Category Archives: Good Reads

Music 2.0 Is Full Of Sh… Sheep

Music 2.0 Is Full of Sh... Sheep

I’m about to break one of the cardinal sins of blogging: I’m going to tell you why I haven’t updated recently.

I know I’m notorious for my gaps in posting, but that was usually due to time management issues, or writer’s block, or laziness. This time it was for a different reason.

I’m annoyed.

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What’s A Record Deal Worth?

record deal contract

When it comes to the whole debate about the value of record deals and Indie vs Major – everybody has an opinion. I can rant and rave about where I stand on this topic, but I think AllHipHop.com founder, Chuck Creekmur has discussed it in more eloquent manner than what I would have ranted.

I may still discuss it in the future; because it’s a topic that has many sides to it, but also because it’s a topic that most aspiring artists need more insight on.

Briefly, let me just say, artists need to stop focusing so much on “getting a deal” and focus that energy on “achieving a goal”. One does not always equal the other.

Anyhow, here’s Chuck’s great writeup:

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TwitterRant

There have been a few things going on recently that got me thinking some things over.

So, I decided to do what any self-reflecting person would do in today’s world – I vented via a TwitterRant.

Rather than re-typing it or paraphrasing, I figure I’ll just post a screenshot of it and share it with the 5 of you who aren’t on Twitter. (Remember to start at the bottom and move up)

TwitterRant

Thank You Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

A lot of people asked me why I didn’t write a post about Michael Jackson‘s passing, knowing how big of a fan(atic) I have always been.

The truth is, I did write one – actually, I wrote five.

I just haven’t posted any of them, because there’s no way for me to make a complete and concise post about the influence Michael Jackson has had on my life. The posts kept rambling on and jumping around to different stories and memories.

Over the past week and a half, every media outlet has been covering his passing. I don’t want to reiterate any of it, nor do I want to post one of the rambling posts I have in my drafts section; detailing tons of memories.

Instead, I just want to share one thought:

Some people may think of this as “just another celebrity death”; however, I grew up idolizing the man (as did millions of others).

My earliest memories in life involve idolizing him. Think about that for a minute – the earliest memories I have in life, involve me idolizing Michael Jackson.

And it never changed til this very day.

There was a massive poster of Michael above my crib as a baby. I would watch him on TV and attempt to dance like him before I could even walk.

My mother used to tell me I would kick extra hard when she was pregnant with me, as if I was dancing, everytime a Michael Jackson or Jackson 5 song was playing.

It’s one thing to lose someone you admire, but it’s another to lose someone you have idolized for as long as you have been alive.

As he lays to rest today, I just want to say “Thanks Michael”. Not only for the major influence you have had on me and the rest of the world – but because as you struggled to regain your lost childhood, you ended up providing me and millions of others with our own.

Thank you Michael Jackson.

May you rest in peace.

*I'm the small one the right.

*I'm the small one on the right.

Ryan Leslie Knows How To Connect With His Fans

leslie_1

One of the biggest questions every artist, manager & label rep asks themselves on a daily basis is, “how can we further connect with our fans?”

Amongst all the teams out there, one of the best examples I can think of (and one whom I mention in nearly every meeting) is Ryan Leslie.

From his initial YouTube videos, to his MySpace push, to his Twitter profile and blog – he’s consistently shown that he’s one of the very few, that truly does “get it”.

Last night, R. Les posted a message on Twitter, telling fans he would purchase & autograph an iPod for any fans that met him at the 24-hour Apple Store in NYC in the next 15 minutes.

And he kept his word.

Peep the video:

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How To Get A Music Manager & Booking Agent

on_2_phones

If you ask 100 independent artists what they need in order to take their career to the next level, most of them are likely to say that they need a good manager, or that they need a booking agent.

Problem is, about 99 of them probably don’t understand what a manager and booking agent really does, or when it’s the right time to look for one.

Former major label A&R, Scott Austin, breaks down the roles of booking agents and managers for you in the 2 videos below.

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What You Can Learn From Ryan Leslie

ryanlesliealbumcover

I’ve been waiting for this album for years. And when I say years, I mean, before his YouTube channel became a hit and before anybody knew who Cassie was.

I remember first hearing his music before he signed with Casablanca; some artists I knew had signed a deal with NextSelection at the time and R. Les was working with Cory Gunz & Latif. Back when I was jamming to “Me & U” before the Bad Boy stamp (I’ll leave that story for another day).

If you’ve heard R. Les’ album, you already know that the music is incredible. But there’s more to it than just that. I truly love this project because it’s a solid example of something I feel very strongly about: real vs fake.

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