Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays From Palace Music Group, LLC

Hey all!

We're in the midst of another festive holiday season, and we at Tha' Palace want to wish you and yours a happy and loving time.

We hope that we, along with the many voices of the community, can be a part of your holiday parties, big dinners, and happiest moments.

Thanks to all of you for a fantastic year spent together, and from all of us - Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Palace Team

Exclusive: Gee Roberson Forms New Label, Blueprint, Through Interscope Geffen A&M

Geffen Records chairman Gee Roberson will transition to create and own a full service record company called Blueprint to be distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M, it was announced today by Interscope Geffen A&M chairman/CEO Jimmy Iovine and president/COO John Janick. The company describes the move as "consistent and in further consolidation of Roberson's other highly successful entertainment interests including managerial and artist development company Blueprint Group," of which he remains co-CEO.

New leadership for Geffen will be announced early next year, a spokesperson for the company told

Several artists on the Geffen roster are expected to join Roberson at the New York-based label,  including  rapper/producer Hit-Boy and Chicago hardcore rappers LEP Bogus Boys.

"I'm very happy about the knowledge and experience I gained at Geffen that will be very useful going forward in the future." Roberson said. "Now it's time to go back to my roots, that entrepreneurial spirit, wrap my arms around my own label and fold it into Interscope Geffen A&M.  Based on the relationship I already have with Jimmy and everyone at the label, this is a very natural move that's filled with synergies."

Iovine added, "Gee has an extraordinary entrepreneurial instinct and that spirit has always been an important part of our company. John and I are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Gee on his latest venture."

Roberson was officially named chairman of Geffen in June.
Roberson began his career at Roc-A-Fella Records, where he rose to senior VP of A&R. He later moved to Atlantic Records as senior VP of A&R and headed the label's urban music division.  Meanwhile, in 1998, he co-founded his management company Rock Da World, signing Kanye West as its first artist, followed by Just Blaze.  In 2004, the company changed its name to Hip Hop Since 1978.  Six years later, Hip Hop Since 1978 merged with Bryant Management, which included Lil Wayne, Drake Nicki Minaj and T.I. among its clients. He and Cortez Bryan are co-CEOs of Blueprint Group, and were part ofBillboard's Power 100 and Urban Power List earlier this year.


Grammy-winning rapper T.I. has weighed in on how he is treating first-week sales tallies for his newTrouble Man: Heavy Is the Head solo album and admitted numbers do not lie.

Tip said his stature in the rap game heavily rests on what his LP does on the sales chart next week.
"Yes," Tip said in an interview when asked if he is worried about first-week sales. "Yes. I ain't worried, I'm just concerned. I'm considering it. I'm a big dog, man. Big dogs do big dogs things. That's the separation of me from them. I'm a big dog. That's what I preach. I practice that. Everybody always tells me the business is changing, the music is changing, the climate's changing but I remain the same." ("The Breakfast Club")
Tip's new solo album may not debut atop the chart, however, it is slated to sell up to 175,000 copies in week one.
YOUR ONE-DAYS: New week, same chart champ. The unstoppable force of nature known as Taylor Swift should remain at #1 next week, with Michael Bublé's resurgent Christmas album and Trouble Man by hip-hop hero T.I. vying for runner-up. Here's how the week's key debuts are shaping up: T.I. (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) 150-175k, 12/12/12: The Concert for Sandy Relief (Columbia) 125-150k Chief Keef (Interscope) 50-55k (HITS Daily Double)
The "King of the South" recently spoke to SOHH about not rushing out the long-awaited No Mercy follow-up.
"For an artist of my caliber, at this point in my career, it's my eighth abum," Tip told SOHH about the delays behind Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head. "With all the time I've been away [in jail] and the expectations of the performance of it, I think [it was necessary] to perfect it and to deliver a classic. [I wasn't] trying to lock myself into a date and compromise my art. Ideally, [I wanted it] before the new year but if [I had to wait] until a few weeks after to get a better shot at delivering to the fans classic material then that's the path [I would have taken]." (SOHH)
Last year, Tip said No Mercy's No. 4 debut and 159,700 opening week sales caught him off-guard.
"I was shocked as sh*t," says Tip of the album which found success, despite his absence, with singles that featured Chris Brown and Eminem. "[But] then it was like 'D*mn, this is my worst selling album since [2001's] I'm Serious.' Then when I saw that I got up to six [hundred thousand copies sold] I was like 'D*mn I'm doing the same and more as motherf*ckers that's on fire out there. I'm talking acts that's all on the radio, got videos out, touring, I'm doing the same as them from in here. So then I started getting anxious. I felt like I gotta get out there and seal the deal." (VIBE)
Check out T.I.'s interview:

Agency remodeling

The management buyout that ICM leaders orchestrated this year was a high-wire act involving more than 40 years of disparate assets, strong personalities and the pressure of public scrutiny of the negotiations in industry circles.
If that weren't enough, the core ICM team at the same time had to focus on pulling together the group of insiders who would become partner-owners of the reorganized percentery. And to make it even more challenging, the insiders decided against bringing in outside financing to complete the buyout of the stakes held by private equity firm Rizvi Traverse and longtime ICM topper Jeff Berg.
The negotiations to settle out with Rizvi and Berg took about seven months, culminating in the reorg and rebranding of the agency as ICM Partners unveiled in late May. But even before the formal negotiations began, ICM prexy Chris Silbermann engaged in months of shuttle diplomacy with Rizvi Traverse's Suhail Rizvi and Ben Kohn, as well as Berg, even as relations among those principal players became increasingly strained.
"There were a lot of moving pieces, and having it all close simultaneously was quite a significant challenge," says ICM Partners general counsel Rick Levy, a partner and 16-year agency vet.
Levy guided the dealmaking with Silbermann, Sloan Harris and Dan Donahue, ICM partner and COO, and lawyer David Sands of Sheppard Mullin.
The group was well-suited to the task, as Levy had been involved in the initial $100 million investment from Rizvi Traverse and Merrill Lynch in 2005, while Silbermann and Donahue came to ICM through another complex transaction, the acquisition of Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann (where Donahue was also COO) in 2006.
Sands, meanwhile, had worked for Rizvi Traverse on transactions including its buyout of Playboy magazine. Given that connection, he had to get a waiver from the private equity firm to work on ICM's behalf in the management buyout.
In the divorce, Rizvi Traverse got to keep ICM's lucrative backend receivables, including its packaging fee windfalls for such sitcom hits as "The Big Bang Theory," "Modern Family" and "Two and a Half Men." (Merrill Lynch had been bought out by Rizvi years before.)
As always, coming up with a valuation for those assets was tricky. Some of the profit participation stakes in older properties, ranging from movies to Broadway shows, were held by different entities under the ICM umbrella, a reflection of the company's legacy of having been publicly traded in the 1980s, having undergone a leveraged buyout in 1992 and another significant governance change in 1999.
Now that ICM has been reorganized cleanly into a partner-owned structure, the percentery has made good on its promise to recruit high-profile agents (notably film agent Bart Walker and talent maven Ruthanne Secunda).
The mantra of returning control of the agency to its top agents was reason the partners, which now number 28, were wary of relying on outside financing or loans to cover the cost of the buyout.
"All of our partners now have a shared interest in what we're building," Levy says. "We wanted to make sure that coming out of this deal, everyone's interests were aligned."

Rebel Wilson set as host for MTV Movie Awards

Rebel Wilson has been tabbed as host of the MTV Movie Awards, which is shifting locales for its upcoming telecast.
Kudocast is set for April 14, two months earlier than its usual June timeslot. With a new date comes a new home: This year's edition will be held at Sony Studios in Culver City rather than the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City.
As a big part of the show is promoting summer films, cabler believes the April move will help generate more movie enthusiasm both from TV viewers and those on social media. Studios advertising their summer bigscreen wares will likely find the April date more attractive.
Also, ratings for the MTV Movie Awards in June have plummeted in recent years. In June 2011, 4.5 million tuned in, while only 3.2 million watched earlier this year. Network is hoping an April air date will help slow the slippage.
The new awards date will set up nicely for Wilson as well. The actress recently starred in "Pitch Perfect" and has a major role in the upcoming Michael Bay film "Pain & Gain," which is set for an April 26 release and will receive plenty of promotion at the show.


Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco is looking to bring freshness to his Twitter page once in 2013 and has decided to delete a majority of tweets.
Instead of leaving his 1.3 million followers in the dark, Fiasco posted a couple comments to let them know he shall return in the New Year.
"The #LF Twitter is now closed. Will return in 2013. Follow @Sndclsh,@TheLupENDBlog + @djbusy for daily updates. DM is still open.," he tweeted.
"The #LF twitter is currently deleting all past tweets. pls disregard any retweets etc. This account is currently closed will return in 2013."
"Relax Lupe Fans. #LF Twitter is just being rebuilt. Will re-debut in 2013. LF says Hi. ..." (Lupe Fiasco's Twitter)
Lupe also provided a little musical treat to keep fans satisfied entering the new year.
For the rest of us looking forward to things beyond the end of the week, hey, here's "", a pretty awesome new freestyle from Lupe Fiasco. Going in over a Common beat from the early 90s, "" sees Fiasco in conscious rap mode, densely weaving rhymes about "trumpets to the head" and spitting lines like, "let's call it runaway slave ships/fried chicken's tasteless and watermellon's racist, nigga". Stream the song after the jump. (Under The Gun Review)
Back in October, Lupe's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 landed on the sales chart.
Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 debuted on the chart this week at No. 5. With seven days knocked out, Lupe's new LP has sold 89,000 copies. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Fiasco recently discussed plans to step away from the music industry's commercial side.
"Contractually, I still have to do another record if the label picks it up," Fiasco said in an interview. "But even after this part one and part two [of Food & Liquor 2] I'm basically kind of done, because that album is even almost finished. I won't make music for commercial purposes after that. It'll more just be kind of artistic and developing my other music projects -- I don't even know if Lupe Fiasco is gonna exist after Skulls, I might even just do a name change or something like that -- if I feel like making a rap album, then I'll make it." (Music Feeds TV)
Check out Lupe Fiasco's "":


50 Cent's comeback continues with this new track featuring some heavy hitters. Jeezy and Snoop bless this song, so check it out below.
Hat tip: Hip Hop n More

'Homeland' Star Claire Danes Gives Birth to Son

Homeland star Claire Danes has given birth to a baby boy, Reuters reports. The baby, Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy, is Danes' first with her husband, British actor Hugh Dancy. 
Cyrus was born into an accomplished family: Danes was recently awarded an Emmy for her performance in Homeland as Carrie Mathison, an ambitious yet unstable CIA operative. Danes channeled her inner secret agent and managed to keep her baby's gender confidential until today. 
The baby's father is no slouch, either: Dancy is set to provide voice acting for 2013's Dorothy of Oz and will star in NBC's upcoming show Hannibal.


Former Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti has reportedly moved on from wanting to become Def Jam Recordings president and is going into business with music mogul Lyor Cohen.
early Thursday (December 20).
Former Warner Music Group honcho Lyor Cohen has found his first partner in a yet-to-be- announced talent management firm -- and sources say he's brought aboard Irv Gotti, the former head of record label The Inc. who discovered acts including Ja Rule andAshanti. We further hear that Gotti is aiming to advise rapperDrake while Cohen, as Page Six previously reported, has been giving career advice to Kanye West. "If Lyor and Irv do work together, it's possible they'll have two of the biggest hip-hop stars under their management," said a music insider after a photo showing Drake and Gotti meeting together appeared online. (New York Post)
Last week, buzz of rap star Kanye West and Lyor teaming up sprouted across music blogs.
Former Warner Music Group chief Lyor Cohen is now Kanye West's close adviser. We hear that Cohen, who left Warner Music in September, has been advising West on his music deals, including an upcoming tour. "He's 100 percent in Kanye's camp," said a source. Rumors have swirled that Cohen will soon launch his own talent-management company to structure 360-degree, multiplatform deals for artists. Music industry heavy hitters -- including former Def Jam exec Kevin Liles and Warner Bros. Records chief Todd Moscowitz, a former Cohen disciple who left the company last week -- have been mentioned as potential partners. A friend of Cohen said, "Lyor is a friend of Kanye's, and many artists reach out to him for advice." (New York Post)
Last winter, Gotti publicly campaigned for a top-ranking position at Def Jam.
"It caused a buzz, and I want people to know I didn't start the whole 'Irv Gotti for president' thing; the people did," the former Def Jam A&R told MTV News as he walked the red carpet at the reopening of Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan last week. "It was a crazy thing, and it was all good." It doesn't seem like Def Jam brass will put Irv in the big chair, but Gotti is appreciative of the support he has gotten from the hip-hop community. "Everybody was riding. It was a lot of love," he said last week. "Everybody felt what I was saying and was riding." (MTV)
Just a few weeks ago, Cohen left his spot at Warner Music Group to pursue individual endeavors.
In making the announcement, Cohen said, "To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: 'keep on keepin' on' in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community." Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, "I personally want to thank Lyor for his dedication and contributions to Warner Music. He has been both a business partner and personal friend and I wish him only the best." Stephen Cooper, WMG's CEO, said, "Lyor Cohen has built something very special here. While we understand his desire to move on to his next challenge, the enduring success of our recorded music division will serve as a great testament to the progress we've made during Lyor's time at WMG. We are grateful for Lyor's contributions, and we wish him the best. I'm confident that given the strength of our talented management team in Recorded Music, we'll be able to drive further success." Following Cohen's departure, the company's senior label executives will report directly to Stephen Cooper. (Market Wire)

Rob Wiesenthal Out at Sony/ATV, Heading to Warner Music

Rob Wiesenthal, President of Sony/ATV's international business, is leaving the world's no.1 music publisher to join Len Blavatnik's Warner Music Group as chief operating officer/corporate, WMG said on Thursday.

Wiesenthal, a Sony Corp. veteran media-and-music dealmaker, will exit from 550 Madison Avenue by year-end and join Warner Music on Jan 1.

"In his short time with us as President of International, Rob helped us as we began our integration of EMI, and, like many of you, I have greatly appreciated Rob's contributions to our company and his valuable perspective," said Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier in an internal memo obtained by Billboard.

Wiesenthal is expected to handle media deals in a potential M&A and corporate development role, as the third-largest music company looks to bulk up with acquisitions in both recorded music and publishing in order to compete with the much larger rivals Universal Music Group and Sony.

He will report to CEO Stephen Cooper, as do music chiefs like Atlantic's Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman as well as Warner/Chappell's Cameron Strang.

In a statement, Cooper said, "There are few media and technology executives of Rob's stature and expertise. His commercial acumen, commitment to innovation and wide-ranging experience make him a suburb addition to our talented management team."

Russian-born billionaire Blavatnik, who paid $3.3 billion for WMG 18 months ago, has doubled down on music investments with a further $130 million venture investment in French music streaming start-up Deezer.

As a member of Sony Music Entertainment's board of directors, Wiesenthal was involved in many of the music major's biggest deals over the last decade, including the buyout of Bertelesmann from Sony BMG. He also engineered the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by a Sony Corp. of America-led consortium.

Before moving to Sony/ATV, Wiesenthal had been chief financial officer for Sony Corp. of America for a dozen years. He moved to the publisher soon after the exit of Sony Corp CEO Howard Stringer led to a round of management changes at the company.

While Wiesenthal comes from a financial background having worked at First Boston, and had financial responsibilities overseeing Sony deals, sources say he has long coveted a senior position at a major music company and his immersed himself in the electronic dance music business.

His role is not being directly replaced by Sony/ATV. Instead Bandier has promoted one of his advisors, Guy Henderson, to the role of executive vice president International. He will oversee all territories excluding North America, South America and the UK.

This is an interesting move," a competitor of WMG and Sony says. WMG "brought in a very strategic guy connected to the financial markets who knows the music business very well."


Terror Squad leader Fat Joe has reportedly pleaded guilty to multiple counts of failing to pay taxes on nearly $4 million of his income and now faces hefty time behind bars.
Joey Crack appeared in a New Jersey court Thursday (December 20) for tax evasion charges dating back to 2007.
Rap star "Fat Joe" has pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion. The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena (car-ta-GEE'-nah) entered the plea Thursday to a charge of failing to pay taxes on more than $1 million of income in each of 2007 and 2008. The 42-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., resident appeared in federal court in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated there. (SF Gate)
Although Joe posted a large sum for bail, he will get sentenced in April.
Joseph Cartagena, 42, of Miami Beach, was freed on $250,000 bail pending sentencing on April 3, 2013. He could go to prison for up to two years and face a fine of $200,000, in addition to the costs to the government of prosecuting him. Cartagena also must file accurate tax returns and pay the IRS all taxes and penalties owed. (Cliffview Pilot)
Earlier this year, State Property's Beanie Sigel paid the price for skipping out on taxes.
A hip-hop hero to many in the region, Beanie Sigel (Dwight Grant) is headed to prison. The South Philly-born Lansdale resident this afternoon was sentence to 24-months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. Dubois for failing to file federal income tax returns, the U.S. Attorney's office in Philly has announced. The "All the Above" singer must report to prison on Sept. 12. Reportedly Sigel, 28, avoided a stiffer sentence by pleading guilty to the charge. Sigel also must pay all taxes, penalties and interests he still owes to the IRS. Prosecutors say Sigel owes the IRS $728,536 for tax years 1999 through 2005. (Philly)
In summer 2011, Joe's rap comrade Ja Rule got sentenced to over two years in jail for tax evasion.
Rapper Jeffrey Atkins, also known as Ja Rule, was sentenced Monday to 28 months in prison for failing to file tax returns with the IRS after admitting that he did not file his taxes for five years, the Justice Department said in a news release Monday. The 35-year-old performer from Saddle River, New Jersey, had pleaded guilty to three of five counts before U.S. Magistrate JudgePatty Shwartz, who imposed the sentence in Newark federal court. (CNN)

BMG Beats Warner/Chappell to 'New Wave'-Heavy EMI Publishing Divestitures for $90 Million

BMG successfully outbid Warner/Chappell to win control of nearly 30,000 songs divested by EMI, including popular UK '80s hits from acts like Tears for Fears and Culture Club.

The catalogs -- which were sold for around $90 million, according to sources -- were put up for sale as part of the regulatory conditions for Sony/ATV Music Publishing's taking control of EMI Music Publishing in June. BMG and Warner Music Group's Warner/Chappell were the last two bidders standing after other bidders were weeded out in earlier rounds. An announcement is expected Friday.

Warner/Chappell, which is run by rising star Cameron Strang, stayed focused on what it believed was an appropriate valuation for the assets, a source told Billboard. Under the ownership of billionaire Len Blavatnik, WMG has said it will remain disciplined on valuations in asset bids. It missed out on buying the EMI Group last year after it refused to offer more than Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Publishing's bids.

The assets BMG won, dubbed the "Rosetta catalog," include Virgin Music Publishing UK, Virgin Europe, Virgin US, and Famous Music UK, and  works by leading authors such as Gary Barlow, Ozzy Osbourne, Robbie Williams, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Placebo and the Kooks.

The reason why it had to make the buyers divest some assets is because "post transaction, the merged entity would have fully or partially owned publishing rights in more than half of chart hits in the UK and Ireland. Such market power would have likely affected customers' ability to license music not only in these countries but also at multi-territorial and pan-European levels."

BMG, which is a joint venture between German media giant Bertelsmann and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), has been steadily building up its publishing assets since being set up in 2007.

Halle Berry, T.D Jakes & Chaka Khan Among BET's 2013 Honorees

Halle Berry
BET plans to start the new year on a high note. Today, the network announced that its 2013 honorees will include Hollywood heavyweights like Halle Berry, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Chaka Khan, Clarence Avant and Lisa Leslie.
Berry is set to be honored for her humanitarian and philanthropic work; Bishop Jakes for his leadership and educational reach; Khan for her contributions as an international music icon; music executive Avant for his savvy business acumen and Leslie for her sportsmanship as a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
The ceremony, hosted by Gabrielle Union, will be taped on January 12 in Washington D.C. and is scheduled to air on February 11. 
Past honoress include Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Patti LaBelle and Whitney Houston.  
Congrats to all of the honorees!


Married video vixen Coco Austin has stepped up to deny claims and accusations of rapper AP.9reportedly having possession of inappropriate bedroom photos of her.
Despite the hype and buzz, Coco flatly said there is no truth to the rumors.
A rep for Coco tells RumorFix exclusively that reports rapper AP.9 has inappropriate pictures of Coco in his bed are false. A rep for the reality TV star has slammed the allegations, telling RumorFix exclusively, "This guy absolutely has no naked pictures of Coco unless he purchased them on his own from her private zone (website). The only pictures you will see of Coco any where close to naked are here and she also lets her fans know that they can find candid pics on her private zone that are naked here." (RumorFix)
Reports of the alleged secret photo stash emerged early Thursday(December 20).
Watch out world, Ice-T could well be heading for an epic meltdown! Coco might believe her Las Vegas, AP.9 rapper steamy photo indiscretion is well and truly over, but has exclusively learned that the scandal is about to reignite and really blow up! The bootylicious reality star turned Vegas showgirl earned the ire of her hubby after photos surfaced of her snuggling up next to the rapper, and she was quick to apologize for her "inappropriate behavior" -- but now sources are saying that AP.9 is boasting he has evidence that their encounter wasn't as innocent as Coco has claimed! "AP.9 has been bragging that he has photosof Coco with him in a private room in Vegas, and that in some of them she's on a bed, totally naked!" A source close to the situation tells "He's been putting feelers out to see if people want to buy the pictures and he's claiming they're really salacious and that a LOT more happened with Coco than just them posing in a night club. (Radar Online)
A few days ago, AP.9 playfully hinted at having a sensual connection to fellow rapper Ice-T's wife.
Ice T's gonna be pissed ... 'cause rapper AP.9 is now strongly insinuating that he's banging T's wife Coco. Coco said the pics were harmless ... and stated that she's "happily married." But this weekend, AP.9 was shamelessly trying to breathe life back into story ... because when he was asked about the rumors he was still bangin' Coco, the rapper looked into the camera like he LOVED the attention and said, "That's a RUMOR? Is that a rumor?" He added, "No comment man." When asked if he was worried about retaliation from Ice -- AP.9 shot back, "I'm from the hood ... I'm not worried about nothin'." (TMZ)
Earlier this month, Ice publicly scolded Coco for taking inappropriate photos with the suddenly-famous hip-hop artist.
Ice-T tweeted, "Coco's in Vegas. She has given me her explanation of the pics on the net from her first weeks out there [at Peepshow, where she's performing] with some dude. She said he knew someone in the crew from our show and would pop up where ever they would go. He also said he knew me. I don't know dude." He continued, "Regardless... They would take Posed pics every time. Most of them disrespectful and in bad taste. She's made me look... And feel like sh*t." "I say this on Twitter because there's no way to avoid the obvious misconduct of a married couple. That's it. Any more questions ask @Cocosworld," added Ice-T. He concluded, "Don't get it twisted... I'm not happy about this sh*t." (Gossip Cop)

Joining Spotify Hasn't Been Good for Metallica's Sales

Sales data suggests that the sales of Metallica's studio albums were negatively impacted after the band added its catalog to Spotify on Dec. 6.
The world's leading subscription service has been a source of controversy in spite of a lack of evidence that streaming cannibalizes sales. And while services such as Spotify may not be eating into sales at the macro level, the case of Metallica's recent sales sag suggests it may be happening in isolated cases at the micro level. looked at Nielsen SoundScan data for Metallica's studio albums for four-week periods leading up to Christmas from 2008 to 2012. Based on the catalog's performance in previous years, album sales were 15% below expectations the week the titles were added to Spotify and 35% below expectations the following week. Sales were in line with expectations the week before the titles were added to Spotify.
Another way to look at the drop in Metallica's catalog sales is to track the rise in sales leading up to Christmas. Metallica sales the week before Christmas have been from 48.8% to 71.1% higher than the average of the preceding three weeks (64.8% in 2008; 71.1% in 2009; 48.8% in 2010; and 53.6% in 2011). But those same albums increased only 28.5% in 2012.
In December, Metallica sales looked much like sales of other legendary bands. A sample of 10 perennially strong catalog albums -- including Bob Marley's "Legend" and "Led Zeppelin 4" -- had a 28.4% pre-Christmas week gain in 2012. Like Metallica, the 10 catalog titles used to fare much better. Their pre-Christmas week gain was 58.2% in 2008 but had dropped to 31.0% in 2011, while Metallica fans were still rushing to stores.
One could also compare the week before Christmas to the prior weeks. Metallica sales had jumped 60% to 61% in the four-week period leading up to Christmas in both 2010 and 2011. In 2012 that four-week increase was just 27.2%. Once again, Metallica's gain nearly matches that of the sample group. The 10-album sample had four-week gains of 39.3%, 26.6% and 24.9% in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The band probably feels little remorse for its decision to join Spotify. The publicity surrounding the announcement was augmented when drummer Lars Ulrich joined Spotify investor -- and Napster co-founder -- Sean Parker for a conversation webcast around the world. On the financial side, the band would be far better off even if its catalog sales tanked. Metallica added its albums to Spotify only after it gained control of the rights and licensed the catalog back to Warner Music Group for distribution. And there is no telling how sales will trend over time. The band's catalog has only been at Spotify for two weeks,

A number of explanations exist for the drop in sales, and not all of them relate to a substitution effect due to Spotify. One possible explanation is that fans streamed Metallica's catalog at Spotify instead of buying the albums. Another possible explanation is the SoundScan week in 2012 was further away from Christmas than in earlier years. In 2008, for example, the Sunday that marks the end of the SoundScan sales week fell on the 21st -- just four days before Christmas. Years in which the sales week ended closer to Christmas were naturally more likely to reflect late holiday shopping. But this effect probably doesn't explain the entire decrease because Metallica's catalog pre-Christmas gain actually increased in 2011 to 53.6%, while the sample declined to 31.0%. The band's sales could also have been negatively impacted by fewer opportunities for exposure at brick-and-mortar retail, although the same could be said for other catalog titles as well.
At this point in Metallica's career, whether or not the band is selling more or less music may not be the most important factor in determining what digital services to embrace. It's nearly impossible to put a value on more people -- legally -- listening to a band's music.

Meet R&B Singer-Songwriter RaVaughn

Ne-Yo's musical protégée RaVaughn stopped but the ESSENCE offices to introduce herself and give an exclusive performance of her latest song, "So Sick of Crying."
The Los Angeles native, who is signed to Ne-Yo's Compound label, was a demo singer before she landed her record deal. Now, she's working on her album and says she wants her music to uplift women. 
 "I want to remind women that we don't need a man to survive and to live and to love ourselves," she said. "Of course, they are great there, but until we can love ourselves we can't love somebody else."
RaVaughn said she teamed up with veteran music writers on this project to create a classic record. "When you have relatable music it makes people more apt to listen to you, and they feel connected to you because they feel like you are going through the same thing that they are going through," she said.
Check out her soulful performance above and let us know what you think!


Katt Williams came under fire a while ago after surveillance video showed him slapping a Target employee. Now, new details involving the incident have surfaced which might explain his violent behavior.
According to The Inquisitr, Katt headed to Comedy Store in Hollywood on Wednesday night when he explained the November 25 attack to his audience.
Katt suggested that Target employee said to him, "Your assistant is already suing you, you p**sy ass n***er”—referring to his assistant suing him for $5 million for punching her.
Williams retorted by asking, “Did you just say the n-word in front of Katt Williams?” The employee said, “You say it all the time," and Katt then urged him to repeat himself to see what happens.
Ironically, the employee got fired ater the incident, so maybe there is some truth to Katt's recollection. Even if, do you think Katt was wrong for putting his hands on the dude? Let us know your opinions.

Glassnote Pitting Majors Against Each Other, May Get 'Outlandish' Deal

With Glassnote's distribution deal with RED ending on the last day of February, Daniel Glass is pitting Doug Morris against Lucian Grainge in hopes of coming out with a multi-million-dollar payday, according to sources.

With the tit-for-tat battle royal between Morris (former CEO of the Universal Music Group and now CEO of Sony Music Entertainment) and current UMG CEO Grainge, the Glassnote price tag might even escalate to actually meet what two executives familiar with the deal termed Glass' "outlandish expectations." 

Since Morris joined Sony Music Entertainment -- instead of carrying out the succession plan that placed Grainge at the top of UMG -- the two executives have been slugging it out over label executives, with UMG scoring Barry Weiss and Steve Barnett from Sony; and Sony getting Joel Klaiman and Morris.

According to the New York Post, which first reported on the Glassnote situation, Glass already has an offer on the table for $20 million for a 49% stake in the label.

Glassnote has hit paydirt with Mumford & Sons, whose two albums have sold 4 million units in the U.S. But since reinventing himself by starting Glassnote in 2007, industry veteran Glass has had a pretty good batting average. The label, with an 18-artist label roster according to its website, has issued albums from 14 different acts since opening its doors, and seven of those acts have album sales over 100,000 units in the U.S.: Phoenix, with over 700,000 units; Two Doors Cinema Club, 204,000 units; the Temper Trap, through Columbia, 196,000 units; Childish Gambino, 207,000 units; Justin Nozuka, 110,000 units; and Secondhand Serenade, 407,000 units, as well as Mumford & Sons, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Sources estimate Glassnote, with an album plus track equivalent market share of 0.61%; has annual sales at about $30 million annually.

Yet, other sources says that in shopping for a deal, Glass has been of two minds, one that sees him seeking just a distribution deal for Glassnote; and another in which he is seeking a joint-venture partner in the label as well as a distributor. The latter kind of deal, according to sources, is where a big payout would come from, although one source says that Glass would still like to retain control of the company, even if he sells off a stake in it.

"Glass seems to be sitting back and waiting for offers to come in," says another source, " and I bet he has every kind of deal on the table."

Daniel Glass was unavailable for comment at press time and executives at the major labels either declined to comment or didn't respond to a request for comment.


G-Unit's 50 Cent is showing his hunger for more just months away from his Street King Immortalalbum release by releasing its latest single, "Major Distribution," today.
Shortly after the release of his "My Life" anthem, Fif strikes againwith new music and an accompanying music video.
While 50 Cent's current single 'My Life' plays heavy on radio, he decides to give us another tease of his forthcoming 5th albumStreet King Immortal, due in stores in February 2013. This one however features Snoop Dogg and Young Jeezy, having a totally different feel from 'My Life'. Full version is hopefully coming soon but until then, take a look at the 2 minute preview directed by Eif Rivera. (HHNM)
The G-Unit head honcho also promoted the new joint throughout the day.
"NEW MUSIC up loading MAJOR DISTRIBUTION warning this should be played at high volume. SMSaudio," he tweeted December 20th.
"I uploaded a @YouTube video 50 Cent feat. Snoop Dogg & Young Jeezy - "Major Distribution" (Video Teaser)"
"Shout out to @djenuff the first to play MAJOR DISTRIBUTION on the air. SMSaudio" (50 Cent's Twitter)
Earlier this month, Fif hit up SOHH and broke down his new "My Life" smash.
"[S1'll] tell you, because I was sitting there like, 'This is stupid! Do you know what this is?' And he's like, 'That means it's good, right?' [laughs] You know how you can go in and make a record and he's just doing what he do but he doesn't know how an artist is going to hear it," Fif told SOHH about hearing the "My Life" beat. "I'm hearing those elements, you see how I describe it with the traditional break beats and the loop. These are things that I'm listening to." (SOHH)
If all goes accordingly, Curtis Jackson's final contractual Interscope Records release will land in stores this February.
Hard to believe that it's been almost a decade since 50 Cent crashed the rap world with his meteoric debut LP, Get Rich or Die Tryin', but on February 6, 2013, Fif's sonic baby will hit the 10-year mark. 5-0 won't hit the anniversary on the head though. On Tuesday (November 27), he tweeted that Street King will actually drop on February 26. That release date comes not long after MTV News sat with him and buddy Eminem on the Detroit set of Fif's "My Life" video, where he assured us that the oft-delayed album would come in the same month as his seminal LP: "February, definitely; I don't want to miss that so it won't go past February." (MTV)
Check out the teaser and full-length "Major Distribution":