For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Jeff Price is the prince of the new music economy. In an environment where major labels are less likely than ever to easily produce a new Platinum selling act, highly unlikely to score a Diamond selling one, and site’s like YouTube have made Andy Warhol’s prediction of everyone achieving a stint of fame a reality, the stars are now aligned to sell millions of one and twos. Even small indie labels typically had no place for artists without the potential to at least sell thousands of units. However, Price’s Tunecore is set up to be profitable doing just that. They provide a new era version of major distribution to any artist, regardless of the sales potential. This is possible because the business model is not biased towards how much content is sold. Instead, they are set up to charge based on the delivery of content, not unlike Fed Ex, an analogy made by Price himself about his company.

…no one saying you’re good enough or you’re bad enough, or you should make it or shouldn’t make it… you can come to the website, and you can upload your music and say ‘put it into iTunes.” The cost for that, instead of giving away a piece of your soul and your rights and your money and your control, is just a simple flat postage fee. It’s like Fed Ex- you pay the fee and the package gets delivered.

Price, former proprietor of indie record label spinArt, describes his current company as a place where “anybody can…sign themselves.” The company has been delivering on this promise for five years. Tunecore is in many ways responsible for democratizing digital music distribution. They’ve helped bring down the barriers that had previously prevented most recording artists and independent record labels from selling their music on as broad a scale as possible. Before their existence, there were other companies providing digital distribution. However, Tunecore’s unique approach in regards to how they charge users made all the difference. Instead of charging based on a percentage of sales, they charge a flat fee. Because they generate revenue based on each user that signs on to have content delivered, this permits them to open up their service to anyone who creates or controls music. [click to continue…]

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Is Hip-Hop Dead?

Hip-Hop is dead because the mainstream killed the reason why Hip-Hop was created. However, the underground has kept it alive and strong for the real heads. It’s a double sided dilemma with a lot of answers to go with many questions. [click to continue…]

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From Buckshot and Dru Ha:

Hey everyone,

We just wanted to share some exciting news on Talib Kweli’s Gutter Rainbows first week numbers.

13,900 Soundscan units in its First Week.
#5 Rap Album
#29 All Genres

In this climate, it being a digital-only release & purely indie, we’re very proud of the #s. Rule of thumb for most of our titles is that digital will make up roughly 25-30% of the total sales. That leaves 70% to physical, which we didn’t have for this release.

Related story: Buckshot gives advice to artists and music entrepreneurs.

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I shouldn’t have to explain who Kool Herc is, but he’s in dire need of the Hip Hop community. Here’s an an article explaining the situation. Also, a bio for those who might want to brush up on their Hip Hop history, visit here or here.

There’s collections being taken by his sister if you would like to help.

Supporters can send monetary donations to Herc via PayPal ( or snail mail: Kool Herc Productions PO Box 20472, Huntington Station, NY 11746

There are many projects being created to raise money to assist him like “The Kool Herc Project”. Please do what you can but remember that the pioneers are getting older and we need to respect what they’ve done for this culture.

Bless C73 aka CyPhEr777


Mark Coker has developed a powerful platform and service to deliver digital books to significant sellers such as Borders, Barnes and Noble, and, as well as smaller specialty niche outlets, mobile applications, and a multitude of eReaders. In this interview, SmashWords’ founder provides a great amount of insight into the digital book publishing industry. He also discusses his motivation behind the launching of his company and shares plenty of information about the ins and outs of distributing ebooks utilizing this service.

You started Smashwords because you had a book that you were going to have published the traditional way and I guess you found that there were some significant obstacles with the traditional book publishers?

Yes, definitely. My wife is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly magazine. And when I first met her she was telling me about all these crazy stories of what went on behind the scenes of the daytime television soap operas because she used to visit the sets. And I suggested she wrote a book about it and she said, “Well why don’t we write a book together?”

And I thought well that’d be a lot of fun. I’d always wanted to write a book just I never thought it would be about soap operas. But we moved down to Burbank for a couple of months and interviewed – conducted anonymous interviews with about 50 soap opera industry insiders. We gathered all the dirt about the industry and then took that information and fictionalized it as a novel called Boob Tube. So we did everything that authors are trained to do or taught to do.

We did multiple revisions on the book, hired professional editors and proofreaders and copy editors, got the book all ready for sale to a publisher, shopped it around to agents, got represented by one of the top literary agencies in New York City. The same agency that represented Barack Obama’s first book, and they were excited about the book and we were excited that they were excited and so they shopped it around for a couple of years to major commercial women’s fictional publishers in New York and none of them purchased it.
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