Talking with entertainment mogul Ice Cube: The “Are We There Yet” interview
When it comes to the pinnacle of entertainment, Mr. O'Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube to the world, arrived quite a while ago. As a performer, he's transcended from Hip Hop legend to movie star, all while maintaining credibility in both worlds. As an entertainment entrepreneur, he's successfully conquered the music, film, and now television industries. Counting the "Friday" and "Barbershop" movies, "Are We There Yet" is his third franchise film. This time, he's delivered one of his popular major motion picture properties to TV. The family-oriented sitcom stars Terry Crews (known best as Chris Rock's father on "Everybody ...
STYLES P (All-new, 2nd interview) by Dirty Angel
WITH A FRESH START, STYLES P READIES "SUPER" NEW ALBUM
By Khalid Strickland a.k.a. Dirty Angel
The streets may now rejoice...
When I first interviewed Styles P, around this same time last year coincidentally, the self-proclaimed “hardest rapper out” wasn’t in the best of moods. Although Styles’ sophomore album, “Time is Money”, was set to be released on Interscope Records, the moment was bittersweet. That’s because his excellent solo debut album, “A Gangster and a Gentleman”, had been released four years earlier in 2002. With the airtight singles like “Good Times” and “The Life” (featuring Pharaoh Monch) getting burn on the airwaves, Styles ...
Sharon Jones Reminded Me Why I Like Music
Sharon Jones is one of the most inspirational artists on the show circuit. It’s not just her soulful voice, nor is it her hard and heavy dancing on stage, nor her soothing retro sounds that are reminiscent of class acts such as ‘60’s female groups The Shirelles, The Marvelettes, The Dixie Cups, and others, that makes her such a powerful inspiration. Even Jones’ uncanny, pure energy and movements, that seem to be channeled from the late James Brown, don't make her such a rousing figure. The inspiration is her story: A struggling singer who worked at a state prison as ...
KILLAH PRIEST interview by Dirty Angel
KILLAH PRIEST: AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME WITH LATEST "OFFERING"
By Khalid Strickland a.k.a. Dirty Angel
Brooklyn wins again.
After their legendary movement avalanched hip-hop’s landscape, the Wu-Tang Clan assisted a lion’s share of rappers who have gained notoriety on their own merit. Killah Priest, hailing from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, is one of these alumni. Priest (as he prefers being called now) made his memorable debut in 1994 on “6 Feet Deep”, the first LP by The Gravediggaz (a group spearheaded by Wu-Tang Clan leader The RZA). In 1995, he appeared on two classic Wu-Tang solo albums: “Liquid Swords” by The GZA and ...
Julian Lennon discusses his new company, career, and the music industry
Insomniac Magazine recently participated in an interview with Julian Lennon to discuss his new release and a brand new company called theRevolution LLC. Lennon and music industry professionals Michael Birch (sold Bebo to AOL for $850 million) and Todd Meaghe (created the first 50/50 artist music store) started the company as a new approach to releasing music and working with artists. The company scouts talent, and then helps set up these artists with their own businesses. The company assists the artists with a variety of business endeavors including: finance, development, digital and physical distribution, promotion, and other important aspects ...
Teena Marie interview: The late, great soul legend discusses her love for, and life in, music.
In honor of the great Teena Marie, below is an interview conducted with her. During our talk, she shares her love for music and discusses a lifetime of creating it. It was with sadness that we learned of her passing, however, we were blessed to have had the opportunity to hear her story first hand. There is no question that her songs will be rediscovered by future generations of music fans seeking soulful inspiration.
Teena Marie Interview
In a day and age of commodity artists who are forgotten shortly after a year or so of a radio hit, and ...
Family Man Barrett of Bob Marley’s Wailers (interview)
Aston "FamilyMan" Barrett, the bassist for the legendary Wailers is responsible for the basslines and other creative elements on many of Bob Marley and the Wailers' classic songs. We discuss his thoughts about why Bob Marley and The Wailers' music continues to resonate with fans decades after its creation. He also discusses his thoughts on current state of music, and how he met and started working with Bob Marley. Yvad, the Wailers' Band's new vocalist shares his views on the power of Bob Marley and the Wailers' music.
Whether you're a musician or an artist, if you aspire to have a ...
Charlie Murphy interview: Big Name in the Stand Up Game
Although Charlie Murphy has appeared in countless films since the late ‘80s, there’s no getting around that most fans started to really get to know him during and after his appearances on The Dave Chappelle Show. Charlie’s skits, some based on his telling of real-life encounters with celebrities while he worked security in the early days of his younger brother’s career, have become larger than the show itself. Plays of some of Charlie’s segments on Chappelle’s show have exceeded the million-view mark on Youtube.com. There are very few people who follow pop culture that haven’t heard the words “I’m ...
What you can learn from harpist Merry Miller about succeeding in the music industry
Merry Miller is an extraordinary artist and businesswoman. Don’t take my word for it, she was named in Crain's New York Business magazine “40 Under 40” issue. She is the former Executive Vice President of Programming at the Learning Annex, and instrumental in building the organization’s revenue from $3 million to $100 million in three years. During that time, she coordinated visits from the who’s who of business and entertainment. She’s coordinated visits from some of the biggest leaders in the business, from Donald Trump to Russell Simmons. If that’s not impressive enough, Elle magazine named her one of the ...
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…]
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…]
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Mark Coker has developed a powerful platform and service to deliver digital books to significant sellers such as Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.com, 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. [click to continue…]