Wanted to take some time out to show some love to one of the most up-and-coming entertainment businesses I’ve come across in my time down here in Orlando: INDUSTREET TV AND FILMS. This is a company that’s making tons of moves on multiple fronts in the entertainment world. Take a look at some of the companies most recent projects: a video for rising solo emcee Kid Emo and the online EPK for radio personality, music producer and up-and-coming Orlando DJ Mz. Marina. The hustle don’t stop! Be sure to visit http://industreettv.com/.
Dotted Music has some pretty interesting articles about the music industry and everything that effects it. This is a link to an article posted on May 28 about the historic relationship between music and fashion. I can honestly see the day where we do see major music stars having their own stores and chains. Think the likes of Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Lady Gaga (when she gets relevant again), and others that have used a relationship with the fashion world to their benefit to fatten their pockets even further. There was even talk just a few years ago of Kanye West leaving music and studying fashion (which I still wouldn’t put past him). Even a Hip Hop artist like A$AP Rocky is somewhat steeped in the world of fashion, to the delight and shegrin of some people. Check out the article at the link below:
Here’s another video from Hip Hop duo Passalacqua out of Detroit, MI. They were the recipients of funding from the Kresge institute in Detroit and are going to be part of this five-day multidisciplinary celebration in the city celebrating visual, performance and literary artists among many others. Check out the video of Brent and Brian giving a peek into their musical world and all they’re trying to accomplish in Detroit in the video just below.
One thing that seems to be getting lost in terms of Hip Hop is the history and folklore behind it, more importantly, how it came to be. Hip Hop is a mixture of so many different aspects of black and Latino life in America: music, societal ills, political upheaval, urban culture, street art, loss of resources and gang culture. All of these things helped to create Hip Hop into what it is today. The new film “Rubble Kings” delves deep into that last aspect and looks like it will be a great history lesson for those that may not be familiar with the humble beginnings of Hip Hop.
Check out one of the latest episodes of “This Week In Music” with host Ian Rogers as he interviews Debbie Cavalier, the newly-named CEO of Berklee College of Music. Ian and Debbie talk a lot about what Berklee can do for students that want to study music, music business, and so many other topics in the music industry.
It’s again been a while since I’ve been able to post for “This Week In Music”, but here we are again with another informative session with Ian Rogers! This time, Rogers sits down with Michael Schneider, CEO of a company called Mobile Roadie. The company specializes in the ability for people to build their own apps and has about 30% of its business coming from the music industry. Rogers and Schneider talk about all that Mobile Roadie does for its clients, as well as Schneider’s experience as an entrepreneur in the wed design and tech spaces, as well as his thoughts on the current state of the music industry.
It’s that time once again…time for the Forbes magazine annual list of the 20 richest emcees/artists in the Hip Hop game. Topping the list this year is Dr. Dre with his staggeringly profitable venture with Jimmy Iovine, Beats by Dre, which have become a premiere status symbol for Hip Hop heads. celebrities, DJs and trend followers every where. Hisham Dahud, a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com, recently completed a story on the Forbes list. Notable names include Dr. Dre at #1 with over $100 million in before-tax earnings. Diddy, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne round out the top 5 with $45 million, $38 million, $35 million and $27 million dollars earned respectively. Even Wale was named a “Cash Prince”, having raked in $5 million from concert tickets and album sales. And because of it, Forbes recently interviewed Wale:
Other emcees that made the list include Drake, Nicki Minaj, Birdman, Ludacris, Pitbull, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Mac Miller and Tech N9ne. This year’s top 20 list brought in a combined $415 million dollars in , which came in no small part from outside music ventures, personal branding and product endorsements. Read the Hisham Dahud’s bull story here.
I’ve wanted to comment on this story for a while now but am only just starting to get the time to comment. We lost Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, founding member of the Beastie Boys, earlier this year to cancer. It’s still a devastating loss to the Hip Hop and music community at large, when you realize what Yauch and the Beasties as a whole did for Hip Hop. As one of the first acts on Def Jam during it’s heyday all the way up to the present day, the Beastie Boys were always able to make a significant cultural impact with their music. Not only that, but they were able to expand their musical repetoire throughout the years, becoming activists for a Free Tibet along the way. And much of it was due to the leadership of Yauch.
But it also surfaced shortly after his passing that Adam Yauch specifically stated in his will the following: “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.” The story, reported in Rolling Stone, on the Huffington Post and even in Forbes magazine, actually raises a few questions: What did Adam Yauch mean by “advertising purposes”? Who will essentially have control of whether his image can be used for these purposes or not, since he is no longer here to determine that? Will it be his wife, who is not the executor of his estate? What are the copyright implications, especially in terms of authorship within the music industry?
But even with all of these questions, this single act of defiance on the part of Yauch in the afterlife demonstrates the business savvy that he and the other members of the group held as artists in the music industry. If they didn’t, would they really have lasted so long in an industry that can be grossly unforgiving to the artists that seek success in it? Adam Yauch, at least seemingly, wanted to fight against this throughout his career, and was vastly successful at remaining musically relevant for several decades.
In the end, we’re not totally sure what will happen in terms of Yauch’s will, his estate, and the people that stand to benefit from it. But at least we know what he stood for and that he was steadfast in his convictions, as well as the commitment to his music. And that is definitely always commendable.
By now, you have seen and heard the reports. You’ve read the transcripts. You’ve viewed the web pages and scrolled through the kind words of honor and condolences. I wish you would not have had to, but there’s no denying or getting around it: Chris Lighty, Bronx native, founder of successful Hip Hop and music management firm Violator Management, and Hip Hop business mastermind, took his own life last week.
It was indeed a sad day for many of us that have been supporters of Hip Hop for a while now. Danyel Smith, Lighty’s friend and former editor of Billboard and Vibe magazines, wrote a stirring and poignant piece on NPR about the man and his accomplishments. A piece on all that Chris Lighty did to bring Hip Hop from into not only the pop music mainstream, but into the boardrooms and corporate offices through strategic branding and marketing, was printed just 2 days ago in The New York Times. And the passing of Lighty has been covered and reported on pretty much any and everywhere you can think of in terms of reputable music magazines, blogs and websites.
But the fact is, even if you didn’t know him (which many of us cannot say that we did), you could tell that with Chris Lighty, it was more than just about the music and the business. Sure, he was savvy enough to act as the architect behind LL Cool J’s GAP deal in which the Queens MC subliminally name dropped F.U.B.U. in a national television ad. And he helped 50 Cent, at least temporarily, become the biggest and most branded name in Hip Hop with revolutionary endorsement deals, including the famous Glaceau/Vitamin Water deal that essentially made Fif a millionaire hundreds of times over. Even before those historic cross pollinations between Hip Hop and corporate America, Lighty was forging a path by working with artists like Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, N.O.R.E. A Tribe Called Quest (in earlier days), and coming up under the mentor ship of both Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen. So it’s safe to say that the man had a plan to make not only himself relevant, but to make Hip Hop a powerful change agent and ambassador.
Chris Lighty wanted Hip Hop to be more than a genre of music that was getting paid for slapping the faces of its stars on brand name products. He wanted Hip Hop to be in control of those products and the brands they represented. Many have and will still say that it’s because of how he came up as a hustler in NYC that gave him his business acumen. But the truth is, it takes a whole lot more than that to run with the big boys and come out successful. And not only did Lighty gain his much-heralded business savvy and mind for deal making from his hustling days, but he also had a clear sense of focus, purpose, an unrivaled set of networking skills and continuous goals for himself, his business and for the genre of music he dedicated his life to.
There’s lots of speculation on how Lighty passed, as it was confirmed that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There are several reports of him having a ton of financial struggles this year, as well as a marriage that was on the rocks. But none of us can know truly what the man was going through, and we shouldn’t try to understand, because they were his personal battles to fight.
Instead, we should be thankful of everything that Chris Lighty did for Hip Hop. So many “purists” continue to believe that Hip Hop is not what it used to be, that it’s too obsessed with money, with pop stardom, with remaining relevant in a music world that is ever evolving. But one thing that was taught to us by Chris Lighty is this: you don’t have to compromise everything to be successful. And that’s still at the heart of Hip Hop to this day.
Rest in Peace and Power, Mr. Lighty, and thank you.
*This story is also available on SoSoActive.com.
Sharing has become a major part of the new music economy. From social networking to mobile music websites, vlogging and blogging tools, music has become more open, social and sharable than ever before.
So truthfully, it should come as no surprise that the longtime manager of successful rock group Incubus, Steve Rennie, has recently started the online industry mentoring and sharing platform Renman Music and Business. Rennie was a record executive, artist manager and Vice President at Epic Records for over a decade when he met the band Incubus and took them on as a client. Rennie and the group have had massive success together over the years.
But today’s music industry has created an environment where even the smallest unknown and unsigned band has been place on an almost level playing field with major music bands and acts such as Incubus. Because of this, Rennie was inspired to create his own online platform where he can share industry knowledge, expertise, and contacts with those artists and bands that are looking to get their break in the music business.
Having over 30 years worth of all these things and some major stake in the game, as well as maybe some more time on his hands these days (Incubus is still Rennie’s only client), the music industry veteran has put together a site that is chock full of exclusive content and video, features a community forum, and has footage of Rennie giving sage advice on becoming a player in music. And the best part is that this is all at no cost (so far, anyway).
Though it should come as no surprise, it’s still very refreshing to see a music industry insider at the level that Rennie is on sharing and giving so freely of his knowledge and his abilities to those that need it the most when trying to break into music. So many times, music executives are portrayed as greedy, backstabbing sharks that would sell their own mother for a hint of success.
But the current set of circumstances that we’re all facing make for unorthodox projects, and are especially good for those that are willing to not only think outside of the box, but to destroy the box, so kudos to Rennie.
For more on this new venture, visit renmanmusicandbusiness.com.