Okay here’s this week’s GetAtMe TopTen. Remember here at GetAtMe, we’re one of the few charts that measure radio play, online sales and Dj input to get our charts. This week, 9 of the TopTen were handicapped (picked to be a hit) by GetAtMe (9 out of 10 ain’t bad) but what we’re really proud of is that our topten is also selling on itunes (great job to urban radio for adding winners). At one point urban radio was giving lots of spins to songs that wasn’t selling online but that has taken a turn for the better. At the end of the day we are in the business of selling music, not just letting people hear it so from GetAtMe #GreatJob.
Okay let’s go. Starting at #1 this week is Nicki Minaj’s “TruffleButter” great sales and radio. (#Strong song). At #2, Big Sean holds on (dropping from #1) with “IDFWU”. At #3 is Neyo’s “SheKnows” (urban radio loves this record). At #4 is (#WeToldYa) Chris Brown’s “Ayo” (this dude is smashing the charts right now #FRFR). At #5 is Usher’s “IDon’tMind” (at #5 for 2 charts in a row, #wow. Now that’s consistent). At #6 is Rae Sremmund “ThrowSumMo” (These guys are also crushing em. 3 hits in a row). At #7 is The Weeknd’s “EarndIt” (the 50 Shades of Grey movie took this cut right to the top). At #8 is Beyonce’s “711” (stayed afloat due to strong radio play). At #9 is Mark Ronson’s “UpTownFunk” (#1 on itunes and a really funky record #GreatRecord. Urban radio play is in motion) and at #10 is Wale’s “Body” (all radio plays. If this song was selling on itunes it would have been #1 or #2 #wow).
The OnDeck records are “SlowMotion from Trey Songs (this record is hot), T.I. “PrivateShow” (this is such a strong record, I’m really surprised at its slow movement in the market but this is a great record) and Anthony (CandyRain) Lewis’ “ItsNotMyFault” (if this was Pharrell, CeeLo or Robin Thicke or Bruno Mars, this record would be gone).
Man had great time at the ArtOnTheWall event last night (#followthesplotch , love that statement Kristina). This intimate blend of art and music that was presented by Goddess Kiko, Kristina and Tenzin , was really hot. Truly a wonderful evening. Goddess Kiko kept the event lively all night with her engaging hosting style (#ThumbsUp).Go check out their www.aowatl.wordpress.com. The artist JoKu performed his single “Woosah” along with other acts and art exhibitors. They have events every Thursday. Got to their site for more deets.
Statement From Myriah Pointer (the female who was beat in the video): This past weekend I was set up by the two girls I called my best friends and one of they cousins. I was held down and stomped until I was unconscious. Once I gained consciousness they were still beating and stomping me. This went on for about 3 hours and then they threw and cracked my phone and hid my battery for another and held me hostage! I am BLESSED to be alive and I need justice to be served because I DID NOT deserve this. If you can get the attention of any news station, attorney, or newspaper please pass this story on because Atlanta Police aren't doing taking this as serious as it is. I have fatal facial& scalp confusions, post-concussion syndrome, subconjunctival hemorrhage, and busted blood vessels! Posted By QBHLady
In the two months that Ackquille Pollard, better known as the Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda, has sat in jail on gang conspiracy and gun charges, his mother has visited twice a week. His hip-hop idols have offered words of support.
But Mr. Pollard says that he hasn’t heard what he wants from his label, Epic Records — namely a firm reassurance of its backing and help making his $2 million bail: “When I got locked up, I thought they were going to come for me,” he said in an interview from the Manhattan Detention Complex, “but they never came.”
Barely six months ago, Epic, a subsidiary of Sony, wooed Mr. Pollard, 20, with a seven-figure, multi-album deal, largely on the strength of one viral hit, known in its censored version as “Hot Boy.” With the label’s support, that song went on to reach No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
But now, after Mr. Pollard’s electric performance on “The Tonight Show” and almost 1 million downloads sold — more than 800,000 for “Hot Boy” alone, according to Nielsen Music — Epic has distanced itself, declining, despite pleas from music industry figures like 50 Cent, to help the rapper get out.
Mr. Pollard, who was raised in East Flatbush, is not the first artist to use his hard-knock stories to try to leave behind a bad neighborhood, only to find himself stuck in the world he was rapping about. But his rise and fall at light-speed illustrates the clash that can occur when a music business seeking street credibility signs a rapper hoping to escape the street. Labels may believe that by offering money and celebrity, they are giving troubled youths a path out. But some rappers like Mr. Pollard think, perhaps naïvely, they are receiving that and more — a guiding hand and unyielding loyalty, whatever may come.
Older hip-hop stars remember when labels were full service: 50 Cent recalled getting rappers on his Interscope imprint, G Unit, out of jail in a matter of hours; Suge Knight of Death Row Records infamously paid Tupac Shakur’s bail in exchange for a recording contract.
But as rap has become more corporate, that kind of aid is unusual. Matthew Middleton, Mr. Pollard’s entertainment lawyer, said that while Epic is not obligated to cover bail or legal fees for Mr. Pollard, the artist expected more support, financial and emotional, especially after the label’s spirited pursuit of the rapper made them business partners.
“These companies for years have capitalized and made millions and millions of dollars from kids in the inner city portraying their plight to the rest of the world,” Mr. Middleton said. “To take advantage of that and exploit it from a business standpoint and then turn your back is disingenuous, to say the least.”
Epic declined requests to comment on Mr. Pollard’s status. But industry sources say they understand the company’s reluctance to get involved, given the seriousness of the charges.
Mr. Pollard was arrested for what city prosecutors said was his role as the “driving force” and “organizing figure” behind the street gang known as GS9, an offshoot of the Crips. In one incident just a month before he was signed, prosecutors said, Mr. Pollard shot at his brother, shattering glass at a Brooklyn barbershop. He faces up to 25 years in prison for conspiracy, reckless endangerment and gun possession; others charged, including Mr. Pollard’s childhood friends, face more serious accusations, including second-degree murder.
Mr. Pollard denies the charges. Kenneth Montgomery, his defense lawyer, called the indictment “a glorified gun case at best,” disputing that GS9 was a gang with Mr. Pollard in charge.
Until last summer, the case would have received little attention. Raised by his mother — his father, Gervase Johnson, is serving a life sentence in Florida for attempted murder — Mr. Pollard had dabbled in music, but had also been in and out of juvenile detention centers, once for an arrest for gun possession.
Leslie Pollard, his mother, remembers the date, March 28, that the “Hot Boy” video was released independently online. “I said, ‘Ackquille, this is a hit,’ ” Ms. Pollard, 40, recalled. “I just watched the video over and over.” But the song stayed under the radar until June, when a user on Vine uploaded a six-second clip of Mr. Pollard’s hip-centric “Shmoney Dance,” a move mimicked by N.F.L. players and Beyoncé.
A bidding war commenced among labels. But Epic had an advantage in Michael Clervoix, its executive vice president of urban A&R since 2013. Known as Sha Money XL, he had developed a good reputation among rappers by helping 50 Cent establish himself as a legitimate businessman and global brand.
By July 17, Mr. Pollard had signed with Epic. “They told me they were going to help me make myself a star in the business for a decade,” he said. To sweeten the deal, Mr. Middleton said, Epic gave the rapper his own imprint: GS9 Records, named for his neighborhood crew.
Mr. Pollard announced his arrival with a performance in an Epic conference room. A cellphone video shows a mostly white crowd of employees looking on stiffly as Mr. Pollard, ever limber, mimes shooting with his fingers and jumps on the table, an awkward five minutes that now feel foreboding. L. A. Reid, Epic’s chairman and chief executive, watched with a smile.
Back then, Mr. Pollard seemed relieved. “I don’t want to sell drugs; I’m tired of getting in trouble,” he said in a radio interview the week he was signed.
Initially, Mr. Pollard’s dark, gun-heavy songs were celebrated for being a narration of what goes on in the street. Mr. Pollard raps about selling crack, and says, “Everybody catching bullet holes.”
Now, from jail, Mr. Pollard, who once stood by the veracity of his rhymes, said that the lyrics were “fabricated,” because “that’s what’s selling nowadays.” And, he added, Epic “grabbed me up at a vulnerable time.” He continued: “I was desperate to get out of the ’hood. I knew I was going to lose my life or go to jail.”
But the record deal may have been too late to save him. According to the 101-count indictment, the city had been investigating GS9 since 2013, well before Mr. Pollard became famous.
Mr. Clervoix was at the studio with Mr. Pollard and his friends when they were arrested. In a statement the next day, Mr. Clervoix pointed to his good intentions: “I signed these kids to give them a better way in life,” he said, calling himself “one of the only few black men signing black artists from the streets and giving them a chance.”
Mr. Pollard said Mr. Clervoix has since visited him in jail, but said that the executive would not say whether Epic would help supply the collateral necessary to secure bail, typically a small percentage of the bail plus fees. (Mr. Clervoix declined requests for an interview, saying “Sony does not want me doing any press.”)
Reggie Ossé, an entertainment lawyer who has represented hip-hop figures including Jay Z, likened Bobby Shmurda’s story to that of the rapper Shyne, a former client, who was signed by Bad Boy Records before going to prison for nearly nine years for a shooting at 22.
As with Shyne, “Bobby got this deal from his persona, from this gangster lifestyle,” Mr. Ossé said, “so in a sense the label and listeners are encouraging him.”
But record companies are not built to help artists navigate their way out of their tough circumstances: “The label only cares about what you’re contracted to produce — the deliverables,” Mr. Ossé said. “Who’s that bridge to take you from this world to a safer world? There is no bridge.”
Larry Jackson, a former executive at Sony and at Interscope, said nurturing a volatile artist was a personal decision, not the label’s obligation. Interscope’s former chairman Jimmy Iovine stuck by high-maintenance acts from Suge Knight’s Death Row, Mr. Jackson said, but “that’s a real anomaly for people to go above and beyond.”
More often, that guidance and personal involvement “is reserved for a manager or an attorney — or parents,” he said. “Maybe in healthier times for the music business there would be a little more human compassion. But now, the business is in a really troubled place, and people have other responsibilities, like their own livelihood.”
Epic has likely turned a profit from Mr. Pollard’s music, according to Mr. Middleton. He said that based on sales and the advances Mr. Pollard has received so far — in the low six figures — Epic has “made their money back at least two or three times over.”
He added, “I understand from a corporate standpoint that companies cannot put themselves in a position where it appears they’re supporting and condoning criminal activity. But he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet.”
Mr. Pollard is now wary of the business he once believed was a lifeline. Should he be released on bail, he will seek a different kind of freedom: “I’m going to try my best to go back on the deal,” he said. “If not, I’ll give them their music and bounce.”
At the top of that list is J. Cole. No other rapper has his narrative skill along with a strong percussive and melodic cadence. His rhymes and storytelling style is above and beyond any of the other commercially successful 2015 artist. Of course Eminem is on the list as an elder statesman (also heads and shoulders above the other 2015 artist.)...Kendrick Lamar is almost the Kurt Cobain of rap (not quite as tragic) as he allows you to see into his lifestyle of excess and survival. Drake and T.I. get nods for being consistent. Both of these guys are simplistically clever. My surprise pick is a rapper named B.O.B. who puts out great commercial tunes but if you delve into his catalogue you will find tracks that will blow you away as he communicates on a different level. My massive mover is The Weeknd for there is no artist out there who has this guy’s online appeal and sales consistency. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis also get a nod but they have been relatively quiet this year. My female is Azealia Banks (no other female rapper can touch (#FRFR), if they’re saying they can, they’re just fooling themselves. Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea are very good artist but they are driven by the industry machine. Their product is entertaining bur nowhere near the level of artistry of Azealia Banks. If Azealia Banks would quit being a media brat and focus on making hit songs, well no one would be able to touch her (male or female, maybe J Cole because I think he would only raise his level of artistry.
Breyon Prescott is the new Head of Urban A&R at Epic Records. LA REID named him as the new go to man in Urban Music for Epic. Prescott has had 20 years in the industry and looks forward to working with REID. Currently Scott is behind the revival of JODECI and the buzz is that the album is hot (#DjAlert).
Prescott will bring his CHAMELEON ENTERTAIMENT imprint to Epic. Prescott has worked with Jaime Foxx, Drake, Kanye West. D’Angelo, Angie Stone, Brandy and others.
His most recent situation was with Def Jam but also has been with RCA and J Records.
1st off let me be clear, Iggy Azalea is a talent. Her beats and performances are hot, clever and relevant (to her market…). No one can take that from her. But Iggy lets be real, you don’t get the ring if you bought it (you bought it, that’s why it’s yours, you bought it). There’s nothing wrong with buying your ring in the music business these days, that’s what many in the industry are saying that’s how it’s done and Iggy to core hip hop people they feel like you cheated and they’re not gonna respect that you cheated (no matter what you’re greedy lil handlers tell you “It's all about the money, fuck those haters……#SMH). It is about the money but if you want real respect in a certain theatres then you have to earn it (not buy it).
Now you can lie to yourself or rationalize to yourself about your success (that’s your koolaid and you’re allowed to drink it…), but ma you bought a win, that’s what you did. Hip Hop is not disrespecting you as an artist (I mean you’re numbers were for real), what hip hop has an issue with is that maybe your peopled muscled your win with money and if that’s what they did, they cheated (and for real, you probably didn’t need to cheat because you’re really good).
Hip Hop at the end of the day is an art culture for some moreso than a business and they get pretty offended when you cheat (their art form) and you’re arrogant about it (no matter what your handlers think, there are those who respect a solid win).
But really you’re a pop star and is that really so bad? Michael Jackson was a pop star. The Beatles were pop stars. Elvis was a pop star. Madonna is a pop star. I mean that’s pretty good company. Rihanna is unashamedly a pop star now and probably could give two fucks about what the hiphop community feels about her, she displays it all the time and you know what, her strength is attractive.
Iggy you complaining about hip hop not respecting you is almost like you’re crying about not being at the cool table. Well Iggy T.I. lied to you, to some it’s not all about the money, it’s about the craft and sometime when you buy your win it cheapens your victory. Fat pockets mean nothing to an empty soul.
Respect that your pop fans love you and nurture them and keep them happy because #FRFR, those 15 minutes of fame can disappear real fast. Love your fans and your fans will love you
No Bobby, Epic Records ain’t your homies. I don’t know how to take this situation with Bobby Shmurda. On one end we have these corporate dudes getting rich off of kids portraying street life (real rich I must say) and on the other end these kids have to right to tell their tale (even if it does glorify a situation that might get you jammed up like Bobby did.). Bobby you and Epic was in a business arrangement, they weren’t your homies.
Labels walk a thin line on this subject (some even feel that labels sign these guys knowing they’re going to jail). I mean you gotta get what’s hot and no matter what anyone says “Hot N*ggas” was a huge song. Were they supposed to pass because of this kid’s questionable background? Well I'm gonna give you the skinny (The real). Bobby and his friends more than likely threw a lotta money around to get in Epics door. That deal, radio support and massive push for Bobby Shmurda to the front of the cut line had nothing to do with “it was a hit…” It had all to do with someone kicked out a lot of bread to push the button so that this kid was put ahead of the pack.
The music business or hiphop side, responds to the person that's willing to fuck up the most money to get in the door (especially in New York). Oh yeah the labels will put you on the map but what keeps you on the map is the campaign money (did you really believe that all those artist features on Hot Boy was done for free). Come on Juicy J, Drake, Nicki, Lil Kim ect. I was able to do an 8 song mix on just Hot Boy features (hit me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy).
The problem here now is that it’s real weird that after all the money has been spent, music sold, PayPal accounts been accounted for, Epic now is wanting to distance itself “from that gangsta guy, it might hurt our image” (#SMH). I remember watching L.A. Reid smile has Bobby performed in front of the Epic execs (I mean a scene straight out of the movie CB4 #frfr). Come on you’re telling us that a gang related street corner hustler got in the Epic offices (in New York) because they thought his song was hot on Vine, for real.
I hope this works out for Mr. Pollard and I really hope his attorney is able to collect his cut and make sure Mr. Pollard’s mom has some bread to put on his books. Too often people find out that in dealing with the labels that love has nothing to do with it. Bobby Shmurda may have found this out to late.
This is a new version of the GetAtMeShow where as we pick our top 3 picks for the week. Different from GetAtMe's Hot New Hits this show is just 15 minutes where we focus on the music. Ok our songs for this week are, we start out with The Weeknd's new smash single ?Earned It? (this thing here is a smoker). The Weeknd is a phenomenal story that continues to defy current music business logic; this guy sells online like crazy. Great loyal fan base. This song was also helped by being a cut in ?The 50 Shades Of Grey? movie (massive push from the movie). It got a rank of 16.2 (with the highest being 20pts) and that gives this cut an A- grade. Next we have TI's new cut ?Private Show?. This cut has taken off in the Atlanta strip clubs and it amazes me that radio is so far behind on this record. It got a score of 12.7 (B- as the grade). This score was give based on the low online sales and Urban radio's slow movement on this great cut (Come on urban radio, this one's a number 1). The 3rd cut is the new Anthony Lewis' (Candy rain remake fame) ?It's Not Your Fault? (also ft T.I. T.I. has great bars on this one). This cut is off the chain, great song. It got a score of 11.7 (C+ grade) based on the lack of exposure on this song, but no doubt about it, this is a great new cut. That's this week's GetAtMeThisWeeksTop3. (347) 826-7743
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