Saturday, July 26, 2008

Number #1 Political Lyrics


Kanye West
'Diamonds Are Forever'

Diamonds are forever
They're all I need to please me
They can't stimulate or tease me
They won't leave in the night
Have no fear that they might
Desert me

"Diamonds are forever forever forever"
Throw ya diamonds in the sky
If you feel the vibe
"Diamonds are forever forever forever"
The ROC is still alive
Everytime I rhyme
"Forever and ever!"
For ever ever? for ever ever? ever ever?
Ever ever? ever ever? ever ever? ever ever?

Good Morning, this ain't Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms for real
Little was known of Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own
When I speak of Diamonds in this song
I ain't talkin bout the ones that be glown
I'm talkin bout Rocafella, my home, my chain
These ain't conflict diamonds,is they Jacob? don't lie to me man
See, a part of me sayin' keep shinin',
How? when I know of the blood diamonds
Though it's thousands of miles away
Sierra Leone connect to what we go through today
Over here, its a drug trade, we die from drugs
Over there, they die from what we buy from drugs
The diamonds, the chains, the bracelets, the charmses
I thought my Jesus Piece was so harmless
'til I seen a picture of a shorty armless
And here's the conflict
It's in a black person's soul to rock that gold
Spend ya whole life tryna get that ice
On a polo rugby it look so nice
How could somethin' so wrong make me feel so right, right?
'fore I beat myself up like Ike
You could still throw ya Rocafella diamond tonight, 'cause

People askin' me is I'm gon' give my chain back (uh)
That'll be the same day I give the game back (uh)
You know the next question dog 'yo, where Dame at?'(uh)
This track the Indian dance to bring our reign back (whoo!)
'wassup wit you a Jay man, are ya'll okay man?'

I got it from her 'ye damn!
The chain remains, the game is intact
The name is mine, I'll take blame for that
The pressure's on, but guess who ain't gon' crack? [laughs]
Pardon me I had to laugh at that
How could you falter when you're the rock of gibraltar
I had to get of the boat so I could walk on water
This ain't no tall order, this is nothin to me
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
I do this in my sleep,
I sold kilos of coke, (so?) I'm guessin' I can sell CD's
I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man
Let me handle my business, damn!
Kanyeez you got me, Freeway and Foxy
YG', Teairra Mari, Petey watch me
Bleek could be one hit away his whole career
As long as I'm alive, he's a millionaire
And even if I die, he's in my will somewhere
So he can just kick back and chill somewhere, oh yeah
He don't even have to write rhymes
The Dynasty like my money last three lifetimes
Shirley Bassey was in the rear sayin exactly
What I was sayin practically my whole carreer
The diamond is forever, I been mindin' this forever
Now the Louis Vuitton Don's timin' couldn't be better
People lined up to see the Titanic sinkin'
Instead we rose from the ash like a phoenix
If you waitin' for the end, the dynasty signed
And what seemed like forever is a mighty long time
I'm young, bitches

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Holla Up North!


God Damn it feels good to sit down by the pier, swim in a crystal clear lake, walk in the forest, talk about politics with my dad, eat the homemade food of my mom and generally relax here where my roots are from.

It doesn't feel like home but it is good to spend some time here after the hectic travels around Southern Europe. Like someone said, "All travels are not worth it without a place to return to". Still working hard for the TV project which is progressing ok, with the usual shenanigans.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Music Market Is Going Down?


Continuing the yesterday's post about EMI cutting costs and becoming profitable again. As noted I am glad that EMI is being restructured, but I would not hail for the current success of the label becoming profitable again. Unless there is deeper reasons for this fortune the way, this is the reason I turned away from music into films.

Following text from my academic study in 2006:
Significance Of Album Cover Art As A Branding Tool

Musicologist and philosopher Theodor Adorno (1941), who is possibly the most significant theorist in discussions about popular music, argued that popular music is nothing but entertainment and far from music’s true aesthetics. However Longhurst (1995) analysed Adorno’s extremely critical approach to popular music as being not a criticism of musical content, but a concern between music that is market orientated and music that is not. In other words, Adorno raises the question if marketing and branding requirements limit the quality of music from musicological point of view. In relation to this, Brown & Patterson (2000) argue that marketing can be harmful for the artist. ‘Pop-culture and pop-art could be related to the ‘silent-disdain’ heritage sites, as being entertaining rather than educating; displace decontextualised art; being all the same despite minor surface variations.’ They especially point out that all art is in the hands of multi-national capital and mendacious marketers with logos, branding and promo stunts. In short, business orientation is trivialising and twisting the truth. ‘Worst of all they pursue lucre and profit maximation’. However, the Director of Barbican Art Centre in London, John Tusa (1999) says that even though art and marketing are distinct concepts, both have a similar goal of having an audience, which generates income to survive. So they have to live together in contemporary society.

In short, to turn around a music label one should not become market orientated, but combine the understanding of business orientated product/package and art orientated substance. Not just pursue the profit maximation. That is the way for a sustainable future.

Other arts pursue profits as well but still have opportunities for analytical and emotional study of the world. Therefore, and I repeat, I would like to see a report on the creative output as well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

EMI On The Way Up?

Thoughts + Business

In a report by The Hollywood Reporter Lars Brandle of Billboard writes that EMI has posted a £59m profit in Q2 of 2008, up from the loss of £45m just a year ago. Of course it about a year since Guy Hands took over to overhaul the music major.

In January I wrote a post about the overhaul of the company, predicting that Guy Hands business approach on music production and sales will be very beneficial. Seems that cost reduction and streamlining are starting to take effect. Like Guy Hands claim The Hollywood Reporter's article:
It is already clear to me that what is emerging at EMI is not only a far leaner organization, but a more focused and effective one as well, and better aligned with the interests of our artists. An organization that is becoming much better placed to serve artists and customers alike, and to give our talented people the opportunity and the tools to produce their best work.

Right, I agree that the company is much better and focused. Bringing business to the obese music business, that rotted the industry in the late 90's and early 00's, is nothing but beneficial for both the artists and customers. However, I wish to raise few points.

- By being more focused, how much fewer artists EMI serves today? Is the focus only on the most profitable albums or is the still experimental and risk taking mentality in the company's A&R sector?

- Is EMI still holding on for the Digital Right Management systems. If it is, how satisfied the customers are?

- How much EMI has contributed on developing digital distribution systems during the last 12 months?

I must admit I don't know the answers on these. However, seems that EMI is turning the tide and getting back on its feet, but me as an Artist Management, has to question the means this is archived. Good management in the creative field would has to involve innovation like in any business. Investing to the future is the only way to guarantee a continued success.

At the moment EMI is boasting about profitability and cost reductions (mainly be laying off 2000 employees). Is Guy Hands is one of the "New Olympians", the global elite of investors who oppose state intervention until they need a government bail-out? Much of the problems of the credit crunch is because of the free traders, who are no longer driven by comparative advantage, rather the ability to maximise profits by cutting costs. Therefore, I wish there would be a report on the creative output as well.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Leave A Trail


Do not go where the path may lead
Go instead where the is no path
And leave a trail

What lies before us and what lies behind us
Are small matters compared to what
lies within us

And when we bring what is within
Out in to the world
Miracles happen

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Because one era is only one week from closing

Tuesday, July 01, 2008



Wall-ECheck out these trailers and vignettes from the film Wall-E. Amazing. Beside the Dark Knight I think this is the one of the two films to watch this year.

What really strikes my interest is the fact that apparently the robots don't really talk any human language. Truly universal therefore. In addition, this is going back to the times where film started; being silent. The story is told in visual methods rather than with words. I really am looking forward to see the film. Go Pixar!