For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Amanda Palmer is far from a household name, however, she’s as relevant to the music industry as any big name artist. She tours constantly, sells plenty of merchandise, and most importantly is adored by her fans. Even in this post “In Rainbows” music industry, within indie music circles, Amanda’s a hero and an inspiration to aspiring artists. Online, she’s become the poster child for the right way to use social media if you’re an artist. She used that connection to further strengthen her bond with fans. After experiencing, first hand, the effectiveness of connecting directly with her followers, she found that there was no longer a need for a middleman- the record label- between her and her audience. For the last year or so, she’s embarked on a campaign to be dropped from powerhouse label Roadrunner/Warner Records— a feat that is not easily accomplished, regardless, she prevailed.

How was she able to accomplish all of this? Well, the short story is by becoming a one-of-a-kind talent. However, this wasn’t enough. Label rosters are full of talented artists. Some of these artists sit dormant on shelves waiting for their turn in queue to receive, if their lucky, a window of attention from their labels. Amanda didn’t wait. She put herself and her talent in front of her fans in person and online. She also brought something new to the proverbial plate- the stage and the studio. She created her own world of music, Brechtian Punk Carabret, where she, of course, reigned as queen. She was so successful in her own space, that there was no substitute for fans. Beyond that, she’s a savvy communicator. Amanda understood the power of the Net, and all of ways to connect that are found within. She used these tools aka “social media” to keep her audience abreast of her whereabouts and her thoughts. She’d set up impromptu meetings and performances- playing an intimate set to a small group of loyal fans before the main show. She bridged the gap between networking online and the real social networking that only happens on the physical plane. [click to continue…]


(Sponsored press release.)

Brad Real Single Released as a Free Digital Download

Indianapolis, May 3, 2010- 8729 Records announced today the release of “Mumble,” the brand new single from hip-hop artist Brad Real. The single is being offered as a free digital download at Brad Real has once again teamed up with local producer Nick J, who delivers a powerful beat that drives Real’s inspired rap and a hook sampled from Indianapolis DJ Mr. Kinetik.
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Regardless of your taste, if you’re a fan or practitioner of building awareness, then you should appreciate the trade of skilled rap promoters. Cash Money Records set the precedent in current rap music for how to build awareness from the ground up. They proved that when this is done properly, the foundation is set to secure fans’ passion for the brand for years.

There’s so much written and discussed about online marketing today, however, there’s something to be said about taking it to the people, the old way, face to face aka real social networking. During my conversation with the owners of Cash Money Records, when they were just starting to get known nationally- before Lil Wayne’s household name status- they told me one of their marketing strategies. This assisted them in connecting with their initial audience in a significant way. It seemed so obvious at the time, but I wonder how strange and against the grain their information is in today’s social-media crazed environment, with its saturated haze of blog posts, text messages, and 140 character riffs. [click to continue…]

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It was a sad day for me to get confirmatIon on the death of a man who I will continue to call my brother, Keith Elam, better known as Guru of the legendary Gang Starr.

From 1988-2004, we experienced so much success together that we were able to expand our businesses independently and give each other what Guru called “creative space,” before planning to reunite for our 7th LP when the time was right. Tragically, we will never reach that day.

I’ve been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days. All I will say about it is that our time together was beautiful, we built a hip hop legacy together, and no one can re-write history or take away my love for him. One thing I would never do is play around with the truth about his life.

I will celebrate Guru’s life… I will honor his memory… I will grieve with the Elam family over his untimely death… I will remember the Gang Starr foundation and all of the origInal members of Gang Starr who came before me – we all know each other…. Mostly, I will cherish everything we created together as Gang Starr, forever. I’m gonna miss hearing his signature monotone voice when he walks in the room, but the songs will always bring it back to me….His rhyme flows were insane, and I will never remove him from my heart and soul…….Rest in peace to the man who felt “satisfactIon from the street crowd reaction” … I love you Goo…….DJ Premier

Statement provided by Tre-Media

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It is reported today that the father of Hip Hop and Jazz fusion has died due to complications from his battle with cancer. As the vocalist of one of the most respected teams in Hip Hop, Gangstarr, Guru’s voice is also one of the most recognized in the genre. Starting his career off on Wildpitch Records in the later ’80,s Guru made a name for himself as a top lyricist. In the ’90s, DJ Premier and Guru secured their names as Hip Hop royalty by delivering one solid release after the next. At the same time, Guru began to help to broaden the scope of Hip Hop fan’s listening palates by delivering Jazzmatazz, a blending of Hip Hop and Jazz. He’s continued to deliver quality music for the last twenty plus years. Guru also introduced the world to artists such as Bahamadia, Jeru the Damaja, and Group Home. Guru leaves behind a legacy of quality Hip Hop.

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