IN THIS RAP
*Beats By The Pound label deal coming....
*Wendy Day finally sues Cash Money Records....
*C-Murder to be represented by Wilhelmina Modeling Agency....
*Twista ponders signing to Puffy's Bad Boy Records....
*Tragedy released from V2 Records....
*Fiend released from No Limit Records....
*More independent record releases than ever....
*Visionary Management adds Slick Rick and C-Murder to the roster....
*New urban industry report card for rap record labels...www.industryreport.com
Beats By The Pound, the four-man production team responsible for the No
Limit platinum hits such as Make ‘Em Say Uhhhh, Ice Cream Man, Bout It
Bout It, etc, has finally gone out on their own and are about to release
their first recording artist, Six Shot. No other production team in
urban music have sold more records than Beats By The Pound, who changed
their name last year to Medicine Men to further distance themselves from
Master P's No Limit empire. The production team left No Limit in April
of 1999, when it became apparent Master P had no intention of paying
them. They were the first of many artists to allegedly leave for the
same reason. With over 40 million records sold, and with many platinum
and gold hits under their belts (including recent hits for Mariah Carey,
Brian McKnight, and Mystikal), Medicine Men are poised to build a strong
empire on their own, this time reaping the benefits of their hard work.
Beats By The Pound were responsible for the production of over 800 songs
for artists down with Master P's No Limit Records, and have a catalog of
over 2,000 songs completed. They own all of their own publishing from
Day One, and are also seeking a publishing deal for the new and old
In February, Wendy Day (who secured the now famous $30 million
distribution deal for Cash Money Records) filed suit against Cash Money
Records and owners Bryan and Ronald Williams for not paying her to
secure their deal. Although industry insiders estimated the deal to be
worth $30 million at the time the deal was done, the deal is worth more
like $75 million after 20 months according to Day's calculations.
"I wrote an article for www.rapstation.com that just applies the
mathematical formula from their Universal deal and independent releases.
Since I did the deal, I'm privy to that information," says Day.
After she spent nine months shopping the deal, writing business plans,
building hype, securing press, and helping to increase their independent
sales, Ronald and Bryan Williams owners of Cash Money just didn't pay
the agreed, or any, fee. Day claims they've contacted her 3 times in the
past two year period to pay her, but just never get around to it.
C-Murder, who is the newest artist to be consulted by Visionary
Management, has just secured representation by the internationally
famous Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. Wendy Day, CEO of Visionary
Management Consultants, realized in March after spending time with
C-Murder in Baton Rouge, just how outstanding his charisma is. "I
haven't seen charisma and charm like this since Tupac," sites Day,
"It just seemed natural for me to find a modeling agency that could
see our vision for C, and after a wee bit of stalking, they saw it my
way! They are the number one modeling agency for male models and this
will take C to a whole other level--where he should be!!" Look out
for C-Murder on billboards, runways, and magazines near you!
Twista ponders signing to Puffy's Bad Boy Records. Puffy has been very
outspoken about his respect and admiration for Chicago recording artist
Twista, who sold over 600,000 records for Atlantic Records through a
production company that he is currently fighting in court. "They
forgot to pay Twista, and this drove him into bankruptcy," says a
former artist signed to the same production company as Twista. Day
confirms that Twista is currently undergoing a legal battle regarding
his freedom but is no longer signed to Atlantic or the fledgling
production company. "It's sad because it was a great deal that I
did years ago and it got lots of attention, because it was a 50-50 split
with Atlantic. Had Twista been paid what he should have, both he and the
production company would still be making money together today. Very,
very sad." Day adds that she is unsure if the production company is
still in the music business, "but if they are, they are only making
music for their three block radius in Chicago. They were at the pinnacle
of success and their greed ruined it for everyone." Twista has
recently release a compilation album of new artists from Chicago. Legit
Ballin' Volume 1 has sold almost 100,000 copies independently throughout
the Mid-west and South, and Twista and crew are working on Volume 2
Tragedy, the rapper most well known for the hand he played in the
careers of Capone and Noreaga, obtained his release from V2 Records in
April. Tragedy had originally signed to Gee Street Records three years
ago, but with mergers, transitions, and buy outs, he ended up at V2 as
one of the only urban acts. After gaining his release, V2 decided to
close their Black Music department and let the entire staff go. Tragedy
is currently in negotiations with labels with track records in rap
music, that are able to take his career to the level it should be.
Fiend obtained his release from No Limit Records as of May 8 and is
currently a free agent. He is about to release a rap documentary video
and accompanying soundtrack called Can I Burn?independently throughout
the South and Mid-west on his own record label: Fiend Entertainment.
Although he is grateful to Master P for the opportunity to learn the
music business through the eyes of a No Limit Soldier, Fiend is poised
to experience the fruit of his own labor. Fiend obtained his release
from No Limit through breached clauses in his contract which Master P
had 60 days to "cure" (fix) and he did not respond. Fiend is
currently being courted by some major labels in urban music for his solo
deal. He also has an all-star group in the works. But his main focus is
the independent release of "Can I Burn?" which is a behind the
scenes documentary of the past year in Fiend's life, and its
accompanying soundtrack. Other No Limit Recording artists who have
joined the ranks of independently released projects: Kane & Abel, Mr
Serv-On, Big Ed, Magic, Mo B Dick, KLC, and C-Murder.
More independent record releases than ever are coming out on the streets
throughout the country. Murder Dog Magazine has been running a column
for a year written by Wendy Day, Founder of Rap Coalition. The column is
called "rapcointelpro" and provides practical advice for
anyone putting out their own records.
Visionary Management, founded in 1999 by Wendy Day, adds Slick Rick and
C-Murder to the roster. "Visionary Management is unique in that we
consult with our artists to teach them the music business inside and
out, and so that they can be self-managed eventually" Ms Day
informs us. Visionary Management was started out of the frustration
caused by the lack of good managers in urban music. The company trains
and mentors up and coming managers, and is currently working with the
managers of Beats By The Pound and Black Rob. The program, due to its
incredible popularity, is full until 2004.
Now there's a way to track the success of rap record labels without
succumbing to the "hype factor." www.industryreport.com is a
new urban industry report card for rap record labels. The free web site
breaks down all rap record releases from 1993 through 1999, and rates
each record labels based on the number of rap records sold (according to
SoundScan) and the number of rap records released each year. There is
finally a way to quantify the success of Death Row, Bad Boy, and Def Jam
year by year. The site also lists the all time Top 1000 Rap Records from
1993 to 1999. The site will be updated annually to reflect new trends in
Rap Coalition is a not-for-profit artist advocacy organization dedicated
to the education, support, protection, and unification of hip hop
artists and producers.