Jay Z explains why you shouldn’t shun the business side of a creative endeavor


“People in the record business had always made a lot of money. Not the artists, who kept dying broke, but the execs. Still, regular fans had no idea who they were. Russell changed that. His brand as an executive mattered not just within the industry, but among people in the street. And with Def Jam he created one of the most powerful brands in the history of American entertainment.

Russell also made being a CEO seem like a better deal than being an artist. He was living the life like crazy, fucking with models, riding in Bentleys with his sneakers sticking out the windows, and never once rapped a single bar. His gift was curating a whole lifestyle—music, fashion, comedy, film—and then selling it. He didn’t just create the hip-hop business model, he changed the business style of a whole generation of Americans.

The whole vibe of start-up companies in Silicon Valley with twenty-five-year-old CEOs wearing shelltoes is Russell’s Def Jam style filtered through different industries. The business ideal for a whole generation went from growing up and wearing a suit every day to never growing up and wearing sneakers to the boardroom.

Even as a teenager, I understood what Russell was on to. He’d discovered a way to work in the legit world but to live the dream of the hustler: independence, wealth, and success outside of the mainstream’s rules. Coming from the life I was coming from, this was a better story than just being a rapper, especially based on what I now knew about how rappers got jerked.

I first met Russell when Dame, Biggs, and I were negotiating for a label deal for Roc-A-Fella after Reasonable Doubt dropped. I remember sitting across the table from him and Lyor Cohen in disbelief that we were negotiating a seven-figure deal with the greatest label in rap history. But I was also feeling a dilemma: I was looking at Russell and thinking, I want to be this nigga, not his artist.” – Jay-Z, Decoded

Jay Z explains why you shouldn’t shun the business side of a creative endeavor

Bombtune: Twitter’s Stickiness Tactic Obviates the 140 Character Limit

Twitter doesn’t want to generate referral traffic anymore. It wants to keep user eyeballs on twitter.com.

Expanded tweets and instream video display are tactics to retain users that would normally click out externally to view content. If users stay put, Twitter can show them ads. If the user…

At Tumblr, product guys take one feature out for every new one they add. Obviously Twitter doesn’t. Seems like Dorsey wants to make his service more accessible for less savvy users by adding stuff like the Discover page and the embedded videos and photos. And it’s good for ad dollars too (see above).

But the digital elite might start feeling enstranged because of all the clutter. If only they cold export their followers…

Bombtune: Twitter’s Stickiness Tactic Obviates the 140 Character Limit

De moordende priester 21 april in Bitterzoet

Nu ik deze zondagmorgen toch concerttips aan het delen ben, hier nog eentje. En deze oproep is niet minder dringend. Jamie N Commons komt 21 april optreden in Bitterzoet, Amsterdam. Ik zag hem tijdens de laatste London Calling en was blown away. ‘One hand on the trigger, one hand on the cross. Jesus and his family, are two things he’s lost”. Een priester dwaalt door de woestijn, heeft zijn vrouw vermoord, een koude wind waait. Dat klinkt als een boek van Cormac McCarthy, een Coen Brothers-film. Maar het is een songtekst van de 22-jarige blueszanger Commons. En dan heb je nog niets een zijn overdonderende stem gehoord.

Tot dan?

Wat staat er in de boekenkast van bekende schrijvers?

Blogger en vormgever Erwin Reijers probeert dat te achterhalen op basis van foto’s die hij in media vindt. Onlangs riep Vrij Nederland Bas Heijne uit tot beste columnist, en bij het begeleidende stuk stond een foto van zijn werkkamer. Na een dag inzoomen wist Reijers bijna vijftig titels te ontwaren. NRC Boeken interviewde de beste man, en klik verder naar zijn blog voor de kasten van onder andere Joost Zwagerman en Ajax-speler Jan Vertonghen. Heel cool en slim format voor een blog.

Negeer Charlie Sheen en ga op pad

Het aantal berichten op de klassieke blog Salon.com daalde de afgelopen twee maanden met 33 procent, het bezoek nam echter met 40 procent toe. Hoe dat komt? De bloggers doen minder aan aggregatie (The Huffington Post-aanpak: elke hype coveren) en investeren meer in originele journalistiek. En dat werkt, vertelt de CEO aan Nieman Lab: “You’ve got to be original to really thrive. It’s the most honest metric of all.”