Cher Defends Son Chaz on 'Dancing'

attorneycross On September - 2 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Cher Defends Son Chaz on ‘Dancing’

The Heretic’s Comment: Cher is taking to Twitter to defend her son Chaz Bono. The superstar posted several tweets Wednesday defending his participation on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Bono is the first transgender competitor on the hit ABC show.

Cher says her son, who was born female and underwent surgery to become a man, is being “viciously attacked” on blogs and message boards since the new cast was announced Monday.

“This is Still America right? It took guts 2 do it,” Cher wrote, adding that she supports him no matter what he chooses to do.

“Mothers don’t stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who (mess) with their children!” the 65-year-old singer wrote.

Bono, 42, is paired with pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer on the reality show, where celebrities and their professional partners perform various ballroom dances for judges’ scores and viewer votes.

“Dancing” fans have posted both angry and supportive comments on the show’s message boards. One called the casting choice “disgusting” and said “ABC should be ashamed of theirselves for harassing mainstream Americans and Christains.”

Another wrote: “I never and mean NEVER watch DWTS but will this season to support/vote for (Chaz).”

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The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” a is August 1, 2011. An indie artist inspired book Authored by The Heretic’s very own Leslie W. Cross Jr. and co-authored by platinum recording artist Paul Wall.  On May 1, 2011 pre-order your copy. More details coming soon. We are very excited about this Project!!!!






The Heretic’s Comment: We want to thank our client Carlos Garza a/k/a DJ Styles for turning us on to the video series dealing with the last days of Rocafella Records. The particular segment that we are sharing for you to view (the link appears below)  involves a major confrontation between Damon Dash (Former CEO RocaFella Records) and Kevin Liles (Former CEO Def Jam) concerning Rocafella artist Jay Z which comes very close to turning into blows.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed confrontations between major labels and indie labels/production companies for years, but we decided to share this particular video because it gives us an opportunity to point out to our readers and subscribers how important it is to never let a conglomerate devalue what you bring to the table as an independent label or production company. Let us repeat the above for emphasis: Never Let a Major Label devalue what you bring to the table as an independent label or production company.

Now everyone who reads the Heretic, clearly have had it pounded into their heads that we don’t advocate you signing the major label deal unless you can work out terms which allow you to maintain at least a partial equity stake and control over your project. With that being said, we realize that in some instances, a indie label/production company has the great future of having a artist or band become so hot enough that Major Labels are stepping up to the plate to get your label to sign a deal with them for your artist. Well if you decide to take the deal, then we want you to do the same thing that Dash is doing in this Video if the Major Label tries to do a end around you and cut your label or production company out of decisions impacting your artist.

Unfortunately, again we have witnessed time and time again circumstances where personnel working for the major label have little regard and/or respect for the team (your team) that was responsible for bringing the artist to the level of success that was obtained before signing the major deal.

It is almost like the Major Label says…Okay you guys have done alright to this point…but it is time for y’all to sit on the bench from here on out and let the starters take the floor. Well, don’t let it happen. We are not telling you to be as explosive as Damon Dash was in this video, but we are telling you to come close to being explosive if the personnel for the Major Label tries to punk you out and/or worst yet…completely cut you out of decisions connected with your artist.

Closing Comment #1:

There are a thousand different opinions on Damon Dash, but one thing that no one seems to have any disagreement about is the fact that he fought to never let the RocaFella Brand be swallowed up by Def Jam. That is the same attitude we want you to have. Just because your label/production company opted to sign the major label deal with your artist, does not mean that your Record Label/Production Company should disappear. Don’t let it happen!!!!

Closing Comment #2

When Dash felt Def Jam was attempting to drive a wedge between RocaFella and Jay Z he confronted the situation urgently and aggressively. Now for those of you familiar with the RocaFella/Jay Z story, you know that in the end Damon Dash lost the war because of maneuvers Jay Z put into play that greatly weakened Dash’s leverage. But the emphasis of this particular post is to illustrate that after this confrontation, Def Jam was well aware that RocaFella was prepared to go to war if it felt it was being cut out of the equation.  In other words, don’t let the Major Label Throw Rocks and then Hide Their Hands.

Closing Comment #3:

We want to warn you that the video contains very strong language so keep that in mind as you view it.

The Music Business Heretic © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..


Nipsey Hussle Talks Leaving Epic Records

attorneycross On December - 22 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: From time to time here at the Heretic we like to feature a post providing our readers and subscribers the opportunity to hear an Artist directly describe the struggle to find identity and value while signed under the major label system.  Columnist Paul Arnold does an excellent  job of interviewing rap artist Nipsey Hussle concerning his pending contractual release from Epic Records. The article is instructive because it provides a great illustration and foundation concerning the mindset artist need to maintain while signed under the major deal, but more importantly, it provides the proper prospective that musical life will continue for the Artist long after the major deal fades a way (whether the ending was beautiful or ugly). We are going to warn you that the article contains some very strong language, but it will be a good investment of your time. The article will take between 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Closing Comment #1:

We couldn’t resist giving you one direct excerpt from the article. We love Nipsey Hussle’s following response:

“DX: I only asked about the label – their responsibility, or if they had any – because recently I spoke to legendary left coast producer Mike Mosley, and I guess he was choppin’ it up with you at the time, and he let it leak that you were about to go back to being independent.

Nipsey Hussle: Honestly, I was always independent before I signed to Epic [Records]. The way that Epic heard about me was thru our movement as All Money In: what we was doing in L.A. as far as mixtapes…as far as the touring we was doing just in our region. So when we got with Epic it was kinda like we started working together. But, just to keep it completely 100, I’m in the process of negotiating my release right now. And we just gonna go back to doing what we been doing, as far as an independent company and serving our region. But it wasn’t really no big fallout with the label or nothin’ like that, it’s just Epic went through internal changes: they fired the president, Amanda Ghost, [after] actually becoming a subsidiary of Columbia [Records]. Half of they staff is gonna be laid off or fired. And the original staff that brought me in the building, that shared the original vision of really what Nipsey Hussle was, they’re all gone. So, being fair, it ain’t really nobody in particular that we can point the blame on, it just kinda was like a [dissolving] of the core team that started on the project. So it serves both interests for us to just go back to what we was doing originally. I’ma walk away with all my masters; I’ma walk away unobligated, with my brand built. And it’s all love and respect for everybody at Epic. We took a chance together. It was a lot of money spent, a lot of success together, and it’s no hard feelings.”

Closing Comment #2:

We repeat Hussle’s last statement:

“I’ma walk away with all my masters; I’ma walk away unobligated, with my brand built.”

Let us know your comments/thoughts

Nipsey Hussle Talks Leaving Epic Records, Dissing.


2011 Music Conferences

attorneycross On December - 10 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: Please find below a listing of 50 international music conferences that have been announced to take place in 2011. Make sure to mark your calendars accordingly. Personally, we at the Heretic are marking each of the events on our calendars with the goal that we are going to do everything within our power and budget to make as many conferences as we can.  Social Media without sociability is dead. If you have never heard this before, its Okay, because we just made it up.

Alright, enough commentary, we have provided a direct link for the listing of the scheduled music conferences taken place in 2011 directly below.

Closing comments:

As additional music conferences are announced for the upcoming year, we will provide you with notices of dates and locations.

2011 Music Conferences


The Heretic’s Comment: The Holidays and the Music Business have a curious relationship with one another. Traditionally, as we head toward mid-November of each year, a large number of the moving parts in the Music Business begin to shut down in order to switch focus on generating Holiday money.  For example, New Artist Deals dry up, Recording Budgets are shutdown and product releases are limited mainly to mega-star acts or holiday music. Curiously, the traditional wisdom has also been that the Holiday season is a time for the indie artist to just lay low while the big boys (major labels) fight over the Christmas money. In other words, the advise has been (and we have been guilty of providing this advise as well) you (the indie artist/group/band/performer) can’t compete at this time of year because the cost of doing business has been jacked up so that only the well financed corporations can afford to buy radio time, television time, print space and shelf space.

Well we don’t give the above advise to our indie clients anymore. Why should we advise our clients to go into Famine Time when the Major Conglomerates are going into Feast time by muscling everyone out of the game.

Here are some of the recommendations we make to our indie clients in order to avoid Famine during the Holidays:

1) Don’t disconnect from your Fanbase during the Holidays (This is a huge mistake, because by disconnecting from your fanbase you are providing the major labels with the perfect opportunity to take sales away from you);

2) Don’t stop pushing your existing Product during the Holidays (If you have product…keep pushing it. If you cannot afford to purchase TV, Radio or Print advertisements because the price is too high during the holidays…don’t worry about it….in most cases you have not been using those methods anyway to move product. Stay focused on the strengths of what you do good. If you have been moving product through live performances….continue pushing for shows. If you have been moving product through your Flea Market booth….continue pushing to make sales at the Flea Market. If you have been moving product at the mom and pop corner store…continue pushing to make sales at the Corner Store

3) Release new product or special product packages (If you have the money, attempt to put together a new musical release or a special product package that you can push during the Holidays. We know money is tight, but if you can put something new together and get it commercially released it will provide you with the perfect opportunity to blast announcements through Twitter, Facebook, your Blog, etc., which provides you with a way to stay connected with potential customers and fans during the Holidays.

4) Find places to Perform Live (We know….the competition for Holiday gigs is quite high, but it is well worth it to get your hat in the ring. Don’t just roll over and let the  major artists make the holiday money for live performances… need to try to get gigs (and we mean make a focused effort…don’t just make a couple of calls and then call it a day if you get rejections…keep pushing to find a yes). If you can’t play in the top live venues, then find other places to play. If you have a budget, get a permit, rent a small stage and PA and perform at a park. You never know what could happen. Make sure you have a product table setup so that you can make sales. Again the point here is…don’t be held hostage by the No’s…find a way to make “Yes” happen

We can go on and on, but prayerfully you get the point.

Closing Comments

Feast or Famine. It use to be true that the Major Conglomerates could shut down the music industry and then hijack all of the holiday money by muscling everyone else off of the field. We truly believe that the Indie Music Community can no longer afford to live by this standard. We are simply advising our readers and subscribers to develop and execute game plans that will allow them to feast during the Holidays and not experience famine due to someone or some entity’s efforts to muscle you away from the banquet table.

Let us know your Thoughts!!!

The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..


Turning Page Views Into Music Sales

attorneycross On November - 9 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We found a great article from columnist Angelina Chapin providing strategies regarding turning page views into Album Sales. We highly recommend you read the entire article for yourself, but we have provided some of the article’s direct quotes for your convenience. The following is commentary centered around the band Arcade Fire’s you-tube video release entitled “The Wilderness Downtown“. Okay, enough setup, let’s check out the quotes:

Last month, the band (Arcade Fire) released an online interactive video titled The Wilderness Downtown, a collaboration with Google and American music video director Chris Milk that uses the latest in HTML5 web technology to evoke the feeling of nostalgia expressed in the band’s song “We Used To Wait.” Viewers enter their childhood street address and the video takes them on a virtual tour of their old neighbourhood. Multiple browser windows simultaneously show close-ups of your street via Google Street View, footage of a man running, and an invitation to write a postcard to your childhood self.

When you see something like that, it’s an example of ‘Wow, I guess everything hasn’t been done yet,’” says Alan Cross, host of syndicated Canadian radio show The Ongoing History of New Music, adding he’s not a diehard Arcade Fire fan. “It changed my opinion of them, and I passed it on to everyone because I think it’s so damn cool.

With more than four million visitors to the site so far, the video has surely helped get attention for the band’s new album The Suburbs, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts prior to the video’s release. Sixty-two per cent of sales of The Suburbs have come from digital downloads, compared with half that number for their previous album. And though the band’s management declined to comment on whether there was a direct correlation between the online project and sales, Jordan says it’s not about the short sell anyway. “It’s key to super-serve your core audience,” he says. “By giving things for free, it creates a culture of support where fans don’t mind buying tickets for your show or your album because they know they’re getting more value.

Adding value to a product or service strengthens your clients’ loyalty to your company, explains Nova Scotia-based new media and design consultant Brad Smith, but it has to be done in a way that makes them feel rewarded rather than accosted. Smith advises that his clients always give fans a little extra to help create a sense of exclusivity around a brand. “Social media is intimate,” he says. “When you leak details, it feels to fans that you’re leaking secrets.” For example, he encourages the varsity hockey teams he works with to leak shots of new features on their jerseys so fans can blog about it and create buzz.

Closing Comments:

We want to commend columnist Angelina Chapin again for putting together a very informative article. One of the things to pull away from reading this information is to always stay conscious of the need to reward your Fans with value in exchange for their association with your music. In terms of giving music away for free in order to build fan support, Unfortunately, we have witnessed numerous examples in our law practice where clients feel justified in thinking that free music means SONG REJECTS (music that I don’t  want to release commercially). We have witnessed clients giving away free music consisting of poorly recorded songs as well as (in some cases) songs that are not even fully produced. This is a terrible mistake, because it doesn’t build value between your music and a possible Fanbase building around your music and brand. If you make the decision to give away music for free, then don’t give your potential Fans “SLOP“. In other words, Free should not mean SONG REJECTS. Instead, Free should be viewed as an opportunity to showcase quality material (yes, let us repeat…your commercial, high quality material), so that both established Fans as well as potential new Fans have a low risk way to fall in love with your music and brand.

One last time….never, ever, ever….shortchange your Fans!!! Give them quality with all that you do (and by consistently doing so) you maximize opportunities to turn page views into Album Sales, Merchandise Sales, Live Performance Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Endorsements Sales, Special Appearance Sales, etc…!!!!!!  (you get the picture)

Give us your thoughts

The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..


The Heretic’s Comment: In association with HP, Big Boi will provide a free concert in Miami Fla at the Sobe Live event on tomorrow. The reason we wanted to highlight this particular story is because it gives a wonderful example of how to connect major corporate sponsors and underwriters to your live performances so that your fans can attend for free. Additionally, Big Boi is using the live performance as a launching event for his non-profit foundation Big Boi’s Big Kidz. Big Boi is a phenomenal artist, but equally important is the fact that he is a very shrewd businessman and entrepreneur.  Big Boi’s free concert will also be streamed live through u-stream and Myspace for those unable to attend the show. Big Boi’s performance is expected to start at 11 pm eastern time.

Go to (link appears below) to get a direct link to the u-stream and myspace links to get access to see Big Boi’s performance.