Rap Coalition

A HOW-TO RESOURCE FOR RAP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & DJs. Since knowledge is power, here is your best defense to succeed in the urban music industry...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Bob Lefestz:

Now this deal makes sense.

This is how I remind you that the major labels are too hip for the room. None of them wanted to sign Nickelback, they had to go to an indie. You could hear the greatness on their RoadRunner debut, all that was absent was the hit single. Which came on the very next album! An A&R man is supposed to be a visionary. A label is supposed to sign an act for the future, not one moon shot that is either successful and burns the act out or fails.

This is how I remind you that we live in a rock and roll nation, not a hip-hop country. Fortune 500 companies would be better off licensing a Nickelback track than a rap cut. This is the sound of America. This is the sound people want to see live.

This is how I remind you that the audience doesn't give a fuck what you think is good. People want something ear-pleasing, that envelops them and allows them to forget five dollar a gallon gas and low wages. Sure, the rock star life might be one of excess, but it's not about saying you're BETTER than your listeners, just that you're lucky. Actually, it's about hard work. As opposed to hanging in Hollywood clubs and appearing in TMZ and Perez Chad focused on the music. Guess you need someone from Canada to do this, someone smart, someone who can put two words together.

This is how I remind you that Nickelback's career has not peaked. Chad could do it alone, with Mutt Lange, he's got an ace in his deck. One thing Mutt truly understands is powerful rock. After all, this is the guy who produced "Back In Black", "Pyromania" and "Hysteria".

This is how I remind you that EMI isn't responsible for the Coldplay album's success, the band's manager Dave Holmes is. He quarterbacked the effort, assembled the team. Nickelback no longer needs Warner, to the degree recorded product is part of the equation all resources can be outsourced, hired on a need to use basis. You can hire a marketing guy, a radio promo team. Doesn't matter that Live Nation presently doesn't have infrastructure. If the company is smart, it will be lean and mean and rely on contractors. It's the overhead that kills companies.

This is how I remind you that Richard Branson signed the Stones to drive up the price of Virgin Records, knowing that the investment community was too stupid to know the legendary band didn't sell many discs. I've been scratching my head at all the previous Live Nation signings. Madonna's recording career is way past its peak. But she won't admit it and won't do a greatest hits show, the only thing that a truly mass audience is interested in. Jay-Z could sell records in the future, but hip-hop has always been a dicey live enterprise. Shakira was made in the U.S. by Charlie Walk, he did that deal with Verizon Wireless, he got the online community to make its own videos, he's the one who masterminded the integration of Wyclef Jean. Who's going to do all this at Live Nation? Who's going to care? And, without the train-wreck, how many people want to see Shakira live? She'd better start doing more work in Spanish, hopefully Live Nation can make its money back in South America and other Spanish-speaking territories. But Nickelback... Nickelback is something different. The band is not sexy, Wall Street may not understand, but it makes financial sense. This is Rock and Roll 101, hit records beget live demand, tickets are sold at a reasonable price, a ton of merch is moved, everybody makes money, year after year. Nickelback has already had enough hits. The band might not quite be classic, but almost. Certainly more than Rihanna and almost everybody else on Top Forty radio.

This is how I remind you about the power of one hit single.

Send me that MP3 running Nickelback's two hits together, tell me they're the same song. Tell me how the music's meat and potatoes rock. Tell me how it's not innovative. I'll just tell you "How You Remind Me" is a PHENOMENAL track.

Doesn't matter if you're a fan of this kind of music. You only need to hear it once. It's got power, it's got a catchy melody, great changes and worthy lyrics.

This is how I remind you that it's a new music business.

This is how I remind you that Michael Cohl was only about readying Live Nation for sale and it was smart for Michael Rapino to stop the endless spending, the deals that didn't make sense.

This is how I remind you that Live Nation can offer more to Nickelback than any label. Hell, a label's not even going to offer a killer ROYALTY rate. Give me fifty percent of the action. Seventy-five! Then maybe I'm interested. But you're beholden to the old model. So, the Eagles, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails say fuck you and go off to make a ton of money elsewhere. They don't need the label, the label needs them.

But maybe the concept of the label is antiquated. 360 deals might make sense, just not ones where you're beholden to a record company.

This is how I remind you that the Napster era is over. This is not about theft of music, this is not about major labels lording over the business, this is about reaching the public, not holding back, but giving more. This is a new era, where you have to do whatever you can to make it, and then reap the ultimate rewards. This is an era when it's all about the music. You might think otherwise, but the public believes "All The Right Reasons" is great.
Are we having fun yet?

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