The Wheel is still Round

attorneycross On December - 17 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We want to share a link below regarding a post we did back in 2009 discussing the importance of  maintaining your independence and ownership.

Let us know your thoughts/comments.

http://www.myspace.com/thecrossfirm/blog/511152598

Closing Comments:

OFF D GRID is a movement we are still pushing. It essentially means developing your own alternate musical universe which is not reliant on Conglomerate operated and controlled distribution/supply chains. It advocates that you create and fight an insurgency campaign to connect your music to a paying fan-base in spite of the Conglomerates’ propaganda campaign to brainwash you into believing that your only route to achieve significant success and exposure is to sell out to them!!!

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The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

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The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. 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.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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An example of Music CD Cost and Payout Breakdown

attorneycross On December - 10 - 20112 COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment:

According to Moses Avalon’s 1998 Book, Confessions of a Record
Producer, the proceeds of a then-$17 CD would typically be distributed
as follows:

Retailer: $5 (29.4%),
Record label: $4.92 (28.9%),
Distributor: $2.40 (14.1%),
Giveaways: $1.80 (10.6%),
Duplication/recording: $1.10 (5.8%),
Artist royalty: 83 cents (4.9%),
Songwriter license: 60 cents (3.5%),
Producer royalty: 27 cents (1.6%),
Musicians union: 8 cents (0.4%).

Now mind you, the numbers used in our example are from years ago, but it is instructive to show you just how greedy and abusive the Major Labels have been both to recording artists/producers/songwriters as well as to the general consumer.  The physical production cost of each CD might have cost the Major Label anywhere from 6 cents to 50 cents to manufacture, yet the Labels had the price jacked up in some cases as high as $19.98 for the retail price of the CD. Of this retail pricing, the combined money paid out to the recording artist, songwriter, producer and musician was  less than $2.00 per CD sold (in our example, it was actually $1.74 per CD sold).

The saddest part about the above is that despite using numbers from over 10 years ago, nothing presently has changed in the artist’s favor in reference to those signed under major recording contracts. In fact,  it is even worst now,  because of all of the 360 arrangements that Major Labels force artists to eat in exchange for getting a deal. So the possibility of an artist making money through record royalties in 2011 remains almost non-existent despite the fact that in this year Major Record Labels and their partners will pocket millions upon millions of dollars from physical CD sales.

Sadly enough the numbers on the digital side are even worst than the physical side, but we will deal with that in a separate post.

Closing Comments:

You have to have the courage to speak to Power and refuse to bow down. That is the only way these slave deals will ever change. As long as we are fighting and competing against each other to see who will have the next opportunity to be offered the major label deal, 10 years from now…nothing will have changed. Your musical sons and daughters will be signing the same slave deal you were forced to sign. Even more sadder than that is the fact that you will own none of your music…it will be under the firm control and ownership of a Conglomerate that has long forgotten about you.

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The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

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The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. 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.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

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Drake Addresses Album Leaks

attorneycross On November - 8 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Drake Addresses Album Leaks

On Sunday night (Nov. 6), while Drake was in his hometown debuting a new song, “Crew Love,” from his upcoming sophomore album, “Take Care” (Nov. 15), on Toronto’s Flow 93.5, a leaked version of the project began circulating online. The version of the album that appeared featured 16 tracks — a few shy of the full collection said to be coming to retail. “I am not sure if the album leaked. But if it did thank God it doesn’t happen a month early anymore,” Drake tweeted just after 11pm EST. Minutes later, he posted a second tweet, saying, “Listen enjoy it, buy it if you like it… and take care until next time.”

“In early October, Drake spoke exclusively to Billboard about album leaks and their impact — almost predicting to the day when his album would leak online. So was last night’s leak a coincidence or all part of the “Take Care” plan?”

Read more at Billboard.com – http://www.billboard.com/#/column/the-juice/exclusive-drake-addresses-album-leaks-1005484582.story

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The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

www.thecrossfirm.com

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The Official Release of the  “Before You Sign That” is coming soon. 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.  More details are coming soon if you are interesting in pre-ordering the book. We are very excited about this Project!!!! We have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

 

 

 

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The Economy of Mixtapes: How Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Big K.R.I.T. Figured It Out (Listen)

The Heretic’s Comment: Aligned with Lil Wayne, the then-unsigned Drake, who’d spent the few years before releasing buzzy mixtapes (rapping over hits), unleashed his almost entirely original mixtape “So Far Gone.” He did so on his website, October’s Very Own, which quickly went into bandwidth overdrive. Reportedly, to date, there have been millions of downloads.

Drake — whose platinum debut, “Thank Me Later” (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Republic), bowed atop the Billboard 200 the following year (July 3, 2010) — had redefined the mixtape model for the digital era. (He released three free songs through October’s Very Own as recently as last week, with second album “Take Care” due Oct. 24.) Far from its adolescent iteration, the mixtape-a compilation of music generally distributed outside of label purview-had evolved from a mere display of DJ skills to a promotional tool packed with exclusive freestyles to an actual album-before-the-album, one that could spawn chart-topping singles like “Best I Ever Had,” without labels at the helm.

In hip-hop today, free, original mixtapes have become standard. They’re offered on websites like DatPiff.com and LiveMixtapes.com, which have erased CD-peddling bootleggers from city street corners. DJs — like Doo Wop and DJ Clue — who once shouted over tracks on popular tapes like ’95 Live and Springtime Stickup, have been almost entirely weeded from the equation. And where MCs once hijacked beats from others to serve as the sonic quilt for their release, mixtapes have become a creative survival of the fittest. Rappers who dropped freestyle mixtapes can no longer show-and-prove through lyrics alone-original beat selection, artwork and overall artistry determine worthiness.

The original mixtape approach has also crossed genre lines. Artists in the R&B realm have likewise adopted the format, most recently The Weeknd and The-Dream with “Thursday” and “1977,” presented as a “free album.” Pop singers have even dabbled in mixtape releases. JoJo, whose label disputes have been made public over the past few years, dropped her debut mixtape “Can’t Take That Away From Me” in September 2010, while dance diva La Roux teamed with Major Lazer for May 2010′s “Lazerproof,” a collection of artist-approved original remixes.

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/genre/randb-hip-hop/the-economy-of-mixtapes-how-drake-wiz-khalifa-1005361172.story

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

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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!!!!

 

 

 

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Justin Bieber Remixes Drake’s ‘Trust Issues’ Before VMAs

VMA nominee’s voice sounds mature, but he tones down the lyrics.

The Heretic’s Comment: Justin Bieber and Drake are certainly besties, and on Sunday (August 28), Bieber dropped his version of Drake’s “Trust Issues,” just in time for both guys to make appearances at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.

While he maintains much of the integrity of the song musically, Bieber does clean up the language, swapping some of the more-adult lines for PG-rated versions. Instead of the original’s “I’mma sip until I feel it, I’mma smoke it till it’s done,” Bieber sings, “I’mma sing until I feel it, I’mma go till it’s done.”

The song still does keep some of its lyrical edge when Drake makes an appearance via samples from the original track. While the lyrics might be very different from Drake’s original — which will appear on his next album, Take Care, due in October — the aspect of Bieber’s track that will stand out to his loyal devotees is the singer’s voice: It’s much deeper than what fans have heard from him in the past.

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1669819/justin-bieber-trust-issues-remix.jhtml

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

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Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

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!!!!

 

 

 

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Drake Slams Universal for Taking New Songs Off the Internet

The Heretic’s Comment: Drake, who recently unleashed two new songs onto the Internet, slammed his label’s parent company, Universal, for ordering that the songs be removed from his blog and other sites that have posted them.

“Universal needs to stop taking my f–king songs down” the Young Money artist tweeted. “I am doing this for the people not for your label.”

The original versions of the two songs, “Marvins Room” and “Trust Issues,” are no longer available from his site,  although “Chopped up not slopped up” remixes can be streamed. The songs are reminiscent of both his debut EP/mixtape, “So Far Gone,” and tracks by Drake-endorsed Toronto outfit The Weeknd.

Drake Has ‘Trust Issues’: Listen

Drake also announced in the blog posting that he’ll be releasing an official new single next month, and that his second full-length “Take Care” will be released on October 24, which is also his birthday.

At presstime Universal reps had not responded to Billboard.biz’s request for comment.

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

www.thecrossfirm.com

Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross

Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic

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!!!!

 

 

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Black Music Month Power Player: Cortez Bryant, The Manager
The Heretic’s Comment: In my quest to find happenings for Black Music Month – I ran across a fantastic write-up on Black Enterprise.com. They featured the man behind platinum rap stars Lil Wayne and Drake, Cortez Bryant. Mr. Bryant brokered blockbuster deals and reveals a new one on the horizon.
You don’t have to be a hip-hop aficionado to appreciate Cortez Bryant’s Midas touch. As the Chief Visionary Officer of Young Money Entertainment (lyrical maestro Lil Wayne’s label imprint) and CEO of Bryant Management (platinum-selling rapper Drake is also under Bryant’s wing), the Miami-based manager has made an indelible mark upon the music industry with his hands-on management style. For the last seven years, the Jackson University grad has ushered his roster of artists to chart-topping musical phenomenons. Lil Wayne, for instance, completed 78 headlining shows in nine months in 2009 that grossed well over $40 million, making him one of the most profitable touring artists. Similarly. Meanwhile Drake has secured endorsement/sponsorship deals with brands ranging from Sprite and Kodak to AT&T.
As part of our continuing look at the Business of Music this month, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Bryant in the midst of Lil Wayne’s tsunami of a national “I Am Still Music” tour to talk strategy, the meteoric rise of his artists and joining forces with another powerhouse manager.

http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/06/03/black-music-month-power-player-cortez-bryant-the-manager/

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!
Let us know your thoughts and comments.

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

www.thecrossfirm.com
Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross
Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic
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!!!!

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Drake Recorded Music With R&B Artist the Weeknd
The Heretic’s Comment: Back in March, Drake introduced his 2 million-plus Twitter followers to the Weeknd, an alternative R&B artist from Toronto. Through a series of retweets and song links, Drizzy helped the singer acquire a new set of fans, just in time for the March 21 release of his mixtape, ‘House of Balloons.’ Now, Drake and the Weeknd have found the opportunity to collaborate.

Late Wednesday night (May 18), Drake tweeted a short message, which revealed that he was recording new music with the Toronto-based musician. “Studio with @theweekndxo…young kings,” the Young Money affiliate wrote. However, he did not specify exactly where the music would end up.

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!
Let us know your thoughts and comments.

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

www.thecrossfirm.com
Follow us on Twitter @attorneycross
Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Music Business Heretic
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!!!!

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The Heretic’s Comment: Discovered a very interesting article today that we wanted to share with our readers and subscribers (the link to the article appears below). The subject article described how certain indie metal bands are successfully implementing the commercial release of cassettes into their plan of attack toward generating cash-flow for their projects. Interesting, we had also noticed several other recent articles which had pointed to the fact that the cassette tape is not losing significant ground to other product formats, but is actually holding its own and quietly making a comeback as a viable format to release musical product. So again we decided to put together this brief post in order to plant a seed in your mind that cassette tapes may be a viable way for you to release your next commercial project.

One thing that is interesting about the cassette tape format (as the article accurately points out) is the fact that cassettes are really the only format that encourages fans to listen to your album in its entirety because it is not as easy to skip around as it is with CD’s or vinyl albums. Very good stuff if you have a tightly themed album where one song flows into the next!!!

Closing Comments

Okay, notwithstanding the above,  we know that cassette tapes won’t work for all of you, but keep in mind that any strategy that allows you to distinguish your product offerings from the next artist/band/musical group is always a plus. So keep the cassette format in mind as you move toward marketing and promoting your next commercial release.

Let us know your thoughts and counter-points!!!

Cassettes making a Comeback

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

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The Heretic’s Comment: Forbes recently came out  with the Top 20 earners in the Hop Hop Game (an annual list). It is interesting to note that in a down economy over the last 12 months, the top Hip Hop earners racked up over $300 million in revenue. Jay Z came in at 1st place for the 2nd year in a row by earning $63 million. Diddy came in at 2nd place earning $30 million. Akon came in at 3rd earning $21 million. Lil Wayne came in at 4th place earning $20 million. Dr. Dre came in at 5th earning $17 million.

We highly recommend you read the article by Sheryl Nance-Nash who does a wonderful job of describing how the Hip-Hop cash kings are strategizing business and brand opportunities in the 2010 music game. We have provided the hyperlink to Ms. Nash story below. Again, we highly recommend that you read it.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/rap-music-its-a-business-thing-you-understand/19603529/

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