Friday, June 20, 2014

Chuck D is ready to change the face and sound of urban radio!!!

Chuck D

Urban radio needs a change and Chuck D is ready to spearhead the movement, the Public Enemy co-founder told Billboard in an interview last Sunday (June 8). 

"My goal by year's end is to change the face and sound of urban radio," he explained. "I've been in this s--- 30 years, too long to just sit and let it be. I'm not going to be the grim reaper. I don't want to be the grim reaper. But people have to stand up and we need some change, and it's time."

Hot 97's Summer Jam concert earlier in the month was "the last straw" Chuck D said, in reference to artists like Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and others using the n-word during their performances. After the show, he accused the radio station of making a "sloppy fiasco" of hip hop.

"That s--- is over," he noted of using the racial slur. "If there was a festival and it was filled with anti-Semitic slurs ... or racial slurs at anyone but Black people, what do you think would happen? Why does there have to be such a double standard?" 

He also said that the New York radio station should've had a more diverse roster of local artists on the Summer Jam bill, and that there needs to be a "greater representation of the culture and community" on Hot 97.  

However, he doesn't blame the station's on-air personalities like Ebro Darden. He and Darden went back and forth on Twitter after Summer Jam, but Chuck D's issue is not with the faces of the station, it's with their bosses. "That's where the discussion needs to go," he said, adding that he would never have an actual sit-down with radio bigwigs. "I don't have time for that. I don't have to show 'em s---; they're grown people. I ain't wasting my time." 

What he will do is observe the situation "from afar" and continue to speak out to evoke some form of change. If he doesn't see an improvement, he is fully prepared to "destroy the platform of urban radio."

Keyshia Cole’s Done W/ Boobie

Keyshia Cole is officially pulling the plug on her marriage to ex-NBA player Daniel “Boobie” Gibson — 3 months after revealing they had split.

Sources close to the singer tell TMZ she’s already drawn up divorce papers and we’re told she plans to file them any day now. The couple has a 4-year-old son.
Keyshia and Boobie had 2 wedding ceremonies … the first in May 2011, and then a bigger — aka expensive — one four months later in Hawaii. One divorce will get the job done though.
Interestingly, Cole just released a new single called “She” which seems to allude to a female lover: “Down to try something different/Lips and legs/Soft skin so feminine/Curves like me/Covered in my cherry scent.”
Maybe unrelated. Possibly just art. Definitely hot. (TMZ)

Did anyone see this one coming? She is not the same superstar she was back in 2006-2007, but is this just a sign of her getting her life in order or a sign that it’s all crumbling

Michael Jackson 'Hologram' Show Triggers New Lawsuit

It's now been a month since a Michael Jackson recreation at the Billboard Music Awards earned heavy buzz. In the days leading up to the spectacle, Hologram USA, owned by firebrand entrepreneur Alki David, attempted to stop it by claiming it infringed patented hologram technology that he had exclusively licensed. The Billboard Awards performance was allowed to happen, but the dispute is hardly over.

A hologram of Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music AwardsThursday, a new $10 million lawsuit was filed by Pulse Evolution, whose animators and technicians spent many months preparing the Billboard Awards show. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Pulse is attacking David as a "charlatan who had no involvement whatsoever in the development of the Michael Jackson animation."

The move follows David's own lawsuit, which originally named Prometheus Global Media, parent of Billboard Music Awards producer Dick Clark Productions (PGM also is THR's owner), among the defendants. But now the case has been amended mostly to focus on Pulse and its chairman John Textor. The executors of the Michael Jackson estate are among the other defendants.

Warns of Takedowns!!!

Both sides present their own tale of what has happened.

According to Pulse's complaint, David "falsely claimed credit for creating and developing the visual effects spectacle in a nationally-televised interview on CNN, in press releases and on his various websites operated by his company, FilmOn."

The lawsuit paints David as being famous for his outrageous antics and being a "notorious infringer of intellectual property rights," specifically referring to his well-publicized battles with TV broadcasters. The plaintiff is upset with David's alleged efforts to "divert public and industry attention away from Pulse Entertainment just as the company was being launched," asserting that it rises to unfair business competition practices and trade libel.

What's more, Pulse says that in the days leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, David attempted a "shakedown" by demanding credit — all on the basis of patent licensing from "a defunct company with no assets that had nothing to license in the first place."

That "defunct" company is Musion Das Hologram Limited, said by David to be connected to Europeans named Giovanni Palma and Uwe Maas. Where things get confusing is that Pulse has been dong with business with a company called Musion Systems Limited, apparently connected to two more Europeans named Ian O'Connell and William James Rock.

How hologram-like technology was created, who owns proper rights and what exactly is going on with these Musion companies is something that will have to be addressed in this case or elsewhere soon.

For now, what's important is that David's company claims a hold on technology said to be a new version of a 19th century stage trick called "Pepper's Ghost," involving the projection of two-dimensional images into a three-dimensional stage set. According to Hologram USA, the technology was famously used to create the late Tupac Shakur performing at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival.

David says he outbid Textor's Digital Domain unit to acquire rights to the technology last February, and that Textor's Pulse "elected to ignore the rights they previously sought to obtain" in the creation of a posthumous performance by Michael Jackson.

David's amended complaint (read it here) goes onto assert that it "rejected a proposal made by Textor and Pulse for a joint marketing agreement over the technology in April and May 2014 – days before Textor and Pulse used that technology without authorization to create the Jackson hologram."

Back to Pulse's new lawsuit: The fact that David insists upon calling it a "hologram" in media interviews is noted. According to its complaint (read it here), "This mischaracterization of the [Michael Jackson] animation as a hologram highlights David's complete lack of technical expertise and involvement in the creation and development of the Michael Jackson Animation, insofar as the virtual Michael Jackson appearing at the Billboard Award Show was not a hologram at all, rather, it was an animation projected onto a screen. This distinction is lost on David, because he is nothing more than a fraud claiming credit for Pulse Entertainment's animation."

Is the distinction important?

David's lawsuit points to a USA Today story (with comments given by Textor and Pulse CEO Frank Patterson) that says Pulse refined the magician's technique called Pepper's Ghost, and that the technology was used to recreate Tupac.

Warns of Takedowns!!!

"After Plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order in these court proceedings to enjoin Defendants from using the Patented Technology to create the Jackson hologram at the Billboard Music Awards, Defendants argued to this Court that they would not use the patented technology to create the Michael Jackson hologram," states David's amended complaint. "That argument is belied by the actual evidence. Initially, Textor attempted to obtain rights to the Patented Technology in the months and days leading up to the Billboard Awards because he knew those rights were required."

David's company, represented by lawyers Craig Newby and Ryan Baker, says that his legal adversaries "have created significant confusion in the marketplace" and "diluted the value of the Hologram USA brand," getting in the way of its discussions to do recreations of Elvis Presley and Bob Marley.

Pulse, represented by Marty Singer and Todd Eagan, responds that David has hijacked the launch of the company and has similarly caused "immeasurable harm" to its "public relations, its reputation and brand."
Bottom line: The business of dead stars has a very live fight.

  • This article originally appeared in

SoundExchange Pays Out Record-Setting $162M in Q1

SoundExchange, the independent performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties, today announced its Q1 numbers.  In the fiscal first quarter the nonprofit paid $162.4 million to recording artists and labels, its largest Q1 payment to date and a 38% increase over the $117 million paid out last year.

The report also noted that in 2013, SoundExchange payments made up 8.4% of all U.S. recorded revenue which totaled some $7 billion dollars last year. 21% of that $7 billion was generated from streaming revenues of which SoundExchange paid out 41.3%. 

Warns of Takedowns!!! 
SoundExchange has now paid out some $2 billion dollars since its inception ten years ago growing from $3 million in 2003 to $36 million in 2007 to nearly $100 million in 2008 and nearly $600 million in 2013.
Last quarter, in which SoundExchange celebrated its 10th anniversary, the PRO paid out a record $170.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, with an all-time yearly total of $590.4 million, a 28% increase over 2012.  

The service collects statutory digital performance royalties from such services as Pandora, SiriusXM and Music Choice, and distributes them to labels and performers. It now counts 2,500 digital radio providers that use the statutory license it administers. After SoundExchange takes its administrative fee -- 4.9% in 2012 -- 50% of the royalties go to owners of the sound recordings, 45% is paid directly to the performing artist, and 5% goes to non-featured performing artists through a fund administered by AFM and SAG-AFTRA.

EXCLUSIVE//Justin Timberlake's Spring Run Tops Tours with $77.3 Million


Justin Timberlake performs at Stade de France
April 26: Justin Timberlake performs at Stade de France in Paris.
David Wolff - Patrick/Getty Images

Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience world tour heads up the weekly ranking of Hot Tours, with sales reported from its European leg that kicked off at the end of March and ran through June 10. Ticket sales totaled $77.3 million from the trek that hit 23 cities in 14 countries on the continent, along with a handful of dates in Middle Eastern markets. 

Touring in support of his most recent studio albums released last year, "The 20/20 Experience" and "The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2," Timberlake launched the world tour in New York City on November 6, playing 38 cities in the U.S. and Canada during a four-month stretch. 

The subsequent European leg began in the U.K. on March 30 and included two-show engagements at arenas in seven cities as well as London’s O2 Arena, which hosted the tour for three nights. Six stadiums were also on the schedule, including the Stade de France in Paris, which drew the largest crowd. 57,286 fans filled the national stadium of France on April 26 for a single performance, the highest attendance reported at one venue during both legs of the tour. Overall box office counts since launch place the pop superstar among the top-grossing touring artists of the year with $148 million in ticket sales from 1.3 million fans at 78 performances.  

Ranked second among the 10 top-grossing touring artists of the week, One Direction adds $42.6 million to the Where We Are tour’s overall box office gross that is nearing the $100 million mark. This week’s tally includes revenue from sold-out shows at four U.K. stadiums, as reported by concert promoter SJM Concerts in Manchester. With 5 Seconds of Summer on the bill as opening act, the tour included performances on June 6, 7 and 8 at London’s Wembley Stadium, one of three venues to host the tour for three shows. The London run grossed $20 million (£11.9 million) with an attendance count logged at 236,566, the highest draw from a single venue since the world tour began in April. Also included in this report is Manchester’s Etihad Stadium that hosted the pop stars for three nights. The May 30-31, June 1 engagement produced a sold ticket count of 158,579 and $12.9 million in sales. Box office stats from Croke Park in Dublin, the other venue with a three-show run, were reported in a previous week. 1D remains on the road in Europe through July 13 and will kick off a North American run at the beginning of August.

George Strait is third on the slate of Hot Tours, with reported sales from his record-breaking tour finale on June 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. With $18.1 million in sales from a sold-out crowd of 104,793 at the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the country music legend smashed multiple attendance records with his final tour performance. 

The concert set a new record for single-show attendance at a U.S. stadium, as well as any indoor venue worldwide. The event also established Strait as country music’s most successful artist ever, based on single-show gross and attendance counts. The three top-grossing performances from the farewell tour -- Dallas, Houston and San Antonio -- top the all-time list of single performances among country artists according to Billboard’s Boxscore archives.

As well, the first sales figures have been reported from the world tour in support of Lady Gaga’s 2013 album "ARTPOP." With box office grosses topping $13.9 million from the first 14 performances, the pop star locks down the No. 4 slot on Hot Tours with more than 171,000 tickets sold. The arena tour, dubbed artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball, launched on May 4 at BB&T Center in the Ft. Lauderdale market, the first date of a North American leg that will play 36 cities through August 9. Dates in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe are on the books through late November.

Also included in this week’s tally is Lady Gaga’s seven-show run at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City earlier this year. The event grossed $1.5 million from 24,532 sold tickets at shows on March 28, 30, 31 and April 2, 4, 6 and 7 to mark the closing of the historic Manhattan entertainment venue.

TOP STORY//Beyonce Lands HBO Series of Mrs. Carter World Tour Concert Segments

By , The Hollywood Reporter

Beyonce Lands HBO Series of Mrs. Carter World Tour Concert Segments

Beyonce performs on stage during "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" at the Barclays Center on December 22, 2013 in Brooklyn, NY.

Beyoncé is heading back to HBO.
Following her 2013 documentary "Life Is But a Dream," Beyoncé will return to the premium network for a series of four-minute concert segments from her Mrs. Carter World Tour called "Beyoncé: X10."

The 10 installments will air every Sunday evening at 8:55 p.m. ET/PT ahead of the seventh and final season of "True Blood," which begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT on June 22.

Taped performances of "Blow/Cherry," "Drunk in Love," "Ghost/Haunted," "Flawless/Yonce," "Get Me Bodied/Baby Boy/Diva," "Girls," "Heaven," "Partition," "Why Don't You Love Me?" and "XO" will air as part of the series.

The performances were shot in various cities around the world from Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter World Tour. The tour began in April 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia and ended in March 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the highest-grossing female solo tour in 2013.

"Life Is But a Dream," which aired on HBO in February 2013 and was directed by Beyoncé, gave an inside look at the singer's life.

INSIDE SCOPE//Delroy Lindo Joins 'Point Break'

Delroy Lindo - P 2014
Courtesy of APA Delroy Lindo

Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey are starring in Alcon Entertainment's film.

Delroy Lindo has joined Point Break, Alcon Entertainment's reboot of the 1991 film.

Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey are starring in the remake, about a young FBI agent named Utah (Bracey) who goes undercover to stop an organized gang of criminals who are pulling off heists all over the world.
PHOTOS Second Time's the Charm: 15 of Hollywood's Most Notable Remakes
Lindo will play Utah's instructor who tries to motivate him to pass training.

Invincible director Ericson Core is helming the reboot from a script by Kurt Wimmer.

Alcon secured rights to Point Break from RGM Media, John McMurrick and Chris Taylor. Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will produce along with John Baldecchi, Taylor and Wimmer. RGM Media principal Devesh Chetty and investor Marloss Entertainment chairman McMurrick will serve as executive producers. Principal photography is slated to being June 26 in Germany, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, French Polynesia and India.

The original film, starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, earned $83.5 million worldwide in 1991 and went on to become a cult classic.

Lindo recently wrapped shooting on Cymbeline, starring Ed Harris and Ethan Hawke. Most recently starring on NBC's series Believe, Lindo's film credits include The Cider House Rules, Clockers, Crooklyn, Malcolm X, Wondrous Oblivion, Get Shorty, Devil’s Advocate and Romeo Must Die. His other TV credits include Fox's The Chicago Code. He's repped by APA.

Jennifer Fowler Appointed Sony Music SVP Marketing & Revenue Generation

Jennifer Fowler has been named senior vice president, U.S. marketing & revenue generation, Sony Music Entertainment.

jenIn this newly created role, Fowler will develop and lead strategies for deriving revenue and artist exposure from Sony Music’s relationships with both its commercial partners and new platforms for distribution and discovery. This includes creating and maximizing opportunities for Sony Music artists to be positioned and marketed within music services and stores, and to participate in partners’ branding, marketing and advertising/media campaigns.

Fowler will work with businesses in emerging areas such as music recognition, live music, online radio and user-generated content to identify and exploit new promotional and monetization opportunities that can benefit artists across Sony Music.  She also willlead Sony Music’s “One Sony” efforts to match Sony Music artists with promotional and commercial initiatives throughout the Sony family of companies.

As part of her responsibilities, she will oversee the U.S. sales marketing team, as well as the research & analytics and U.S. college marketing teams, leveraging data and insights to deliver commercial results for Sony Music’s artists and labels.

Warns of Takedowns!!! 
Based in New York, Fowler will report to evp U.S. sales and distribution Darren Stupak.
Said Stupak: “Jennifer is an accomplished, experienced executive, and a valued member of the Sony Music family. We are excited to have her joining the U.S. Sales team. With her proven marketing success and strong credibility with artists and mangers, we are well positioned to further monetize and grow our business.”

Fowler joins the U.S. sales team from RCA Records, where she most recently served as svp digital marketing, responsible for overseeing digital and mobile marketing and all direct-to-consumer business for the label. Prior to that, she was vp digital marketing, RCA Music Group. She joined J Records in 2001 as manager, new media. Over the course of her career at RCA, she has worked on campaigns for Chris Brown, Usher, R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, Adam Lambert, P!nk and Ke$ha, among others.

This article originally appeared in

DMX's Ex-Wife Gets Last Bark, Eats Up X's Money

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Former Ruff Ryders leader DMX is going to have to work extra hard these days in order to keep his pockets filled as reports claim ex-wife Tashera Simmons will now have his wages garnished. #GiveADogABone

Details of X's money problems for backed up child support payments emerged Thursday (June 19).

Tashera Simmons will be pulling $15,000 per month out of X's checks from Universal Music Publishing ... according to income withholding docs filed in New York state. The docs state that $10,000 is earmarked for child support for the former couple's four kids, and another $5,000 goes toward "other." The other stuff will get you every time. (TMZ)

Earlier this year, X managed to dodgea serious foreclosure situation in New York.

DMX may be whacked out most of the time ... but he's still crafty enough to beat the bank in the foreclosure game. Mr. X has a house in Mt. Kisco NY ... worth just south of $1 million. Problem is ... he's falling behind on his mortgage ... hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the bank initiated a foreclosure action. Truth be told ... the rapper hasn't paid a penny for 1400 DAYS ... since 2008. He currently owes $258,927. (TMZ)
Outside of these situations, X's representative Domenick Nati recently hit up SOHH and spoke on Dark Man X becoming a viral wedding crasher celebrity.

"I'm happy that this video is circulating so well," Domenick told SOHH via a statement. "This is the type of stuff X does all the time for his fans. This video is a great example of DMX being DMX." (SOHH)

The wild footage made its rounds online in January.

After stepping back from the spotlight to focus on being a preacher and deal with his legal troubles, sometime rapper and full-time cyberphobe DMX is already having an exciting 2014. He's going on an international tour, he's ranting about cops, and it seems he's also crashing the occasional wedding party. (Gothamist)

MUST READ!!! YouTube Confirms Subscription Service Imminent, Warns of Takedowns

YouTube has confirmed it is close to launching its music subscription service, even as it in the process of pulling down some of the biggest indie label acts in a dispute over payments.

YouTube Confirms Subscription Service Imminent, Warns of TakedownsActs like Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend, who account for up to 10% of all the music for which YouTube typically has rights to feature, are likely to be pulled down as the world’s largest video service has been unable to reach an agreement with the some of the leading independent labels, including the Beggars Group.

The crux of the dispute is that YouTube and the labels are unable to agree on royalty terms the subscription service in addition to existing terms with its free service.

YouTube executives argue that they cannot offer music on the free service without it also being available on the paid service as this would disappoint its subscribers. The solution? To take down songs that can’t be available on both services.

“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year,” said a YouTube spokesman in a statement. Google-owned YouTube is testing the service internally, but will not give a date for its launch yet. The dispute with the indies is not likely to hold up its plans, according to person familiar with the company.

The music industry is excited for more entrants into the streaming business, which is the fastest-growing music distribution format. But there remains caution about giving up too much control to Google. Even after nearly a decade of working together, some executives still privately worry about Google’s track record with respecting content owners’ rights. YouTube is the leading music platform with its free video service and said it has paid more than $1 billion out to rights-holders in the "last several years."

But many in the indie label community in particular have long grumbled of unfair treatment, especially when compared with other digital services.

"We are treated equitably and fairly by Rdio, Spotify and Rhapsody, and about 20 services, but obviously not YouTube," Rich Bengloff, president of the independent label trade association A2IM, told Billboard. "I filed a complaint with the FTC last week.” (Read the letter here.)

Amazon is another major new player in the music streaming service with the launch of its Prime Music service and new reports that it will soon launch its own smartphone with AT&T.

'Holler If Ya Hear Me': Theater Review

Tony-winning "A Raisin in the Sun" director Kenny Leon stages this Broadway musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, with a cast headed by Saul Williams and Christopher Jackson.

NEW YORK — John Singleton can relax. Any danger of his long-in-development Tupac Shakur biopic being beaten to the punch by Holler If Ya Hear Me is quickly dispelled by the deflating experience of this well-intentioned but toothless Broadway rap musical. The show is not a biographical drama but a story of friendship and family, gun violence, racism and redemption in an inner-city black neighborhood, inspired by Shakur's lyrics and poetry. However, therein lies the problem. The music is often powerful and the performers uniformly capable, but the songs are a poor fit for narrative presentation, at least in writer Todd Kreidler's cut-and-paste of cliched situations and stock characters.
One of the most influential figures in hip-hop, Shakur's stature has continued to grow in the 18 years since the rapper was killed in a drive-by shooting at age 25. During his lifetime, his divisive music was considered contradictory, often seeming to condemn the brutality of gangsta rap culture in one breath and celebrate its flashy excesses in the next. But the enduring legacy of his politically charged lyrics is one of sorrow at the vicious cycle of violence bred out of entrenched racism, poverty and police profiling.

That might have been rich fodder for a gritty musical in more skilled, less literal hands. The storytelling approach of stitching a narrative fabric around thematically related songs is similar to what Michael Mayer and Billie Joe Armstrong achieved so excitingly with Green Day's American Idiot. But Kreidler, whose main credentials come via his association with revered playwright August Wilson, borrows from countless urban-aggression screen dramas of the past two decades, bringing very little that feels vital or original to the table.

The decision to set the show in an unnamed Midwestern industrial city and establish the time as now makes sense, aiming for universality while avoiding associations with the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop feud of the early '90s. But what we get instead is a bland, black West Side Story with a lot of sermonizing about social ills and a rumble that never happens.

Director Kenny Leon, fresh from a Tony win for A Raisin in the Sun, introduces the brooding central figure of John (Saul Williams) as he descends in an elevator cell and sheds his orange prison jumpsuit to return home after six years inside. But he remains emotionally locked away, keeping his buddies and his former girlfriend Corinne (Saycon Sengbloh) at a distance. That becomes difficult when innocent local kid Benny (Donald Webber Jr.) catches a bullet intended for his older brother, drug-dealer Vertus (Christopher Jackson), and the victim's friends push for retaliation against the gang that shot him.

The fact that Benny was nurturing a dream to flee the ghetto and start a new life, opening an auto-shop in California with his mechanic pal Griffy (Ben Thompson), is just one more tired narrative ingredient. It doesn't help us to distinguish Benny from the other interchangeable characters or feel his loss when it occurs a short way into the show.

One of the key issues is that the actors, no matter how talented, have nothing but hackneyed outlines to play. Tonya Pinkins is every African-American mother who ever grieved for a child lost to senseless gang violence. The soulful Sengbloh is every self-possessed girlfriend smart enough to move on rather than wait for her man to serve out his jail time. A street preacher (John Earl Jelks) bears solemn witness to the struggle around him, but he remains a symbolic presence in a story that desperately needs flesh and blood characters.

A buzz of recognition spreads through the audience when popular Tupac anthems begin — among them "Dear Mama," "Whatz Next," "California Love," "Me Against the World," "If I Die 2Nite," "Thugz Mansion" and "Ghetto Gospel." Themes of love, family, honor, identity and community are embedded in those lyrics. But while the frequent musical transitions from spoken word into melody can be energizing, particularly in ensemble numbers, there's little plot momentum or character exploration. The music mostly just reiterates the same point about the need for change to end the violence.

In one of the rare moments when there is an organic progression from one song to the next — the guys' macho swaggering on "I Get Around" prompting the ladies' proud response with "Keep Ya Head Up" — choreographer Wayne Cilento's staging has the kitschy, ‘90s-retro feel of a Fly Girls dance break from In Living Color.

Williams, best known for the 1998 Sundance winner Slam, and Jackson, who starred on Broadway in the more upbeat, Latin-flavored rap musical In the Heights, are both charismatic presences whose contrasting intensities work well together. But there's a tendency with rap to perform concert-style, directly addressing the audience rather than engaging with other people onstage. The prevailing impression is of Broadway performers playing at projecting tough street attitudes, not of any kind of authentic experience being depicted.

Edward Pierce's scenic design is made up largely of panels and scaffolds splashed by projections of John's prison sketches and drenched in Mike Baldassari's dynamic lighting. It's grim, industrial and a bit drab. Not that a more naturalistic staging was necessarily the way to go, but this stylized presentation lacks atmosphere.

The real estate challenges of Broadway are tricky, and often producers have to grab whatever theater is available or play an uncertain waiting game. Holler If Ya Hear Me might have been a tad more electrifying in a smaller house than the Palace, which has been downsized by around 600 seats for the production. But the stadium-style reconfiguration turns half the orchestra seating into an awkward empty space that greets theatergoers upon arrival. For a show already battling to sell tickets, that expanse of unoccupied seats sends a bad signal.

While it might be remembered as the first Broadway musical to use the N-word as punctuation (as well as the M.F. one), this otherwise looks likely to be forgotten fast.

Cast: Saul Williams, Christopher Jackson, Saycon Sengbloh, Ben Thompson, John Earl Jelks, Joshua Boone, Dyllon Burnside, Tonya Pinkins, Tracee Beazer, Afi Bijou, Mel Charlot, Carrie Compere, Otis Cotton, Brandon Gill, Ari Groover, F. Michael Haynie, Jared Joseph, Jahi Kearse, Muata Langley, Valentine Norton, Christina Sajous, Charlene “Chi-Chi” Smith, Jaime Lincoln Smith, Donald Webber Jr., Joaquina Kalukango

  • Director: Kenny Leon
  • Book: Todd Kreidler
  • Lyrics: Tupac Shakur
  • Set designer: Edward Pierce, based on original concepts by David Gallo
  • Lighting designer: Mike Baldassari
  • Costume designer: Reggie Ray
  • Sound designers: John Shivers, David Partridge
  • Projection designer: Zachary Borovay
  • Music supervision, orchestrations & arrangements: Daryl Waters
  • Musical staging & choreographer: Wayne Cilento
  • Music director: Zane Mark
  • Executive producer: Richard Martini
Presented by Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin, Jessica Green, Marcy Kaplan Gold, Anita Waxman, Afeni Shakur

How YouTube's Subscription Terms Will Hurt Indies – No Content Removal Required


YouTube might not, in fact, take down music from indies it doesn’t have an agreement with... but it won’t pay them either.

Right after Amazon appeared to take independent labels for granted with a take-it-or-leave-it payment scheme for its new streaming service, YouTube's lower-than-market rate offer for its planned subscription service is causing major agita for the indie sector.

That's because the rates it is offering are also backed by the threat that if their compensation scheme is refused for its paid subscription service, they will be taking those labels off the gravy train of its ad-supported streaming service, which pays out hundreds of millions of dollars annually to labels and publishers.

Not only will YouTube hurt indie labels in their collective pocketbook for refusing to sign its deal for the service, it will be kickking sand in their faces too, because it will likely leave their music up on its site for anybody who wants to play them -- it just won't monetize those music videos by putting advertising against them.

That means labels will have to play whack-a-mole if they want their music pulled off the service, because YouTube will likely hide behind the safe harbor provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and only take down music when notified by the rights owner. Rights owners already know they can't play whack-a-mole fast enough to get their music taking down from the user-uploaded site. Their music will always be up there.

Google's informal company mantra is supposed to be "don't be evil," but that apparently goes out the window when they deal with indie labels, one indie label executive complained to Billboard.

The indie sector is up in arms to the degree that they are trying to get governmental regulatory agencies to look at YouTube's business tactics in setting up the subscription service. In the U.S., A2IM sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, asking them to investigate YouTube's practices in dealing with the indie sector. Its counterparts in Europe have said they will reach out to the European Commission.

Not all indie labels are upset with YouTube. "I can't tell Spotify that I only want to be in their premium service, and not in the ad-supported part of their model," says one indie distribution executive. "It’s just that YouTube are going backwards in building their business model."

Meaning: YouTube built the free part first, allowing unauthorized usage of music to flourish until they found a way to monetize it by converting to an ad-supported model. Now, three or four years later, they are adding the premium service, that executive notes. So it makes sense that they would want everybody to be a part of the premium service too; and it makes sense that they would not let them be a part of the ad-supported service, if labels refuse to be a part of the premium service, the executive added.

That executive further notes that other services have started out by offering indies a lower rate than the majors. He cited Amazon and Spotify as two examples where indies were intially offered a lower rate. "We expect to have the same rate as the majors, but the reality of the market is we don't always get that," says that executive, who expects to sign the YouTube deal. "But just as with those services, as we have proven the worth of our content, the rates have gone up. I would expect the same thing to happen at YouTube."
But another executive says YouTube really “blundered.”

“Their negotiations with indies is heavy-handed at a minimum and might be illegal at worst,” they said the executive. “YouTube and Google always do what they want, because that's how they operate."

He says YouTube already has built a system that leaves ways for it to avoid paying rights owners for every transaction. For example, if they can find five publishers, but there are six publishers on a track and they can't locate the final one, they just don't pay anybody.

"There are songs with millions of views, where it is easy to find out who owns it, but they have managed to not pay it out because they haven't found the right owners," he alleges.

He also says that YouTube divides the world into about 190 different territories, but is only selling advertising in about 70 markets. "In all the other markets, your video plays and you don't get a cent because they are not selling advertising there," he complains.

If YouTube wanted to, it could build a tool so music videos are only available in markets where they sell advertising, but they haven't done so, he argues.

Likewise, Youtube has a fingerprinting system for songs that allows it to identify 50-60% of songs that are uploaded, but it doesn't use that tool to pull down songs where it doesn't have the license. Instead, it makes rights owners engage in whack-a-mole by sending take-down notices to the site.

He says YouTube's track record doesn't inspire trust in the current negotiations. "Other services come in and say 'this is exactly what we will do and this is what we will pay.' Did YouTube do that? Of course they didn't."

"YouTube's deals are always complicated, and only in retrospect do you see what they are driving at," that indie distribution executive says. "They try to build scenarios and obfuscate the deal so you don't know what rights they have."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"You're only good as your last hit..."

The rap game is getting even less money nowadays, it's been pretty sad. And now w/ 360 Deals they're taking money from all endorsements and outside cash as well. The whole point of these videos are to shed light on the stark contrast between the "appearance" a lot of Rappers prefer (successful or not) AND reality.


Part 1: Interviews company execs as well as artist about the stae of the music biz. A must see! How rappers spend money before they get it. Ghetto Fab! A realistic look at what a mill-ticket really breaks down to. Damon Dash breaks down the rappers starter kit.  Where the rappers money really comes from. How hit songs can make you a instant millioniare. The "Advance" is explained in detail and what is supposed to be used for. Advance re-coupment is explained. At 5:08 Hip Hop Veteran Q Tip breaks down how royalties, group as well as individual taxes are deducted. based on the classic album Low End Theory record sales numbers. Explains why rappers must sell platinum plus to pay off advances. Missy speaks on why making records marks a better pay day. At 6:53 The Neptune's tell why producers eat. At 7:36 Jermaine Dupree Snoop and DMC speaks on touring
"You're only good as your last hit, so, you've gotta count every dollar as your last one."

Part 2: Speaks on why rappers need other streams of revenue. Creating other entities. Record labels sweetest perks THE JOINT VENTURE.Why to go with a Joint venture and why not; why to be a Label owner. What the richest rappers know DIVERSIFY!How they diversified their imprints.Why have a clothing line. Why they are making moves in Hollywood. Why Hip Hop isn't recession proof. Jay Z speaks on doing on your own. Recruiting other artist. Reinventing yourself. Going gold means going broke! 
If the music industry was struggling 11 years ago with new smartphones, iPods, and iPads out can you imagine how their doing now ? Nowadays rappers seem to only make money off of concerts and tours if they want to stay on top they have to collaborate with other artists, promote and sell products as well as get involved with TV commericals and movies.

Bottomline Diversify and Tour!

How, and How Much, America Listens Have Been Measured for the First Time

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller in "Zoolander."
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

A new survey by Edison Research says Americans listen to four hours and five minutes of audio each day. Exactly how that listening breaks down might surprise you since no previous study has tracked all audio consumption. 


Broadcast radio accounted for 52% of all listening time, or just over two hours per day. That figure includes time spent listening to online simulcasts from AM or FM stations. Broadcast radio's place as most favored audio format isn't a surprise. About 92% of Americans age 12 and over listen to broadcast radio, according to Arbitron.  

Owned music accounted for 20% of listening. Included in this category are CDs, digital downloads, vinyl LPs and, presumably, even cassette tapes. CD listening comprised "a significant" part of the owned music category, according to Edison Research President Larry Rosin. 

Streaming services accounted for 12% of listening. Edison calls this category "Internet radio" and includes webcasters like Pandora with on-demand services like Spotify and Beats Music. Recent research by Edison and Triton Digital says 47% of Americans age 12 and over, or roughly 124 million people, listen to online radio every month. That figure rises to 75% in the 12-to-24 age group. 

No other category accounted for ten percent or more of listening. Satellite radio (8%) is followed by podcasts (2%) and a general "other" category (2%) that includes audiobooks.

These figures are averages across the entire population of Americans age 13 and over. Edison's representative sample filled out diaries that tracked what they listened to and how long they listened. 

The survey results show that audio is "the hottest space in the world of media," says Edison Research's Larry Rosin. "It shows why three of the four horsemen of the Internet -- Apple, Amazon and Google -- are in the audio space. Who knows if Facebook will follow them?" 

The study fills a gap in understanding about American's listening habits. No market research company had tracked the aggregate amount of audio consumers regularly consume. There is research into radio listening and Internet radio habits, but nothing on listening across all formats. "I honestly didn't know the numbers," says Rosin.

NPD Group has tracked music listening for a number of years but takes a slightly different approach. NPD tracks specifically music listening and surveys only an online audience. Edison's Share of Ear participants kept listening diaries -- both online and offline -- that tracked all audio listening in 15-minute intervals.

Nevertheless, the two research firms' studies have some similar numbers. An NPD survey from the second quarter of 2013 found that broadcast radio accounted for 32% of music listening while streaming services accounted for 26% and owned music represented 22%. A big difference between the two was time spent listening. NPD survey participants averaged 16.5 hours per week while Edison survey participants listened to 28.6 hours of audio per week.

UPDATE: Angie Martinez Makes Shocking Move, Joins Hot 97's Enemy

New York radio station veteran Angie Martinez is far from retired after hanging up the microphone at Hot 97 yesterday (June 18) and is reportedly joining forces with the company's rival, Power 105.1. #MadeYouLook 

According to reports, Angie will have her own afternoon show at Power 105.1.
On Thursday morning (June 19), Clear Channel announced that Martinez would be joining the team at rival radio station Power 105. 1, in addition to airing on 103.5 The Beat in Miami. She's set to host a new afternoon show, running fro 2 - 6 p.m in New York. Power 105 and Hot 97 have been fierce competitors in recent years, so the move is definitely unexpected. (MTV)
Martinez broke the Hot 97 exit news to her Instagram followers yesterday afternoon.
"Today I resigned from HOT97. I am grateful to the Emmis family for my time with the company and the immeasurable way that it has shaped my life. We made history together in so many ways and I will cherish those memories and my friendships forever. This was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make but ultimately it is time to move on, to grow and to be challenged in new ways." (Angie Martinez's Instagram)
Angie also revealed Wednesday would mark her final show on the popular radio station.
"Saying goodbye is always emotional and bitter sweet but I am extremely excited about the future. Thank you HOT97 and most importantly....the listeners... for an unimaginable journey. Today will be my last show ?? stay tuned.... Love, angie" (Angie Martinez's Instagram)
A couple years ago, Angie reflected on her short-lived rap career.
"Me being on the radio has just become a part of who I am. It's not even my job anymore, it's just who I am. There's other things I like to do on the side, I had an opportunity to make music for a little while, that was fun. I might not have been the greatest artist in the world but I traveled the world, I learned, I got that off. It was fun and I don't regret it at all," she said in an interview. "I cringe sometimes when I hear some of those songs, I really can't. I don't want to disrespect the producers or anybody else but it's like looking at an old high school picture of yourself, you're like, 'Oh, there's that picture again,' or 'There I am in that outfit or saying that stupid thing again.' It's that type of thing. I don't think I'd go back to making music, that was an experience I had and it was great but it wasn't a natural state." (Complex)