Jump to content

The Music Industry Thread (Articles)


DJ Stashman
 Share

Recommended Posts

The New Economics of the Music Industry

In the old days, it was much easier for pop stars to keep up with how much they were getting paid. Somebody would buy a CD at a Tower Records for $15 and a few dollars would appear months later on the star's royalty sheet. Then iTunes took over the record business, and it was even easier (if not more profitable) – every time somebody bought a 99-cent track, a few pennies went into the artist's bank account.

Those were such simple times. Today, music fans play free music videos on YouTube, stream songs for free on Spotify, MOG or Rdio, customize Internet radio stations on Pandora or Slacker and consume music a zillion different ways. The fractions of pennies artists make for each of these services are nearly impossible to track – at least for now. "People like to simplify this and say, 'There's no money in it,'" says Jeff Price, founder of TuneCore, which charges artists to place songs directly into iTunes, Spotify and others. "But it's complex, it's complicated and it's still being worked out."

So you're Adele, the year's biggest pop star. Your songs stream on Spotify – or MOG, Rdio, Pandora or YouTube. You still sell downloads through iTunes and Amazon, and you still sell old-fashioned CDs in old-fashioned record stores. How much do you get paid?

Rolling Stone talked to several sources in the music business and got several different

d45a4461ddc7fca45089ca2def456c829fd610c4.gif

Spotify, MOG, Rdio and other subscription services are either free (with ads) or charge users monthly fees for unlimited streaming music. The quick calculation, according to one band manager: If a song gets streamed 60 times, the songwriter receives 9.1 cents in mechanical royalty payments. And the performing artist gets 38 cents (or splits that money, half and half, with a record label, per contract).

Maybe you don't want to know the non-quick formula. "It is beyond complicated. It took me literally three months to understand this thing," says Jeff Price, founder of TuneCore, which charges artists $10 (for a single) and $50 (album) to place music in online stores such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as subscription services like Spotify and MOG.

Generally speaking, record labels make about 10.5 percent of Spotify or MOG revenue, then split that with the artists according to their contracts. "However, each service has to run literally five formulas each month -- on calculation number one, they have Subsection Number One and Subsection Number Two," Price says. "They throw out the higher of those and then compare that one against the other three. After that, they have to run this formula five different times."

Because the formulae are so byzantine, and the royalty payments that show up on audit sheets are still so tiny, very few artist lawyers and managers truly understand how much they could make – one day – from Spotify, MOG, Rdio or the other relatively new streaming services.

But Price makes the point that Spotify and the others encourage music fans to explore, listening to songs they might not have purchased. Even if it's not a rock-star payday, it's something. "Is it big money? I think it could be! I really do," says Jim Guerinot, manager of Nine Inch Nails and No Doubt.

cf87017f0f95e73f0ff7afec9cc12b4592c650f6.gif

Adele, who is signed to Sony Music, sells "Rolling in the Deep" for $1.29. Apple, as the retailer, keeps 30 percent, or roughly 40 cents. The rest, 90 cents, goes to Sony. From that, the major record label must deduct 9.1 cents as a "mechanical royalty," paid to Adele and her co-writer, Paul Epworth (although they might split it with their respective publishing companies). That leaves about 81 cents.

Typical record contracts give artists 12 to 20 percent of sales, depending on the hugeness of the star, so let's split the difference and say Adele's percent is 16. That comes out of the original $1.29 price – so the artist's cut for sale of the master recording is about 20 cents. (This is assuming Adele has made enough to "recoup" the expenses for her album – otherwise, it just contributes to paying off her debt to her record company.) And the remainder, a grand total of 60 cents, goes to Sony to pay for marketing, publicity, videos, executive salaries and obviously, profit.

Of course, many artists don't want to share nearly half of their revenues with a major label like Sony, which is essentially a middleman. Before the Internet, and stuff like ProTools, an artist had to sign with a label even to be heard. That's obviously no longer true. Today, an artist can pay a service like TuneCore to be included in the iTunes Store. At that point, after Apple takes its cut, the entire 90 cents goes to the artist.

"When we released the first Puscifer record, we went to a major distributor," says Maynard James Keenan, frontman for Tool, A Perfect Circle and indie band Puscifer, which put out Conditions of My Parole on its own earlier this week. "There was still this groaning dinosaur, grasping at straws, trying to get out of the tar pits. They were still doing things the old-school way, throwing my money at things that really didn't matter. And there are always these little extra fees when you try to go through channels – distribution fees, hidden costs. All these things really add up. It doesn't seem like you can really make a living off that. I pulled out of that this time. It just makes more sense."

f12f4445179d60a3678c66603a598f1a3ae138ce.gif

Over the past couple of years, YouTube has grown into a lucrative machine for record labels. Popular videos – those that generate hits in the millions – can be festooned with ads, and YouTube shares that revenue with the copyright holders. And it can be just as lucrative for goofy, homemade videos that use popular songs as it is for stars' original videos. For the homemade stuff, the system works like this: JK Wedding Entrance Dance, in which Chris Brown's "Forever" is the soundtrack, has racked up more than 70 million views since its debut in July 2009.

After the video was becoming a huge hit, YouTube's content identification people and employees of Brown's record label, Sony, had a conversation. The label had two options: Because YouTube isn't a piracy service, like Kazaa or LimeWire, it could take down the video immediately – or it could sell ads against it. According to music-business sources, a top artist might make $1 per 1,000 video plays -- so Sony has received, by our rough estimates, $70,000 for the JK Wedding Entrance Dance. (Vevo can draw five or 10 times that amount.) And artists get a fraction of that based on the percentages in their contracts. Which did Sony choose? Well, check out the multitude of ads, inside and outside the video box, throughout JK Wedding Dance.

Of course, truly independent artists – like video kings OK Go, who recently split with their longtime label EMI – are in a much better position in this scenario. "I know individual artists who make tens of thousands of dollars a month on YouTube," says Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne.com, which measures online metrics such as illegal file-sharing numbers and sells the data back to labels. "And I know of individual artists who make more money on an individual basis from YouTube than they do from iTunes."

418436f8b94f8146bb8e56a734969f807065e7fb.gif

After years of fighting over pennies, Internet radio services reached an agreement with artists, music publishers and record labels a few years ago on royalty payments. The rates go up every year, but the broad formula is that big "pure play" companies, such as Pandora and Slacker, pay either 25 percent of their total revenue per year, or a little more than $.001 per song -- whichever is greater. These payments go to a music-business collection agency known as SoundExchange, which then pays 50 percent of it to the copyright owner (usually a record label like Warner or Sony), 45 percent to the artist and 5 percent to non-featured performers. Smaller Internet radio companies pay slightly lower rates.

Anu Kirk, product lead for MOG, said at the recent Digital Music Forum in Los Angeles that Pandora winds up paying out much less than that – about a tenth of a penny per play. "It sucks that right now that artists are getting paid so little money by subscription services, but it sucks that artists are getting paid so little money by everyone," Kirk said.

Again, a totally independent artist gets to keep all that revenue. An artist signed to a record label, as in the iTunes scenario, keeps just 12 to 20 percent of that income, according to the record contract.

David Hyman, CEO of MOG, won't divulge his subscriber numbers, but he offers broad royalty estimates that apply to both Pandora-style radio and MOG-style subscriptions. "Let's say MOG has 1 million subscribers and everyone's paying $10 per month. And let's say the labels got 60 percent of that. Now, each label gets their piece of 60 percent based on frequency of plays. So if Warner [Music, a major label] was 30 percent of all plays in a given month, then Warner gets 30 percent of that 60 percent," he says. "Then they get a wad of money. Once they get that wad of money, how do they distribute it internally? I have no idea."

b340f77e87039c2d4eee7a200c9fae01d5ac3e69.gif

Speaking of wads of money, CDs were intensely profitable for artists and (especially) record labels for more than two decades, until the Internet, MP3s, piracy, Napster, iTunes, YouTube and Spotify kicked in over the past 10 years. The formula for artist payment is roughly the same as the iTunes model – only labels have traditionally removed hefty percentages for mysterious deductions.

Josh Grier, veteran music-business attorney for Wilco, Ryan Adams and others, walks us through the math. The retailer takes out about 30 percent of the suggested $17.98 price, or $5.40. From what's left, the songwriter and publishing company remove another 9.1 cents per song – or say, 91 cents for 10 songs. That leaves $11.67. (Often, producers take a cut as well.) From that, the artist receives 12 to 20 percent – let's use 16 to split the difference.

But Grier points out that labels have been cutting into artist royalties for years with deductions marked "free goods" (usually 10 percent of the artist's royalty) and "packaging" (usually 25 percent) -- dropping the royalty rate from roughly 16 to 11. (These old-school deductions for physical CDs and LPs don't apply to digital sales.)

In the end, in very broad terms, that leaves about $1.93 per sale in profit for the artist and $9.74 for the label. (We're assuming, once again, that the artist in question has recouped expenses, meaning he or she no longer has to pay back a record label for videos, tour support and so forth.) Of course, both need to remove their own expenses from that.

A decade ago, this disparity in payments was a huge point of contention between artists and the labels they worked for. That's still true today, but artists are far more likely to throw up their hands and say, "Who gives a crap? Let's just make a pile from touring." Says Grier: "The questions you're having are not all that relevant to the band. 'How many records are we going to sell? Pfpfpfpft. We just want to play the songs.'"

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-new-economics-of-the-music-industry-20111025

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

The highest-grossing concert tours of 2011

U2's final spate of shows on its massive “360 Tour” lands as the top-grossing tour of 2011 across North America and throughout the world, according to Pollstar, the concert-industry tracking magazine.

The Irish quartet, which had to postpone a significant chunk of shows that had been scheduled in 2010 when singer Bono injured his back, roared back in 2011, pulling in $156 million from 25 shows in 21 cities in North America. Worldwide the group logged $231.9 million from 34 shows in 26 cities.

U2 was the only act to cross the $100-million mark in North America, but pop-country princess Taylor Swift came close with$97.7 million for her “Speak Now” tour, which visited 59 cities for 80 performances.

PHOTOS: Top 10 concert tours of 2011

The rest of the Top 5 for the continent are country superstar Kenny Chesney, who grossed $84.6 million, Lady Gaga ($63.7 million) and the previous year's touring crown winner Bon Jovi. The New Jersey rock band registered $57.1 million during 34 shows in 27 cities, down from $108.2 million in 2010 racked up during a more intensive year of touring that logged 51 shows in 38 cities.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Elton John ($51.8 million), Sade ($48.6 million), Kanye West and Jay-Z's “The Throne” tour ($48.3 million), Lil Wayne ($44.4 million) and Celine Dion ($41.2 million).

Overall Pollstar's preliminary figures for the Top 25 tours showed total gross ticket revenue of $1.19 billion, down about 4% from the $1.24 billion tallied in 2010 in North America. Worldwide, the figures were nearly identical year to year at $2.1 billion.

“Although the overall dollar volume was down in 2011, the industry fared much better doing fewer shows and taking a more cautious approach in its objectives,” Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said in a statement issued along with the revenue figures. Pollstar's complete report on the Top 200 tours of the year is scheduled to be released Jan. 5.

Close behind U2 on the worldwide tour gross rankings was Take That, the former teen pop band from England that reunited for a hugely successful tour across the U.K. and Europe. The group, which was the springboard to fame for singer Robbie Williams, brought in $224 million from 35 shows in 17 cities.

Bon Jovi ranks third worldwide with a total gross of $148.8 million, followed by Swift at $104.2 million and former Pink Floyd singer-bassist Roger Waters at $103.6 million.

Filling out the worldwide Top 10 are John ($102.7 million), Rihanna ($90 million), Chesney ($84.6 million), Sade ($83.3 million) and Paul McCartney ($79.2 million).

Pollstar's figures are closely, but not precisely, matched by Billboard's year-end box-office tally, which takes a slightly different time period into account. Pollstar's numbers are collected across the calendar year while Billboard measured results from Nov. 1, 2010 to Nov. 8, 2011.

According to Billboard, the five highest-grossing tours worldwide were U2 ($293.3 million), Bon Jovi ($192.9 million), Take That ($185.2 million), Waters ($149.9 million) and Swift ($97.4 million).

In an area of the music business historically dominated by superstar acts from the '60s, '70s and '80s, this year fully half the acts that finished among Pollstar's Top 10, as well as throughout the Top 25, started their careers in the 1990s or later. That's a positive sign for the future health of the concert business, as many promoters have worried whether new acts will emerge to take over when top-grossing veteran acts such as the Rolling Stones, McCartney, John and the Eagles bring their touring days to an end.

Still, in the short term many of those same promoters, as well as fans, are looking forward to 2012 for recently announced tours by long-running acts including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which will be touring for the first time since the death this year of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and the reunited Beach Boys, touring next year with all surviving original members, including creative mastermind Brian Wilson. Madonna also has said she will return to the road next year, and the Rolling Stones have all but confirmed they'll be back out playing arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums in 2012.

Other developments that will be viewed as encouraging are the two hip-hop tours that made the Top 10 in North America. Hip-hop acts historically have struggled at the box office, but with two of the genre's kingpins — West and Jay-Z — teaming for nearly three dozen concert stops, in addition to a heavy slate of 71 shows in 70 cities for New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, rap posted stronger-than-usual results last year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The highest-grossing concert tours of 2011

U2's final spate of shows on its massive “360 Tour” lands as the top-grossing tour of 2011 across North America and throughout the world, according to Pollstar, the concert-industry tracking magazine.

The Irish quartet, which had to postpone a significant chunk of shows that had been scheduled in 2010 when singer Bono injured his back, roared back in 2011, pulling in $156 million from 25 shows in 21 cities in North America. Worldwide the group logged $231.9 million from 34 shows in 26 cities.

U2 was the only act to cross the $100-million mark in North America, but pop-country princess Taylor Swift came close with$97.7 million for her “Speak Now” tour, which visited 59 cities for 80 performances.

PHOTOS: Top 10 concert tours of 2011

The rest of the Top 5 for the continent are country superstar Kenny Chesney, who grossed $84.6 million, Lady Gaga ($63.7 million) and the previous year's touring crown winner Bon Jovi. The New Jersey rock band registered $57.1 million during 34 shows in 27 cities, down from $108.2 million in 2010 racked up during a more intensive year of touring that logged 51 shows in 38 cities.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Elton John ($51.8 million), Sade ($48.6 million), Kanye West and Jay-Z's “The Throne” tour ($48.3 million), Lil Wayne ($44.4 million) and Celine Dion ($41.2 million).

Overall Pollstar's preliminary figures for the Top 25 tours showed total gross ticket revenue of $1.19 billion, down about 4% from the $1.24 billion tallied in 2010 in North America. Worldwide, the figures were nearly identical year to year at $2.1 billion.

“Although the overall dollar volume was down in 2011, the industry fared much better doing fewer shows and taking a more cautious approach in its objectives,” Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said in a statement issued along with the revenue figures. Pollstar's complete report on the Top 200 tours of the year is scheduled to be released Jan. 5.

Close behind U2 on the worldwide tour gross rankings was Take That, the former teen pop band from England that reunited for a hugely successful tour across the U.K. and Europe. The group, which was the springboard to fame for singer Robbie Williams, brought in $224 million from 35 shows in 17 cities.

Bon Jovi ranks third worldwide with a total gross of $148.8 million, followed by Swift at $104.2 million and former Pink Floyd singer-bassist Roger Waters at $103.6 million.

Filling out the worldwide Top 10 are John ($102.7 million), Rihanna ($90 million), Chesney ($84.6 million), Sade ($83.3 million) and Paul McCartney ($79.2 million).

Pollstar's figures are closely, but not precisely, matched by Billboard's year-end box-office tally, which takes a slightly different time period into account. Pollstar's numbers are collected across the calendar year while Billboard measured results from Nov. 1, 2010 to Nov. 8, 2011.

According to Billboard, the five highest-grossing tours worldwide were U2 ($293.3 million), Bon Jovi ($192.9 million), Take That ($185.2 million), Waters ($149.9 million) and Swift ($97.4 million).

In an area of the music business historically dominated by superstar acts from the '60s, '70s and '80s, this year fully half the acts that finished among Pollstar's Top 10, as well as throughout the Top 25, started their careers in the 1990s or later. That's a positive sign for the future health of the concert business, as many promoters have worried whether new acts will emerge to take over when top-grossing veteran acts such as the Rolling Stones, McCartney, John and the Eagles bring their touring days to an end.

Still, in the short term many of those same promoters, as well as fans, are looking forward to 2012 for recently announced tours by long-running acts including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which will be touring for the first time since the death this year of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and the reunited Beach Boys, touring next year with all surviving original members, including creative mastermind Brian Wilson. Madonna also has said she will return to the road next year, and the Rolling Stones have all but confirmed they'll be back out playing arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums in 2012.

Other developments that will be viewed as encouraging are the two hip-hop tours that made the Top 10 in North America. Hip-hop acts historically have struggled at the box office, but with two of the genre's kingpins — West and Jay-Z — teaming for nearly three dozen concert stops, in addition to a heavy slate of 71 shows in 70 cities for New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, rap posted stronger-than-usual results last year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The highest-grossing concert tours of 2011

U2's final spate of shows on its massive “360 Tour” lands as the top-grossing tour of 2011 across North America and throughout the world, according to Pollstar, the concert-industry tracking magazine.

The Irish quartet, which had to postpone a significant chunk of shows that had been scheduled in 2010 when singer Bono injured his back, roared back in 2011, pulling in $156 million from 25 shows in 21 cities in North America. Worldwide the group logged $231.9 million from 34 shows in 26 cities.

U2 was the only act to cross the $100-million mark in North America, but pop-country princess Taylor Swift came close with$97.7 million for her “Speak Now” tour, which visited 59 cities for 80 performances.

PHOTOS: Top 10 concert tours of 2011

The rest of the Top 5 for the continent are country superstar Kenny Chesney, who grossed $84.6 million, Lady Gaga ($63.7 million) and the previous year's touring crown winner Bon Jovi. The New Jersey rock band registered $57.1 million during 34 shows in 27 cities, down from $108.2 million in 2010 racked up during a more intensive year of touring that logged 51 shows in 38 cities.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Elton John ($51.8 million), Sade ($48.6 million), Kanye West and Jay-Z's “The Throne” tour ($48.3 million), Lil Wayne ($44.4 million) and Celine Dion ($41.2 million).

Overall Pollstar's preliminary figures for the Top 25 tours showed total gross ticket revenue of $1.19 billion, down about 4% from the $1.24 billion tallied in 2010 in North America. Worldwide, the figures were nearly identical year to year at $2.1 billion.

“Although the overall dollar volume was down in 2011, the industry fared much better doing fewer shows and taking a more cautious approach in its objectives,” Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said in a statement issued along with the revenue figures. Pollstar's complete report on the Top 200 tours of the year is scheduled to be released Jan. 5.

Close behind U2 on the worldwide tour gross rankings was Take That, the former teen pop band from England that reunited for a hugely successful tour across the U.K. and Europe. The group, which was the springboard to fame for singer Robbie Williams, brought in $224 million from 35 shows in 17 cities.

Bon Jovi ranks third worldwide with a total gross of $148.8 million, followed by Swift at $104.2 million and former Pink Floyd singer-bassist Roger Waters at $103.6 million.

Filling out the worldwide Top 10 are John ($102.7 million), Rihanna ($90 million), Chesney ($84.6 million), Sade ($83.3 million) and Paul McCartney ($79.2 million).

Pollstar's figures are closely, but not precisely, matched by Billboard's year-end box-office tally, which takes a slightly different time period into account. Pollstar's numbers are collected across the calendar year while Billboard measured results from Nov. 1, 2010 to Nov. 8, 2011.

According to Billboard, the five highest-grossing tours worldwide were U2 ($293.3 million), Bon Jovi ($192.9 million), Take That ($185.2 million), Waters ($149.9 million) and Swift ($97.4 million).

In an area of the music business historically dominated by superstar acts from the '60s, '70s and '80s, this year fully half the acts that finished among Pollstar's Top 10, as well as throughout the Top 25, started their careers in the 1990s or later. That's a positive sign for the future health of the concert business, as many promoters have worried whether new acts will emerge to take over when top-grossing veteran acts such as the Rolling Stones, McCartney, John and the Eagles bring their touring days to an end.

Still, in the short term many of those same promoters, as well as fans, are looking forward to 2012 for recently announced tours by long-running acts including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which will be touring for the first time since the death this year of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and the reunited Beach Boys, touring next year with all surviving original members, including creative mastermind Brian Wilson. Madonna also has said she will return to the road next year, and the Rolling Stones have all but confirmed they'll be back out playing arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums in 2012.

Other developments that will be viewed as encouraging are the two hip-hop tours that made the Top 10 in North America. Hip-hop acts historically have struggled at the box office, but with two of the genre's kingpins — West and Jay-Z — teaming for nearly three dozen concert stops, in addition to a heavy slate of 71 shows in 70 cities for New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, rap posted stronger-than-usual results last year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#2011RAPUP BIGGEST HIP-HOP DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2011

Lupe Fiasco-Lasers: Easily the biggest disappointment of 2011. If my anticipation for this album was stairs i could walk to the sun. Unfortunately the album sounded like it should be thrown into the sun and never spoke of again. Consider these Words I Always Wanted To Say.

Lil Wayne’s-Carter 4: Dwayne Carter 4th installment wasn’t the Picasso we expected. More like he just took random colors and threw it on a canvas. Wasn’t a terrible album, but with the amount of hype that surrounded the release, we should have saw the best album of his career. A let down that could rival Titanic 2

Ludacris vs Big Sean & Drake: All i could do is shake my head as i listen to one of the most well known rappers from Atlanta sling mud at the two up and comers. Maybe this diss wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way if it wasn’t over words said a year ago. Talk about kicking a dead horse. Relevancy will have you tripping balls.

R&B rapping: Yes Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Neyo, Justin Beiber and anyone else that sings rhythm & blues that stepped into the rapping lane this year. It’s not like these guys never rapped before but this year the trend became excessive. It would be different if they could really spit, honestly a lot of their bars come off very mediocre. You’re already successful in one craft why be meh in another.

Lack Of Big K.R.I.T’s Debut Album: Yep how disheartening this push back was should be addressed. Hopefully we will receive the album early next yeah, but would’ve been great for the Mississippi native to drop this year.

Frank Ocean’s Novacane & Kendrick Lamar ADHD music videos: Two huge songs and the music videos just lacked. No reply value what so ever. Just lackluster.

Watch The Throne: New Day into That’s My Bitch: THE WORST SONG TRANSITION IN HISTORY. Ok i’m overreacting, but i don’t see who co-signed this horrible placement. Probably my biggest problem with the album excluding lift off.

Earls Lack Of Freedom: Free Earl

Pitch Fork Camp Review: Giving Childish Gambino’s debut album a 1.5 was astonishing. The reaction was one big wave of disagreement, that got a rise out of many readers, fans, and debate teams. I’ll agree the album isn’t perfect, and Gambino isn’t the best rapper alive but he is superior to a 1.5 rating.

Steve Harvey not being Tyler The Creators Father: Yeah to me it makes perfect sense. He hates Steve, Steve won’t acknowledge him, c’mon i know it’s very Guiding Light but connect the dots!

shaffes

Drake – Take Care

I got to give it to Drake for taking a different approach to the album including more singing, I feel like it was a big letdown because his rapping is what made him great and its what he does best! Keep the singing to the hooks Drake. Take care.

Game – R.E.D. Album

One of the biggest flops of the year. I can’t name decent song off the album besides a few verses that weren’t even from the Game himself.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

One of Lil Wayne’s worst projects to date. Very few decent songs, biggest letdown of the year by far. Just as bad as his rock album Rebirth.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

I’m including this album from the legendary rock group because it was a huge disappointment to all of their fans. They only had one good single and it really wasn’t that great compared to the rest of their work.

Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers

Wiz took the pop route like most rappers do to appeal to a broader audience. I don’t hate his new music but I just can’t get over how much better he sounded on his mixtapes and previous albums.

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

J. Cole had so much promise on his mixtapes and after hearing his debut album I felt empty inside wanting more. Hopefully he can pick it up coming in 2012.

Amy Winehouse Dead

This was a terrible loss to all music fans. Amy Winehouse had great talent and so much more to give through her life and music.

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

Like as with Wiz’ Rolling Papers, Lupe delivers some pop-sounding music with auto-tuned hooks. What happened to the classic Lupe? That’s who we all loved.

Danny

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

This one goes without saying, after releasing ‘Food & Liquor’ and ‘The Cool’, this just felt like a major step backward. On the flipside, he proved to his record company that he can do numbers so hopefully his next release will be better.

No Madvillain Album

To be honest, if/when DOOM & Madlib decide to drop a sequel to ‘Madvillainy’ it’s probably gonna be out of left field, nevertheless, any year I haven’t got a major DOOM release to listen to is a sad one *sigh*.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

I was patiently waiting for this, secretly confident that Wayne would be back to his old self and deliver a great, if not, amazing album. I was let down, the best track on the album is 1 of the tracks that Wayne isn’t even featured on.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

Considering the quality that these two artists possess, I found myself underwhelmed with this album. It felt a little disjointed and didn’t really show off the traits that made them the successes they are today.

Justin Bieber Rapping

Self explanatory.

The fact that people let Ross say ‘Fell in love with the pen, started fucking the ink’

This line perplexed me, 1st of all it doesn’t make sense, 2nd of all I get a horrible mental image of him attempting, and 3rd, I’m pretty sure that’s not classified as ‘safe sex’.

Lupe Fiasco – Friend of the People

Sorry Wasalu, had to put you on here twice, simply because after the disappointment expressed at ‘lasers’ this mixtape felt like a big slap in the face.

Jay Electronica’s lack of presence

Maybe I was naive to expect to see more of Jay considering his movements since people got word of him but I wanted at least a high profile hip hop feature of some sort. I know we got the mob deep track but meh.

Kendrick Lamar – ADHD video

The fact that this track has so much emotion and feeling straight off the strength of the mp3 alone, I was disappointed that the video didn’t compliment this. To be honest, the video didn’t even need Kendrick in it, some random shapes and colours and it would of been set.

Lil Wayne taking up skating as a hobby

Tony Hawk must be rolling in his vert ramp. See what I did there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#2011RAPUP BIGGEST HIP-HOP DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2011

Lupe Fiasco-Lasers: Easily the biggest disappointment of 2011. If my anticipation for this album was stairs i could walk to the sun. Unfortunately the album sounded like it should be thrown into the sun and never spoke of again. Consider these Words I Always Wanted To Say.

Lil Wayne’s-Carter 4: Dwayne Carter 4th installment wasn’t the Picasso we expected. More like he just took random colors and threw it on a canvas. Wasn’t a terrible album, but with the amount of hype that surrounded the release, we should have saw the best album of his career. A let down that could rival Titanic 2

Ludacris vs Big Sean & Drake: All i could do is shake my head as i listen to one of the most well known rappers from Atlanta sling mud at the two up and comers. Maybe this diss wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way if it wasn’t over words said a year ago. Talk about kicking a dead horse. Relevancy will have you tripping balls.

R&B rapping: Yes Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Neyo, Justin Beiber and anyone else that sings rhythm & blues that stepped into the rapping lane this year. It’s not like these guys never rapped before but this year the trend became excessive. It would be different if they could really spit, honestly a lot of their bars come off very mediocre. You’re already successful in one craft why be meh in another.

Lack Of Big K.R.I.T’s Debut Album: Yep how disheartening this push back was should be addressed. Hopefully we will receive the album early next yeah, but would’ve been great for the Mississippi native to drop this year.

Frank Ocean’s Novacane & Kendrick Lamar ADHD music videos: Two huge songs and the music videos just lacked. No reply value what so ever. Just lackluster.

Watch The Throne: New Day into That’s My Bitch: THE WORST SONG TRANSITION IN HISTORY. Ok i’m overreacting, but i don’t see who co-signed this horrible placement. Probably my biggest problem with the album excluding lift off.

Earls Lack Of Freedom: Free Earl

Pitch Fork Camp Review: Giving Childish Gambino’s debut album a 1.5 was astonishing. The reaction was one big wave of disagreement, that got a rise out of many readers, fans, and debate teams. I’ll agree the album isn’t perfect, and Gambino isn’t the best rapper alive but he is superior to a 1.5 rating.

Steve Harvey not being Tyler The Creators Father: Yeah to me it makes perfect sense. He hates Steve, Steve won’t acknowledge him, c’mon i know it’s very Guiding Light but connect the dots!

shaffes

Drake – Take Care

I got to give it to Drake for taking a different approach to the album including more singing, I feel like it was a big letdown because his rapping is what made him great and its what he does best! Keep the singing to the hooks Drake. Take care.

Game – R.E.D. Album

One of the biggest flops of the year. I can’t name decent song off the album besides a few verses that weren’t even from the Game himself.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

One of Lil Wayne’s worst projects to date. Very few decent songs, biggest letdown of the year by far. Just as bad as his rock album Rebirth.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

I’m including this album from the legendary rock group because it was a huge disappointment to all of their fans. They only had one good single and it really wasn’t that great compared to the rest of their work.

Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers

Wiz took the pop route like most rappers do to appeal to a broader audience. I don’t hate his new music but I just can’t get over how much better he sounded on his mixtapes and previous albums.

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

J. Cole had so much promise on his mixtapes and after hearing his debut album I felt empty inside wanting more. Hopefully he can pick it up coming in 2012.

Amy Winehouse Dead

This was a terrible loss to all music fans. Amy Winehouse had great talent and so much more to give through her life and music.

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

Like as with Wiz’ Rolling Papers, Lupe delivers some pop-sounding music with auto-tuned hooks. What happened to the classic Lupe? That’s who we all loved.

Danny

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

This one goes without saying, after releasing ‘Food & Liquor’ and ‘The Cool’, this just felt like a major step backward. On the flipside, he proved to his record company that he can do numbers so hopefully his next release will be better.

No Madvillain Album

To be honest, if/when DOOM & Madlib decide to drop a sequel to ‘Madvillainy’ it’s probably gonna be out of left field, nevertheless, any year I haven’t got a major DOOM release to listen to is a sad one *sigh*.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

I was patiently waiting for this, secretly confident that Wayne would be back to his old self and deliver a great, if not, amazing album. I was let down, the best track on the album is 1 of the tracks that Wayne isn’t even featured on.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

Considering the quality that these two artists possess, I found myself underwhelmed with this album. It felt a little disjointed and didn’t really show off the traits that made them the successes they are today.

Justin Bieber Rapping

Self explanatory.

The fact that people let Ross say ‘Fell in love with the pen, started fucking the ink’

This line perplexed me, 1st of all it doesn’t make sense, 2nd of all I get a horrible mental image of him attempting, and 3rd, I’m pretty sure that’s not classified as ‘safe sex’.

Lupe Fiasco – Friend of the People

Sorry Wasalu, had to put you on here twice, simply because after the disappointment expressed at ‘lasers’ this mixtape felt like a big slap in the face.

Jay Electronica’s lack of presence

Maybe I was naive to expect to see more of Jay considering his movements since people got word of him but I wanted at least a high profile hip hop feature of some sort. I know we got the mob deep track but meh.

Kendrick Lamar – ADHD video

The fact that this track has so much emotion and feeling straight off the strength of the mp3 alone, I was disappointed that the video didn’t compliment this. To be honest, the video didn’t even need Kendrick in it, some random shapes and colours and it would of been set.

Lil Wayne taking up skating as a hobby

Tony Hawk must be rolling in his vert ramp. See what I did there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#2011RAPUP BIGGEST HIP-HOP DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2011

Lupe Fiasco-Lasers: Easily the biggest disappointment of 2011. If my anticipation for this album was stairs i could walk to the sun. Unfortunately the album sounded like it should be thrown into the sun and never spoke of again. Consider these Words I Always Wanted To Say.

Lil Wayne’s-Carter 4: Dwayne Carter 4th installment wasn’t the Picasso we expected. More like he just took random colors and threw it on a canvas. Wasn’t a terrible album, but with the amount of hype that surrounded the release, we should have saw the best album of his career. A let down that could rival Titanic 2

Ludacris vs Big Sean & Drake: All i could do is shake my head as i listen to one of the most well known rappers from Atlanta sling mud at the two up and comers. Maybe this diss wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way if it wasn’t over words said a year ago. Talk about kicking a dead horse. Relevancy will have you tripping balls.

R&B rapping: Yes Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Neyo, Justin Beiber and anyone else that sings rhythm & blues that stepped into the rapping lane this year. It’s not like these guys never rapped before but this year the trend became excessive. It would be different if they could really spit, honestly a lot of their bars come off very mediocre. You’re already successful in one craft why be meh in another.

Lack Of Big K.R.I.T’s Debut Album: Yep how disheartening this push back was should be addressed. Hopefully we will receive the album early next yeah, but would’ve been great for the Mississippi native to drop this year.

Frank Ocean’s Novacane & Kendrick Lamar ADHD music videos: Two huge songs and the music videos just lacked. No reply value what so ever. Just lackluster.

Watch The Throne: New Day into That’s My Bitch: THE WORST SONG TRANSITION IN HISTORY. Ok i’m overreacting, but i don’t see who co-signed this horrible placement. Probably my biggest problem with the album excluding lift off.

Earls Lack Of Freedom: Free Earl

Pitch Fork Camp Review: Giving Childish Gambino’s debut album a 1.5 was astonishing. The reaction was one big wave of disagreement, that got a rise out of many readers, fans, and debate teams. I’ll agree the album isn’t perfect, and Gambino isn’t the best rapper alive but he is superior to a 1.5 rating.

Steve Harvey not being Tyler The Creators Father: Yeah to me it makes perfect sense. He hates Steve, Steve won’t acknowledge him, c’mon i know it’s very Guiding Light but connect the dots!

shaffes

Drake – Take Care

I got to give it to Drake for taking a different approach to the album including more singing, I feel like it was a big letdown because his rapping is what made him great and its what he does best! Keep the singing to the hooks Drake. Take care.

Game – R.E.D. Album

One of the biggest flops of the year. I can’t name decent song off the album besides a few verses that weren’t even from the Game himself.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

One of Lil Wayne’s worst projects to date. Very few decent songs, biggest letdown of the year by far. Just as bad as his rock album Rebirth.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

I’m including this album from the legendary rock group because it was a huge disappointment to all of their fans. They only had one good single and it really wasn’t that great compared to the rest of their work.

Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers

Wiz took the pop route like most rappers do to appeal to a broader audience. I don’t hate his new music but I just can’t get over how much better he sounded on his mixtapes and previous albums.

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

J. Cole had so much promise on his mixtapes and after hearing his debut album I felt empty inside wanting more. Hopefully he can pick it up coming in 2012.

Amy Winehouse Dead

This was a terrible loss to all music fans. Amy Winehouse had great talent and so much more to give through her life and music.

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

Like as with Wiz’ Rolling Papers, Lupe delivers some pop-sounding music with auto-tuned hooks. What happened to the classic Lupe? That’s who we all loved.

Danny

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

This one goes without saying, after releasing ‘Food & Liquor’ and ‘The Cool’, this just felt like a major step backward. On the flipside, he proved to his record company that he can do numbers so hopefully his next release will be better.

No Madvillain Album

To be honest, if/when DOOM & Madlib decide to drop a sequel to ‘Madvillainy’ it’s probably gonna be out of left field, nevertheless, any year I haven’t got a major DOOM release to listen to is a sad one *sigh*.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

I was patiently waiting for this, secretly confident that Wayne would be back to his old self and deliver a great, if not, amazing album. I was let down, the best track on the album is 1 of the tracks that Wayne isn’t even featured on.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

Considering the quality that these two artists possess, I found myself underwhelmed with this album. It felt a little disjointed and didn’t really show off the traits that made them the successes they are today.

Justin Bieber Rapping

Self explanatory.

The fact that people let Ross say ‘Fell in love with the pen, started fucking the ink’

This line perplexed me, 1st of all it doesn’t make sense, 2nd of all I get a horrible mental image of him attempting, and 3rd, I’m pretty sure that’s not classified as ‘safe sex’.

Lupe Fiasco – Friend of the People

Sorry Wasalu, had to put you on here twice, simply because after the disappointment expressed at ‘lasers’ this mixtape felt like a big slap in the face.

Jay Electronica’s lack of presence

Maybe I was naive to expect to see more of Jay considering his movements since people got word of him but I wanted at least a high profile hip hop feature of some sort. I know we got the mob deep track but meh.

Kendrick Lamar – ADHD video

The fact that this track has so much emotion and feeling straight off the strength of the mp3 alone, I was disappointed that the video didn’t compliment this. To be honest, the video didn’t even need Kendrick in it, some random shapes and colours and it would of been set.

Lil Wayne taking up skating as a hobby

Tony Hawk must be rolling in his vert ramp. See what I did there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adele sells most albums in a year since 2004

(Reuters) - That Adele's "21" will rank as the year's top-selling album is no surprise - the English singer-songwriter's hits "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" dominated playlists in 2011. What is surprising is that "21," released by independent British label XL Recordings, sold more than 5 million copies.

The last time an album topped the year-end chart with more than 5 million copies sold was in 2004, when Usher's "Confessions" moved 7.9 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which supplied all sales data for this story.

Indeed, music sales overall are expected to end 2011 up more than 3 percent from last year. Not coincidentally, the last time overall music sales rose by so much was in 2004 as well.

The resurgence in sales is welcome news for the music industry. A meager 1 percent increase in digital sales last year created widespread panic that the format had already plateaued.

Nielsen analyst David Bakula attributed the rebound to a strong release slate, plus retailers getting more aggressive with pricing and promotions.

For instance, Lady Gaga's album "Born This Way" was priced at 99 cents - less than one-tenth the price of most albums - in a special deal, helping drive sales beyond her core fans, he said. The promotion on Amazon.com angered other retailers who were selling the album at full price, however.

"In 2004, you had one massive album driving sales," said Bakula, senior vice president of entertainment analytics for Nielsen. "This year is similar in that you have one really great story that everyone is talking about."

Digital sales are expected to end 2011 close to 10 percent higher, prompting Bakula to proclaim the sales performance "a great resurgence."

Physical albums still outsell digital albums by a 2:1 margin. But total music sales, which would include digital singles, are now split 50-50 between physical and digital.

TOPPING 5 MILLION

To put Adele's sales figures in context, the more than 3.5 million physical albums she sold this year would have been good enough to take the top spot in each of the last three years without even adding in digital sales. Album sales include LPs, compact discs and digital albums.

Figures for the year's best-selling album declined every year from 2004 to 2008. They hit an all-time low in 2008 when Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" took the top spot with sales of just 2.9 million, the first time an album claimed the best-seller title with sales of less than 3 million.

Since 2008, however, sales of the top-selling album of the year have increased, though not by much. Taylor Swift took the top spot in 2009, selling 3.2 million copies of "Fearless." Eminem's "Recovery" finished 2010 as the year's best-seller with 3.4 million copies.

"Adele's performance this year shows the demand for great original music," Bakula said. "Here's an artist that had moderate success before, but nothing of this magnitude, and she's doing it all on two singles."

Amy Winehouse's death from alcohol poisoning in July also factored into Adele's sales performance. Bakula said the attention Winehouse's death received stoked interest among fans to sample other soulful, jazz-infused female British singer-songwriters, like Adele and Duffy. As a result, in addition to buying "21," consumers dipped into Adele's back catalog, making her prior release, "19," one of the year's top 25 best-sellers.

Still, Adele's sales total is less than half of the more than 11 million copies that "No Strings Attached" from N'Sync sold in 2000. That year marked the last time the top spot featured an album that sold in excess of 10 million, underscoring the dramatic impact that legitimate digital distribution channels like Apple's iTunes and illegal file-sharing sites such as Limewire have had on the music industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adele sells most albums in a year since 2004

(Reuters) - That Adele's "21" will rank as the year's top-selling album is no surprise - the English singer-songwriter's hits "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" dominated playlists in 2011. What is surprising is that "21," released by independent British label XL Recordings, sold more than 5 million copies.

The last time an album topped the year-end chart with more than 5 million copies sold was in 2004, when Usher's "Confessions" moved 7.9 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which supplied all sales data for this story.

Indeed, music sales overall are expected to end 2011 up more than 3 percent from last year. Not coincidentally, the last time overall music sales rose by so much was in 2004 as well.

The resurgence in sales is welcome news for the music industry. A meager 1 percent increase in digital sales last year created widespread panic that the format had already plateaued.

Nielsen analyst David Bakula attributed the rebound to a strong release slate, plus retailers getting more aggressive with pricing and promotions.

For instance, Lady Gaga's album "Born This Way" was priced at 99 cents - less than one-tenth the price of most albums - in a special deal, helping drive sales beyond her core fans, he said. The promotion on Amazon.com angered other retailers who were selling the album at full price, however.

"In 2004, you had one massive album driving sales," said Bakula, senior vice president of entertainment analytics for Nielsen. "This year is similar in that you have one really great story that everyone is talking about."

Digital sales are expected to end 2011 close to 10 percent higher, prompting Bakula to proclaim the sales performance "a great resurgence."

Physical albums still outsell digital albums by a 2:1 margin. But total music sales, which would include digital singles, are now split 50-50 between physical and digital.

TOPPING 5 MILLION

To put Adele's sales figures in context, the more than 3.5 million physical albums she sold this year would have been good enough to take the top spot in each of the last three years without even adding in digital sales. Album sales include LPs, compact discs and digital albums.

Figures for the year's best-selling album declined every year from 2004 to 2008. They hit an all-time low in 2008 when Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" took the top spot with sales of just 2.9 million, the first time an album claimed the best-seller title with sales of less than 3 million.

Since 2008, however, sales of the top-selling album of the year have increased, though not by much. Taylor Swift took the top spot in 2009, selling 3.2 million copies of "Fearless." Eminem's "Recovery" finished 2010 as the year's best-seller with 3.4 million copies.

"Adele's performance this year shows the demand for great original music," Bakula said. "Here's an artist that had moderate success before, but nothing of this magnitude, and she's doing it all on two singles."

Amy Winehouse's death from alcohol poisoning in July also factored into Adele's sales performance. Bakula said the attention Winehouse's death received stoked interest among fans to sample other soulful, jazz-infused female British singer-songwriters, like Adele and Duffy. As a result, in addition to buying "21," consumers dipped into Adele's back catalog, making her prior release, "19," one of the year's top 25 best-sellers.

Still, Adele's sales total is less than half of the more than 11 million copies that "No Strings Attached" from N'Sync sold in 2000. That year marked the last time the top spot featured an album that sold in excess of 10 million, underscoring the dramatic impact that legitimate digital distribution channels like Apple's iTunes and illegal file-sharing sites such as Limewire have had on the music industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adele sells most albums in a year since 2004

(Reuters) - That Adele's "21" will rank as the year's top-selling album is no surprise - the English singer-songwriter's hits "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" dominated playlists in 2011. What is surprising is that "21," released by independent British label XL Recordings, sold more than 5 million copies.

The last time an album topped the year-end chart with more than 5 million copies sold was in 2004, when Usher's "Confessions" moved 7.9 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which supplied all sales data for this story.

Indeed, music sales overall are expected to end 2011 up more than 3 percent from last year. Not coincidentally, the last time overall music sales rose by so much was in 2004 as well.

The resurgence in sales is welcome news for the music industry. A meager 1 percent increase in digital sales last year created widespread panic that the format had already plateaued.

Nielsen analyst David Bakula attributed the rebound to a strong release slate, plus retailers getting more aggressive with pricing and promotions.

For instance, Lady Gaga's album "Born This Way" was priced at 99 cents - less than one-tenth the price of most albums - in a special deal, helping drive sales beyond her core fans, he said. The promotion on Amazon.com angered other retailers who were selling the album at full price, however.

"In 2004, you had one massive album driving sales," said Bakula, senior vice president of entertainment analytics for Nielsen. "This year is similar in that you have one really great story that everyone is talking about."

Digital sales are expected to end 2011 close to 10 percent higher, prompting Bakula to proclaim the sales performance "a great resurgence."

Physical albums still outsell digital albums by a 2:1 margin. But total music sales, which would include digital singles, are now split 50-50 between physical and digital.

TOPPING 5 MILLION

To put Adele's sales figures in context, the more than 3.5 million physical albums she sold this year would have been good enough to take the top spot in each of the last three years without even adding in digital sales. Album sales include LPs, compact discs and digital albums.

Figures for the year's best-selling album declined every year from 2004 to 2008. They hit an all-time low in 2008 when Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" took the top spot with sales of just 2.9 million, the first time an album claimed the best-seller title with sales of less than 3 million.

Since 2008, however, sales of the top-selling album of the year have increased, though not by much. Taylor Swift took the top spot in 2009, selling 3.2 million copies of "Fearless." Eminem's "Recovery" finished 2010 as the year's best-seller with 3.4 million copies.

"Adele's performance this year shows the demand for great original music," Bakula said. "Here's an artist that had moderate success before, but nothing of this magnitude, and she's doing it all on two singles."

Amy Winehouse's death from alcohol poisoning in July also factored into Adele's sales performance. Bakula said the attention Winehouse's death received stoked interest among fans to sample other soulful, jazz-infused female British singer-songwriters, like Adele and Duffy. As a result, in addition to buying "21," consumers dipped into Adele's back catalog, making her prior release, "19," one of the year's top 25 best-sellers.

Still, Adele's sales total is less than half of the more than 11 million copies that "No Strings Attached" from N'Sync sold in 2000. That year marked the last time the top spot featured an album that sold in excess of 10 million, underscoring the dramatic impact that legitimate digital distribution channels like Apple's iTunes and illegal file-sharing sites such as Limewire have had on the music industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay-Z and Kanye West earn almost £4 million for playing 16 year old's birthday bash

Kanye West

and

Jay-Z

were paid just under £4 million to play live at the 16th birthday party of the daughter of an Arab billionaire.

The rappers, who released their much anticipated collaboration album 'Watch The Throne' earlier this year, were reportedly paid a fee of £1.9 million ($2.9 million) each to perform the gig, which took place in Dubai around two weeks before Christmas.

KanyeWestJayZMTVVMA2011PA310811.jpg

According to

The Sun

, the rappers performed several sets at the party, which was given to celebrate the 16th birthday of the girl, who is also the niece of Sheikh Mansour, the multi billionaire owner of Manchester City Football Club.

Jay-Z

has previously hinted that the second release from his and West's 'Watch The Throne' project

will be released next year

.

He said of he and West's future plans: "We – I say 'we' because I'm in Throne mode – we're in a great place creatively. You might see a Jay, then Kanye and a Throne album next year… We've really found our zone."

Jay-Z

and

Kanye West

completed a lengthy North American arena tour just before the Christmas period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay-Z and Kanye West earn almost £4 million for playing 16 year old's birthday bash

Kanye West

and

Jay-Z

were paid just under £4 million to play live at the 16th birthday party of the daughter of an Arab billionaire.

The rappers, who released their much anticipated collaboration album 'Watch The Throne' earlier this year, were reportedly paid a fee of £1.9 million ($2.9 million) each to perform the gig, which took place in Dubai around two weeks before Christmas.

KanyeWestJayZMTVVMA2011PA310811.jpg

According to

The Sun

, the rappers performed several sets at the party, which was given to celebrate the 16th birthday of the girl, who is also the niece of Sheikh Mansour, the multi billionaire owner of Manchester City Football Club.

Jay-Z

has previously hinted that the second release from his and West's 'Watch The Throne' project

will be released next year

.

He said of he and West's future plans: "We – I say 'we' because I'm in Throne mode – we're in a great place creatively. You might see a Jay, then Kanye and a Throne album next year… We've really found our zone."

Jay-Z

and

Kanye West

completed a lengthy North American arena tour just before the Christmas period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay-Z and Kanye West earn almost £4 million for playing 16 year old's birthday bash

Kanye West

and

Jay-Z

were paid just under £4 million to play live at the 16th birthday party of the daughter of an Arab billionaire.

The rappers, who released their much anticipated collaboration album 'Watch The Throne' earlier this year, were reportedly paid a fee of £1.9 million ($2.9 million) each to perform the gig, which took place in Dubai around two weeks before Christmas.

KanyeWestJayZMTVVMA2011PA310811.jpg

According to

The Sun

, the rappers performed several sets at the party, which was given to celebrate the 16th birthday of the girl, who is also the niece of Sheikh Mansour, the multi billionaire owner of Manchester City Football Club.

Jay-Z

has previously hinted that the second release from his and West's 'Watch The Throne' project

will be released next year

.

He said of he and West's future plans: "We – I say 'we' because I'm in Throne mode – we're in a great place creatively. You might see a Jay, then Kanye and a Throne album next year… We've really found our zone."

Jay-Z

and

Kanye West

completed a lengthy North American arena tour just before the Christmas period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Sex sells – the degeneration of the music industry

It was a Tuesday evening, and a late night jaunt to Tesco with the Beau resulted in a (not-so-new) revelation – what has happened to music in recent years?

Having a browse of the CD charts, I looked at Adele’s album cover. A beautiful monochrome shot of the supremely talented Miss Adkins. Plain, but elegant, I thought. Classic beauty – a rarity nowadays, I’m sure you will agree.

rihanna-sm-video-580x4352.jpg

My eyes glanced to the left. I clock Rihanna, on the cover of her new album, with come-to-bed eyes, her mouth open and licking her lips. I look right and Katy Perry is lying sprawled out on a cloud, completely nude, with just a puff of pink cloud covering her modesty.

Honestly, what is the need of this? It serves no purpose in the music industry. What it does is appease to the simplest level of human nature – not to mention serving to inflate the individual’s already oversized ego. It is fact – sex is the most powerful marketing tool of all.

Truly talented artists, few and far between in recent years, are literally surrounded by this, in reality and on the shelves. Music is becoming so clouded by sexuality that it can be difficult to spot real talent.

So I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Katy Perry is not talented. Beautiful, yes – but not talented whatsoever in her chosen career. Yet a successful career nonetheless, that she has built through overt sexuality, needless nudity and smutty suggestion: just listen to ‘Peacock’.

Call me a prude but I find these sort of lyrics in these songs not only disgusting but very unnecessary. Whatever happened to songs about love? I’m sure you didn’t know that she began her ‘career’ as a Christian music artist. But surprisingly, that didn’t work out (maybe if she could sing?), so where did she go next? ‘I Kissed a Girl’ – appeasing to the simplest and cheapest way to find popularity, particularly with men.

Her music videos are also very unsavoury. Which one to exemplify with? I’m really spoiled for choice. I’ll opt for ‘California Gurls’, basically a song about how pretty she is. Just one of the tasteless elements in the video (again, spoiled for choice) is Katy spraying squirty cream from her bra cups – and this is who kids have to look up.

Children cannot be shielded from this – it saturates society. Have you ever heard an eight-year-old girl referring to Justin Bieber as ‘sexy’? And singing ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me’? It’s unsettling, to say the very least.

Rihanna is a talented woman, but has succumbed to what seems to be a new rule of thumb in the music industry. A steady degeneration over the years, she once smiled sweetly, dressed appropriately and had quirky dance routines. Now all one has to do is watch a few minutes of her music video ‘We Found Love’ – everything that’s wrong with society is in there. Drug-fuelled parties, violence, abuse… all while she is cavorting in suspenders or topless (of course). And needless to say, explicit sex scenes (…of course).

Her behaviour and image has become so cheap and sleazy, despite having the talent – she doesn’t NEED to writh around in leather and sing about her fetishes. But she does it anyway, on what I imagine is largely reasoned on major ego indulgence.

And is it any wonder how artists like these make young – and vulnerable – adolescent girls feel insecure in themselves? Katy Perry’s video for ‘Last Friday Night’ ridicules geeks. And the definition of ‘geeks’, if going by the video, is anyone who has an interest in astronomy/wears braces/has glasses/reads/doesn’t get drunk/is a virgin.

Social outcasts are made fun of, and what is defined as cool and the route to popularity is drinking to the point of passing out and waking up with ‘a stranger in [your] bed’, a hicky and a pounding hangover. ‘Last Friday Night/We went streaking in the park/Skinny dipping in the dark/Then had a ménage à trios/Last Friday Night’. I’ll say it again – she is a role model to children. What sort of message is this to be sending?

Originality in music is a fleeting thing. Want to make it big? You will need the following. Knockout figure – check. Lyrics steeped in innuendo – check. Revealing clothes (if you must wear clothes at all) – check. And of course auto-tune is a necessity. It has worked for Perry, Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha… I could go on.

They try to be original and quirky through their outfits and hair, which only serves to prove that it’s all about image. How can anyone who sings about ‘all that ass hanging out’, or loving the smell of sex ever possibly claim that it’s ‘all about the music’? Yet it is the claim they all stake.

Adele’s music is heartfelt, powerful and clever. There is no selling of sexuality. Her music videos and performances may not cause sexual arousal but they personally give me goosebumps every time. And that should be what music is about.

http://insideireland...industry-53152/

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Music Piracy Really ‘The New Radio’? Yes and No

Canadian folk-rocker Neil Young is making waves this week after telling reporters at a conference that piracy is “the new radio.”

“It doesn’t affect me because I look at the Internet as the new radio. I look at the radio as gone,” said Young (

via The Telegraph). “Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around … That’s the radio. If you really want to hear it, let’s make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95% of it.”

If that makes you want to fist pump in solidarity, riddle me this: If we suddenly made music piracy — I realize that’s “public music sharing” for some of you — as legal as waking up in the morning, do you think anyone would spend a penny for music (not concerts, but the songs themselves) ever again?

I have a lot of respect for both Neil Young’s music and his politics, and I’m sympathetic to the principle behind what he’s getting at here (“share the world, man!”) but given the way the U.S. economy currently works, I can’t say I’m with him on this one.

Songs played on old-school radio cost listeners nothing, it’s true. Terrestrial (and to a certain extent, satellite) radio stations subsist on advertising revenue. And until the Internet, artists and labels made money from album sales generated in part by radio accessibility. There was a strong correlation between sales of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, for instance, and radio play of album songs like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” Selling your music required (and still does) that it’s heard by as wide an audience as possible, and making that happen requires freebies — no one wants to pay for merchandize they’ve neither seen nor heard.

Enter public content aggregation portals like The Pirate Bay, which is what Young’s really talking about when he says “piracy is the new radio” (he means file-sharing sites in particular). That’s where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, around 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded between 2004 and 2009. That’s a metric you-know-what ton of music.

Trouble is, under the radio-as-radio model, people still generally paid for music. Under the piracy-as-radio model, they don’t, or at least they don’t in anything like the proportions they used to. Physical music album sales have been plummeting for years. Digital sales have been inching up, but again, in nothing like a compensatory capacity (and there’s little evidence at this point to suggest the people who pay for music have much to do with the ones pirating it).

The RIAA says between 1999 (when Napster appeared) and 2009, U.S. music sales fell 47%, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion, and in 2009 the International Federation of the Phonograph Industry issued a report that found 95% of music downloads in 2008 were illegal. Street-level music piracy surely existed during the pre-Napster years, but the notion that its digital analogue might someday account for as much as 63% of annual music acquisition — NPD says U.S. consumers paid for just 37% of music acquired in 2009 — was a pirate’s fantasy prior to the century’s turn. The honor system hasn’t worked here. Even where piracy has resulted in increased awareness of this artist or that one, the end result’s been that people who might have paid for the content under the old system are now simply grabbing, holding and eventually moving on to something else.

So no, Neil Young, piracy isn’t the new radio. Not unless you mean music should be free not just some of the time, but all of the time. You can’t have it both ways. Where’s the incentive in a piracy-as-radio model for consumers to pay for music — moral or otherwise — once you’ve told them downloading anything they like is repercussion-free? (It may be okay for mega-successful musicians like Neil Young, by the way, or

Angry Birds developer Rovio, but try pitching the piracy-as-radio angle to startup or struggling artists.)

I’m not condoning the way the music industry (or frankly anyone else) has handled piracy (or, for that matter, how the music industry operates in general). I’m thinking about this more at the societal level. What kind of society are we becoming, where we take things we want just because we can?

I’ve

said elsewhere that it’s irresponsible to green-light this twenty-first-century “whatever I want is mine” mentality. The notion that piracy is harmless (or in Young’s interpretation, an actual force for good) is just another siren song, a comfortable lie we’ll tell ourselves to justify whatever we’re up to. We may want information to be free, but that doesn’t mean it can be when we live in a world where so many take, and so few give back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...