“What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album

Just months after being released from prison for violating probation, rapper Robert Rihmeek Williams, best known as Meek Mill, released a much-anticipated album last week. The album, titled Championships, features hardcore beats, a rotation of hip hop superstars, including Cardi B and Drake, and a powerful message about Meek’s road to redemption.

On the standout track “What’s Free?” Meek teamed up with hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Rick Ross, who rap about their definition of freedom over the beat from Biggie Smalls’ 1997 classic “What’s Beef?” Jay-Z, however, outshines his cohorts with an exceptional verse, using his lyrical prowess to drop knowledge about the struggle for black liberation and allegedly take shots at the MAGA-loving Kanye West. In addition, the Brooklyn-born rapper boasts about his lucrative business investments and the massive accumulation of wealth he’s built over the years.

Here are eight lessons Jay-Z shared about business, ownership, and financial freedom on “What’s Free?”

Meek Mill

Spotify Fans first event for Meek Mill’s new album, Championships, in New York on December 1, 2018 (Photo Credit: Francis Montoya / SlingShotMenace, LLC)

“I’m 50% of D’usse and it’s debt free”

In this lyric, Jay-Z raps about his profitable stake in D’usse. The hip hop icon tapped into his personal savings to purchase equity in the cognac brand back in 2011. Because he did not have a need for financing, he was left with no debt and has reaped tremendous profits. In addition to being a partial owner, the mega-mogul also serves as head of global strategy for the brand.

 

“100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B”

Jay-Z brags about his ownership of Armand de Brignac, a champagne popularly known as Ace of Spades. He expressed his affinity for the brand by featuring it in his rhymes and videos long before he bought the champagne from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount in 2014. His brilliant marketing has, in turn, made Ace of Spades one of the most popular Champagne brands on the market and a staple at high-end clubs, bars, and establishments. Today, the luxury champagne can cost up to $ 1,000 per bottle, while the value of the company has skyrocketed.

 

“Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece”

Here, Jay-Z shouts out another part of his business empire, Roc Nation, a multi-platform entertainment company he founded in 2008. The company specializes in artist management, music publishing, concert touring and production, and film and TV production. It also serves as a talent and sports agency that represents A-list clients like Shakira, Rihanna, NBA star Kevin Durant, and NFL player Victor Cruz.

 

“100% of Tidal to bust it up with my Gs”

The successful rapper and entrepreneur goes on to highlight his music platform Tidal, a subscription-based streaming service he purchased in 2015, along with a variety of other high-profile music artists. Last year, he sold 33% of the company to Sprint for $ 200 million, raising the valuation of the company to $ 600 million.

 

“We made the project a wave; You came back, reinvested and gentrified it”

This line is a reference to the gentrification of low-income communities, an epidemic that disproportionately hurts people of color. The invasion of real estate investors, who are often wealthy and white, in these areas drives up rents and the cost of living, which leads to the displacement of working-class residents as well as the erasure of the neighborhood’s character. That’s why Jay is stressing the importance of ownership — without it, people of color can be stripped of their land, culture, and identity.

 

“I ain’t got a billion streams, got a billion dollars”

A large part of Hov’s discography has been removed from Tidal’s music-streaming competitors, like Spotify and Apple Music. The move cost the rap mogul tons of streams. Nevertheless, its smart business moves like this that have made him the highest-earning rapper of 2018. The decision also speaks to his acumen as a businessman who is willing to make a personal career sacrifice for the ultimate benefit of his business.

 

“Them people stole the soul and hit ni—s with 360s”

Jay-Z addresses how hip hop, which began as a medium of expression for African Americans, has been co-opted by big businesses and major record labels who earn major profits from artists who sign 360 deals. These notorious contracts give labels a stake in the revenue an artist generates from touring, performing, selling merchandise, endorsements, and appearing in movies and television.  According to Jay, the deal is equivalent to someone selling their soul.

He, on the other hand, has bought the masters rights to his music. This ownership gives him leverage to use the masters to bargain the terms of a contract with a company or platform that wants access to his catalog.

 

“My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax-free”

Like many wealthy elites, Jay-Z uses loopholes and provisions in U.S. tax law for his own financial advantage. The mogul raps about how his tax advisors prevent him from unnecessary taxation and allow him to submit the minimum amount on his tax returns. For example, in 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West donated the Maybach used in their “Otis” music video to auction and used the proceeds to benefit the drought crisis in East Africa. As a result, the donation was tax-deductible.

The post “What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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“What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album

Just months after being released from prison for violating probation, rapper Robert Rihmeek Williams, best known as Meek Mill, released a much-anticipated album last week. The album, titled Championships, features hardcore beats, a rotation of hip hop superstars, including Cardi B and Drake, and a powerful message about Meek’s road to redemption.

On the standout track “What’s Free?” Meek teamed up with hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Rick Ross, who rap about their definition of freedom over the beat from Biggie Smalls’ 1997 classic “What’s Beef?” Jay-Z, however, outshines his cohorts with an exceptional verse, using his lyrical prowess to drop knowledge about the struggle for black liberation and allegedly take shots at the MAGA-loving Kanye West. In addition, the Brooklyn-born rapper boasts about his lucrative business investments and the massive accumulation of wealth he’s built over the years.

Here are eight lessons Jay-Z shared about business, ownership, and financial freedom on “What’s Free?”

Meek Mill

Spotify Fans first event for Meek Mill’s new album, Championships, in New York on December 1, 2018 (Photo Credit: Francis Montoya / SlingShotMenace, LLC)

“I’m 50% of D’usse and it’s debt free”

In this lyric, Jay-Z raps about his profitable stake in D’usse. The hip hop icon tapped into his personal savings to purchase equity in the cognac brand back in 2011. Because he did not have a need for financing, he was left with no debt and has reaped tremendous profits. In addition to being a partial owner, the mega-mogul also serves as head of global strategy for the brand.

 

“100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B”

Jay-Z brags about his ownership of Armand de Brignac, a champagne popularly known as Ace of Spades. He expressed his affinity for the brand by featuring it in his rhymes and videos long before he bought the champagne from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount in 2014. His brilliant marketing has, in turn, made Ace of Spades one of the most popular Champagne brands on the market and a staple at high-end clubs, bars, and establishments. Today, the luxury champagne can cost up to $ 1,000 per bottle, while the value of the company has skyrocketed.

 

“Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece”

Here, Jay-Z shouts out another part of his business empire, Roc Nation, a multi-platform entertainment company he founded in 2008. The company specializes in artist management, music publishing, concert touring and production, and film and TV production. It also serves as a talent and sports agency that represents A-list clients like Shakira, Rihanna, NBA star Kevin Durant, and NFL player Victor Cruz.

 

“100% of Tidal to bust it up with my Gs”

The successful rapper and entrepreneur goes on to highlight his music platform Tidal, a subscription-based streaming service he purchased in 2015, along with a variety of other high-profile music artists. Last year, he sold 33% of the company to Sprint for $ 200 million, raising the valuation of the company to $ 600 million.

 

“We made the project a wave; You came back, reinvested and gentrified it”

This line is a reference to the gentrification of low-income communities, an epidemic that disproportionately hurts people of color. The invasion of real estate investors, who are often wealthy and white, in these areas drives up rents and the cost of living, which leads to the displacement of working-class residents as well as the erasure of the neighborhood’s character. That’s why Jay is stressing the importance of ownership — without it, people of color can be stripped of their land, culture, and identity.

 

“I ain’t got a billion streams, got a billion dollars”

A large part of Hov’s discography has been removed from Tidal’s music-streaming competitors, like Spotify and Apple Music. The move cost the rap mogul tons of streams. Nevertheless, its smart business moves like this that have made him the highest-earning rapper of 2018. The decision also speaks to his acumen as a businessman who is willing to make a personal career sacrifice for the ultimate benefit of his business.

 

“Them people stole the soul and hit ni—s with 360s”

Jay-Z addresses how hip hop, which began as a medium of expression for African Americans, has been co-opted by big businesses and major record labels who earn major profits from artists who sign 360 deals. These notorious contracts give labels a stake in the revenue an artist generates from touring, performing, selling merchandise, endorsements, and appearing in movies and television.  According to Jay, the deal is equivalent to someone selling their soul.

He, on the other hand, has bought the masters rights to his music. This ownership gives him leverage to use the masters to bargain the terms of a contract with a company or platform that wants access to his catalog.

 

“My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax-free”

Like many wealthy elites, Jay-Z uses loopholes and provisions in U.S. tax law for his own financial advantage. The mogul raps about how his tax advisors prevent him from unnecessary taxation and allow him to submit the minimum amount on his tax returns. For example, in 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West donated the Maybach used in their “Otis” music video to auction and used the proceeds to benefit the drought crisis in East Africa. As a result, the donation was tax-deductible.

The post “What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

AJ Tracey Announces Debut Album, Drops “Doing It”

AJ Tracey shares that news that he’s releasing his debut album on Feb. 8. To go along with the announcement of the self-titled LP, the U.K rapper drops the lead single from the album titled “Doing It,” which you can stream above. The Swifta Beater-produced track is a high-octane banger that marks AJ’s long-awaited return to his grime roots

The forthcoming album was recorded between London and L.A. over the past twelve months. Since emerging in 2015, AJ Tracey has dropped a number of EPs, including early projects The Front and Alex Moran plus last year’s Secure The Bag!. His summer 2018 single “Butterflies” featuring Not3s was recently cerified gold in the U.K.

Tracey will embark on a world tour in support of the album. Scroll down for the details of the U.K. and Ireland leg of the tour.

Tour
6/3, Dublin Academy
7/3, Leeds O2 Academy 1
8/3, Cardiff Y Plas
9/3, Bristol Sxw
10/3, Norwich Nick Rayns Lcr
12/3, Brighton Concorde 2
14/3, Newcastle University
15/3, Glasgow O2 Academy
16/3, Manchester Albert Hall
18/3, Oxford O2 Academy 1
19/3, Cambridge Junction
21/3, Birmingham O2 Institute 1
22/3, Nottingham Rock City
23/3, London O2 Brixton Academy

Read more at HYPEBEAST




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Sarah Brightman Returns from Space Training for New Album and Tour: ‘I Needed to Earth Myself’

Sarah Brightman is making an astronomical landing with her fifteenth studio album Hymn.

After spending months in Russia training for a trip to outer space that she postponed in 2015, Brightman, 58, opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about the creation of her newest album and the planning stages of her tour.

“I needed to earth myself,” says the soprano singer. “I said I would like to do an album of songs which are full of light, full of hope. Songs that remind me of when I felt safe and familiar with things in my childhood when I sang in my church.”

“If I don’t use and I don’t convey my feelings through it, I feel depleted,” she added. “I don’t function very well and that’s the beauty of having a gift like a voice. You sort of know what to do. You know what direction to take, you know that you want to communicate through it.”

Brightman, who shot to fame after star-turning roles on Broadway musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera, linked up with producer Frank Peterson for the album-creating process. What came out of two-and-a-half years of planning and recording was the dynamic, choir-filled album, Hymn, out on Nov. 9.

“ is about looking into the good in things because I do believe that good prevails always,” she said, adding that the word “positivity” would describe her album.

“I did experience huge amounts when I was in the space program that actually how precious everything really is on this beautiful planet and how precious that is,” she added.

Now, the “Time to Say Goodbye” vocalist is ready to take Hymn on the road later this fall for a tour that’s “going to be quite beautiful.”

“I have a lot of energy. I tend to before I go on these tours, I become more energetic,” she says. “You create a power for yourself which will protect you because when you go on tour you’re dealing with the hardship of jet lag and moving around continually.”

The “Angel of Music” singer says her set on tour will be divided into two halves. The first will feature a more retrospective aspect to Brightman’s music, which will look like “somebody who is going to the ballet or the opera.” The second will be a bit more modern and feature most of the songs off Hymn.

“I’m wearing all these amazing runway gowns, which I’ve made a little more theatrical by adding things to them. Stones, crystals, all sorts of stuff,” she says. “I’ve got a big choir behind me. Up really high. I’ve got an orchestra on one side, a band on the other side and myself in the middle.”

Brightman’s album is filled with collaborations with artists like French tenor Vincent Niclo on single “Sogni” and Japanese composer Yoshiki on the emotional “Miracle.”

“ is a really interesting guy and we got along very well,” she said. “It was a very interesting collaboration with Japan’s most famous rockstar writing a beautiful contemporary classical piece.”

Along with the collaborations, Brightman’s album jumps from classical and cinematic music to pop rhythms in a cohesive album threaded by its spiritual nature. The album also takes fans back to one of her most famous classics “Time to Say Goodbye” with Andrea Bocelli, which she recreates in a touching English rendition.

“I wrote the lyrics for it but they were very much inspired from the original Italian lyrics when translated,” she said. “It’s quite a grand song, it’s almost like an opera song, but I wanted to do this in a very intimate way.”

Fans can purchase tickets for “Hymn: Sarah Brightman in Concert” through her website.


PEOPLE.com

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Revisiting the Beatles’ ‘White Album’

Associated Press

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Paul McCartney praises ‘modern’ White Album

OHMYGOSSIP — Sir Paul McCartney thinks the ‘White Album’ sounds like a record by a “modern band”.
The legendary musician listened back to The Beatles’ iconic album while preparing for the new reissue, and he told the son of the famed ‘fifth Beatle’ Sir George Martin how contemporary it still feels.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper at the Abbey Road studio, Giles Martin revealed: “The last person to sit right there with me was Paul McCartney.
“We listened to The White Album mix and Paul said, ‘I never realised how modern this record sounds. This could be a band today.’ ”
The new project has seen the record’s 30 tracks becoming a staggering 107 for the latest collection, and it sounded like Paul, 76, took the chance to reflect while he was going through the original LP.
Giles added: “When I went through The White Album with Paul recently, he really wanted to hear the song Julia again.
“I always thought it was just a John song but now I think Paul was kind of producing it.
“And while Paul was writing ‘Hey Jude’ (recorded at the sessions), there was talk of dropping the line that eventually became ‘don’t carry the world upon your shoulders’ but John said to Paul, ‘That’s your best lyric,’ and of course it stayed.”
Although even the late John Lennon himself – who completed the Fab Four with Ringo Starr and George Harrison – once suggested the ‘White Album’ sounded like a band breaking up, Giles has suggested that the recordings from the sessions paint a different picture.
He said: “I looked for fractiousness and I couldn’t find it. That bond between John and Paul still existed. It doesn’t sound like an unhappy time.”

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BWW Album Review: From Hollywood Boulevard To The Beverly Wilshire, There Is Something About PRETTY WOMAN Cast Recording

Get ready for movie night on Broadway The latest flick to get the Broadway treatment is the 1990 hit rom-com PRETTY WOMAN. The musical is shaping up to be popular at the box office, seems to be the current standout for the 2018-2019 Broadway season so far. It joins the ranks of a bevy of musicals that have been adapted from films, like Mean Girls, Frozen, The Band’s Visit, the forthcoming KING KONG, to name a few. PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL recently opened on at the Nederlander Theatre, and Atlantic Records just released the original Broadway cast recording last week. Give it a listen here
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