N.O.R.E. is opening up about his retirement plans. Noreaga tells MTV’s “RapFix” that his upcoming album, Dyslexia, will be his second-to-last album.
Apparently, he’s calling it quits in an effort to “bow out gracefully” at the top of his game. N.O.R.E. explains that he’s done everything he’s set out to do as a rapper. He also hinted at his own disillusionment with hip-hop, saying that nowadays a lot of things that happen in hip-hop aren’t the way he visualized them being.
N.O.R.E. also opened up about recording his upcoming Capone-N-Noreaga EP “War In One Night.” Apparently, the project was created in one studio session. He also revealed plans to collaborate with Pharrell Williams in the near future.
It doesn’t take long for the average person to develop a healthy skepticism of rap shows. Aside from the usual live venue problems (guest list confusion, aggro bouncers, expensive drinks), rap has its own special set of bullshit. There are too many opening acts, a rotating list of five local struggle rappers who never graduate to headliner status. There are too many people and it’s always mostly dudes who often feel a way about you breathing their air. The shows run hours behind schedule. If you make it that far, the headliner is often not very good. If they even know all their lyrics, they’re spitting them on top of their own recorded vocals.
It’s that last sin, rappers not really even rapping, that seems to offend the most. And it’s not just dillettante hip-hop fans who complain; it’s something I hear all the time as a reason why my friends don’t want to go see a rapper whose music they love perform their songs in real life. It’s less of a concert and more of a spectacle.
So why does this happen? Why do some rappers seem to phone in their live shows? It’s not like live hip-hop is dead. After all, active showmen like Action Bronson and Danny Brown have clearly benefitted from the work they put into their stage presence. Why don’t all rappers do the same thing? The short answer is you can become a famous rapper without doing very many shows, per se.
The assumed path to success for musicians today involves recording music, booking to play your music and building a fan base that will buy your music and see your shows. Increasingly, convincing brand managers that your music will sell products, but that’s part of the same performance-heavy equation. And this is proven method across genres: rock, country, disco and, yeah, even rap.
But rappers often take an alternate path, one that relies way less on stagework. Instead of recording an album and hustling a live show, they pick one song and push it to as many DJ’s as they can. If the record is good, it gets added to the rotation on the local radio station and in the clubs around the way. And if the record is really good (and if they have good people behind you), it will get added to more stations and played at more clubs, further and further from the local market.
As the single gets momentum and their name gets out there, promoters far and wide will book them to perform at clubs. But this isn’t a full show, it’s a quick set at a club based around a hit record. If the song is really popular, the artist’s presence is just gravy. Everybody will know all the words and the club would have gone off whether or not they were there. Nobody’s worried about the rapper nailing the hook.
A rapper with a big single can make an insane amount of money doing club sets. Rappers are fitting into a nightlife culture that relies on paying a diverse range of celebrities to show up as a way to entice people to come out; they can earn their money just by being in the building. And everything resembling a metropolitan area has a nightlife destination where a rapper might get booked if their record is getting spins. There are way fewer ideal places for full-fledged rap shows, and that number gets smaller after factoring in many venues’ inherent biases against hip-hop events. An artist that can get a stack for a club appearance in, say, Albany, GA is not stressed about their stage presence and breath control.
All this said, should we even expect old school showmanship and rappin-ass rappin from these dudes? If the music makes a mob of excited people jump up and down and yell lyrics at each other, that’s not a bad thing (nor is it a new concept).
But that’s the reason why some successful emcees don’t have great live shows: they never needed one to get where they are.
Apple was found guilty of conspiring with 5 major publishers to increase the prices of e-books last summer, but so far it hasn’t had to write a single check. But that could change soon thanks to a newly-filed damages claim.
Steve Berman, an attorney representing consumers and 33 states who linked up with the DOJ’s case against Apple, says the company’s actions caused e-book buyers to spend an extra $280,254,374. And wants that tripled…
“State attorneys general and consumers who sued the world’s most valuable technology company over its e-book pricing are seeking $280 million in damages and want that amount tripled, a lawyer for them said in a filing yesterday with the federal judge in Manhattan who presided over the U.S. case against Apple.
The plaintiffs say they’re entitled to triple damages under antitrust law because the U.S. had already “conclusively proven” at a trial last year that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy to fix prices. The amount sought is 0.5 percent of the $158.8 billion in cash that the Cupertino, California-based company reported that it had as of the end of 2013.”
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has said that she will hold a trial later this year to address the damages sought by the states. Cote is the Judge who found Apple guilty of e-book price fixing back in July, following a non-jury trial.
She also found Apple liable to the 33 states that joined the US Justice Department in its lawsuit. The Justice Department didn’t ask for money in its case, but it looks like the states are seeking major damages. This will be interesting.
In the meantime, Apple has other stuff to worry about. Next month, the company is set to face Samsung in round 2 of its Northern California patent infringement battle. Apple won the first round, netting nearly $1 billion in damages.
AT&T launches new family plans with ‘best-ever’ prices
By Cody Lee, Feb 1, 2014
In an effort to fend off T-Mobile’s ‘Un-carrier’ attack, and stay competitive with Verizon, AT&T announced a new set of family plans this afternoon. The plans include unlimited talk and text and then a bucket of 10GB of data that can be shared by all of the accompanying devices.
But the big news here is the pricing. AT&T is saying that these new plans come with the best-ever prices, and at first glance, they do look appealing. For instance, the entry-level option costs just $130 per month with unlimited talk, text and then 10GB of data for 2 smartphones…
Here’s a full breakdown of the pricing:
att plansAnd here’s an excerpt from the press release:
“Get ready to take advantage of AT&T’s1 (NYSE:T) best-ever prices for people wanting a family-size bucket of data and unlimited talk and text on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network.2 As an example, a family of four can now get unlimited talk and text, and 10GB of data – enough for the whole family to share – for $160 a month.
These best-ever prices on AT&T’s best-in-class network are available beginning tomorrow to any AT&T customer, including small businesses with up to 10 lines, and customers of Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and other wireless carriers who switch to AT&T.”
So how do these ‘best-ever’ prices compare to the other guys? Well they aren’t good enough to beat T-Mobile, which offers unlimited data for two smartphones for $100/month. Sprint and other regional carriers are also cheaper. But let’s compare it to AT&T’s biggest competitor: Verizon.
As you can see, AT&T’s new 2-line smartphone plan is $50 cheaper than the Big Red carrier. They both give you unlimited talk and text, and 10GB of data per month, and the two companies have comparable nationwide LTE networks—well, more comparable than say Sprint or T-Mobile.
So should you switch? That answer will vary from person to person. But AT&T is nearly finished with its LTE rollout, which has consistently been rated the fastest in the country, and is now offering competitive plan pricing and $100 per-line bill credits. It’s certainly worth looking into.
We know what you’re thinking–only 12? Let us explain. Through the years Bad Boy Records has left a number of its former artists in the dire circumstances as Sean “Diddy” Combs and the label he founded moved on. But there are some acts that particularly standout because of their hard knock stories. Some of the artists mentioned here aren’t necessarily in a bad way financially (i.e. Shyne doesn’t plenty of globe trotting), but nevertheless find their careers in flux when compared to their Bad Boy glory days. Still others, like the currently incarcerated G. Dep, have most definitely fallen on hard times and serve as examples of the much talked about Bad Boy curse. Here are 12 former Bad Boy Records artists that are living the struggle life, and will probably jump at any record deal you throw their way. In some cases, as long as they got their parole officer’s permission. Artist 11
Is Diddy about the close up shop at Bad Boy Records? The streets are saying that Rap mogul has quietly made moves to shut down the iconic record label.
According to AllHipHop.com and more recently Global14.com, most of the Bad Boy Records staff has been laid off since December. It is said Diddy has moved some of his more noted employees to his other business ventures including Revolt TV, CÎROC Ultra Premium, Blue Flame Agency and the newly acquired DeLeon Tequila.
So what happens to the talent still contracted to the label you ask? It is speculated that both French Montana and Janelle Monáe will be upstreamed directly to Interscope Records. The status on Machine Gun Kelly, Red Cafe and Diddy’s R&B girlfriend Cassie is unclear.
This all stays in the struggle rumor mill as there is yet to be an official statement from Combs. Since 1993 Bad Boy Records has been one of the most successful Rap record companies with reportedly over 75 million records sold worldwide to date.
If we are indeed seeing the final days of Bad Boy, let us know what your favorite Bad Boy moment is in the comments section below.
nfl met life stadium
Apple’s iBeacon technology seems to be catching on rather quickly. Just introduced at WWDC a little over 6 months ago, it’s already being deployed in grocery and retail stores, several Major League Baseball ballparks, and now apparently NFL stadiums as well.
The New York Times is reporting that the National Football League has installed iBeacons at MetLife Stadium, which is hosting the Super Bowl on Sunday, as well as Times Square. They’ll be used to help folks find their way around town, and then to the big game…
The Times’ Nick Wingfield writes:
“The Super Bowl remains the biggest mass-market advertising event in the country. But this year, a new kind of advertising — personalized and based on physical location down to a matter of feet — will greet fans in Times Square and MetLife Stadium, where this weekend’s championship game will be played.
At both locations, the National Football League has sprinkled tiny wireless transmitters that can send finely tuned messages to smartphones. It is the boldest test yet for a months-old technology that could change how brands of all sorts market to their customers.”
For now, Wingfield says, the alerts are mostly limited to helpful tips, such as where nearest entry gate of the stadium is, or the restrooms. And in Times Square, the iBeacons can tell users where to buy a jersey for their favorite team, or direct them to tourist attractions.
It’s cool to see all of these companies and professional sports leagues taking advantage of Apple’s iBeacon tech. As we’ve said before, when you combine iBeacons with Passbook and Apple’s rumored mobile payment service, things could get pretty interesting for users.