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...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Perez Hilton's Label Deal
By, Bob Lefsetz

Oh stop whining. He earned it. By doing everything you won't.

He used his own money to start a site made in his own vision, compromising not a
whit, to the point where Warner Brothers was attracted to him. Are you really
creating unique music, doing it your way, making money to the point where the
majors come knocking on your door?

It's an American story. Guy stumbles on to business idea, perfects it and rides
the glory all the way to..?

I'm not sure. Perez is famous. He's making money now. But he's under the
illusion that people truly care about him. They don't care about him, they care
about gossip. And once Perez stops slewing the gossip, adding his unique brand
of commentary atop it, almost no one's going to care. Hell, they're going to
care even less than they do about his vaunted Madonna's acting career!

You see Perez Hilton is a twenty first century train-wreck. Who's hopefully
intelligent enough to know his days are numbered. He didn't put 10,000 hours
into perfecting anything, he just stumbled into the spotlight and wants to stay
there. Like that evil doctor on "Big Brother" and that nasty couple who won
"Survivor". Huh? Who?

Exactly the point. In order to last, you've got to have substance. Depth.
Something that appeals to people that they don't think they can do themselves.
Kind of like Google. Everybody wanted a search engine that could deliver the
results they wanted, they just didn't put in the years in math class learning
how to write the algorithms! Perez is far from dumb. But talented?

As for his deal with Warner... Do you know anything about human nature? Do you
really think Perez is going to trash Warner acts now that he's in business with
the company? Do you really think he's not going to hype their acts? Shit, they
should have done the deal earlier! If nothing else, Perez is going to be
sitting in Warner offices, hearing what they're hyping, and he'll be prone to
hype it too. After all, we live in an attention economy. And suddenly, Warner
has Perez Hilton's attention!

As for the deal...

Come on, is that what you really want? A deal with Warner Brothers? Isn't that
like the aforementioned Google selling out to Microsoft? If you establish a
beachhead, you build upon it, expanding your own empire. If you truly believe
in yourself.

Perez thinks he's got an ear for talent. Let's just say he does. That's a
small percentage of the overall pie in an act's success. Does Perez know
anything else about winning in the music business? Hell, supposedly his
partners at Warner do. But how long until he says one thing and Warner says
another? If he's so confident, why doesn't he go into business by himself?
Tying up with Ian Rogers at Topspin as opposed to a major label.

But Topspin's not going to bankroll you, it's just an apparatus to effect your
success, allowing you to do it yourself. The story is not sexy, there's no
gossip column angle. In other words, Perez is completely old school! Yes, for
a guy who claims not to care what people think about him, who thinks he's
playing by his own rules, he's playing by twentieth century rules!

He could use some of that $72,000 a day advertisers pay to be on his site to
break his own bands. And own everything. Emulate another gay hero, David
Geffen. Do you really think if Geffen was starting out today he'd go into
business with Edgar Bronfman, Jr. or Doug Morris? No way. Or, if he did, he'd
want the lion's share of the money. But that's one of the things Geffen does
best, sidle up to you, making you think he's your best friend and then executing
a lucrative deal. Perez is not famous for negotiating. He's just famous!

I wish him no ill will. But there's a date on success like his. There's no
core in what he's selling. It's all flash and no substance. And last I
checked, it's hard to profit in the music world on flash. You can sell a
single, not an album, and no one wants to see you live. In other words, would
you rather be in business with Kings Of Leon, not even ubiquitous enough to be
parodied on Perez's site, or Flo Rida? Flo Rida might have a hit...but in an
era where so many people don't know what's atop the chart and just don't care.

Watch the movie. That's what you're paying for, with your eyeballs, going to
his site. Watch Perez navigate the entertainment industry, creating a new
paradigm of fame, just like John Mayer. But John Mayer took a year off from
high school to study the guitar, he went to Berklee, he paid a great deal of
dues. Perez listened to a lot of records. Welcome to the club! If that's all
that was required, we'd all be rich record executives. But knowing how to
navigate the corridors of business, knowing everything from airplay to
distribution to endorsements to...that's how you gain money and power in the
music business.

Hell, Perez would have been better off going into business with Terry McBride,
who understands the new game yet is lacking a working superstar. Perez could
have done it different.

But he chose not to. He chose to play the same old game.

And you're pissed he stole your opportunity?

I'm laughing at you, not him. At least he built something and tried. You're
just bitching the world wasn't handed to you on a silver platter.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
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