too.

But here is what you have to accept:

It’s a two-way street. No one is making you choose music. Likewise, you can’t make them choose YOUR music.

You are not entitled to fans, fame, riches, etc. No one is obligated to like your music, come to your shows, or buy your CD.

The flipside is that it is in your power to make a plan that is within your abilities and is sustainable so that you can continue to do what you love. Everyone’s skill set, attention span, natural aptitude, attitude, education, and determination is different, and therefore so is every path. Luckily, most of these things are completely within your control.

The question becomes... Are you doing it for you?

How To Balance A Family, Your Music Career, And Your Stresses

It can be difficult for adults to have to take care of their families and manage their music careers. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. As a result, here are a few steps in how to do take care of your family and your music career without getting stressed.

Try to set goals for yourself when you manage your family or career. When you go to work each day, try to set some goals for you to accomplish. For instance, let’s say your goal for today is to finish the report that your boss wants. At the end of the day, you will feel better about yourself knowing that you were able to finish that report. When you accomplish these smaller goals, you will feel happier, more confident, and less stressed.

Delegate part of your responsibilities. When taking care of the family, get your spouse to help out. If your kids are older, get them to assist you. If you are at work, only take on what you can handle. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Learn to delegate and work with other people.
If you try to do everything, you will get stressed and anxious. A person can only do so much in a given day. Do not everything. Learn to manage your responsibilities. If you feel like your doing too much, then take a break and evaluate your situation.

Try to do things in terms of their importance. Let’s say that you have to clean the living room, go to the supermarket, and wash the dishes. Go to the supermarket since this is the most important thing that needs done. Do the other two tasks later on. Determine what needs done right now and do those particular tasks in order of importance.

Managing your family and career does not have to very stressful. Learn to budget your time and manage your tasks. Eventually, you will be able to balance your career and family. If you still have trouble, then talk to a professional who can give you additional advice.

Should You Give Your Music Away For Free?

Hot Topics in the Industry

Allow me to be searingly direct... I think the root of the issue that so many independent artists don’t fully realize yet, is that they’re NOT selling music anymore.

They’re selling an experience. At a deeper level, aside from the stage presence, pyrotechnics or lack thereof, this includes their story, what they represent, what they are SAYING.

Successful Artists and bands, whether they realize it or not, whether it is sculpted and massaged, artificial or authentic, they are doing this really well.

You understand that it’s about ATTENTION. Everyone has ADD.

What separates people who get NOTICED, and people who don’t?

It all comes down to doing something extraordinary. That means being something extraordinary.

We are not shift workers...

We can’t passively clock in and eagerly clock out, EXPECTING a pay-check just for showing up.

Because IF we do, then that’s what is going to happen.

We’ll become shift workers, and no-one can say or tell you that you didn’t do your job...

I don’t have any issues of any kind with shift work or shift workers... I used to be one, but one thing i’m certain of - is it is NOT the mentality for success in the new music industry.

No One Owes Us Anything

Everyones talking about the Amanda Palmer Kerfuffle...

Look... All she’s doing is creating more opportunity, and modeling what can be done today. Good for her!

Good for US!

It doesn’t have anything to do with her not offering to pay the musicians. She doesn’t OWE them anything.

It is the BUSINESS of the artists and bands that she invited, to CREATIVELY design and maximize the exposure and promotional opportunity from the event.

It is ALSO their responsibility to handle negotiations.

This is the thing with us musicians and artists...

We don’t take CONTROL of our business, and become content with LETTING THINGS BE the way SOMEONE ELSE says they should be.

O, it must be a “sign...”


Go and GET IT. Fuck what it LOOKS like the “world is telling you...”

No one is going to give anything to you. That is the unfairly fair reality that the majority of us have to deal with.

SOME people will by default have a nice, smooth, almost perfectly sequenced path of development through some “standard” musical career carnival ride...

That’s great, but most of us WON’T, and that is a good thing. It’s what makes success taste that much sweeter.

The people who float through a “cookie cutter career path” aren’t the ones YOU want to try and be like, or learn from, anyway.

You Gotta Handle Biznazz

If you don’t know how to handle business in the new music business, you simply won’t exist past any level of mediocrity.

That’s NOT what the music industry is about.

If they’re ARE people in society who can and will stand up, splash around, live fully, and inspire others by WHAT they have to say... It’s INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS!

Please please please, i beg of you...

Do NOT fall into this “Well, i’m entitled to my appropriate rations of beans and rice” mentality.

It’s career and passion suicide.

Why didn’t someone UP the antie, and come back to Amanda and say... Ok, well, let’s work something out, i can provide you with x more fans at your show, as well as promotion of your new album to MY 10,000 fans...

So therefore, I believe I am worth “X“ to perform at your concert event.

All she can say is... NO.

You can still have fun with it, don’t look at is as you trying to ”get over on her,“ look at it as you just taking care of YOUR business.

If it doesn’t work, then design some other way to take advantage of the show to grow your fan-base and make more sales.

If you are asking the question of, should you give your music away... You are missing the point.

It’s about testing models, creating a strategy, and CREATIVELY executing until you find something that works...

Throw a bunch of stuff on the wall and see what sticks.

You also need to be doing your best to utilize all you have, to do ALL you can, where you are.


You need a focused plan of action.

I know we musicians have something against that word “strategy” for some reason, but it really is going to be the difference that makes or breaks careers in the future.

Musicians, just like Authors, at least for the full extent of ours and our children’s lifetime, need whats known as a PLATFORM.

It is without question the single biggest asset you will ever own, and it is something no one can ever take away from you....

But you can certainly screw yourself by not building one, and/or by not valuing and adding to their lives in some meaningful way.

Should you give your music away for free?

Maybe. But I hope you see that this isn’t a question someone else can answer for you.

You need to be testing all kinds of things, and figuring out what works for you to live and fulfill your purpose and goals as an artist or band...

What are those? Do you have any?

In terms of business, which is a much more simple question to answer...

...If you give away a digital download in exchange for an email address, is that worth it?

How valuable is that new person who is now willing to at least “tolerate” what you have to say, and potentially even be excited about you and what you are doing?

Every year, how much is that new fan worth financially to your business?

Over 5 years, how much is that new fan worth?

Since the attention of, and your relationship-with fans is monumentally more valuable than a one time 99 cent sale...

For me, there is ZERO QUESTION what is more valuable...

I would easily PAY $1,000, right now, to give away ALL my songs to 10,000 people who subscribed to my email list, and were interested in me and my music.

Again, it’s about building a PLATFORM, and then developing a relationship with your audience. Your music is the expression of who you are, what you have to say, and what you stand for or represent.

The people who nail that, will never have any problem finding or keeping fans... and the people who do THAT - will never have funding or money problems so long as they have enough savvy to understand that for a business to work, they need to make a profit.

I.E. The value they create, creates value for the stakeholders. In this case --> the Band/Artist.

Creativity needs to be applied to both the expression and creation of your music, as well as to the marketing and business management side.

Amanda Palmer already understands this, you need to build an audience, or you need to get in front of other peoples audiences...

But when you do that, you need to have some at least BASIC strategy of how this is going to help you grow your tribe and expand your reach in some way, otherwise you are missing the whole opportunity.

It’s not about, nor has it ever been about the “measly sum” of whatever payment these bands might have made to play at her show, it’s about HOW can we LEVERAGE this opportunity, (another word we don’t particularly like)
to not completely BLOW this amazing chance we have to play in front of this incredible and large group of people!

You’ve got to give it a little more thought, otherwise you’ll be like the guys talking about how the “glory days” are gone and all the songs on the radio suck...

Be that as it may, that’s COMPLETELY missing the MASSIVE opportunity staring at you-right in front of your face.

So should you give your music away for free?

You tell me.

If you have to ask someone else, then you are missing the boat completely.

You are in control, the strategy, the reasoning, the numbers, these are a part of your responsibility.

Please spend some time asking yourself some specific questions to pin YOUR answer to this one down-like the MusicPreneur you are!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Kid Rock, who has announced that tickets for his summer tour will cost $20, is less-than-impressed with the ticket prices for Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s Legends of Summer Tour. Via Hip Hop DX:
When asked about the ticket prices, which seem to max out at $275 for a non-VIP ticket, during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Kid Rock immediately referred to the prices as being “garbage.”
“It’s garbage. It’s highway robbery,” said Kid Rock. “I don’t care who you are. I would consider both of them in the circle of friends in the business, but I don’t agree with it.”
Rock says he went out of his way to work with Live Nation to ensure $20 tickets and $4 12-ounce draft beers at all of his shows this summer. He figures he lost between $50,000 – $100,000 in the process.
“It’s gotten out of hand. The price of concerts, the price of entertainment period. Whether it’s a sporting event, going to the movies, buy a soda there, whatever…I’ve always tried to keep prices [to] what I think are fair. And I’ve always said I’m proud that I can walk around with my head held high and look someone in the eye knowing that I haven’t taken an unhonest dollar from a working man. But how can we make it better,” Kid Rock questioned.
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Afrika Bambaataa REFUTES Stabbing & Gay Rumors

(AllHipHop News) Afrika Bambaataa, Hip-Hop Legend and music pioneer, was reportedly stabbed a few weeks back.
Members of the Zulu Nation have clarified that Afrika Bambaataa has recovered and also dispel rumors related to this event.
Ahmad Henderson, Africa Bambaataa’s manager, who was at the hospital, refuted the notion that he was stabbed.
“Ridiculous. There are too many rumors. Bam checked into the hospital for chest pains. And he came out fine. Three days later he was Radio City Music Hall. If he was stabbed how, was he on stage performing?”
“Afrika Bambaataa was not stabbed so we do not know where this is coming from,” added Mickey Bentson of The Mighty Zulu Nation, who was also at the hospital when Bam was treated.
“Yes he did go to the hospital because of chest pains bothering him and everything checked out alright,” Mickey Benston continued. “So when did he get stabbed? That’s a rumor, sorry that didn’t happen to Afrika Bambaataa.”
Ernie Paniccioli, Hip-Hop Photographer, refuted the claim that the stabbing was the rumored response to a date rape.
Earlier, The Star & Buc Wild Show alleged on air that the stabbing stemmed from a rumored date rape, in which Bam had drugged a man and attempted oral sex.
In the rumor, the man woke up and stabbed the legend.
Ernie Paniccioli told this is patently false.
“It is BS,” Paniccioli said, “to hell with anyone who defames a man who has devoted his life to Peace and dignity and who has been a beacon to generations of our youth.”
Brother Ernie goes further, suggesting that this attack on Afrika Bambaataa’s character may be in response to members of the Zulu Nation recently condemning Rick Ross for his date rape lyrics on UOENO .
Brother Ernie warns, “Never underestimate the Devil.”
Afrika Bambaataa is one of the pioneers of break beat deejaying and has spent his life spreading Hip-Hop throughout the world as the founder of the Universal Zulu Nation.
Although Wikipedia lists his birthday as April 19th, sources say his actual birthday is April 17th, he turns 56 today.
Brother Ernie continues, “I have know Bam for 35 years on this Earth and can vouch for him as a man, as a human being and as a mighty leader and yes even as an Icon. I will defend him with every breathe I have in me. I can bear witness to his spirit and his warmth and his leadership.”



Rick Ross is crestfallen over losing his Reebok deal because of that date rape song ... but he's also bitter because he believes the shoe company owed him a second chance.

Sources close to the rapper tell TMZ ... Ross will lose between $3.5 million and $5 million ... he was getting a check each time he wore the shoes.

TMZ broke the story ... Reebok dumped Ross for releasing the song U.O.E.N.O., which includes the lyric: "Put Molly [Ecstasy] all in the champagne. She ain't even know it. I took her home and I enjoy that. She ain't even know it."

Ross issued a tepid apology ... suggesting the lyrics were actually misinterpreted. He also pulled the song -- which was only on a mixtape.

But that wasn't enough for Reebok, which was taking heat from women's groups for keeping Ross in its stable of spokespeople.

Ross is telling people he was entitled to corporate forgiveness because he did so much for the brand ... bringing classic Reeboks back in style in the hip-hop community.

But Reebok was unmoved, saying, "We are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse."

In other words ... too little, too late, Rick.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why the Music Industry is Failing

Future of the Industry

You know what? I miss my vinyl records.
I miss going to the record store (a real community experience) and buying an LP for $10-$15. I miss the larger sleeves with the cover art and the inside liner notes which told you who wrote what and who played on which track.

The last time this reality was in full form was the late 80s (perhaps early 90s). And since that time a number of changes occurred which created the mess the music business is in today (most of it self inflicted).
So without further adieu, here follows the Top 10 Reasons why the Music Business is Failing from both the perspective of a fan and a singer/songwriter.

They don't make them like him anymore! Ahmet Ertegun was known for his gift of discovering, developing and nurturing new talent.
1. Record Labels Stopped Doing Their Job
At some point along the way (late 70s) label executives became hipsters vs. real A&R agents, becoming more interested in keeping their jobs and playing it safe vs. finding authentic and originaltalent to nurture and promote over the long haul. We used to have an industry focused on finding the next new and amazing thing. Now we have an industry where labels copy other labels both in artists and material. Gone are the days of breaking out of the mold. For the last few decades it's been about formula. So it is then no wonder that radio has become a second tier medium that is mostly ignored in the United States (of course unless there's a game on).

2. The Record Labels Became Too Big
Much like banks, record labels became too big to service the industry well. By becoming larger companies within ever larger umbrellas they became more beholden to their masters to execute quick profits or upticks in stock value which from the 90s on down to the present only led to a race to the bottom.

3. Lack of Talent and Personality
Signed artists no longer have thestaying power, personality orsong writing abilities of their predecessors. They may be more marketable initially, but they're just not that talented. As such for the most part we don't remember many artists or "hit" songs from the last 20 years. I have to believe there are still amazing artists and song content out there, but some artists cling to the belief that they should write their own material when they clearly shouldn't. Others do come up with great songs but probably shouldn't be singing or performing them. Further, many song artists have failed to understand that music is a calling, a passion. You do it to do it. Yes you want to make a living, but fame and celebrity is the afterglow, not the inspiration.

The Brill Building in New York City, which served as the launching pad for some of America's top songwriters and fueled the careers of so many of the Country's top artists
4. Traditional Roles Have Disappeared
The music business was once an industry where producers, songwriters and artists used to besiloed within their own core competencies. As such, there wereclearly defined expectations and requirements that had to be met in order for someone to take on these titles. To our benefit, these lines got a bit blurred in the 50s & 60s. However since that time, with thedwindling of funds for music education in our public schools, we now have artists calling themselves songwriters with little knowledge of music theory, compositionor song structure or appreciation for styles that came before (to our detriment). We also have people calling themselves producers with minimal studio experience and an extremely limited understanding oforchestration/arranging to better help an artist in realizing his or her full potential.

5. Fan Abuse
Over the past 20 years the music industry has abused fans in the U.S with both unnecessarily high CD prices and obscenely high concert ticket prices. CDs cost pennies to manufacture yet cost the consumer upwards of $20 for a product that in most cases has delivered 1-2 decent tracks at best with the remainder serving only as filler. Concert tickets are also overpriced with all sorts ofmade up fees included in the ticket transaction to further pad the profits of the vendors who service this side of the industry. Frankly we live in an age wherethere are just too many other options available out there to entertain us that provide much more bang for the buck.

6. We Lost Some of the Old Experience
Compact discs which deliver music via the WAV audio format have provided excellent listening quality since their wider introduction in the 80s but we lost something in this transition in respect to the full experience we had with records. The product became much smaller as did the print which makes it less likelythat anyone is going to take the time to actually appreciate the album art or read the liner notes or credits. This, along with the cost and quality of content issues pervading the industry, has only served to further lessen the level of satisfaction the consumer feels after making a physical music purchase. No one contests the sparkling quality of digital offered via CDs, however you have to ask if it's so great why are the old vinyl shops still managing to survive? Answer:something about the experience is still missing. And the music industry (and electronics industry) have failed to address it.

7. MP3s Sound Horrible
The MP3 format which made music truly portable also cheapened it by lessening the fidelity and hence the overall experience. Granted, we have reached a wonderful age where music can now fly thru the air and into our cellphones and music players. Further, we can literallycarry a library of our favorite music in our back pocket to be made available anytime, anywhere "on tap". However, in its current format, MP3s sound tinnywhen listened to over an extended period of time. The format sounds even worse coming from most computers (MySpace's music player serves as a prime example of how absurdly degraded the sound can get). And so it's time toimprove our delivery and storage systems in order to create the infrastructure to improve the digital audio format (either back to WAV or something better).

8. Too Many Choices and Not Enough Filters
There are simply now too many outlets and too many touchpointswhere everything is just noise and clutter. At the same time no one trustworthy is directing, filteringor grading all the music being created and trafficked out (with the exception of the better known music blogs whose share of voice is still relatively small). Radio stations used to fill this role for the most part followed by the staff at your local record shop. Unfortunately with the gobbling up of local, independent stations by the likes of companies such as Clear Channel, all we have now are generic, universal playlists. Further, potential music enthusiasts are no longer simply being hit with the current offerings of the majors with their traditional marketing tactics. They are also being barraged daily by bands/artists and their management directly via social networking, email opt-in lists, etc. The fact that there is so much out there in the market is not necessarily the problem, however. The problem is that a lot of the good stuff is being missed entirely while a lot of garbage is being shoved down the throats of a consumer that as a result values music less and less, day by day. Put simply, we can't make sense of it all, so we turn a deaf ear. In short, we need better audience targeting and filtering tools.

9. Lack of Musicianship
There seems to be a serious lack of musicianship at play across so many of the song artists that are signed to major labels. It's become common knowledge that some of the most famous folks priding themselves on their singing ability rely way too heavily on auto-tune. There used to be a running joke about certain bands that made their living (and their hits) only playing 3 chords (nothing wrong with it - i.e. The Ramones). Yet now it really seems to have gone too far. Where are the virtuoso instrumentalists? Where are the guitar and drum heroes? The fact that we need video games to get our fix vs. seeing the real hero perform the real licks at a real show only further points to the fact that a deep seated need amongst music lovers is just not being served properly anymore.

10. Focus is on Beats over Melody
Finally, the loss of melody has been a major contributor to thedecline in music's standing in American culture. Traditionally, songs have comprised of four ingredients namely; melody, rhythm, harmony and lyric. Over the last 300-400 years, thestrongest and most memorable music ever written more or less receivedequal weight in these four areas. Classical music saw heavier weight applied to melody and harmony. Then jazz, blues and later rock each applied rhythm to a greater extent (i.e. the rhythm section using drums, bass and guitar). This gave energy to the songs and to their performances both on the turntable and on the stage. However over the last 30+ years so much emphasis has been applied tobeats vs. melody that the rhythm seems to be all we know. Problem is you can't hum or sing a beat. You need melody for that. And, unfortunately many of our modern producers only know how to address this need by lifting melodies from other people's songs. This can't last. With the proper permissions it's legal but is effectively cheating. And, in the opinion of this song artist only serves as the final nail in the coffin of an industry that has for far too long overstayed its welcome.