Jay Z has been in the news a lot recently, and now that he’s changed his name, he’s making sure he stays in the news.
From left: JAY-Z, Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen (photo via NY Daily News)
What’s he been up to?
To begin with, former president Barack Obama gave him a loving induction into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, saying he and Jay Z understand each other.
“We know what it’s like to not have a father around,” Obama said. “We know what it’s like not to come from and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks we did, so we try to prop open those doors of opportunity so it’s a little easier for those who come up behind us to succeed as well.”
Which takes us to how Jay Z donated a bunch of money to bail fathers out of prison on Father’s Day, saying we have to do away with the “inhumane practices” of the bail industry.
“As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix…,” he said in his essay for Time. “We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”
Nas just re-imagined his tune “One Mic” with The White Stripes’ Jack White.
Nas and Jack White performing “One Mic” (screenshot via BBC)
When Nas first recorded “One Mic” from his 2001 album Stillmatic, he sampled Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight,” but in a recent performance in the BBC studios, he tapped the arrangement and piano skills of White.
The two artists have worked together before, so this new collab is no stretch of the imagination. What stands out is the smooth acoustic rendition they layered behind Nas’ rhymes. With the acclaimed rapper on the (one) mic, White on piano, accompanied by an upright bassist and a drummer, the group performed an intimate version of the catchy rap song.
You know how you can remember all the lyrics to your favorite song, but you hated trying to learn a ton of info in school?
Rappers Ike Ramos and Nitty Scott MC attend the UN meeting for International Day of Peace to share their Flocabulary (photo via Flocabulary)
Some intuitive folks have realized the power music has to help memory and they’re harnessing it for education by using rap.
If you ask grade school students if they like school, probably 99% of them would say “no.” Even adults remember disliking school (or at least most of it). But thanks to a new hip-hop project, school is fun.
Roughly 20,000 schools in the United States are using something called Flocabulary. Basically, the idea is to put school lessons to rap to help kids remember the content. And it’s working, as CBS found with a school in Texas.
We already know that music helps us remember things, according to many studies, including this one. And finally, someone is putting this into practice.
Rapper Ike Ramos, who’s shared the stage with Lil Wayne and The Wu Tang Clan, is the one rapping on these educational videos. And he recognizes the power music can have.
“What’s powerful about music is it helps with the encoding of that information that’s in the brain, but also the retrieval of that information,” he told CBS.
Check out Flocabulary’s video-rap lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in one of their most moving videos below:
“So, sometimes if I search myself, which is a very dangerous process — always somehow antisemitic and rude,” he said. “Every time I search myself, it’s just like ‘let’s just throw this Jew into the ocean’ or something. And then I’m like, ‘Oh that’s rough.’ And then they got to be worse and be like, ‘Oh, this is the ugliest Jew I’ve ever seen.’”
He said he gets a lot of hate from the alt-right, but he said those are not his people. His people are the fans who pay for tickets, know all the words to his songs, and will catch him if he does a stage dive. That’s where he feels most at home.
“The people online, they’re actually not my people,” he said. “Especially, the alt-right that comes through. Like, you say one G*****n thing about trying to make the world a livable place, let alone a hundred things like all of us do, and you just get this storm.”
The internet is not a good barometer for what’s accurate. All the Bleachers fans of the world — that’s true to life.
Leave it to the paparazzi to get the shot even if it’s slightly inappropriate to.
But because of them, we now know Ariana Grande safely landed in her home state of Florida on Tuesday, the day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at Grande’s concert in Manchester, UK.
The 23-year-old singer met her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, at the foot of the private plane’s exit steps. She had landed in Boca Raton, about a half an hour away from where she grew up in Coconut Creek.
Grande meeting her boyfriend, Mac Miller, on Tuesday (photo via People)
Grande has suspended the rest of her tour, reports CNN, as she, understandably, takes time off to recoup.
After the explosion, she sent out a short but heartfelt statement on Twitter.
“Broken,” she tweeted. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
The last song she sang at Monday’s concert was “One Last Time,” which now has a whole new — and sad — meaning to Grande fans. The lyrics of the chorus are:
So one last time
I need to be the one who takes you home
One more time
I promise after that, I’ll let you go
Baby, I don’t care if you got her in your heart
All I really care is you wake up in my arms
One last time
I need to be the one who takes you home
Watch her perform the song minutes before the explosion:
Gun violence is a scary fact of life in the United States of America, and an ever increasing fear. And that’s for good reasons.
Lil Uzi Vert (source: Tulsa World)
One recent example: a fan of Lil Uzi Vert threatened to draw his weapon if the rapper didn’t drop a new album.
A CBS affiliate in Florida reported that an unnamed 16-year-old high school student went on Facebook and demanded the rapper release the sequel to his album Luv Is Rage.
“Drop luv is rage 2 before I shoot up my school,” the student wrote.
Someone even commented on this student’s post, “I would not be surprised if you were suspended because of this comment.”
Police then showed up at the teen’s home to arrest him. After searching his home, they found two guns in a lockbox, but the key was missing. So the owners had to pry open the box to prove the guns were still there. Fortunately, police didn’t take this Facebook post lightly because the student could have been serious.
The student was suspended from school and arrested on charges of making false reports of hoax/threats to do violence with a firearm to a school.
Classic Album Cover: America Eats in Young…Still
In 2017, we are still in the trenches and foxholes of the war that America wages on its people, a bit more high tech battle than the warring strategies of 1972, but a war nonetheless. In 1972, Funkadelic, the brainchild of George Clinton, the first funkateer on the Planet Earth, released their fourth studio album, America Eats Its Young, debuting a fresh cover art concept unlike few before it. The 1960’s and 1970’s were a time of upheaval and unrest. There were riots going on, just like the riots we have witnessed and suffered recently in cities across the nation. Racial tensions and class conflicts were boiling over into the streets of the United States with blood and fire. Funkadelic captured this social uproar in the cover design of their LP and its signature protest concerto. It is so cliché to quote the adage, but so necessary and apropos for this essay, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the case of America Eats Its Young, the cover art is worth a thousand stories. Funkadelic became known for their graphic designs more than any other group of the funk era. Their graphic images told stories that were relevant then and arguably more relevant now. The most famous of their album covers were created by Pedro Bell, artist extraordinaire, who brought us unique caricatures of people, places and things that make us think and consider, ponder and wonder, and change our minds.
America Eats Its Young cover design by graphic designer Paul Weldon, depicts the Statue of Liberty, draped in the American flag, eyes gorging blood, eating babies with a United States dollar bill as the back drop. If the standard 12 inch square front cover image is not enough to pause you, the original LP was released as a gatefold cover, opening up and spreading out into an oversized greenback, encasing 2 vinyl discs. Yes. America Eats Its Young was a double LP, 14 songs of haunting, chanting, funky, psycho rock soul that serves as the soundtrack for a celestial riot, a cosmic revolution taking place on the streets of the Milky Way, the Milky Way of our minds. America Eats Its Young is an outer space odyssey of earthly social, political, and cultural proportions. Mixtape Cover Kings pays homage to the artistic gifts of Parliament Funkadelic and their unmatched ability to conceptualize their creativity to elevate and empower the people. Mixtape Cover Kings carries on the tradition of artistic passion and power, making your mixtape covers a monument that pays tribute to the legacy of our musical forebears. Salute
A few dozens fans took advantage of this offer, posting screenshots of their grades. The hip-hop/pop star with an estimated net worth of $70 million, according to IBT, responded to a few of those fans throughout Saturday night and also promised to pay for books and student loans. She turned it into an impromptu contest — you could call it the Nicki Minaj Twitter Scholarship Award.
“Ok u guys. It’s been fun,” she tweeted at 1:07 a.m., marking the end of the contest. “Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left.”
Ok u guys. It's been fun. Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left😂. I'll do some more in a month or 2. 😘😘😘💋💋💋💕💕🎀🎀🎀
The question is: will she come through with these high-stakes promises? We’re talking millions of dollars she’s apparently willing to shell out for the financial equivalent of luxury islands. Will she, like Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, spend all the money set aside for her undertaking and then face ridicule from the public?
How To Make Your Fans Connect With You On A Personal Level
The music game has changed and now with the internet you have direct access to millions of music fans from all over the world you just have to figure out how you can get your music in front of your target market, and then how you bring them into your world and turn them into a fan.
If you look at the music industry now you have artist like Kodak Black, and Lil Yachty and they are garbage,but yet and still they are getting millions of Youtube views and getting paid shows all over the world. As an music artist that should tell you right there that nowadays it’s not about being the best lyricist anymore nowadays it’s about connecting with fans and how do you do that? With content.
These new artist are internet junkies lol they do things different than the older generation, they don’t get out in the streets and pass out flyers and cd’s they go online and create content and share it all over the worldwide web, and that strategy works. Content is King online and when I say content I mean videos,mixtape covers, songs, interviews, articles, etc.
For example Kevin Gates has over 75 videos online everything from him just speaking his mind for the day, interviews, him out to eat with his wife etc. All of that is forms of content and that is what makes people stick to him.I’m not saying his music ain’t dope, because it is, but his story and personality is what makes people really connect to him. .
If you are really trying to build your fanbase you need to mimic the Kevin Gates strategy because it works as you can see. Remember majority of the people in the world go thru the same type of shit so once a fan hears you talk about something they can relate to or been through you got em because now they feel like they have a connection with you because you both have experienced the same situations.That’s why content marketing is so powerful because it builds a relationship with the reader/viewer
First things first let me put this out there. Music artist don’t drop a music video if you don’t have a website first.The worst thing you could do is drop a fire video and then people go on Google and search your name to learn more about you and there is nothing there for them to find. You just lost a potential fan. Also you should be releasing your music video from your own site not a 3rd party site.That doesn’t make sense you need to send traffic to your own site so you can build your brand.
Make 10 different type of videos.They could be you doing an interviews about hard times you experienced coming up, you in the studio making a song, or a video explaining the reason behind your song, how many times you been arrested, how you were double crossed, etc you get what I’m saying.
Now that you have the 10 videos you need to release one every 3 days this is going to give fans new content over a month span will increasing your Google and Youtube ranking which will get you even more exposure from the search engines. Make sure in all your videos you push you web address so fans visit your site so you get them on your email list which is your ultimate goal because then you can promote to them anytime with the push of a button
So if your looking for a music marketing blueprint that will get you real exposure try this out and I guarantee your fanbase will start grow organically.
What Music Artists Need To Know About Facebook Bs Video Views
Facebook launched their new video platform awhile ago and they been trying to compete with Youtube and become the #1 source for videos. I’ve noticed more and more music artist are starting to use Facebook to push their new music videos. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but here are some facts you need to consider before you start bragging about your Youtube views.
Unlike every other video platform online that makes a viewer watch your video for at least 30 secs to be considered a view. Facebook counts a view after someone watches your video for only 3 seconds lol. The slick part about it is that the sound doesn’t even have to be on so if your music video starts to auto play for 3 secs that’s considered a view which is some bullshit.Then they have the nerve to try to get you to pay to boost the post, so pretty much they are trying to get you to pay for more low quality views.
I’m not saying they views are shit, but 3 secs doesn’t mean someone really watched your video.Artist are to focused on views and likes,but when it comes to get making a music video go viral it’s all about your video being shared and user engagement now. Facebook has a video analytics feature (I attached an example below) that let’s you check your video stats to see how many people really engaged with your video and how long they watched it for.
Facebook’s whole goal is to get your views rolling in to get you excited about the fact you’re getting more views on Facebook then you ever did on Youtube so you’ll start using their video platform permanently to upload your videos so they can cash in on the video ads, and the fact that people are paying to boost their post. They know Youtube gets billions of views and they want in.lol .
If a music artist releases a video or actually anyone trying to promote something and they start to get views on their video and they tag the video with “this post is 50% more engaging than your other post, boost this post to 1,000 more people for $5” a percentage of music artist are going to do it hell even if only 3% do it there are millions of music videos online so they still make a big ass profit
Facebook’s Platform Ain’t Got Shit On Youtube
I can understand if your wanna those artist who just wants to be known then you will love using Facebook’s video platform and paying to boost your music video views so it’s looks like your video is blowing up,but the harsh reality is the music industry or Google doesn’t pay attention to Facebook views. When is the last time you heard of an artist being signed or discovered because of a Facebook video? Exactly you haven’t!
Facebook is hustling people for real! With Youtube you can monetize your videos you can’t do that with Facebook. Youtube views only get counted if a user watches your video for at least 30 secs which means the viewer is actually engage in the video not just scrolling past your video like Facebook.Your Youtube video can go Viral all over the world wide web and it can be posted on sites all over the internet on Facebook you can’t do that you can only share your video on Facebook and that’s pointless.
Remember Worldstar Hip Hop Will Pick Up Your Music Video If It Get’s 50,000 views and user engagement. I see tons of Facebook videos with 100,000 plus views and they never get picked up on any hip hop website and to go viral your video needs to shared all over the internet.
With Youtube you can sell your music right from your music video with Youtube’s new video cards on Facebook they don’t allow you to do that, and once again that doesn’t benefit you as an artist.
Every artist should study Kevin Gates he has this shit mastered.Everytime you watch one of his new music videos you will see a link pop up in the top right corner where you can click to purchase the song to the video instantly or pre order the album the song is going to be featured on.
Every music artist needs to utilize the video card tool on Youtube you can use it to sell music,merchandise, connect people to your website, and more.
How To Hustle Facebook Right Back And Get More Youtube Views
Instead of releasing your full music video on Facebook you should just upload 15 second trailer of your video or you could use your mixtape cover with a snippet of the song playing and in the video description link it to your full music video on Youtube. This way you maximize your views and you can monetize your videos still.
I’m not saying you should upload your music video to Youtube because it gets your brand and music exposure.I’m just saying the video views shouldn’t be taken at face value.
If you ever need custom graphics to make your projects standout check my work below.