2013

Eminem “Don’t Front”

Really proud to have landed a production credit on Eminem’s MMLP2 for the song “Don’t Front”. The song was produced by me and Ken Lewis, aka Katalyst. Unfortunately it didn’t make the original album release date due to sample clearance issues that was out of everyone’s control. I’m just happy it got out there. Below is a full version of the song.

 

The Decline of the Song

The Decline of the Song

Napster was great. You finally had access to all of these songs where you didn’t have to buy a whole album. It took off because for one, who doesn’t like free stuff? And two, it was a big middle finger to the major labels for force feeding us all that water downed pop music. It was the people’s reaction for being pissed off for buying $20 albums for two good songs. I know I felt justified downloading all those songs for free. Then itunes arrived. It helped stop the file sharing bleeding a bit.

But let’s face it, in this day and age, there will always be some form of file sharing. There’s no getting around it.

Now every person has the ability to create their own music and upload it to youtube. Share it with the world. Have a voice. Isn’t that great? Well no, not exactly. There’s been a heavy price to pay.

It’s the value of the song.

We’ve never been able to have access to this much music before. It’s all a finger click away. And that’s fantastic. But it comes at a heavy price. Indie artists are fighting to get their music heard. They’re now forced to become shameless self-promoters 24/7. Asking their fans for a retweet in exchange for a free song. Giving their songs away for free to get some sort of buzz going. Even Jay-Z bundled his songs with Samsong and an app. It’s horrible. I don’t know about anybody else, but when I create a song, it’s like my child. I’m very proud of it. It has extreme value to me. Giving it away for free is insulting. I get it. But it’s insulting.

I rarely listen to new music that’s not been recommended to me by a friend. I just don’t trust it. Who has the time for it nowadays with everything fighting for your attention?

One thing is for sure though and I don’t think people outside of the music industry realize this, but the power has gone straight back to the major labels. You can’t get heard unless you have some sort of money marketing machine behind you pushing the song/album. How else are you going to push through all the crap? A lot of people like to try and point out Macklemore breaking through independently with the song “Thriftshop”, but Macklemore had a silent major label backer pushing that song. Look it up. It’s well documented. NPR did a segment about it.

I’m not sure where things go from here. It’s definitely all going to streaming though that’s for sure. Whether that’s great for the music industry in general? I’m not sure. It will be another phase shift of an already rocky industry. The record to tape, tape to CD, CD to mp3, now the mp3 to streaming. But one thing is for sure, a song doesn’t mean what it use to.

Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”

 

Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball"

 

Everyone seems to have an opinion on Miley Cyrus. I’m sure that’s what Miley wants. I feel like Bob Leftsetz has described what’s going on with the Miley craze best. Below is a snippet of what Bob said dissecting Miley’s career moves in his weekly email blasts. If you’re in the music industry and not on his email list, I highly recommend joining.

 

If you don’t respect Miley Cyrus, you’ve got no clue how the music game works. I mean it’s fine if you want to wear your jeans, play rock music and try to rise up via the grass roots, but Miley was born famous and in today’s world there’s no room for middle level pop stars, only fantastic winners, and she’s executing the program perfectly, it’s as if she went to an alternative AA and is working all the steps.

That’s right, steps you’ve seen before. But for an audience that missed out the first time. Who were still in diapers, or not even born when Madonna kissed the vacant Britney. And unlike Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus evidences a personality. And that’s the key to longevity. Miley’s all over YouTube, twerking, she’s growing up with her fans, her admirers, and they love her for it!

This music is not made for baby boomers, whether they be aghast parents or the calcified media. Miley is playing them like a Stradivarius, even though she’s got no musical skill. Her skill is marketing. And that’s a perfect fit for today’s world.

Oh, the single isn’t groundbreaking. But how much successful music is today anyway? Miley’s not in it for the art, but for the fame, for the riches. Which, unfortunately, is the ethos of most of today’s younger generation. They’ve got access via the Internet and their futures are challenged, they’re selling their wares constantly. Yup, the first thing a young “artist” will ask you is…HOW DO I MAKE MONEY?

So now we’re going to criticize Miley Cyrus for ringing the bell, for doing this better than anybody?

As for getting upset that she’s nude in the video… Why don’t you go over to Google and enter some terms, start with “naked women.” And when you get to the results, click on “Images” and get ready to see more porn on one page than children of the fifties experienced in decades. Yup, that’s the world we live in. Oh, don’t tell me about parental filters, the parents don’t know how to use them and their kids know how to manipulate them! In a world of sexting we’re worried that Miley Cyrus is naked in a video?

And speaking of the video, can we give her credit for the 119 million views she’s accumulated at this point? Do you know how hard it is to reach that number? You can’t sit at home and do that with your webcam. Hell, in a world where “X Factor” has
abysmal ratings, half of what the show had in its debut, where its follow-up, “Master Chef,” pulls better numbers, are we really going to criticize someone who takes her career into her own hands and succeeds?

Yup, while you’ve been bitching, the TV singing contest died. As if it was still making stars. That’s conventional wisdom, always two steps behind.

I’m not saying that if you want to get ahead you should imitate Miley Cyrus, she’s already done it, it’d be like trying to imitate Madonna thirty years ago. Cyrus saw the opportunity and went for it. And speaking of going for it, wasn’t Madonna’s number one skill marketing? Does anybody consider Madonna a musician, does anybody laud her voice? Of course not!

Unfortunately, Miley Cyrus is bringing nothing new to the party. But ain’t that music, where everybody plays it safe.

Hell, you know you’re doing it right when Elton John is criticizing you. I love Elton, but he doesn’t get it. Miley Cyrus is incredibly smart, she’s manipulating the clueless, even him, to increase her fame, to drive her record to number one, and she’s executed beautifully.”

And for your viewing pleasure, the video to Wrecking Ball….

Twitter

twitter-bird-white-on-blueI’ve joined the evil army that is Twitter and started tweeting or twittering or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days. You can follow me at
https://twitter.com/brentkmusic/. I promise to come up with witty and profound things like the best way to make yourself physically sick from eating too much beef jerky. You know, only the important things in life.