Entries Tagged 'Money' ↓

The New York Daily News Covers GrindXDesign.

WOW! Super-ultra-special thanks to The New York Daily News, writer Anita Samuels, and photographer Jeff Bachner for covering the debut module of GrindXDesign, above.

It’s great, stupendous coverage. Admittedly, I’m slightly uncomfortable with Jeff’s crystalline photo, as I typically don’t view myself from the side, but love that he caught the stereo waveform on the computer monitor. Not complaining.

I’m amused that, for the 900th time, a white media organ covering me has utterly excised my title—and this blog’s—Media Assassin, from the text. But I’m thrilled Anita reproduced this quote, perfectly: “Hip-hop is made up of many moving parts, and if you’re not aware of all of those parts, those parts can fall off and roll over you and kill you.” Dag: That gal’s got an ear for a quote.

Of course, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious thanks to Gang Starr producer D.J. Premier and Jay-Z engineer Young Guru, the instructors for our first tutorial on producing and songwriting. Not only were they knowledgeable and frank, but they were hugely entertaining. The duo had never done a speaking engagement before, and there were so many moments I’d sit, looking at them, saying to myself, I can’t believe I’m getting this.

Tonight, 8 pm ET, technology strategist Lena West, right, outlines how the social media landscape has altered the music business for musicians, and how artists can, and should, respond. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud? All up for passionate discussion, and schooling for mastery.

Registration for GrindXDesign is $97. Participants get access to our audio archives; for example, our GXD Free preview with Steve Gordon, and everything that The New York Daily News heard and saw. Come on down: Join the movement we’re building.

How To Get On The Cover of a Hip-Hop Magazine.

GrindXDesign is an 8-week series of meetings-by-phone. The calls feature industry pros, talking on subjects that are firmly in the field of their expertise.

So, for example, we could have gotten Vanessa L. Satten, right, editor-in-chief of XXL, and Kim Osorio, below, editor-in-chief of The Source, to talk about touring, and what makes a good live show. They’re certainly knowledgeable, and would have had strong opinions.

Instead, we got Chuck D and Questlove to do that, because, in addition to firm ideas about stagecraft, they also have experience with it, and a legacy of showmanship.

In like manner, for our tutorial on how to get your music covered by magazines, we didn’t seek D.J. Premier, who has. We sought Vanessa and Kim, who do. We did this, because we wanted to make sure that the information you get, as a GrindXDesign registrant, is right and exact. (I’ve written about hip-hop professionally for 25 years, and felt comfortable giving advice in the video clip, above. But I wanted a discussion on how decisions are made given by those who make them.)

D.J. Premier, and Jay-Z engineer Young Guru, right, will both be live, tonight, at 8 pm ET, for GrindXDesign’s first tutorial. I’ll be interviewing them about production and songwriting. Then, I’ll turn our callers aloose to ask these wizards questions on those subjects…and, really, anything else that the students want to ask them.

Note: This is also the first time that Premier and Young Guru have ever appeared together to speak. So, there is a more-than-average amount of historical shine on the event, too.

We’re doing GrindXDesign to help people learn more about the art and business of hip-hop; to show the kind of projects we believe hip-hop needs in order to change; and as the foundation for future projects that, by repeating the formula, do the same…and more. Please kindly support these efforts.

Registration for GrindXDesign is $97. Go to GrindXDesign.com for more information and to get on board.

How To Make The Mind Your Most Powerful Weapon.

During GrindXDesign, we’re addressing technical issues such as publicity, production, and promotion, with capable guests like the editors of The Source and XXL; D.J. Premier and Young Guru; D.J. Drama and Marcus Frasier, of DatPiff.com.

But we also wanted to focus on thinking, and how a positive mindset is critical for success in the hip-hop business.

That’s why we’re bringing in Arthur Wylie, author of Only the Crazy and Fearless Win BIG!: The Surprising Secrets to Success in Business and in Life. “Following the pack and doing what you are told may get you a job and even a promotion,” he says, “but it won’t lead to real success.”

That comes, says Wylie, by audacity, and thinking outside the box. “To win big,” he says, “you have to be fearless and, sometimes, even a little crazy.”

Arthur will be leading our Wednesday, October 3rd tutorial. Register for the entire eight-week series at GrindXDesign.com for only $97. That’s less than you’ll spend for just 1/2 an hour of an even barely competent lawyer’s time, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

PLUS tonight, Monday, August 27, at 8 pm, join us for our GrindXDesign completely FREE preview!! Attorney Steve Gordon, right, author of The Future of the Music Business: How to Succeed with the New Digital Technologies, will be with us on the line and in the studio. But, first, “8 Success Secrets the Record Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know!” Go to GXDFree.com for more info and to register.

“Don’t Give Up Your Publishing!”

Music is a publishing business.

This may seem obvious, but, in a way, I think it’s not. That is, we often think about the field as music, and then publishing; as separate things.

But, of course, the act of putting music in fixed form is an act of publishing, and pretty much anything one does with music, subsequently involves publishing.

That’s why we think it’s critical for hip-hop artists not to give up their publishing, but to also think about publishing a different way. That’s a big part part of why we’re doing GrindXDesign.

Registration is $77 through August 22nd, $97 after that. Go to GrindXDesign.com for information.

“How Do I Get A Record Deal?”
Rap Coalition’s Wendy Day On The Question She Gets Asked The Most By Hip-Hop Artists.

As Wendy Day gives recording contract facts, Cash Money Records
producer Mannie Fresh appears to regret every deal he ever signed.

This conversation is from last week’s Friday, August 10 edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION. In it, music business activist Wendy Day, above, discusses the modern-day record deal with me, and talks about how artists should sensibly approach getting one—or not.

On October 17th, Wendy and attorney Dan Booth will be guests at GrindXDesign, the “teleclass”—that’s education and instruction by phone—I’m doing for eight Wednesdays, starting August 29th. (Our first guests: Gang Starr’s D.J. Premier and Jay-Z engineer Young Guru, discussing production and songwriting.)

Registration is $77 through August 22nd, $97 after that. Go to GrindXDesign.com for information. Now, back to our scheduled programming….

How Not To Get A Record Deal.

I’m absolutely certain I could not have asked two better guests to lead the first module in our GrindXDesign eight-week tele-course.

The conversation takes place this coming Wednesday, August 15, 8 pm ET. It’s called, “How To Get A Record Deal,” and it’s led by Wendy Day, right, and Dan Booth, below.

Why do I think they’re the best choice? Have you ever looked at a modern recording contract?

Wendy has, and so has Dan, both many times. Apparently, what they’ve seen has so terrified them that they’ve decided to warn every human being who may, even accidentally, come across such a labyrinthine, all-encroaching, aggressively one-sided document.

Wendy does this through her activism, as the long-standing founder of the advocacy organization, Rap Coalition. Dan gets it in through his firm, Booth Sweet LLP. He describes himself as an attorney for “people in creative industries”—that probably means you—with a focus on copyright and trademark law.

Most of all, though,  Dan and Wendy both have a passion for right that, in this cynical age, probably strikes evil people as mad corny, but that to me is admirable and desirable. Also, I dig Wendy’s direct, no-nonsense e-book, How To Get A Record Deal: The Knowledge to Succeed, right, so much that I bit the title for GrindXDesign, and malformed it for this post.

(Plus, Wendy was a guest this past Friday, August 10, at 2 pm ET, on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION. If you missed the live show, here’s the link; go to the 32-minute mark if you don’t check out the whole thing. It’ll be in our archives for up to 90 days after the broadcast.)

How not to get a record deal? The best way not to get a record deal is to not take the GrindXDesign telecourse. And HURRY! The early bird price is an awesomely reasonable $77 for the whole eight weeks—less than 10 bucks a session—but it goes up to $97 on Sunday night! Don’t cry to any of us when the industry takes your money, B. When they do, it’s gonna be a lot more than a hundred bucks.

#gXd 1

The “I”s Have It: What Tiger Woods Really Said At His Press Conference.


You don’t have to go very far into reading the text of Tiger Woods’ apologetic press conference statement, made earlier today, to realize that either he, his handlers, or both, knew the word the disgraced athlete needed to say most, in order to win back public trust, was “I.”

However, it’s only with a textual analyisis of the statement, such as the one I put together, above, courtesy of IBM’s Many Eyes software, that it becomes clear how much Woods was relying on conveying a repentant, personal account.

He used the pronoun “I” 105 times in the short, 13 1/2-minute statement, or an average of about once ever eight seconds. Looking at his most common subjective couplet, “I have,” below—said 16 times—it appears that Woods was attempting to forge an empathetic bond with those listening to his statement by affirming the words they had probably said about him in his absence: You bitterly disappointed us…you brought this on yourself.


Or check out Woods second-most frequently-used couplet, “I am,” below, where he talks about his present state.


Finally, study Tiger’s mentions of his wife’s name, Elin, and the complimentary contexts within which Woods praised her.


Verbally, at least, it seems like Woods knew what he had to say about what he did, how he feels about it, and how he feels about his wife. These were the most important statements for him to make, it can be argued. (He certainly seemed to think so: He only mentioned “golf” twice.)

Though you heard it, and read it in the statement, the Many Eyes software, with this straightforward formatting, creates a slightly better sense of how Woods’ words were organized, and to what end. Indeed, IBM calls Many Eyes “a bet on the power of human visual intelligence to find patterns.”

Funny: That’s what Woods has got to apply, now, towards his own transgressive behavior and missteps.

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Big Pimpin’? Ginormous Pimpin’.


Brothers, I’m talkin’ to you: Is there a special someone that, this Valentine’s Day, you want to completely knock off her feet?

If so…I can’t help you.

But if you wanna blow her off the planet, I’m your man.

Check this out: I talked to my personal florist, Calyx & Corolla, and, if your plastic is the right color, they’re ’bout to hook you up.

How would your girl feel walking into a cubicle stuffed stupid with, not a dozen, not two dozen but, 1,000 red roses?

Lemme put it to you this way:

Fulfill her wildest dreams with the most extravagant, most passionate, most romantic Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever sent – 1,000 roses (that’s more than 80 dozen)! Every corner of the room will be blooming with the richest, most radiant, long-stemmed red roses she’s ever seen. And to make the day even more romantic, we will also include the petals of another dozen roses. Use them to create a path to the 1,000 Roses surprise, or sprinkle them on the bed or in a candlelit bath for two. She’ll LOVE it, and we guarantee it will be a Valentine’s Day neither of you will ever forget.

This is for true playas only. So, I know you won’t even blink that the price of three days and nights of resulting freakiness is one thousand long-stemmed red roses & rose petals, $1,995.95.

The Elements to Producing Precious.


Precious, Lee Daniels’ adaptation of author / poet Sapphire’s 1996 novel, Push, has gained wide acclaim for the director. Perhaps even more, though, it has procured deeper regard for both Gabourey Sidibe, as the titular, obese, frequently-raped, illiterate, 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones, above, and comedian Mo’Nique, as her acid-tongued, trigger-hair-violent mother, Mary.

lisacortesUnless you closely study indy film credits, though, you may not heard of Precious executive producer Lisa Cortés, right. (A sr. v.p. with Lee Daniels Entertainment, she’s also worked with Daniels, in varied roles, on the Academy Award-winning Monster’s Ball, The Woodsman, Shadowboxer, and Tennessee.)

That Cortés does this in comparative obscurity, however, may prove she possesses what those in a producing role actually need, even more than publicists: The ability to work relentlessly, behind the scenes, to make movies happen, and an ego healthy enough not to pursue media visibility as its own end.

Lisa Cortés is a guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, December 11th, at 2 pm ET.

Then, Theodore Gray, is cofounder of software company Wolfram Research, makers of the legendary Mathematica. But that’s just his day job. In his spare time, Gray writes Popular Science‘s “Gray Matter” column…and collects samples of the 118 elements which populate the periodic table.

9781579128142But why leave all that hydrogen, helium, and ununoctium just sitting there? Working with Nick Mann, the two shot seemingly everything in Gray’s hoard for publication.

The result is The Elements A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, right.

Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183˚C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid.

You can hear Lisa Cortés’s and Theodore Gray’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

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