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Is DJ Hosting Worth It?

Historically, DJ hosting has been great way for artists in the hip-hop community to gain credibility through association, but as more DJs enter the scene and crowd the market, the question is being raised of  whether the expense is worth the exposure.

In hip-hop culture, DJ hosting has been a way to give artists credibility through association. Yet as the industry has evolved and even more DJs share the scene, the question does hosting matter anymore comes to play. As an independent artist you want the most exposure as possible. You also want your budget to be used in wise investments.

Quite often rappers will spend several dollars to have a DJ host their mixtape. Hosting is a form of marketing that attaches their brand with that of the DJs, with hopes that his or her fans, will also download the new tape. With that said, the former notion of hosting has changed.

Before there were but a few DJs artists could seek out. In those few, the DJs could decide if they wanted to be associated with that artist or not. Now, with several DJs on the market, the notion of hosting has changed.

Money & Marketing

Everything boils down to what can a company offer you to boost your image. If you choose to go the DJ hosting route, what will be offered? Will that DJ actively market it to his or her fans? For how long? How long does your investment stretch the DJs reach? Are you using hosting just for a name attachment with hopes that some of the DJs stature with embellish onto you?

Here is where you have to choose wisely. With so many DJs out now, the craft of hosting and MCing has become watered down. If you are not relatively known, consider how much or little a DJ association will enhance or do nothing toward your brand.

Of course if you choose a well-known and respected DJ who has tenure, then your association may help boost your image slightly. That is a small chance though. Because, you and several other artists have the same idea of booking the same DJ for hosting.

Instead of seeking DJs to host your work, use that money on other marketing avenues like Facebook ad targeting or Twitter advertisements. Maybe get some custom shirts made so people will notice your brand when you walk by in the mall. Consider placing radio advertisements or hosting your own night at a venue.

The internet is an infinite realm of content. Once your project is hosted by a DJ, a few weeks pass and another artist will now be on the forefront. Was that investment worth it?

It is better to weigh your options with DJ hosting in today’s digital realm. There are a lot of options to use that investment toward marketing or other ventures. Hosting does have its place and it is up to you to decide if it is for you.


Music Royalties

Music Royalties


The music industry relies on royalties generated by the licensing of copyrighted songs and recordings as a primary form of payment for musicians. Intellectual property law and licensing systems have gone through significant adjustments over recent years as a result of the rise of digital music, but much of the industry’s historic legal framework remains.

To start thinking about music in legal terms, it’s important to realize that there are two types of musicians: songwriters and performing artists. These hold two distinct copyrights: songwriters hold the rights to the lyrics and melody of a piece of music, while performing artists hold the rights to a particular recording of a song, which is called a master recording. Songwriters may only seek copyright for a full song, and cannot divide lyrics and melody into separate rights.

Both songwriters and recording artists typically assign their rights to a third party for management, instead of attempting to track a song’s use and seek payment independently. Song copyrights are typically assigned to music publishers, while master recording copyrights are typically assigned to a record label.

Performance Royalties 

The fees music users pay when music is performed publicly. The use of music over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify or Pandora is considered a public performance.

  • Performance Rights Organizations or PROs (in the US that’s BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC) collect songwriting performance royalties from music users, and then pay songwriters and rights holders (publishers).
  • Like BMI and ASCAP, SoundExchange collects recording performance royalties for recording artists and labels whenever a music is performed publicly — but only for digital performances.
  • That’s because copyright regulation as it stands means terrestrial broadcasters (AM/FM radio) pay performance royalties to songwriters, but not the recording artists.
  • Digital performances (for example, Pandora) pay a recording digital performance royalty to SoundExchange and a songwriting digital performance royalty to the PROs.
  • But on the flip-side, BMI and ASCAP are governed by consent decrees, which means an arm of the US Judicial Branch (called a “rate-court”) can set the rates (per radio play, per stream, etc.). BMI and ASCAP collect for songwriting performance royalties. In exchange for the right to collect on behalf of songwriters across America, they are limited in their ability to negotiate by this rate court.
  • SoundExchange isn’t governed by a consent decree, which means they can negotiate on the free market. This is where things get complicated. Recording artists get paid nothing when their music is played on AM/FM radio (because there’s no performance right for recordings on terrestrial radio), but they are typically paid at least  5 times more than songwriters when music is performed digitally, like on Pandora. That’s because of SoundExchange’s negotiation power, and BMI/ASCAP’s limitations. AM/FM broadcasters do pay songwriters, but it’s at a royalty rate ultimately set by the courts.

Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is licensed (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify). Songwriting mechanical royalties are set by government through what’s called a compulsory license, which right now is set to about 9.1 cents per copy.

  • Current copyright regulation wasn’t created at a time when services like Spotify or Beats existed, (which are kind of a hybrid of ‘performance’ and a ‘sale’) so they pay both performance royalties and mechanical royalties to songwriters and artists.
  • Spotify pays about 10% of its revenue to songwriters (split between mechanical and performance royalties) and about 60% to the artists. Services like Spotify don’t have to negotiate with songwriters, because the government sets the rates – through the consent decree for PROs and the a compulsory license for mechanical licenses.
  • Mechanical royalties for songwriting are usually paid by labels or artists to a third party, (traditionally for the major publisher it’s been HFA (the Harry Fox Agency), who pay the publishers.

(Source: American Songwriter)

Flow of Royalties

To learn more about the flow of royalties from various sources, please click on the images below:

Streaming (Performance)
Royalty Flow (Streaming)
Digital Sales (Mechanical)
Royalty Flow (Digital Sales)
Radio (Performance and Publishing)
Royalty Flow (Radio)

(Source: Music and How the Money Flows infographics constructed by Future of Music Coalition, a US-based nonprofit that advocates for musicians.

Recording Copyrights

With a master recording copyright, a record label seeks to collect royalties from the use of a specific recording of a song. Master royalties are paid to a label when the label’s recording is used in an advertisement, film, television program, streaming service or other medium. Master royalties are typically paid in addition to synchronization or public performance royalties, as royalties paid to the publisher only grant the rights to the use of a song, not a specific recording of a song.

Terrestrial radio stations do not typically pay master royalties, as radio play has traditionally been viewed as free advertisement for a recording. However, radio play may or may not have a positive impact on sales, and congress is considering legislating that the royalty be paid. At present, recording artists only earn master royalties from radio when their recordings are played in a non-interactive digital arena where the listener is a subscriber (i.e. satellite radio).


How to become a Grammy member.

Apply For Membership

Music, even in its simplest form, involves multiple elements working together, each tone just as crucial as the others. Individually, it is a note. Collectively it is power. The common running thread through the music community, regardless of your role in it, is our passion and respect for the power of music. It drives us in the creative process, galvanizes us to fight for our legal rights and protections, and inspires us to pass on our knowledge to the next generation. It transcends genres, geography, and professions. As the collective voice of The Recording Academy, that power increases exponentially.

This is your opportunity to add your voice to ours. Take a minute to explore and how you can directly benefit from being a member.

The Academy offers three levels of membership: VotingAssociate and Student. Each membership level has its own level of criteria. As a member of The Academy you can take advantage of opportunities both in person and online that are designed to help you grow professionally.

Benefits of Academy Membership

  • Enjoy 24/7 access to, your digital hub for Academy membership which features a growing digital library of career resources providing insights and inspiration on the business and craft of music
  • A private online community of music professionals from around the country (and the world) to grow your personal network and share experiences
  • An Opportunities board to post and find: jobs, collaborators, performance gigs, and more
  • Attend local Chapter professional development and networking events to learn from industry experts, socialize, share your work and solicit feedback from your peers
  • Submit projects for GRAMMY Awards consideration
  • Vote in the GRAMMY Awards process [Voting Members only]
  • Speak out collectively to protect the rights of music makers and advance their interests on important policy matters
  • Participate in GRAMMY Foundation music education and MusiCares human services programs and initiatives such as GRAMMY Camp and GRAMMY In The Schools 
  • Enjoy exclusive discounts for gear, recording industry specific services, conferences, and festivals

Membership Types and Qualifications

Voting Member

This classification is for creative and technical professionals who qualify in at least one of the categories of eligibility. All recordings must be commercially released in the U.S. either through traditional distribution channels or recognized online retail settings. Below are four different methods of applying for Voting membership.

Recordings Released Online Only:

  • Recordings commercially released in the U.S. through recognized online music retailers.
  • Must have 12 qualifying physical or digital tracks or equivalent duration of content.*
  • One qualifying track must have been released within five years of receipt of application.
  • Releases must be currently available for purchase through recognized online music retailers.
  • Recordings must be accompanied by verifiable documentation, e.g. liner notes,

Recordings Released Through Physical Distribution:

  • Recordings commercially released in the U.S. through physical distribution outlets.
  • Must have six physical tracks or equivalent duration of content.*
  • One qualifying track must have been released within five years of receipt of application.
  • Qualifying tracks must be currently available for sale through physical music retailers.
  • Recordings must be accompanied by verifiable documentation, e.g. liner notes,

GRAMMY Nomination:

  • If you were nominated for a GRAMMY® Award within the previous five years.

Eligibility may be subject to career substantiation through the following documentation. The Academy recommends that applicants submit as much documentation as possible.

  • Recordings available for streaming/download through recognized music aggregators
  • Documented sales/chart information
  • Established, active website/social media/online presence including:
    • Current or historical touring dates/performances
    • Fan base interaction
    • Current band/artist information
    • Music videos
    • Music/media player with current releases available
  • Active marketing and promotion efforts
  • Print material
  • Press releases/EPK
  • Reviews of performances by print or online magazines
  • Press interviews

* Excluding intros, outros and interludes

A one year membership begins at $100. The Recording Academy approves membership at its sole discretion based on the assessment of the material submitted. 

Apply to become a Voting Member

Associate Member

This classification is for:

A. Music industry professionals whose majority of business activity is directly related to the recording, live performance, or music video industries.



B. Creative and/or technical professionals in the music industry who do not have the required credits or documentation for Voting membership.

All Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a professional music industry career.

Applicants are required to substantiate their career through an online/web presence, marketing materials or other documentation such as:

  • Company website
  • Press
  • Publicly available information
  • Band/artist website
  • Tour dates
  • Other documentation that substantiates his/her career in the industry

The Academy recommends that applicants submit as much documentation as possible.

*Please note - additional documentation may be requested if any of the above does not clearly demonstrate that applicants spend the majority of their business activity in the recording, live performance or music video industries.

A one year membership begins at $100. The Recording Academy approves membership at its sole discretion based on the assessment of the material submitted.



Apply to become an Associate Member

Student Member

Students, primarily between ages 17 to 25, who are currently enrolled full-time in a college, university or attends a trade school with a desire to work in the recording industry upon graduation.

To join GRAMMY U you must meet ONE of the following membership qualifications:

  • Attending a music school or technical training institution
  • Major or minor in music, entertainment or music business
  • Planning to work in the music/recording industry upon graduation utilizing your chosen field of study. Current course work must be applicable to the music/recording industry. Members who use this option must call the Recording Academy Member Services department at 310.392.3777 to communicate how they are committed to a career in music, such as an internship, after school job, examples of articles/papers written etc.
Membership is $50. The one time membership fee covers all remaining undergraduate years, plus two additional post graduate year.


Apply to become a Student Member

Downloadable forms

The 12 Laws For Rappers: How To Properly Interact With Hip Hop Producers

Strictly for: The rapper, seeking to establish a working relationship with a hip-hop producer.

1. Be Honest
There’s nothing worse than a liar. Producers appreciate honesty. The last thing you want to do is lie to someone about who you’ve worked with, or what “deals you have on the table”. Honesty is the start of a healthy working creative and business relationship.

2. Don’t Be Pretentious
Telling a producer that you’ve got the power to “put them on” is actually a huge turn off. Regardless of what you believe you can bring to the table to help a producer, always approach those conversations by thinking mutually. Sure, the producer might be a new jack, but if you believe in his/her music, your goal is to form a “partnership”.

3. Be Knowledgeable
One of the worst things you can do is engage in a conversation with an “established producer”, and know nothing about them. It’s the same as going into a job interview, not knowing the name of the company or what position you are applying for. Do your research! Create a plan of attack. Producers appreciate it when you show that you know more about them than the average person.

4. Name Dropping Is A No-No
100% of the time, you make yourself look pretentious (see Law #2) when you name drop to a hip-hop producer. Everyone appreciates accolades, and association with certain individuals is absolutely important. But bringing these things up in conversation is counter productive. Most good producers know what’s out, and who’s hot/up-coming. If the producer (established or not) has never heard of you before, don’t shove it down their throat that you opened up for "platinum rapper such and such" in 2010. Nobody cares.

5. Appear Properly
First impressions are everything. Make sure your breath is in check. If you are initiating conversation in a bar or club with loud music, don’t scream into the person’s ear (you can literally cause hearing damage to that person). After you’ve “dapped” the producer and proceed to talk, do not hold the “post-dap-handshake” for more than 3 seconds. Be aware of your surroundings, and the context of the environment you are in (For Example: a recording studio is a much more comfortable/open environment to network with a hip-hop producer).

6. Let Them Speak
All people love to talk about themselves. A great way to break the ice is to ask questions, allowing them to talk. The key is to know the right questions to ask (see Law #3 Be Knowledgeable).

7. Know When To Walk Away
Be aware of that moment when your interaction with the hip-hop producer is coming to a close. If you’ve managed to get to the “lets exchange contacts” phase, this is usually your signal to end the interaction immediately afterwards. Do not prolong an un-welcomed engagement. The length of the interaction, and amount of enjoyment for both parties is all dependent on how successfully you’ve closed the deal.

8. Never Say “Let’s Collab”
The word “collab” is short for “collaboration”. Most hip-hop producers understand a “collab” as nothing more than you asking them for a free beat (or more). This is not a good starting point. A producer must feel like the partnership will become lucrative (either immediately, or in the future).

9. Put The Work In
You need playing chips. The more successful you become, the more apt a hip-hop producer (established or not) is going to be open to working with you. Never forget that.

10. Don’t “Bust An Acapella”
Believe it or not, most hip-hop producers don’t care if you can spit a million rhymes, on the spot, a million miles per hour. Most producers care more about your accomplishments, than your actual skills. Yes, it’s true. Rhyming “on the spot” is a complete annoyance and absolute waste of time.

11. Don’t Play Music From Your iPhone
You must understand that listening to music from ear-buds is the least satisfying way to experience music, let alone for the first time. You also must understand that sharing ear bud headphones is unsanitary. Hip-hop producers need to experience your music on a bigger medium. Even with Beats By Dre’s, you are still forcing someone to commit their time to listen to your music. That’s a lot to ask.

12. Maintain Confidence
Being confident improves your ability to deal with people. Hip-hop producers want to invest their time into somebody who has things under control. Don’t be emotionally unstable. If you are emotionally unstable, get help to fix it. Believe in yourself, and the rest will follow.



BIG Mistake #1. They think they need a manager

You don’t need a manager. Managers are for major artists who literally have no time to breathe. If you are an independent artist, make sure you make enough money on your own first before you decide to share your pie. When you get to the point where you are getting so many calls you cannot handle it, that’s when you know it’s the right time for outside management.


BIG Mistake #2. They copy anything that’s hot

Hip hop artists especially love being cookie cutter artists. There is nothing more of a turn off as an industry insider than to see someone pretend to be someone they are not. Be yourself. Talk about your own life and be original!


BIG Mistake #3. They release full length albums before singles

I say it again and again. Singles come first. Singles are what sells the album. Singles are what gets you booked. Singles are what gets you known. They are so much more important than releasing albums. Don’t discredit albums, but they come after the singles have made you famous!

BIG Mistake #4. They blindly submit demos to labels

As an independent artist, the chances of a label looking at you is already slim even if you are in front of their face. It’s even harder when you try to submit your materials online to labels. Do not blindly send your music to any company. Always use a professional or a lawyer who is connected in the music business to do this, otherwise it goes right into the trash, or worse, spam! It’s a good idea to pay a music lawyer to help you. Labels never reject anything from a entertainment attorney.

BIG Mistake #5. They buy e-mail blasts

There are many companies that sell artists e-mail blasts to hundreds of thousands of people. What they don’t know is, it all goes to spam. The chances of someone important seeing that is almost close to none. Do not waste any money on e-mail blasts. Many of these companies promote a large number of releases and artists every day, making your chances even slimmer. When executives see any of this, they immediately flag it down as spam.


Common on Labels Operating to Profit

What a Producer Does and Why You Should Consider Using One.

What is a Producer?


The best way I know to describe what a producer does comes in the form of this analogy: A producer is to a recording as a director is to a film. When it comes to making a film, the buck essentially stops with the director.  It’s the director who steers the ship working with everyone from the actors to the technical editors in order to achieve his or her overall vision of the movie.  It is exactly that way with a producer when it comes to making a recording.  Not only must the producer have the experience to work with the studio engineer (often possessing the technical expertise to engineer the project themselves) but a producer must also have the musical understanding to help the artist with everything from song choice, structure and arrangement, to the all-important vocal performances that are vital in giving a recording its personality.  In short, a producer provides the experience and necessary perspective to guide a recording from start to finish.

Producer Backgrounds


Producers can come from a variety of backgrounds.  Here are the four most common and what each brings to the process, but, typically, producers have experience in more than one of these areas.

1) Producer/Songwriter – Since at its essence, a recording is dependent on the quality of the song, the producer/songwriter is heavily involved in the song selection process.  Not only does this type of producer have experience in knowing what does and doesn’t work when it comes to pre-existing songs, but often this producer will co-write songs with the artist for a given project.


2) Producer/Musician – Here, it’s often an instrumental and music theory background that gives this type of producer their experience. They have first-hand knowledge when it comes to working with musicians and knowing what instrumental approach will work best in a given situation.


3) Producer/Engineer – In this case, the producer’s primary experience comes from actual recording (i.e., placing microphones on drum kits, recording vocals and mixing albums).  By becoming an expert in the nuts and bolts of the recording process, an engineer/producer can make the recording process a smooth one for the artist.


4) Producer/Music Fan – This is someone who lives and breathes music and has the instincts to guide artists and session musicians through the recording process without necessarily having had the “hands on” experience of being a songwriter, musician or engineer themselves.  They often bring great perspective to a situation where being too close to any one part of the process might compromise the overall recording.


What Do Producers Do?


Producers can be involved in many different aspects of a recording.  Some producers are very “hands off,” acting mostly as the voice of experience and perspective for artists who already have a fairly clear idea of who they are and where they’re headed.  On the other end of the spectrum are the producers who are involved in every element of the recording, from co-writing the songs, to engineering, to playing one or even all of the instruments. In some, but certainly not all of these cases, the resulting recordings have such a distinctive sound that the producer becomes as associated with the recording as the artist themselves. For the record, no one way takes precedence over any other for producing a recording. The only measure of a producer that matters is whether or not the resulting recording is satisfying to everyone involved.  As most producers operate somewhere in between minimal and complete involvement, here are the main areas where most producers do their work.


1) Pre-production – This includes working with the artist to decide if the songs are as good as they can be and, ultimately, which songs would work best as a group for an album release.  It also includes deciding on the overall sound of a recording which involves deciding which session musicians/instruments would be best suited to achieve the sound and feel of a particular song.


2) Instrumental Recording/Arrangement – At this point, the producer works with the assembled musicians and helps direct their performances in the studio in order to achieve a cohesive sound for the recording.


3) Vocals - Finally, because the typical music listener responds first to the voice of the singer, one of the most important roles of the producer is working with the vocalist to help them give their best and most sincere performance of their material.  It is extremely difficult for even the most experienced vocalists to have any perspective on their performance while it’s happening.  For this reason, a producer is the voice of reason and experience who knows how to encourage a vocalist to do one more vocal pass or helps them realize that it would be better to take a break and come back to fight another day.


How Do I Find A Producer?


For those who are new to the process of recording, whether it’s an album project or even a song demo, it is unclear where to look to find a producer for your project.  Generally speaking, word of mouth in your music community serves as the best, most organic way to find a producer right for your project.  Another effective way to find a producer, particularly if you’re interested in doing a whole recording project, would be to look at the liner notes on some of your favorite independent CD projects made in the city where you plan to record.  Often, those producers are available for hire and it’s just a matter of getting their contact information, which the CDs usually include.  Finally, there’s no rule that says you can’t contact a well-known/successful producer whose work you admire.  Maybe they will be too busy or too expensive to work with, but you never know. If you’re respectful in your request, there’s no reason not to try.




At the end of the day, it’s a good working relationship and the trust between artist and producer that makes for the best results.  So, be sure that you not only like a producer’s work but feel comfortable working with them as well.  You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and trusting them with your art, so make sure that you feel like the producer you choose is willing to give you and your music the attention necessary to get a great recording.

Inside the Mind of an A&R

Everyone these days is an artist. I’m pretty sure my mailman has an album coming out. Technology has saturated the market to a point of redundancy and monotony. This, fueled by a singles-driven market causes record labels to become weary of investing in unknown acts (understandably so). Any artist should have; hit songs, consistent shows lined up, a great following, independently moved units, radio play and/or impressive YouTube numbers. 

It’s true, labels are looking for music in the style of artists who have hit it big already. The key is to dance along the line of familiarity and originality. Be a couple steps ahead of radio, but within a comfortable distance. If you are too left field, it would be hard to digest by labels and possibly even fans. If you are too similar to what’s hot now, you’ll miss the boat by the time your music gets big.

Make sure you have the ultimate product, before you invest ridiculous amounts of time and money into promoting it. Although the following has been stated repeatedly, sometimes repetition is key to truly understanding your goals. Practice your craft everyday, play gigs as often as possible and find legitimate sources of constructive feedback. As an artist, you must also realize that that it takes financial investment to develop a brand. PR, radio campaigns, web developers for your site, service companies, CD replication, copyright, professional photos, graphic design and so much more. If you are genuinely prepared to make your music a career, investing into your brand is key. 

All that being said, it’s all about great art, a story and a movement. Truly, it’s a constant battle of balancing the time of perfecting your craft and developing your brand. Once you find this middle ground and you persistently create a movement with hit songs, you’ll find your way. Pursuing A&R’s through their assistants or interns, attacking blogs consistently with your music, creating interesting viral videos and finally developing an enthusiastic following will propel you towards where you need to be. 

What do The Notorious B.I.G. and Tmarquise Entertainment have in common?

We both received cease and desist notices for names that were trademarked by someone else. He got one for Biggie Smalls and we received one for Bonnie and Clyde. Even though this album was released in 2008 and the people below in the notice just got their trademark in 2012, it’s legally their name now. Below is a link to help you understand how to trademark your name. We really didn’t have the group named Bonnie and Clyde but more just name of the album. Both artists(male and female)  was just using that moniker as the album name.

Hello Robert,

This is Joel Andrew over at CD Baby.

I just received a cease and desist notice from Clyde (

regarding your artist name "Bonnie N Clyde."  Clyde is the US Patent and

Trademark Office holder of the Bonnie And Clyde trademark, registration numbers

# 4149256 and # 4198372.

At this time I must halt distribution on your content in full.  With the

trademarks registered with the federal government, I must comply with their


Please let me know if you have any questions about this.


The key principles of sample clearance

  • Sampling is a form of copying someone else’s music (sound recording and underlying composition)
  • UK copyright laws (Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988) dictate that for infringement to take place a substantial part of a recording must have been used. Substantiality in the UK differs from in the US.
  • Only use a sample with permission of copyright owner.
  • Copyright owner can consider licensing use and decide whether to grant the license or not and determine the fee. Copyright owner is entitled to refuse permission.
  •  You will be required to pay a fee and/or royalties and credit (mention) the original writers/ copyright owner from which the sample is taken as a condition of any licence.
  •  Music which was made or released within the last 50 years (life of copyright) will still be in copyright and can only be sampled with permission from the copyright owner of the recording.
  •  In addition, a license from the copyright owner of the underlying composition (music and words). A license for the composition will not be needed if you RE-RECORD the composition.
  •  Sampling will infringe copyright in the music and/or the sound recording, if a ‘substantial part’ of the original and used without permission. Sample considered ‘substantial’ by reference to quality rather than length.

Westbound Records and Bridgeport Music v No Limit Films (2004)

The case centred on the song 100 Miles and Runnin, which samples a three-note guitar riff from Get Off Your Ass and Jam by George Clinton and Funkadelic. The song was included in the 1998 movie I Got the Hook Up by No Limit Films In the two-second sample, the guitar pitch has been lowered, and the copied piece was “looped” and extended to 16 beats. The sample appears five times in the new song.

A US federal appeals court ruled that recording artists should licence every musical sample included in their work even minor, edited, unrecognisable snippets of music. The court posed the question “If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you ‘lift’ or ‘sample’ something less than the whole?” The Court’s answer to this was NO; and the court added “Get a license or do not sample – we do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way.”

How Not To Clear a Sample

  • You cannot clear the underlying composition in a sample by re-recording the sample. If you choose to re-create the use, you still need the publishing clearance.
  • Altering the sample (even to the point of making it unrecognisable) does not get you out of clearing it.
  • Sampling a track which already cleared its samples doesn’t get you out of clearing them.

Sample Clearance FAQ

How much of a song can I use before I need clearance?
It doesn’t matter how long the sample is. It could be two seconds and you’d still have to clear it.

How do I approach a Record label or Publisher in regards to obtain a clearance?
Give information about your planned releases e.g. label the tune will be released on and how many copies pressed. Record company or publisher may say yes, ultimate decision is sometimes up to the musicians.

Sampling from a small label artist
A small record company may want a flat fee, known as a ‘buy-out’.

If you’ve sampled a relatively unknown tune and it’s quite a short release you might end up paying just around £500 but they may build in a condition that another fee is payable if you want to press more records.

Sampling from a large label artist
A larger label or bigger artist may want a royalty – usually 1 to 3 per cent.

They’ll probably want an advance against that – which, for a major artist it may be several thousand pounds. You may be able to reduce the royalty by paying a larger advance or reduce the advance by offering a larger royalty.

What difference does it make if the of the sample is used little or a lot?

If the sample is extensive and underpins your tune to such an extent that the track won’t really work without it, you’re in a weak bargaining position. In such case, a Record company can demand a much higher royalty – as much as 50%.

How do you get clearance for published samples?
Publishing companies will typically want a royalty but not an advance. For light usage of a minor artist this can be less than 10%. For a larger artist it may be 50% or more – up to 100%.

How does sampling affect my royalties?
The royalties for samples will be deducted from your record sales share of royalties and publishing royalties. You may also have to give up some of your Performer’s Royalties to the people who performed on the record you sampled.

What if I cannot find the copyright owner?
Do not proceed with use until you have obtained clearance in writing from all copyright owners concerned and all clearance terms and conditions agreed. To proceed without all necessary clearances in place will equal breach of copyright.

Can I approach the band/writers directly?
Clearance must be sought and obtained from the copyright owners. In most cases this is the record label and publisher.

How long will it take to get an answer to my request?
Publishers will often discuss the clearance request with writers of the composition that has been used. If writers are recording, touring or working on other projects the clearance can be delayed.

If the composition that you wish to use is not U.K copyright, the publisher may need to liaise with a foreign publisher who in turn may need to liaise with the writers.

What can I do if my request is denied?
You must remove the sampled/re-created use from your work. To proceed without all necessary clearances in place may well result in action being taken against you for breach of copyright.

Steve Stoute Speaks on Why Dame Dash is Broke +Alicia Keys, Jay- Z + More(part2)

Steve Stoute Speaks on Why Dame Dash is Broke +Alicia Keys, Jay- Z + More(part1)

Jay-Z: REALLY Decoded

Dan Charnas: "Why I Wrote 'The Big Payback'"

5 Business Tragedies of Hip-Hop

5 Myths About Hip-Hop, Debunked

What's Alexander Hamilton Got To Do With Hip-Hop?

Quincy: "Russell Simmons Is A Liar"

Jay-Z Top Producer Young Guru Breaks Down How Music Artist Enslave Themselves.

100 Free & Affordable High & Low Tech Music Promotion Tips

(Hypebot) –1. Never leave promotion to the other guy. Depending on your point of view don't count on the label, band or publicist to do their jobs. Do it yourself or it may not get done.

2. Know your niche market(s) or hire/befriend someone who does.

3. Always think of the fans first when making decisions.

 4. Start early. Pre-promote. It allows time for viral buzz (aka free promotion) to build and ensures you’ll get you a larger share of a discretionary spending.

5. Take the time and spend the money to get a great publicist to get free media.

6. Produce great promotional material and send it out early and often. Don’t wait until they need it.

7. Email lists must be your new religion. Make sign up simple and easy to find. Put it visibly on the top half of the front page and watch it grow.

8. Segment your email lists (genre, location) to fight email burnout.

9. Produce and send great e-cards. The best ones get forwarded to others.

10. Make your web site a destination by keeping it updated and including news, giveaways, polls and things to make it worth visiting.

11. Put your promo online in downloadable form for easy access by the media and your fans.

12. Enable and encourage others to do your promo for you. Ask fans to put up flyers and send out emails. Put a poster online as a free downloadable PDF for fans to use.

13. Create, utilize and reward a street team. Here’s a short article on the subject.

14. Talk to people and take informal polls. Have they seen your ads? Where? Did they grab them and provide useful information? Survey your audience via email, on the web and at shows.

15. Add a free poll to your web site or blog via

16. Get every free listing everywhere you can no matter how obscure or far away. Maintain an extensive “listings” email list and use it.

17. Enhance the value of press releases by always attaching a photo or graphic file or a link to one.

18. Aggressively seek sponsorships. Big sponsorships are great, but no sponsorship is too small to consider even if its just cross promotion in ads or free give aways.

19. Always think yourself as a brand that needs to be defined, marketed, and protected.

20. Try local cable TV. Some local spots on Fuse or other targeted channels go for as little as $7 each. Check out Spotrunner, dMarc or your local cable company.

21. Try local internet advertising via Google Adsense, Facebook or local web sites. MySpace is adding targeted advertising early 2008.

22. Advertise on internet radio and blogs that serve your market.

23. Create consistency by creating ad mats and radio spots beds.

24. Sponsor non-commercial radio and get mentions. NPR is great, but don’t forget college radio.

25. Think out of the box with radio tie-ins. Rry talk radio for a classic rock or jazz radio for a fusion. Radio stations want to expand their audience too.

26. Co-brand. Celtic Music with an Irish bar or specialty shop or metal with a tattoo parlor. Worry less about money and think more about exposure.

27. Sponsor somebody else’s event. Consider trading sponsorships.

28. Create your own affordable net radio station on Live 365.

29. Add a blog to your website to keep content fresh. has free tools.

30. Go viral and post on related list-servers and discussion groups.

31. Can't find the right discussion group? Start your own discussion group for free at Yahoo or Google Groups.

32. Get on both MySpace and Facebook and stay active. Don’t just set it up and forget it.


Update it and promote it. Make it worth visiting. iLike and others are creating services to help you keep track and update more than one site at a time.

33. Make everything you do an event. What holiday is near? Is it a band member birthday? An anniversary near?

34. Consider the internet your new best friend. Study it, learn from it, explore it and use it.

35. Run contests for best poster design or homemade video. Share all the entries on the web.

36. Produce monthly or even weekly podcasts. Consider having it produced cheaply or in trade for tickets, etc, by a local college DJ.

37. Do anything you can think of to enhance the consumer experience.

38. Give stuff away – backstage passes, seat upgrades, seats on stage, tix to the sound check, mp3’s of live songs.

39. In the entertainment business perception can be reality. Is your show the biggest, best, loudest, “most talked about”? Then be sure to tell the world that it is.

40. Enhance and monetize the hard core fan experience with a Platinum level fan club that offers exclusive downloads, pre-orders, insider news, preferred seating at shows, etc.

41. Go old school and cut through email overload by also faxing calendars and press releases. Use a free computer based fax broadcast service.

42. Don't just send announcements to the main stream press but include bloggers, internet radio, record stores, colleges and even large offices.

43. Make your faxes look like mini-posters worth hanging up.

44. Fly a plane with a banner over someone else’s event.

45. Park a van or truck with a banner on a main street or across from a show by a similar act.

46. Buy a billboard for an event or series of shows. Place it strategically near a competitor or across from a college campus.

47. Use one of the cheap automated phone answering services advertised in the classifieds to set up a special phone line for your schedule.

48. Pass a clipboard(s) around before a show to capture emails or do a survey.

49. Meet your fans face to face and ask them for feedback but how you can serve them better.

50. Try the good old fashioned US mail occasionally. It actually gets people's attention.

51. Promote “After Parties” that are cheap or free with a concert ticket. This allows you to extend your brand or even tag onto someone else's at low cost.

52. Hand out flyers on the way out of the Live shows.

53. Capture info from any one who make a purchase particularly ticket buyers.

54. Ask your web visitors questions. Polls are free and easy to set up with sites like PollDaddy.

55. Sell merchandise at affordable prices. It’s branding that someone else pays for.

56. Get creative with your merchandise – don’t just sell shirts. Try flip books, for example.

57. You can add variety to your merchandise with no upfront costs using CafePress or Zazzle.

58. In this age of too much info and media, work to make yourself a trusted gatekeeper for your genre(s) of music. Use newsletters, blogs, tips, links, internet radio, and more. Don't just write about yourself. Write about things people who care about you also care about.

59. Carry a video camera everywhere and post short videos on and elsewhere of live shows, interviews, backstage, etc.

60. Create your own related niche blogs or web sites (for example or or You can make yourself the only (or primary) advertiser, but keep it real with info and news from others.

61. Send thank-you notes. Not emails; written notes. No one says thank-you anymore. It will be remembered.

62. Ask for the purchase. Never forget that you are in sales.

63. Market to the niches. Market to bartenders in Irish pubs for a Celtic or motorcycle shops for a heavy metal. Try tattoo parlors, coffee shops, book stores, niche clothing shops.

64. Make your emails and web site useful to the reader. Add info and links to things your audience might find interesting or useful that you have nothing to do with.

65. Share your best promo ideas and avenues of promotion with other stakeholders: bands, promoters, labels, publicists, and sponsors.

66. Share media lists with others highlighting things you think will work best for each project.

67. Sell a series or combo. This works for recorded music and live tickets.

68. Surprise people. Give them something for free that they did not expect.

69. Create and use banners. Don’t have time or $ for Kinkos? Try Avery Banner Maker.

70. Trade others occasionally for targeted email lists, but don’t overuse them.

71. Hire or befriend a geek who will help you keep up on new technologies and internet promo opportunities.

72. Partner with a charity. Build good will and get more free media. Maybe you're giving a small % or maybe it’s auctioning off or selling the seats on stage or tickets to the sound check.

73. Consider unusual places on the internet like Craigslist, sBay and StubHub as promotional tools…Try selling tickets and other stuff there.

74. Musicians want to be actors and actors and athletes want to be musicians. Think about how you can cross promote so everyone wins.

75. Always make available a hi-resolution color photo available for easy download and you’ll get much better placement in print Sunday editions and calendar sections.

76. Some fans travel so try cross–promoting with another show (by the same band or just a similar band) in another city 50 or 100 miles away.

77. Create a special “Insider” email list fof a few fans, key media, tastemakers and bloggers for pre-announcements who love to know things first…and like to tell others.

78. If the there is going to be a meet and greet after show make sure that it's advertised. Fans always want a chance to meet the musicians.

79. Consider offering a student discount or senior discount.

80. List all your tour dates online on CelebrityAccess, Live Nation and elsewhere. You never know where people will go looking for a show.

81. Work to make it easier and cheaper for fans to buy tickets online. There are always going to have to be some fees, but some services like InTicketing charge much smaller fees than Ticketmaster.

82. Find ways to your regular ticket buyers.

83. Enhance your gatekeeper status by creating your own free Pandora or Last.FM “radio station” and linking to it from your site.

84. Create free custom Pandora or Last.FM for each concert event…”Get in the mood for the Al Green concert with this classic soul stream…”. It’s a free way to make the concert an event and keep them talking about it to others.

85. Start a short term blog for every big show or series. Post when it goes it go on sale, when an opener is added, when the front rows are sold out, news about the bands, everything. Link to it from our own site.

86. Produce and sponsor a cable access show.

87. Utilize free interns. Try to make sure they are getting college credit so they are motivated to work.

88. Use cell text messaging to communicate instantly. Try or Google to find other companies.

89. Flyer - It’s the cheapest form of advertising. even offers free flyers every month or a try local printer.

90. A good flyer promotes more than one show and is also worth of being hung as a mini poster.

91. Flyer someone else’s show in a related genre.

92. Make sure all important info is on the front page of your site: new gigs, news, latest photos/songs/videos, etc. Make it easy as possible for fans to see the site is update and to get to stuff quickly.

93. Make sure everywhere you are mentioned (club listings, others bands you are playing with, etc) links back to your site. If they aren't linking, ask.

94. Encourage fans to "tag" you and your content on other sites like flickr, blogs, etc. Then aggregate that data on your site.

95. Do the same using recommendation sites like Digg and Stumble. See example links at the bottom of every Hypebot post.

96. As Tip #7 stated, email lists should be your new religion. A few sites like offer free mailing list and text messaging solutions. There's no excuse.

97. Finding the time to keep up with all of this is hard but essential. Take advantage of new free services that offer the ability to manage content across platforms: > Nimbit enables mp3, CD, ticket and merchandise sales on MySpace, Facebook and elsewhere from a single integrated widget. > ReverbNation provides email sign-up, street teams and web promotion tools. A new addition allows multi-artist tracking. > iLike has made its fan communication and community building tools instantly compatible on both its site and Facebook and provides tracking tools and stats.

98. If you hear about a good promo idea, go online and research it RIGHT NOW. Try it before it becomes over used. You can drop it if it doesn't work.

99. Up your promotion Karma. If you try something and it's a hit, tell others. Then they will be more likely to share ideas with you.

100. Read Hypebot regularly. We'll help you keep on top of what's hot in music marketing.


It's Official: Adele's 21 Is Best-Selling Album Since 2004

Yesterday, it was reported that album sales in the U.S. were up one percent last year, with Adele's 21 easily the best-selling record of 2011. Now Nielsen/SoundScan has confirmed that21 not only finished 2011 with 5.82 million copies sold, but was the best selling album since 2004, when Usher's hit recordConfessions sold 7.98 million copies. Adele also had the top selling single of 2011, as her smash "Rolling In The Deep" sold 5.81 million digital downloads.

Is The Music Business Finally Rebounding? New Numbers Say Yes.

Every January, Nielsen SoundScan releases an annual report on the music business for the prior year, and every year in recent memory, the numbers have sung the same sad song: overall music sales are down, again, as piracy and other factors chip away at the industry’s sales numbers.

This year, however, there’s a glimmer of hope. For the first time since 2004, overall music sales are up. It’s an incremental improvement–album sales edged up 1.4% to 330.57 million units from 326.15 million in 2010–but it’s an improvement nonetheless, especially compared to the 13% dip in total album sales from 2009-2010.

How Not To Get Screwed!

Intro: The six exclusive copyrights that drive the entire music business!
Introduction by Jeff Price, founder, TuneCore

The instant you write or record an original song, be it on a cocktail napkin or sing it into your iPhone, you get six exclusive legal copyrights as granted by the government.
These six legal copyrights (in no particular order) are:
Public Display
Public Performance
Digital Transmission

Sign And Fail: How The Traditional Music Industry Killed Culture

We talk a lot about how this era of the music business is a particularly good one for the independent artist (by that, I mean an artist not signed to a label; someone who releases his/her own music either by him or herself or with a small team).  The reasons for this are many, and largely due to technological advances: companies like TuneCore made it possible for you to have your music distributed world-wide very efficiently; Pro Tools (etc.) allows for the efficient creation of music; social media enables you (in theory) to promote your music directly to fans, etc…

Did the music business benefit from iTunes? Consensus is mixed

When Apple rolled out iTunes for the masses in the spring of 2003, the music industry was at a point of transition — and chaos.

Entering the new millennium, albums were enjoying blockbuster sales of several million units for its superstar artists, and profits were booming. Yet the threat of Napster and other forms of illegal downloading threatened to eviscerate those profits as many music fans were starting to get used to the idea that music, and loads of it, could be free.

Apple’s iTunes entered into that landscape with a concept that wasn’t exactly new: a system where you could pay for songs online. Yet iTunes, with its simple interface, its simple concept — 99 cents per song — and revolutionary MP3 device, the iPod, made it the golden standard.

The entry of Apple and its leader, Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday, into the music world was more than a success — it was a phenomenon. Today, iTunes is the largest music retailer, has redefined the listening experience and has largely become the way that music is consumed.

Artist, trademark your name or this can happen to you!

Today, the band formerly known as The Time has reunited with its original members under the moniker, The Original 7ven. They’ve crafted an incredible new 14-song album called, Condensate that is filled with the classic funk/rock/pop sound of The Time without sounding dated. Condensate is what The Time should sound like today. The catchy lead single and video, “#Trendin’” will satisfy PPM heads that want songs with big and memorable hooks. The hook in “#Trendin’” is a beast… “They’re talking about me, there talkin’ about me, we trendin’”. And this is just the first song from an album that you’re going to enjoy for a long time. No joke, Condensate is the truth! “#Trendin’” is impacting now on Time Life Music’s SRR Records. Wanna see the video? Click here: The Original 7ven's new single #Trendin - YouTube or get the song on iTunes at

Why 2011 Is the Year Digital Music Broke, by the Numbers

2011 could end being the year digital music broke. Yes, the iTunes Music Store launched back in 2003. But 2011 has been a truly incredible year for digital music. Perhaps most important is the big improvement in download sales. This year's increase in digital downloads could result in around $300 million of incremental consumer spending by the end of the year, based on Billboard estimates using Nielsen SoundScan data.

There's a common -- and incorrect -- belief in the music business that nobody pays for music anymore. That claim just doesn't hold water in 2011. Through September 25, the increase in track and digital album sales has a value of about $236 million (calculated simply using $1.29 for tracks and $9.99 for digital albums). American consumers have purchased an additional 12 million digital albums and 90.5 million tracks on top of what they had purchased at the same point in 2010.

WorldStar HipHop Submission rules

Sorry we don’t add any artists videos that don’t have big buzz on YouTube yet unless they pay fee (By Bigg buzz We mean at least 50,000 legit views on 1 single video by himself / herself "MEANING NO BIG ARTIST FEATURES" in 2010 and a lot of comments) we check everything

 its $650 to PayPal per music video / freestyles / Audio slide shows (videos about hip hop and music videos only)

its 750 if it’s a video dissing a popular artist

1500 for mix tape commercials / beat making videos / Music video trailers/ dvd trailers / video blogs

2500 for  infomercials

4,000 per day For BIG CINEMATIC BOX  (for video to be shown on the top box on home page)

3000 per day for big box below cinematic

5,500 for 2 days up top on the main page of our site (top box)

1500 for promo fight clips

$2,500 for nude. $5000 for xxx clips

if you are wanting to pay for a video that’s not a music video or hip hop video. (Like an adult clip or video bout selling a shoe. email us back here For those prices. cause those are more expensive)

our email is (Make sure u put on description of PayPal message box that this is for a video submission to when you send payment.

once you send payment. email us back here with video title. description of video. video url. and the PayPal transaction ID Number and we will add it as soon as payment is cleared

send us Only YouTube, vimeo or Facebook video link and send us the link

if you want you to choose your own screenshot / still image of the video

just upload the screenshot to and give us link to the image

Has to be a still image directly from the video . Nothing false or misleading & No Booty shots that show a lot of booty cheeks

again all info in 1 email To

Your video stays on our site forever. and will get added in the mix like how we add daily videos.

After PayPal payment is cleared. it takes 1 to 5 days for your video to get added on our site. if you’re in a hurry. and want it added same day in less than 24 hours. your welcome to pay Premium Fee which is 900 to get in less than 24 hours just videos that you are paying 650 for

so $900 total for video blogs / music videos / freestyles (videos about hip hop and music videos) to get added in less than 24 hours

 *Note** If you paying for express placement. Please send a new email that’s says **EXPRESS VIDEO PLACEMENT**

so we can get it up in less than 24 hour guaranteed

*NOTE*: After you send payment and email us back with on with the information. Check back daily on the site 1-5 days to see if your video has been posted. If after the 5 day you don’t see the video up. Email us back

*NOTE* Your video will have this tag next to it   either UNSIGNED HYPE. USER SUBMITTED. OR LABEL SUBMITTED. You can choose from 1 of the 3

*NOTE* If you want your video to drop on a certain day.. (meaning you get to pick the exact date.. YOU NEED TO PAY FOR EXPRESS PLACEMENT $900)

*NOTE* We can’t add these tags on title. *HOTTEST MC IN THE GAME.. A MUST SEE".. we can only add those types of tags on description. And No False Misleading Tags On Title

Copyright is valuable – ‘The Birthday Song’ earns $2 Million a year in royalties

Would you have guessed that the song, ‘Happy Birthday to You’ generates an estimated $2 million dollars a year in royalties?  (and has earned this much annually since 1996.)  It’s only eight measures long, spans an octave and was written for children …but it’s a BIG money maker.

The song has appeared in over 140 movies, in countless advertisements for products ranging from cars to cereals to insurance to paper products and pet stores… and was featured in the world’s first singing telegram in 1933.   Royalties are earned for public performances of the song as well as its use in movies, television shows, advertisements, music boxes, theatrical productions and the like.  (Just an fyi… singing it around the dinner table or serenading your friend is a royalty-free private performance.)

‘Happy Birthday to You’ was written by two sisters… one was an educator and the other a composer.  They were knowledgeable about copyright law and took steps to register their work for copyright protection.  They may not have guessed that their song would become one of the most popular songs in the 20th Century…. earning over an estimated $45 million dollars to date.  (Spending $35 to register your music for copyright protection pays off)

What are 360 Deals?

360 deals are contracts that allow a record label to receive a percentage of the earnings from ALL of a band's activities instead of just record sales. Under 360 deals, also called "multiple rights deals," record labels may get a percentage of things that were previously off limits to them, like:

100 Tips to Market Your Music

Need ideas on how to spread the news that you are ready to hit the music scene? Don’t know where to start your music marketing and promotional efforts? Some tips presented here are tried, true and some are new, to get the word out on your music and you.

Marketing is all the activities and processes of planning, communicating and executing a product, with a price, the promotion and the placement of an item to an end user. Your music is your product which you are then supplying to the end user - the music fan. Between you and the fan is a big space on how to bridge this gap. You may think that if you just get a record deal with some label, your prayers are answered and this instant bridge is built across that space. This is for the most part, not how things work today.

As an aspiring indie or unsigned singer, songwriter, or a musician in a band you can not do just a few things to promote yourself and expect success in your music career. Offline and online music promotion and marketing exposure is an ongoing process in this DIY age. Music companies are looking for artists that already have fan bases, sold CDs, and are proven ready to move up to a higher level. Presented here are more than 100 tips and ideas for you to think about and tweak as you will, to get noticed, gain fans, and get heard. You have to find a way to stand above the crowd, for talent alone is not enough.

The 5 Biggest Facebook Fan Page Screw-Ups

Facebook. You already know it's the most prominent social media site on the planet.

You probably also know that, in addition to having a personal profile for yourself as a person, you can also create a "fan page" for your band, your music company, or yourself as an artist — or anything else for that matter.

Having a Facebook fan page can be a great promotional tool. But like any tool, it can be used ... or abused. In this post I will focus on the most common blunders as I walk you through the "
5 Biggest Facebook Music Fan Page Mistakes."

Apple's cloud music hang-up

Apple has deals with three of the big music labels to license a new cloud music service. And it is in talks to close a deal with holdout Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music company.


But when Apple gets its Universal deal done, it still won't be ready to launch.


That's because Apple has yet to nail down terms with the big music publishers, who own a separate set of rights. And Steve Jobs will need their sign-off, too.


While Apple came to terms with Warner Music and EMI Music weeks ago, and has now struck a deal with Sony Music, industry sources tell me the company doesn't have agreements with the labels' associated publishing companies--Warner/Chappell, EMI Music Publishing, and Sony/ATV. The deal Apple is about to sign with Universal also won't include publishing, I'm told.


The distinction between music labels, who own the rights to music recordings, and music publishers, who own the rights to songs' underlying compositions, seems small and technical. But it's an important one.

The two groups each get paid when their work is used, at different rates. And while all the big music companies have both a recorded music arm and a publishing arm, the two operate in different silos, and don't always share the rights to the same music. The Beatles' recordings, for instance, belong to EMI Music, while the bands' publishing rights are controlled by Sony/ATV.


The fact that ownership of a single song can be shared by lots of people is one of the reasons it's so hard to get anything done in digital music (recall that Google and Amazon both bailed on getting any rights at all for their cloud services). But the complexity isn't a deal killer, either.


In Apple's case, I'm told that the company doesn't have any theological hurdles to clear with the publishers. It simply started talking to the music labels first, and has only recently started negotiating with the publishers.


The only issue to hammer out is just how much Apple will pay for its service, which will let users move their music to Apple's "cloud" servers and then let them stream their songs back to different devices. But the two sides are at least "engaged" over the issue, says an industry source.


In many ways, this seems like a rerun of Apple's move to extend the length of the song samples it offers at its iTunes store. Apple planned to increase the duration of its samples from 30 seconds to 90 seconds last September. But it didn't get clearance from the publishers, and negotiations kept it from super-sizing the samples until December.


Music industry sources I talk to think Apple wants to launch--or at least announce--the cloud service at its developers' conference in early June. And if the hang-up is truly just about money, then that still gives dealmakers time to hammer things out. But remember that this is the music business, and simple things always take longer than they should.

20 Questions With Hip Hop Mogul and Producer Mona Scott

For years, Mona Scott-Young has been behind the scenes effortlessly crafting the careers of Busta RhymesMissy Elliott and 50 Cent, to name a few.

While filming a reality television show documenting the life of Harlem rapper and her client Jim Jones, Scott got a unique perspective about the complex relationship between his longtime girlfriend and mother.

Through her Momami Entertainment company, she teamed with VH1 for 'Love and Hip Hop,' the natural transition from 'Basketball Wives' and 'Football Wives,' which uncovers the lives of the women behind some of the most famous rap stars out. got the scoop from Mrs. Scott-Young on if these women should throw in the towel with their relationships, the future of hip hop music and why her show is different from the rest.

Here's 20 Questions With Mona Scott-Young So, you used to be a background dancer back in the day and wore catsuits?
Mona Scott-Young: 
You want to go back to the catsuits? To be honest with you, the dancing and choreography and artist development was something that came to me because it was something that I enjoyed. I walked into a dance studio one day and saw this class Stage Moves, and they worked with artists on their stage presence and how to hold the mic. I thought, "That looks really interesting. I can do that." I really enjoyed it, and it led to me doing artist development and choreography and eventually a couple of the acts I was working with asked me to appear in their videos. I did it because it was part of getting their show together.

BV: For people who don't know your history, can you tell us who some of the artists are that did background dancer for?
You should make that a trivia question. Make that a trivia question.

BV: How did you transition into becoming a manager?
It's not a natural progression for most people, but for me, what I did in management wasn't something I studied or sought but once I started working withTrackmasters, who came to me and said, "We want you to manage us as producers," I didn't want to have them subject to my trial and error. But they believed in me, and that was the start of my management company.

BV: And when did you start working with Violator Management?
I met Chris Lightly who, at the time, was still at Rush Management, and I worked with Black Sheep and that's how he and I connected. He was one of the doors I knocked on. When I hooked up with Chris, he was on the verge of a big change himself because he was going onto Def Jam with Lyor Cohen and being A&R with Def Jam and said, "We haven't figured out what we are going to do with these guys." So what started out as a request [to assist with finding out what to do with these artists] turned into a 20-year business relationship.

BV: Were you the only female manager back then in hip hop?
 I don't know if there were others. I know there were other women that were around and doing it, but, for the most, part I think that I probably was one of the few females at a management company and especially in the hip hop game.

BV: Was that difficult for you running the careers of big-name people and calling the shots as one of the few women around?
The thing for me -- and the one thing I've had to rely on not having degrees or experience of working at a company and having to figure it out on my own -- I always had confidence in my skill set and went through it with blinders on. I'd be on the bus with a bunch of dudes and I gained a certain amount of control and respect, but also [I demanded] basic things like everybody is sharing rooms, I'm not. My clients respected the grind, and I always had their support. When I took on Missy as a client, I had both a client and an ally in terms of a woman battling her way in a male-dominated industry and not looking like a female pop star or a female rap star of that time. But, there is a camaraderie that exists amongst the men in terms of how they look out for and take care of each other.

BV: How did you not fall for a guy in the business?
It's a double-edged sword with not getting involved with clients, but I actually met my husband on the road. He was doing personal protection for Busta, so I broke my own cardinal rule.

BV: Some people will remember you from Missy's reality television show. Was that the first time you envisioned 'Love & Hip Hop' on television?
 I conceptualized and produced that series for UPN. This started out as a show about Jim Jones, and when we did the pilot for that, it was centered around Jim. But, from the time that we shot the pilot, the VH1 audience had changed and we found out that Chrissy, his girlfriend, and his mom were incredibly strong characters. We reshaped what started out as a show about Jim Jones and expanded the cast to make it an ensemble series. That's how the concept for 'Love and Hip Hop' came about.

BV: Initially, knowing the type of reality shows that the network has, how did you keep this series different from 'Basketball Wives' or 'Football Wives'?
They cut the trailers so that they are salacious and so that people tune in, but the feedback that I've been getting is "Wow, you really coupled these girls in an honest way, and we feel like we're in a conversation and we get it." Even if you see them arguing, it isn't an argument for the sake of good television. I kept telling the girls, "We are committed to this and to make a good show, and in order to do that, you girls have to show up for the party and can't have any walls up or preconceived notions of what you want to share. You are going to spread the truth about how you are really feeling." I think that is the challenge with reality television. People say they are going to be real, but they automatically want to project a certain image of how they want people to see them.

BV: A lot of viewers think that with Emily and Chrissy, people assume that those women know what they are getting into. Do you think that there are any monogamous rappers out there?
It was very important for me that I didn't judge them. In order to get them to be honest, they couldn't be judged. My opinion wasn't important. I was just trying to capture where they were and what were they feeling. As far as anybody's ability to be monogamous, I think that's a function of that person and not that person's industry.

BV: Seriously, Mona, you've been in the business forever and have seen these famous people's careers rise and also the behind-the-scenes happenings. Do you really think they will be monogamous?
 I've been married to my husband for 15 years. He was in the business. So, I'm telling you as honestly as I can. I am a walking and living example. I am married to a dude that came from hip hop. I'm not feeding you any bulls**t. If a dude is going to do what he is going to do, he's going to do it whether he's a rapper or an accountant. That's who he is. It has nothing to do with the industry he's in. I'm not pessimistic to the extent that I'm going to loop every rapper in one bowl. It's not something that I believe honestly. When you look at their lives, here's another side to the story, with Fabolous, in his mind, he rationalizes it by saying what I do publicly is my public life and you are my personal life. That's the way it is, and Emily chooses to do this show because she felt like she wanted to be out there.

BV: Do you think they have a good relationship or that he will say he cheats on her?
If he wants to come on the show and say he's doing some s**t, by all means, do that on season two but that's definitely not what I got out of it. I thought, "Wow this is a woman who has been in a relationship for a very long time. They have a child together and he has a certain way he wants to live his life." But, she wants a more public life.

BV: We also saw Swizz Beats' ex-wife, Mashonda, in the first episode. Is she a main character or will she just pop up every now and then?
 Mashonda came out because her and Emily are good friends. She appears in the episode mainly as a friend. We talk a little bit about her story. She puts herself out there as a cautionary tale to Emily saying, "You've got to figure out what makes you happy, baby girl, and how you want to live your life. You've seen what I've just gone through. You need to make the decision that's right for you." It grew a little bit beyond that because she was great about opening up herself.

BV: Does Mashonda have a gag order, like the one that Dwight Howard put on Royce [from 'Basketball Wives'] that says she cannot mention Swizz Beats' name on the show?
I can't speak for what the legal arrangement is. I do know they have a working relationship and are raising a son together, but I'm not sure about what the legalities are on what she can and cannot say. She talks about being married to the rapper but maybe it was her comfort level for not saying [his name]. We don't pressure them to do anything they aren't comfortable with. We wanted to get them at their best.

BV: How do you feel about Chrissy proposing to Jim Jones? Do you think she should have waited until he proposed?
 I definitely do not sit around and wait for anything to happen in life. If there's a situation where a woman is in love with a man and, for whatever reason, she feels confident that the love is reciprocated and she wants to take it to the next step, why shouldn't she reciprocate it? I have liberated views on relationships based on my own life. I have reverse roles in my own life, and I have the company that I'm running and he's running our family and our household. Chrissy is the same kind of woman. When she felt that the time was there, she didn't see any issues.

BV: Do you think Chrissy and Jim can stand the test of time if she isn't getting along with his mom?
 My personal thoughts on that are, you're not just marrying the man, you're marrying the man and his family. That can be difficult. I think that it does present a challenge and it's something that Chrissy is going to have to navigate her way through because she and Nancy are two strong, really vocal and opinionated women. It makes for some good television.

BV: Some critics have made jokes that there's a lack of love on 'Love and Hip Hop'; what do you say to them?
 I think that's absurd. A lot of the other shows that are out there, you don't even see the guys. You hear about them, but you don't see the guys. You don't see love. I think the scene with Chrissy and Jim and you see them together and they are talking about their lives. I don't know how much more love you can see besides that. We choose the title because I thought it was important to show love in this genre because hip-hop songs usually talk about sex and hitting that, but rarely do you hear people talk about being in love. Even Emily has love for her man and I don't know what says love more than that. When she says, "I don't want to give up on my family," I think that this show depicts love and relationships in a way that no other reality show does.

BV: In terms of Olivia and Somaya, do you think they can make a career without flaunting their asses in this day and age?
I don't want to make any statements about what their viability is, but as far as their ability, desire and determination, and their commitment to wanting to make this, I think, they have as good of a shot as any other female trying to make it in the game. I supported Missy who defied convention. I think with Olivia, I wanted her to break down the visage and give people a different opportunity to get to know her. I think Somaya has determination and is admirable in a way that anybody would respect. I think their music should speak for itself, and I hope this show gives them a platform to leverage that and give people an opportunity to get to know them, so that they give them a shot.

BV: Is there some type of woman who works in hip hop who you think should be added to a second season?
I think a manager who is young and coming up in the game would be good because when we talk about 'Love and Hip Hop' it's almost like a love for hip hop. Some women are in love with the game and with their careers in the game. I think that applies to a manager or a publicist or anyone trying to break into this male-dominated business. For me, I really wanted the focus to be that these are women with goals and aspirations and not riding off of someone else's coattails.

BV: Why do you think people should tune into 'Love and Hip Hop'?
I'm doing what I'm excited and passionate about. I think that the show has so much to offer in terms of really being honest, entertaining and sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny. It's about these women navigating their lives. Loving men, loving a career and loving a genre of music. I think these girls are really entertaining. They are fun and are really relatable. I know that we have an uphill battle because people are programmed in terms of what they think these shows should be about, but the feedback that I've gotten has been that we were really able to capture something more.

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