“LIL WAYNE DOING “EM NUMBERS 850k-900k by end of WEEK”

Just hours after performing live on the MTV awards show, Lil Wayne released his new album Tha Carther IV. By the first day, sales predictions for the first week were between 700,000 and 850,000 units, which is REALLY IMPRESSIVE.

After a full 24 hours, however, new figures showed that sales went up and was projected to sell 850,000-900,000 units by the end of the week.

It will obviously make it to the number one spot on the Billboard charts, which will mark Lil Wayne’s third number one album.

And if it surpasses the 850,000 mark, he will break his own record, with most record sales for a hip-hop album by a male artist since his album Carter III.
Deano

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MAZY KAZEROONI: “THE TECH GURU Behind Hip Hop’s USTREAM popularity”

Mazy Kazerooni.

Brian SolisMazy Kazerooni.

Lil Wayne released his new album, Tha Carter IV, on Monday at midnight. It’s been more than three years since his last official, full-length album, the triple-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Tha Carter III. During the drought Lil Wayne had various legal issues and served eight months in prison. But his fan base has continued to grow, thanks to his digital strategy. Part of that is providing his fans with a steady stream of leaked songs and guest verses on other musicians’ songs, but the other part comes from his Facebook fan manager — 21-year-old Mazy Kazerooni.

In some ways, Kazerooni is your typical tech startup prodigy. He left high school at age 17 to work for a live video streaming platform called UStream.

“UStream gave me a very interesting perspective,” Kazerooni says. “When you see how many viewers somebody can get on a live video stream, you can really understand how connected they are to their fans, how many they have, how much they love them. It’s a lot harder to get 10,000 people to watch you at the same time then it is to get 10,000 views on a YouTube video.”

Kazerooni initially set out to lure big name rappers like Lil Wayne into using the site to reach their fans. But then it turned into a side hustle—working as Lil Wayne’s digital consultant, helping to grow the rapper’s presence on social media platforms beyond UStream.

“He had a million fans sitting on his page, and no one had access to it,” explains Kazerooni. “No one even really knew what Facebook was, on his team. I had to argue with them for like a month to give me the information I needed to get the access.”

Kazerooni multiplied the number of fans on the page to 30 million in a little over a year. He pumped up the rapper’s live broadcasts on UStream’s Twitter feed. He’d slip into their chat rooms and offer tech support when they hit a glitch. Now, there’s a lot of attention being paid to what’s happening online.

Joanna Dorfman is the site editor at UStream, the startup that gave Kazerooni his first job. Kazerooni built buzz for the site by pursuing all kinds of celebrities, from bloggers to musicians, as some of its first users.

“I heard ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ being thrown around a lot, as a phrase, but I didn’t really see an illustration of what that meant until I met Mazy. He has it,” says Dorfman.

You might not expect rappers to swoon over someone like Kazerooni, a baby-faced Persian American from Orange County who didn’t grow up listening to rap. But in videos posted to their UStream channels, popular rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Lil Bow Wow sing Kazerooni’s praises.

“I appreciate you, Mazy. You’re like the UStream Jesus, man, you really is. You just come out of nowhere and aaahhh…you’re just going to help every celebrity on that UStream,” Bow Wow says.

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RICH HIL, son of Tommy Hilfiger, signs with Warner Bros. Records :: Speaks with XXL Magazine

Rich Hil may be the son of famous fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, but he’s making a name for himself in hip-hop. The rising rapper has inked a deal with Warner Bros. and XXLMag.com has learned that his forthcoming album on the label will be produced entirely by producer Lex Luger.

News of the 21-year-old upstart’s major label deal went public on Monday (July 18) via a Youtube video:

 

But Hil said he actually signed with the label months ago.

“I’ve been signed for a few months, but this is the first time it’s really real, because I couldn’t tell anybody I was signed until Warner was ready to put the press release out,” Hil told XXLMag.com. “It’s so surreal. I worked so hard for this shit.”

Hil, who was previously signed to Swizz Beatz’s Full Surface Records for three years, has independently released a steady stream of freestyles, songs and mixtapes, including the Lonely Limo series. He said Warner Bros. first became interested in him through R&B artist The Weeknd.

“Warner was talking to the singer The Weeknd and they asked him, ‘Who do you want to work with; Who’s your favorite artist; We can probably make it happen;’ And he said ‘Rich Hil,’” he recalled, “so automatically they called me to the offices in LA and started talking about a deal, and we did it and everything worked out.”

While Hil’s indie status has changed, his style hasn’t, so listeners can expect more of the dystopian, drug-fueled tales he’s known for. This fall, he plans to drop the EP, Support Your Local Drug Dealer, followed by an as-yet untitled album and possible mixtape with Lex Luger.

“We’ll probably do a whole Lex Luger mixtape before the album to give you an idea of what you’re gonna get,” Hil said. “’Cause I got a lot of records with Lex Luger, like more than an album right now, so we’re gonna split them up and do some shit.”

Though Luger is one of the most sought-after producers in the current hip-hop scene, Hil said Luger actually approached him about working together.

“Usually I just get beats from my friends or people who hit me up online and send me shit, but he hit me up online like ‘Yo, I gotta work with you’ and I was like ‘Alright,’ ” Hil said. “The joints that he sent me are like, they sound like Rich Hil beats, like dark, grimey shit.”

Hil’s success and news of his official deal have naturally drawn praise from family and friends, including his father – who not only supports Hil’s career in music, but apparently envies it.

“My dad couldn’t be more proud,” Hil says. “He kinda tells me sometimes like he’s jealous, he’s like ‘Man, if I knew how to make music, I would have made [records] instead of clothes.’ He tells me that all the time, kinda like he lives vicariously me through me, you know?

 

:: JR§

“T-PAIN now a member of the YOUNG MONEY LABEL, WOW!!”

Young Money has added ‘The Ring Master’ to the line up. Word is T-Pain is jumping ship to Young Money Records from the strong African label of Akon. A good move? We’ll see what becomes of the man under the top hat.

Akon addresses the issue in the video below:

The rumors of T-Pain leaving Konvict Music to join Lil Wayne’s Young Money record label have been floating around for several months.

Jeweler Gabriel Jacobs initially let the cat out of the bag in December when he told VladTV that he had just designed a YM chain for the singer.

T-Pain’s about to sign to Young Money,” Jacobs said at the time. “He better, after doing this. So you see it’s all blacked out. It’s all natural, red rubies, black diamonds. We gotta put a red ruby necklace on this thing. The pendant is worth around $45,000 and when it’s with its chain, it will cost $100,000.”

In a new interview Akon confirms that ‘RevolveR‘ is Pain’s last album on his label.

That’s Pain’s business decision,” Akon said of the move to Young Money. “We got one more album which is the one he’s about to release now. After that Pain is free. He’s his own man, his own entrepreneur. Decisions from this point he has to make them on his own. I’m happy for him whichever way he goes. That’s my little brother, he gets the support from us.”

Posted by: Deano

SPOTIFY :: Free Music Streaming Service Launches in U.S.

The hottest music venue in Europe opened its doors on Thursday morning to a select group in the United States.

Spotify, which makes Internet music-streaming software, launched the much-hyped U.S. version of its service after delays and years of negotiation.

At first, Spotify will only accept new members to its free service who receive invitations from the company, one of its sponsors or a current user.

“This is the biggest market in the world,” Kenneth Parks, Spotify’s content chief, said in an interview late Wednesday. “We haven’t done a launch this large.”

Google+, the new social network, also launched recently using an invite-only scheme. Spotify plans to welcome everyone for free after “several weeks,” Parks said.

The Spotify computer program will let people choose from any of 15 million songs to hear for free — up to 10 hours per month, with each track listenable up to five times. For the first six months, however, people who enter during the invitation period are exempt from the monthly limit, Parks said.

After that, users can lift the restrictions by paying $5 a month or buying songs individually, like iTunes. The smartphone apps can be accessed for $10 a month, which includes unlimited streaming and the ability to save copy-protected music for listening offline.

The ability to create and share playlists with Facebook friends has formed a beehive mix-tape culture among the more than 10 million users in Europe.

From a small office in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify quickly spread its tentacles across Europe. But during the past couple of years, the company has been caught in a web of bureaucracy. Record-label executives have expressed concern that Spotify’s free offering devalues music and doesn’t drum up significant revenue.

“They wanted to be careful,” Parks said. “Spotify has always had a view that the free experience was core to what Spotify was all about and key to get users to invest in the service.”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek echoed that belief at a technology conference in December, as he has in several public appearances before that and likely will again at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference next week.

“We really believe in our model,” Ek said at the D: Dive into Mobile conference last year. “We would not just launch a subscription model, because we don’t think that’s going to work.”

Now, the four major labels and Spotify have finally settled their disputes. In the time since, the record companies have given the go-ahead to competing digital music initiatives such as Rdio, MOG and, most recently, Apple’s iTunes Match.

“We think there’s definitely room and appetite for a service like Spotify,” Parks said. “There really is nothing like it in the market.”

To request an invite visit, http://www.spotify.com/us/hello-america/. Don’t want to wait for an invitation? Jump the queue by signing up for Spotify Premium or Unlimited, starting at just $4.99/month.

 

:: JR§

 

LIL’ KIM REMOVED FROM MONICA’S SINGLE :: Mother of Notorious B.I.G. didn’t clear sample because of KIM

Monica is standing up for Lil’ Kim after the rapper’s verse was unexpectedly removed from her new single, “Anything (To Find You)”, which features Lil’ Kim and Rick Ross, produced by Missy Elliot. [We tried to include the song for  you to hear, but it appears the label blocked it.]

When the Notorious B.I.G.-sampled song made its debut at No. 71 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart this week, Kim’s name was nowhere in sight. A rep for Monica’s label J Records tells Billboard.com that the raptress was cut entirely from the official version due to contractual issues.

Monica took to Twitter to express her disappointment and vowed to get her friend back on the song. “I am just finding out what has happened to my single and myself & Missy are beyond hurt that @LilKim was removed,” tweeted Monica. “She’s our friend, a legend & @LilKim will get the respect she deserves at all cost. The clearance was revoked & I’m fighting to get it reinstated by the Biggie Estate.”

According to Monica, Biggie’s mother Volleta Wallace did not clear the “Who Shot Ya?” sample with Kim.

“We respect all parties involved & were gonna do WHATEVER to keep the song as is because @lilKim the bizness on the record,” she added. “I am as thorough as they come and I LOVE @LilKim bottom line is Ms Wallace has the final say and she said No. If we put it out we get SUED. ”

The newly married singer responded to upset fans, saying,

“Your directing your anger in the wrong place & I am far 2deep in the game 2play games. These r facts. Still fighting 4 Kim to be on it.”

In a previous interview with “The Lil’ Kim Fan Club Show,” the Queen Bee said that her verse was shortened to make room for Rick Ross and that her full rap would appear on Monica’s seventh album, New Life, due in October.

“Monica is one of the realest bitches I’ve met in this game,” said Kim, who is readying the release of her own single  “Looks LIke Money.”

:: JR§

L.A. Reid at Epic :: His First Week on the Job; Ciara rejoins him

The “X Factor” judge and seasoned music executive has yet to be formally announced as the new head of Epic Label Group, but he’s already mulling big ideas, like what it would take to bring Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez back into the Sony fold.

 

Doug Morris has yet to actually occupy his newly minted seat as CEO of Sony Music Entertainment (word is he’s in Europe until the 15th), but he’s made his presence known via an introductory memo sent to staff on July 6 promising to “begin a new and important chapter in the history of our great company.”

Conversely, new Epic Label Group head Antonio “L.A.” Reid has been almost a regular fixture around the halls of midtown Manhattan’s 550 Madison Ave., but as of end of day Monday July 11, a formal announcement of his arrival had yet to be made.

That’s not to say Reid didn’t have a busy first week. The longtime record executive, who left Island Def Jam in March to join Simon Cowell’s The X Factor as a judge, has been tending to the décor of his office, which will no doubt incorporate the warm colors and clean lines that adorned his previous suites, taking meetings and getting “his people” situated, however unofficially, according to a Sony insider.

And there’s already been talk of big plans, like possibly bringing Mariah Carey (a Columbia artist from 1990 to 1999) and Jennifer Lopez (signed in 1999, “parted ways” with Epic in 2010) back into the Sony fold. Both were among Reid’s pet projects at IDJ, the former selling upwards of seven million albums under his watch, and the latter riding a comeback wave that began with her RedOne-produced single, “On The Floor” (a judging gig on American Idol didn’t hurt). Also worth noting: Lopez’s manager Benny Medina is a close friend of Reid’s. And, of course, there have been persistent rumors of Carey appearing on X Factor in some sort of mentoring capacity.

Of course, getting these pop divas out of their respective deals would likely prove a tricky endeavor, but not an impossible one. After all, Morris’ post-Universal Music Group “no poaching” clause applies to staff, not artists, although where the former is concerned, there are plenty of Reid loyalists eager to make the jump to Epic. At the same time, Jive-RCA staffers are eyeing Barry Weiss‘ fiefdom over at Island Def Jam-Universal Motown Republic Group, as the industry continues its seemingly endless game of musical chairs.

To that end, earlier chatter of certain multi-platinum artists heading Reid’s way may have been premature. It looks as if RCA will inherit the bulk of Jive’s marquee artists, includingPink (who was discovered and mentored by Reid) and Britney Spears, while Reid will be handed Ciara and, according to a source, “take care of Usher.”

As for the Epic staffers who’ve weathered low morale for the better part of two years, many continue to be anxious about their standing in the label’s new world order, but some describe a feeling of being “energized” by Reid’s presence. Says a high-ranking industry insider: “L.A. is one of the only people inside that company that has his finger on the hip hop music scene, and if you look at the Billboard Top 20, that’s what it’s all about. He’s a good A&R guy and he’ll do a good job.”

 

:: JR§