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360 Deals

   

360 Deals

According to the American Bar Association a 360 Deal is a recording contract that allows the record label to receive a percentage of the earnings from all of an artist's activities rather than just earnings from record sales. These deals also called "multiple rights deals" take a percentage of an artist's ancillary rights, which could be the earnings for anything from concert sells to merchandise to any endorsements an artist might land. The record label basically becomes the artist's manager and is basically in charge of pretty much every aspect of their career - to include those non-musical endeavors as well. 

While 360 deals are still relatively new, having gained popularity among record labels in the early 2000s when music revenues began to fall, they have kicked up quite a storm in regards to what many deem as an "unfair" set up for artists, particularly those just starting out. Often described as a "money grab" on the behalf of the label, the 360 deal reflects the fact that much of a musician's income now comes from sources other than recorded music, such as live performance and merchandise. Notable artists who have 360 deals are Lady Gaga and Jay Z and Madonna who are both signed to Live Nation.

Despite the bad rap that this type of deal gets, 360 deals can be beneficial to an artist, but only if properly negotiated. It is important to know that there is no such thing as a "standard agreement". There's room for negotiations, however the less established you are as an artist the less leverage you have. If not properly negotiated, a 360 Deal could spell heartache for a new artist who may not be privy to the fact that they could quite possibly be signing all of their rights away. It's best to allow an entertainment lawyer to look over any contracts presented to you. The best way to avoid getting got is to know your stuff, research and keep in mind what it is you want from a record deal. You may find that one of the other deal structures is more suitable for you.By Lisa Earl


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An Independent Artists Guide to Getting (and staying) Booked

As an independent/up-and-coming artist one of your biggest challenges will be getting booked for gigs. Most artists don't have a booking agent starting out, and therefore are responsible for booking their own gigs. However, before an artist begins to seek out potential venues there are a few essential things that they should have (and know). Below are 5 tips that will undoubtedly make getting (and staying) book substantially easier.

Build your brand and following: You'll want to have a fan base established before you go about trying to book events. No following = No one at your events, which isn't a good look for obvious reasons. One way to build your brand and gain a following is to start a website or other web-based platforms. Having a website, Sound Cloud or YouTube channel you can manage promotion of upcoming events as well as provide your fans with updates and new music. 

Research venues in your area: Starting locally is the best way to get people in your area to notice you. You'll want to do a bit of digging to narrow down those venues who feature other musical acts in your genre. Pay close attention to the acts that have performed there in the past. If you're a hip-hop artist it wouldn't be feasible for you to approach a venue who caters to country western.

Use social media to promote yourself: Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat... Need I say more. In today's technology driven society having a strong social media presence is paramount. This also goes hand in hand with building your brand and developing a following.

Develop an Electronic Press Kit (E.P.K.): An E.P.K. is basically an artist's equivalent of a professional resume and should contain everything that is relevant to you as an artist. An E.P.K. is also good to have because it can be sent to just about anyone who might be interested in your work. 

An E.P.K. usually includes: Photos, A short bio, Contact info, Any press coverage you may have received, Album art work, Links to your music/videos, and Info on upcoming gigs

Know when you want to perform: It idea to have a date in mind of when you want to perform before you reach out to the venue. It's annoying and unprofessional to state "I don't know" when asked when you'r5e trying to perform. It's not a good look, as it can make you come across as unprofessional or not serious. While you may not have an exact date, at least have a time frame in mind of when you would be available to perform.


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Budget Template

   

Budget Template

A budget is an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period. Every artist/label should be familiar with what a budget is and why it is necessary to know how to budget.Head over to the resource guide for a template for budgeting


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Wendy Day pt 2

   

Wendy Day pt 2

TCOHH: What''s a typical day in the life of Wendy Day consist of?
WD: There is no typical day.  Today, for example, is a holiday.  It''s Thanksgiving, and while most people are with their families or sharing a big meal, I''m preparing for my client''s single to drop tomorrow, I''m recording a how-to video about building a career in the music industry to appear on my YouTube channel (one appears every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), writing a marketing plan for a new client, and I''m redesigning my consulting website to add a less expensive option for younger artists with limited funding.  And, of course, having dinner with my husband, Tony, to celebrate our gratitude.

TCOHH: What is your most memorable experience?
WD: There are so many!  I guess going to see Tupac when he was in prison.  I drove 8 hours to see him and arrived at 8am so I could spend the day with him in visitation. The COs put us at the table closest to them so they could hear everything we said.  We had fun that day!

TCOHH: What attracted you to hip hop?
WD: The passion and the energy of the music attracted me to rap. Hip Hop is a culture and I was attracted by the dance (b-boying), the graffiti, the music (rap), and the style (fashion).  I liked the energy and the lyrics in rap music.

TCOHH: What advice can you offer artists looking to not be taken advantage of in the music industry? 
WD: Artists need to learn the business--learn how the industry works.  Learn who''s who, what everyone does, who the legitimate people are and aren''t, and how to travel successfully within the industry.  You can make a lot of money in this industry, but most do not.  It''s important to learn how it all works.  Once you learn the rules, which ones you can break and which ones you can't...like any industry


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Wendy Day x The College of Hip Hip pt 1

   

Wendy Day x The College of Hip Hip pt 1

Wendy Day has been an unlikely contender in the rap game. Backed by 25 years'' experience she has worked with the likes of Tupac Shakur, Cash Money and David Banner (just to name a few), solidifying her position as a hip hop heavy weight.  In an exclusive interview with The College of Hip Hop she offered her advice on the best way up-and-coming artists/entrepreneurs can avoid getting got in the industry, as well as provided insight on how the industry has evolved since she got her start in the ''90s.

TCOHH: What was the motivation behind Rap Coalition?

WD: I started Rap Coalition because as a fan of rap music I grew frustrated with the stories of my favorite artists getting jerked.  It appeared once they no longer had money, no one was willing to help them.  I knew I could offer help to rap artists, for free, when the industry was turning their backs on them.  So I did. And still do!

24 years later, we are still here and still help pull artists out of bad deals, for free. Additionally, I started other companies decades ago to fund Rap Coalition so I wouldn''t have to raise money from the hip hop community.  I started PowerMoves, which helps build artists'' careers and indie labels (for those who have investors or funding).  I recently started a company that sells lists of contacts for artists who are doing it themselves without a label--Rap-Resources.com. 

My focus has always been on educating artists so that they won''t get jerked.  When you know what''s fair and acceptable, it makes it easy to achieve that.

TCOHH: Who are some notable artists that you have worked with over the years?

WD: Let''s see...Eminem, Master P, Cash Money Records (Baby, Juvenile, BG, Mannie Fresh, Turk), C-Murder, Beats By The Pound, Mia X, Young Buck, David Banner, Hurricane Chris, Boosie, Webbie, MGK, Killer Mike, UGK, Tupac Shakur, and many others. 

TCOHH: How would you say the landscape of hip hop has changed from when you started out in the 90s until now?

WD: Hip hop went from being underground to mainstream. It''s pop culture now.  I watched artists begin rapping for the love and passion of the art form, to rapping because it''s a job, a way to make money.  I watched people go from doing something they love to becoming multi-millionaires--and talking about it.  

I also watched the gatekeepers (record labels) become obsolete while the Internet opened up opportunity to everyone.  So now hip hop is completely oversaturated, but fans can discover any type of rap music they like quite easily online or on the streaming services.  The barrier to entry has been lowered substantially


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No Malice-Life Styles of An Artist

   

No Malice-Life Styles of An Artist

Check Out The New Seminar in the audio section by No Malice "Life Styles of an Artist" NowIn 2002 Grindin by the Clipse was dominating the airwaves and the hip hop charts. Peaking at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song catapulted brothers Pusha T and Malice into the world of iced out jewels, hot cars and beautiful women. To Malice, born Gene Elliott Thornton, Jr., this was a dream come true."You know, hip hop to me... at one point in time was fun and I loved it. It was a hobby, I was good at it," said the eldest Thornton brother, who in 2012 changed his stage name from Malice to No Malice to reflect his conversion to Christianity.Born in the Bronx, NY and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, the brothers like many rappers dabbled in the drug game before hitting it big."I mean, to see guys in high school with crazy cars and candy paint, it was just astonishing to me," he told CNN's Bill Weir in a 2014 interview. "I was like there's no way I'm gonna know everybody and they're getting money and I'm not gonna get that."Like many artists starting out, the brothers used hip hop as an outlet to share their experiences and in 1992 formed the Clipse. While the early years of the duo were a bit rocky, with the help of friend Pharrell Williams the brothers were able to land a major record deal with Arista Records in 2001.Hit after hit with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, the Clipse were making a name for themselves in the hip hop game and bringing in some serious cheddar while doing it. But despite the overabundance of money, drugs and women that came with the lifestyle, No Malice felt like something just wasn't right. "It was a lot of things that I was into that just wasn't conducive for me, my health, my marriage, my relationship with my kids," No Malice said earlier this year in a Power 105.1 Breakfast Club interview.On the outside No Malice appeared to have it all, but the rapper was going through an internal struggle. Torn between good and evil, light and dark... God and the devil. After pinning a memoir entitled Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked No Malice made a decision that would alter, not only his life, but his brother's life as well. He wanted out. Out of the lifestyle, out of the industry, out of the Clipse.In an interview with Rapzilla Pusha T spoke candidly about how he felt when his brother broke the news that he was leaving the group."Of course I didn't think it was real. I never thought it was real," he said. "I use to be so upset man. I feel like me and my brother could do whatever we wanted to the rap game... But then, you know, I realize that we just not in the same place anymore. He had a family. He had other things going on that he had to answer for."Since making the decision to give his life to Christ No Malice has released a solo album, Here Ye Him. He is very much focused on his family and God these days, and despite frequent recurring rumors of a Clipse reunion, remains adamant that he has left that part of hip hop and his life behind."There is a mandate on my life," he told the Breakfast Club. "It's definitely a mandate on my life, and I can't afford, especially not right now, to be wishy-washy or wavering side to side. I need to be flatfooted... everybody will come to their own realizations and revelations in their own time. This is where I'm at.


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Women in Hip Hop Part II: All Hail the Queens

   

Women in Hip Hop Part II: All Hail the Queens


As with everything, there are two sides to every story. Hip hop and the role of women in the genre are no exception. While there is no denying that there has been a certain level of misogynistic elements in hip hop, it should also be noted that since the '80s women have sought to make a name for themselves by actively participating in the genre through production of the music videos and assessing their authority as producers of culture through actively participating in the genre - not only as artists - but behind the scenes as well.
While all the contributions women have made to hip hop over the last twenty or so years are all worthy of noting, certain female rappers have managed to leave their imprint on the genre in a major way by reclaiming and redefining their sexuality and using bars to speak truth to power.
Considered one of hip hop's female pioneers MC Lyte became the first solo female rapper to release a full studio album in 1988 when the critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock was released. 
Rapper, actress, model, television producer, comedian and talk show host. Queen Latifah is a jack of all trades. This Cover Girl got her start as a rapper in the late '80s with empowering hits like "U.N.I.T.Y" and "Ladies First", but would expand her repertoire to include acting when she landed the starring role on '90s FOX sitcom Living Single.
Although she is most notarized for penning literary works such as "The Coldest Winter Ever" and "Midnight", Sister Souljah is also known for her hip-hop activism in the black community. She has been featured on platforms such as Phil Donahue where she vocalized some pretty controversial opinions on race relations in America in the early '90s
Formed in '85 Salt N Papa was one of the first all-female rap groups. Consisting of 2 MCs and a DJ, the group had all the components if their male contenders cloaked in femininity.
The only female group to receive a diamond certification, TLC has pinned four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and recorded four multi-platinum albums. Having sold over 75 million records worldwide TLC is hailed the greatest American girl group of all time.
Discovered as a teenager, Foxx Brown has worked with some of the industry greats - LL Cool J, Toni Braxton and Lil Kim just to name a few. Under the tutelage of the iconic Jay Z, Fox can be heard on classic records like "Get Me Home" Ft. Backstreet and "I'll Be" Ft. Jay Z.
Before there was Beyoncé Lil Kim was the original Queen Bee. Standing at 4'11 what she lacked in height she made up for in sex appeal. Her music career popped in '95 after performing for The Notorious B.I.G. Her début album Hard Core (which still slaps to this day) was released in '96 and went certified double platinum. 
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill will go down in history as a hip hop classic. Originally a member of The Fugees, the singer, songwriter and actress went solo in '97 when the group broke up. The album broke numerous sells records, won 5 Grammy and has been hailed as one of the greatest albums if all time.
The pit-bull in a skirt, Eve had young women everywhere wanting a pair of paw prints on their chest. She was edgy, she was feminine and she was signed to one of the hottest labels at the time, Ruff Ryders headed by DMX. Eve has also been involved in several productions on the both the small screen and the big screen. In addition to starring in the Barber Shop series, Eve also had a self-titled television show that aired on UPN from 2003-2006.
The Harajuku Barbie, Nicki the Ninja, Roman.... Whatever you call her, just don't call her broke. For the past 7 years Nicki Minaj has been the recipient of BETs Best Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, and rightfully so. Since she came on the scene in '09 Nicki has been putting in that work. With endorsements from MAC to OPI, Nicki has proven herself as a major contender in the hip hop game among both male and female MCs alike.

By Lisa Early


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The New URL

   

The New URL

How did a button that went practically ignored for years become an integral part of the way we communicate online? Ten years ago, what is now known as the hashtag was merely a button one used to return to the main menu, or maybe if you wanted to be connected to an operator. However, in 2007 the use of the hashtag, also known as the pound or number sign, adopted a new function when civilian journalists used the hashtag #SanDiegoFires to tweet updates in regards to a series of wildfires that had erupted. Originally an idea of Twitter developer Chris Messina, the purpose of the hashtag was to make it easier for users of online blogging services to locate specific topics or themes. Twitter shot the idea down only to agree to adopting the use of the symbol after the forest fires a few months later. Since then there has been a hashtag for pretty much anything you can think of, and the symbol has spread from Twitter to other micro-blogging platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Today 1 in 8 tweets contain a hashtag.A hashtag can range from being funny to serious in nature. Many such as #NotYourAsianSidekick provide minority groups with a platform to voice their concerns in regards to their own unique experiences.Perhaps, one of the most dynamic functions of the hashtag is what is being called "hashtag activism". #JusticeforTrayvon was started in 2012 after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of a rent-a-cop. #BlackLivesMatter which originated around the time of Martin''s took off two years later when yet another young black man was gunned down in broad daylight, this time by a police officer. The world watched in dismay as the body of 18-year-old Mike Brown lay festering in the hot summer sun for four hours.Other notable hashtags include #Romnesia which was coined by President Obama during the 2012 presidential election in which the president referenced his opponent, Mitt Romney''s, selective amnesia in regards to certain political issues.#BringBackOurGirls was a powerful hashtag started in 2014 after Nigerian militant group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls and young women.The hashtag sought not only to shed light on the kidnapping, but to highlight the ongoing issue of violence against women in the country.  The term "hashtag" itself has gained so much momentum that in 2014 it was added to the Oxford English dictionary as: "(on social media websites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way".Be sure to check out the hashtag audio seminar in the audio section. By Lisa Early 


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Women in Hip Hop pt 1

   

Women in Hip Hop pt 1

The pejorative lyrics and portrayals of women in hip hop have been a topic of controversy for nearly 30 years. The misogynistic undertones are undeniable. Hip hop not only supports and advocates violence against women, it also portrays women through a pornographic lens, which can influence the attitudes and behaviors of girls and young women. Hip hop is contradictory in that it glorifies strip club culture with songs like "Bandz Will Make Her Dance" by Juicy J, while simultaneously shaming women who partake in the same behaviors they praise with songs like J-Cole's "No Role Models"."I thought it was legal to beat yo ho"This is in the opening lines of a song by rapper Kevin Gates who, throughout the song entitled "'Posed to Be in Love" weaves a sick and twisted tale of what could easily turn into another episode of Fatal Attraction. Sexual violence against women is also glorified in hip hop. In 2013 rapper Rick Ross lost a major endorsement with Reebok behind a verse in hit single "U.O.E.N.O" that referenced date rape:"Put molly all in her Champaign, she ain't even knowI took her home and enjoyed that, she ain't even know"In addition to the domestic and sexual abuse, women are often subjected to a pornographic gaze in hip hop. Women are typically portrayed and referred to as sex workers of some sort, usually a stripper or prostitute and are more often than not presented half-dressed, ass tooted in the air. An example of this can be found in the lyrics (as well as the video) of a song made popular by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys back in 2003 entitled "Get Low":"Twerk something baby, work something babyPop yo pussy on the pole, do yo thang baby"The sexually suggestive content of hip-hop - whether it be via the lyrics or the music videos - often raises the question of how it influences African American youth who are the primary listeners of the genre.According to a qualitative study done by Florida International University's Department of Psychology and the Human Development department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, it was found that the everyday consumption of the cultural and interpersonal messages found in hip hop regarding sexual images of women has a direct impact on young people's - particularly young women's- sexual self-identity, behaviors and experiences.Despite the derogatory messages present in hip hop and the often degrading manner in which women - particularly women of color - are portrayed, African American women make up a large portion of the genre's consumers. Because of this many believe that women are complicit in their own degradation and therefore have no room to complain about the way their being represented. As for the negative effect hip hop has on the youth, rappers and the everyday individual argue that it's not the job of Lil Wayne and Jeezy to raise your children, and that it's up to parents to filter what their children are being exposed to.What do you think? Are women to blame for the way they are represented in hip hop? Do you believe that entertainers should be held accountable for their lyrical content in regards to the way hip hop portrays women and the influence it has on the youth? 


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