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LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 03: Kendrick Lamar attends the Mayweather Vs. Maidana Pre-Fight Party Presented By Showtime at MGM Garden Arena on May 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/WireImage) From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/31/kendrick-lamar-house_n_5420361.html

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 03: Kendrick Lamar attends the Mayweather Vs. Maidana Pre-Fight Party Presented By Showtime at MGM Garden Arena on May 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/WireImage)
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/31/kendrick-lamar-house_n_5420361.html

With the case of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines sparking controversy for, not only being incredibly creepy and rape-y, some copyright issues regarding music by Marvin Gaye and Funkadelic, you would think that covering yourself with a release for a sample would be the best thing for you. Someone didn’t tell Kendrick Lamar that. Lamar’s song Rigamortis, a track on his debut iTunes release Section.80, contained an un-cleared sample from musician Willie Jones III and Eric Reed.

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As an admirer of music I often ponder what the music industry would be like had we not lost some of its most promising musicians to drug or alcohol addictions. Some musicians have survived and are doing their best to hang on, among them are Toni Bennett and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day who both had highly publicized issues with substance abuse and have done one or several stents in rehab.  Other musicians have not been so lucky and have died due to their addiction.  This is not a new revelation by any means. In fact history continues to be on a repeat pattern.

Past figures:

Elvis Presley (1935-1977)-Drug of choice: anything and everything-ethinamate, methaqualone, codeine and various barbiturates

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)-Addicted to alcohol

Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)-Drug of choice: barbiturates and addicted to alcohol

Janis Joplin (1943-1970)-Drug of choice: heroin

More recent tragedies:

Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)-Addicted to alcohol

Whitney Houston (1963-2012)-Drug of choice: cocaine, marijuana and a mixture of over the counter and prescription pills

Pimp C (1973-2007) -Drug of choice: promethazine and codeine

Dj Screw (1971-2000) -Drug of choice: promethazine and codeine

Old Dirty Bastard (1968-2004) -Drug of choice: cocaine

Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)-Drug of choice: heroin

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)-Drug of choice: anything and everything-propfol, lorazepam, diazepam and midazolam

Some may argue that drugs it was drugs that led them to create some of their biggest hits. I believe that in some cases in might have heightened the creativity level but at what price?

Songs inspired by drugs:

Hotel California- The Eagles

Under The Bridge- Red Hot Chili Peppers

Semi-Charmed Life- Third Eye Blind

Fire and Rain-James Taylor

Is it possible for Rock n Roll to be the same without the outlandish drug use and promiscuity?

These 3 sober musicians would argue that it’s not only the same but better!

Gene Simmons-KISS

Bruce Springsteen

Lupe Fiasco

Hayley Williams-Paramore

50 Cent

The question we must ask ourselves is what is causing these individuals to use? Could it be the environment, our celebrity obsessed society or the stressors we all face? The answer is all of the above, musicians are on the road constantly and are often socializing at parties and bars (environment), social media, reality TV and tabloids are giving us our celebrity fix (society) and when you are in the limelight mistakes will be highlighted (stressors).

Being famous gives you a pass to the underground world of drugs although you may not need this pass you can simply visit your local LA doctor’s office and pay them to keep your name and “prescriptions” on the DL. The “doc dealer” claimed the life of the King of the Pop, not to say he didn’t play a part in his own demise but the drugs were prescribed in excessive amounts because of who he was.  Addiction is a hard habit to kick, once you are down that windy road you begin lying to the ones you love to save yourself from embarrassment or to keep those you love in the dark so they will not be disappointed in you.  Lying will work for a while but eventually mistakes will be revealed, by that time a slip-up may have caused you your life and if you’re famous this is guaranteed to make the nightly news.

References:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/people/story/2012-03-24/Celebs-and-drugs/53740090/1

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2012/11/08/musicians_and_drugs_linked_since_time_immemorial.aspx

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/6127240700/

http://voices.yahoo.com/15-most-popular-rock-songs-inspired-drugs-9118669.html

http://www.thefix.com/content/rockers-who-just-say-no-10071

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_drug-related_deaths

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain

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There are a many holiday movies to choose from, if you are finding yourself overwhelmed by it you are not alone. Why not try one of these ten selections featuring favorite musicians? You know you love their music but do they have what it takes to boost your holiday spirit?


1.        Friday After Next– Ice Cube returns to his role as Craig in the third installment to the Friday trilogy. Craig and his cousin Day Day work as mall security cops to make ends meet during the holidays. While on duty Christmas Eve their house is robbed. What they do and who they meet along the way to get their stuff back is what makes this movie so funny.


2.        The Holiday-Most people see Jack Black as a comedian and not a singer but he happens to be the front man for a band called Tenacious D. Black is one main character in this kooky love story about two women who believe that a change of scenery is the answer. For the Christmas holiday they book a vacation, but this is no ordinary vacation, they agree to swap their houses for a couple of weeks no questions asked.


3.        Elf– Zooey Deschanel plays an elf who works at the mall. She falls in love with a man who is searching for his biological family, it just so happens that this man was raised as an elf in the North Pole.


4.        This Christmas– Chris Brown is a member of the Whitfield family, who has been estranged for a few years but is now coming together to celebrate.


5.        John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together– The Muppet gang comes together with John Denver to sing Christmas carols and enjoy the holiday season.


6.        Fred Claus– Santa Claus has and older brother named Fred. Fred has no other choice but to go live with his brother in the North Pole. While he is there he happens on DJ Donnie who is played by Ludacris.


7.        Last Holiday– Queen Latifah plays a woman diagnosed with a disease that will inevitably kill her. Instead of letting it beat her she decides to do everything she ever wanted to do before she dies.


8.        The Preachers Wife– A tale of a preacher and his wife who are having a tough time in their marriage. The preacher’s wife is played by Whitney Houston. The couple prays on it in hopes that their situation will improve. Their prayers are answered as an angel, but their troubles do not instantly disappear on his arrival


9.        White Christmas– Bing Crosby is one part of the two-man group. Him, his partner and a sister act arrive at an inn in Vermont to be featured as their nightly act. Who they encounter is a retired general who is in danger of losing the place. Fortunately they have a plan to save the day.


10.        Christmas Vacation– Juliette Lewis of Juliette Lewis and the Licks plays Audrey Griswold. The Griswold’s seem to have the opposite of what one would call the Midas touch, instead of everything turning to gold it bursts into flames.

Work Cited:

IMDB.com. 1990-2012. Retrieved 2012, December 26. http://www.imdb.com/

IMDB.com. Famous Singers in Movies. RAMPARTisGREAT. 2011, November 05. Retrieved 2012, December 26.

Sews, Julia. “ Christmas-Tree-Felt”.  [Photo].  Flickr. 2009, April 5. Retrieved 2012, December 27.

 

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This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.” Unless you’ve been living under a Marshall stack, chances are you heard these historic words from Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court, reaffirming President Obama’s controversial effort to bring all Americans into the health care system. Alongside the prospect of more affordable health care premiums and insurance companies that are unable to deny coverage to the sick, we at FMC are pleased the bill was largely upheld. Why? Because among the Americans that stand to benefit from the shiny new law are a group of folks we happen to care an awful lot about — musicians.

Better and more affordable access to health care for musicians is something we have championed for over a decade. In 2002, we released the first major study demonstrating that musicians lacked health coverage at a much higher rate than the rest of the US population. In 2010, while Washington was embroiled in a contentious debate over this issue, we again provided real data demonstrating how acute the problem is and what factors make it difficult for musicians to access coverage. Today, we continue to provide free information to artists about their health care options.

The reasons that so many musicians lack health coverage are largely structural. Musicians routinely work as independent contractors, and supplement their music income with part time employment, which generally leaves employer-provided health coverage out of the equation. Musicians may be able to purchase individual insurance plans privately, but many report that this option is out of their reach financially. While cost is a significant barrier, musicians’ lack of awareness about plans, options and strategies for obtaining coverage is also a factor.

Read Full Story: Future of Music

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Tumblr is the new favorite place for musicians and fans to host their personal blogs. A lot of hip-hop artists are starting to take advantage of the easy to create blogging platform and the built-in social networking features that it offers.
Some rappers have even adapted to using Tumblr to host their official website. Below is a list of hip hop acts that you should be following if you are currently on Tumblr.

Beastie Boys~After twenty plus years in the music business, the Beastie Boys continue to redefine themselves and connect with music lovers of all ages. They were one of the first rap acts to cross over and gain acceptance by hardcore hip hop fans as well as the rock and roll crowd. The Beastie Boys have decided to host their official website on the blogging platform.

Kreayshawn~One third of the White Girl Mob Kreayshawn AKA Natassia Gail Zolot shot to internet stardom last year with her single “Gucci, Gucci.”

Odd Future~ With so many members in the Southern Cal hip hop collective, Odd Future, I decided to direct all traffic to the groups page. Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean are without a doubt the most popular members of OFWGKTA, but no one man is bigger than the movement.

Snoop Dogg~West Coast OG rapper Snoop Dogg continues to embrace the internet culture and all of the major social media sites. From Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Youtube Snoop Dogg is always one of the most followed musicians.

Asap Rocky~Asap Rocky brings his “Purple Swag” via his Tumblr page with his latest videos and pics with his friends like Wocka Flocka and Snoop Dogg.

Whiz Khalifa~Taylor Gang captain Whiz Khalifa just recently joined Tumblr and his page is one of the most visual blogs I have seen in a while. It seems since Whiz has got with Amber Rose he has developed a serious taste for high-end fashion.

Soulja Boy~Viral marketing superstar Soulja Boy continues to go where ever the people go. His Tumblr Page is full of picks with his rap friends like Bow Wow, Drake and even Trey Songz.

V Nasty~ V Nasty just recently released a straight to I-Tunes project called, BAYTL, with Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. The vocal leader of the White Girl Mob is def an artist to watch in 2012.

Azealia Banks~ Harlem female MC Azealia Banks is an artist that should be closely watched in 2012. She has a pop, rap, euro feel that is similar to M.I.A.

Theophilus London~ Hip Hop journeyman Theophilus London is another rapper who has decided to host his website on Tumblr. Times are Weird, but they are definitely good for the eclectic MC as he is currently embarked on a “Tour De Roses” tour.

Also Follow
Rick Ross

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In the past six years, we’ve seen social networking grow from being used for hobby purposes to promotional marketing tools, and now simply a way of life for individuals, social groups, and businesses alike. The most recent trends in the social networking world have been the emergence of check-in applications which let other’s now where you are when engaging in social activity. Currently the most popular check in service is Foursquare.

Foursquare began in 2009 and since then has become a social networking phenomenon amongst its 15 million+ users. The Foursquare application uses your smart device to interact with all your synced social networks including Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. By checking in to various venues such as restaurants, concert halls, bars, and stores, users earn points and badges for recurring check-ins. Businesses are increasingly becoming more interactive with customers using Foursquare by offering discounted products for checking in to their venue, increasing promotion and advertising on-the-spot.

Last year Foursquare strengthened its use in the live music world during SXSW by offering free tickets to concerts via check-ins and badge earnings. Big Boi held a private concert at the start of SXSW in Austin, Tx sponsored by Foursquare admitting only attendees who had checked into a previous event earlier that same day. More musicians use the app daily in order to become more visibly interactive with their fans, friends and fellow peers. Interested in seeing what your favorite celebrity is doing at the moment? All you have to do is request them as a friend on Foursquare and you’ll know where they are every time they check-in.

Now more than ever, public figures are linked to their fans directly via social networking services galore. In attracting the same appeal of foursquare, Facebook added a check-in feature to status updates with tagging to publicly display whom you are while engaging in social activity. More and more DJ’s and musicians are increasing show attendance simply by checking in their Foursquare during performances, keeping a catalogue of their activity throughout the week.

It seems nothing is private anymore, and the farther advanced technology has become, the more public we want our lives to be. Besides everyone always wants to be the first to know where the party is or where are the “cool” people are at. Now, with the click of a button in the palm of your hands, you’ll always know exactly where and when its all going down; all the time.


On Tuesday, hip-hop Icon LL Cool J showcased his musical social network Boomdizzle at CES in Las Vegas. The site integrates a patented digital technology which allows artists to collaborate in real-time via video chat.

Boomdizzle also allows artists to create basic profiles similar to MySpace and provides a distribution channel for unsigned talent through I-Tunes.

The most interesting thing about this all is the site has been up since 2008 and we are just now hearing about it. Whats up with the promo Uncle L?

Here is a new LL Cool J track titled No More that was created on Boomdizzle which features Ne-Yo.

My name is Matt G, and I am a multi-genre recording artist/songwriter based out of Austin, TX. I consider myself a multi-media revolutionary in today’s ever changing music industry. I record and perform all of my own work as well as write for other up and coming artists to help them build their lyrical understanding and repertoire.

In today’s modern-day music world artists have to utilize all resources possible in order to establish themselves as professionals in a new age. In doing so, it becomes an equal task to separate yourself as a unique artist with such vast competition. This is where the various tools the digital age has given us, are useful to establish ourselves as a brand to our potential listeners. Blogosphere multi-media sites such as HipHopDx.com,  Datpiff.com, and dozens of others offer new artists exposure almost equivalent to mainstream media.

The most important aspect of any music recording artists’ career is their material, and capacity to have their work, seen, heard, and reviewed. Since the advents of Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp, Last.fm, Spotify and dozens of other multi-media sharing networks exposure can be gained through endless outlets. These same outlets help us build stronger fan bases, in order to generate a buzz for positioning ourselves into more beneficial business opportunities.

With an increased exposure via viral web marketing, opportunities for new talent are literally at our fingertips. Through digital distribution networks such as ReverbNation and Tunecore today’s modern day recording artist/entrepreneur now have the ability to turn a revenue and see the rewards of their work. The creative aspect of music is the heart that helps the modern day artist tick. But the brain dictates how that machine functions and without business brains, that heart will end up having an empty use.

My Favorite Sites:
Reverbnation
Sonicbids
Tunecore
Soundcloud
Bandcamp

All of my music can be heard, downloaded and bought at:

http://mattgmuzik.com