Tag Archives: Jay Z

Record labels are dead. Beyonce killed them.

If you haven’t heard, last week Beyonce Knowles, aka Mrs. Carter digitally released her self-titled album to little fan fare.

And in less than a week, the Beyonce album was certified platinum, with over 1 million albums sold.

You heard me right.

She pulled a Prince.

All with no marketing or promotion.

No radio.

No street teams.

No promo tour.

Nada.

She dropped her album on the strength of her name alone.

And that move has everyone (or lots of folks) rethinking the whole music game.

If you know me, you know that I think that record labels are the devil.

They’ll loan you money to produce, market, promote, distribute and sell your album.

They may even give you a nominal advance because they “believe” in you.

If you’re lucky, your hard work will pay off, you’ll sell millions of records, and pay back every dime the label ever lent you.

And then they’ll give you your masters and everything’s even Steven, right?

Wrong!

Even when you’ve paid back the record label, satisfied your recording commitment, fulfilled all of your contractual obligations, the label will own your masters in perpetuity, and continue to make money well after their initial investment has been satisfied and concluded.

Long after you stop doing business with them or they drop you, they will still own and pimp the music you created (and essentially paid for).

Sounds pretty shitty right?

Which is why I’ve always recommended that artists go their own way sans label.

Now lets rap before you get all “But she’s Beyonce, she already has a name for herself.”

‘Cause that’s a cop out.

Almost everyone starts out as an independent before they get a deal.

That means getting on your grind.

You hit the studio, the streets, the internet and get your music out there.

Remember, every artist is a nobody before they’re a somebody.

But you have to be committed to becoming a somebody.

No one else can do it for you.

No publicist, producer, agent, manager, attorney, or stylist can get in the booth for you and spit (unless you’re Milli Vanilli).

No one can get on stage for you and perform.

No one can hit the road for you and tour.

But if you’re committed, you put out music and videos and your core audience will support you.

Period.

And it won’t happen overnight.

Beyonce wasn’t an overnight success.

Lets be real, she was in a few groups before Destiny’s Child broke.

And a few albums before she went solo.

And a few albums before she became the Beyonce we know today.

Today’s Beyonce has a cult following of loyal Beyoncettes, who would buy farts packaged as air fresheners if she sold them.

The success of her self-released album has a lot to do with the fact that she established herself as a brand before she made this jack move.

Beyonce has serious work ethic and a serious track record.

The phalanx of paparazzi is not by happenstance.

It doesn’t hurt that she’s also married to one of the most influential men in Hip Hop of all time.

She calls herself “Mrs. Carter” for chrissakes.

But that’s besides the point.

The real point is that you can write, produce, master and distribute your own music.

You can shoot your own videos and release your music directly to iTunes, without every Tom, Dick and Harry in your pocket.

And if you’re really bout-it-bout-it, you can create your own band of rabid followers to buy your packaged farts.

At the end of the day, labels are becoming less and less relevant to the making and discovery of new music.

So all you artists out there stop looking for a record deal and do for self.

Do a Beyonce and be the master of your brand!

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Filed under branding, music

Magna Carta goes platinum? Yeah, I called that.

MCHG_cover

I have been vindicated – VINDICATED I tell you!

I know you’re like, “what’s this fool blabbing about now?”

Bear with me.

Yesterday, Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album, initially released on July 4 exclusively via mobile app, was officially certified platinum.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “so effing what?”

Well I’ll tell you effing what.

Jay Z’s album being certified platinum in less than one week after it was released, and the same day it was available in stores, means the rules are being rewritten.

“What rules?” you ask.

THE rules.

Of music promotion.

Media promotion.

Brand promotion.

You might be thinking, “but Samsung paid $5 million, how is that re-writing the rules?”

And that’s a fair question.

The fact of the matter is that Samsung’s deal with Jay Z, to purchase 1 million copies of Magna Carta and give them away free, made his platinum certification a foregone conclusion.

Magna_Carta app

It also means that his actual sales are going to get a major boost.

It’s been forecast that Magna Carta’s first week sales will eclipse those of his previous best seller, The Blueprint 3.

But the bigger issue is that in embarking on this ambitious app-only pre-release, both Samsung and Jay Z, realized the massive impact (and value) of mobile and social media to their respective brands.

Their initiative effectively leveraged social media and mobile to make the Magna Carta album and the Samsung Galaxy line of phones, two of the most talked, blogged, tweeted and tagged subjects of the past three weeks.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “so why do you feel vindicated, Stephen?”

What does any of this have to do with me?

It’s quite simple really.

The mobile phone is the most ubiquitous personal device ever.

Social media has proven to be the most powerful marketing tool ever.

The music industry is a natural fit for both of these powerful tools.

For years, I’ve been pushing these strategies to folks in the music industry.

Most of the time, I feel like I’m talking to myself.

The responses were always the same.

“No.”

Few could see the utility of an app as a promotional vehicle.

And those who could either lacked the will, power, willpower (not to be confused with “will” or “power”) or money to pull the trigger.

There were no case studies to support it.

No established ROI.

Nuthin’.

And no one was trying to give shit away.

“We’re in business to make money,” they’d say.

To which I’d respond, “how’s that working out for ya?”

In my head.

You can’t say that kind of shit in a meeting when you’re trying to get money.

Well you can…

I digress.

But seriously, it was always an uphill battle, trying to convince the powers that be that I knew what the fuck I was talking about.

Although many of us have foreseen the demise of physical sales, the music industry has been slow to accept this fact.

And subsequently even slower to adopt strategies to bring them in line with the new digital age.

With Jay Z’s highly publicized deal with Samsung, and FunkMaster Flex’s earlier app-exclusive release of his Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself mixtape, you’ve got two powerhouses leading the charge.

And maybe folks will start thinking about how they can use mobile apps and social media to drive engagement and conversion.

I routinely drop jewels like this, but I guess I’m just ahead of my time.

Will my phone start ringing off the hook, with music executives begging me to help them craft their digital strategies?

Probably not.

But they should.

Even if they don’t, I’m cool.

Being right is satisfaction enough.

But any record executives out there within the sound of my blog…call me.

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Filed under advocacy, branding, digital advocacy, mobile, social media

Jay Z and Samsung go digital. Apple, you’ve best bested (again).

Samsung has once again upped the ante in the war of cool against Apple.

This time, they've enlisted the aid of hip hop heavyweight, and all-around media mogul, Jay Z.

If you've been paying attention to the interwebs, you might have caught wind of the latest partnership between this mainstream music icon and the tech company actively trying to dethrone Apple.

The pairing, in and of itself, isn't particularly novel.

Not even for Samsung, who previously enlisted King James at the start of the season last year with the Galaxy Note II.

But what is exceptional, is the fact that Samsung is giving away Jay Z's next album.

You heard me.

Everyone who owns or cops a Samsung Galaxy device, will also get Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail album a full week few days before its released in stores.

Now I don't know how many people are actually going to buy a new phone or trade up, just to get an album they can purchase for 10 bucks.

But Samsung definitely gets dumb cool points for inking a deal with Hov for the right to distribute advance copies of his album with their phones.

I mean really, how cool is that?

Jigga Jay Z?!

Apple may have made digital music cool with the iPod, but Samsung just made digital music way cooler with this coup.

Jay Z is veritably hip hop royalty, so this deal is a pretty big….deal.

The bigger issue, as I see it, are the possibilities for media and technology companies to do these types of collabos in the future.

I've always been a proponent of utilizing technology as a means through which to build audience.

With the plethora of artists and devices out there, nowadays you need a hook if you really want folks to pay attention.

Something to differentiate your offering from the masses and reel your audience in.

And recently, I've seen evidence of the more savvy brands implementing the strategies I talk about ad nauseum.

Check the FunkFlex App, and you'll see what I mean.

FunkMaster Flex is one of the few artists that I've seen, who thoroughly gets it when it comes to merging celebrity with technology.

And he's freaking it, at that.

The FunkFlex app comes preloaded with goobledy gobs of content.

He dropped his entire mixtape via his app and it features a who's who of hip hop and R&B.

FOR FREE!

To this day, if you cop the app, you'll still be able to get loads of exclusive free content.

As a result, his digital footprint is large, and growing daily.

Movie studios are also starting to realize the inherent value of producing apps to accompany the lead up to the release of a new movie.

Virtually every movie I've seen in the recent past has had an app.

Some good.

Some not-so-good.

But all players with skin in the game.

Which underscores my point.

Every new artist should have a app.

Old ones too.

It shouldn't be an afterthought.

It should be the way you introduce your artist to the masses.

That app should be preloaded with a bunch of songs, videos and pictures, and every single social media profile that artist uses to interact with their fans.

Music should stream, in full, and the app should be enabled with push notifications, featuring calls-to-action, inviting users to rate the app, purchase tickets and use the embed social share features to broadcast their affiliation with the artist to their larger network.

And giving them the ability to buy tracks wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Don't trip.

Having an app is not an inexpensive endeavor.

Samsung dropped serious coin for the right to distribute Jay Z's album.

To the tune of $5 million.

And we all know that every artist can't afford to do Samsung/Jay Z type deals to attract new users.

But I'm sure Samsung thinks they got a bargain, so it's all relative.

The truth is, deals like this don't have to be so one-sided.

New artists should seek out brands like Metro PCS, Boost and Virgin Mobile, who all want to enhance their phone offerings to compete with the big boys.

While contract free phones are all the rage, having a phone pre-loaded with free music from underground or up-and-coming acts is definitely a strategy we're going to see more of.

Magna Carta is just the beginning.

 

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Filed under apps, branding, digital advocacy, mobile, technology

Celebrity schlebrity. Vita Chambers has a guardian angel.

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I’ve never been used to the concept of celebrities.

Folks treat them with such…reverence…as if the fact that they can sing or dance or dribble a ball makes them somehow, better?

I find cats fawning over pure strangers…odd and distasteful.

I just don’t get why girls swoon over Usher, or Michael Jackson or Justin Bieber.

Falling out, really?

Perhaps it’s because I’m Nigerian.

Or maybe it was being born into a diplomatic family.

It could be pure vanity.

I can’t sweat you if I think, I too, am fabulous.

But most likely, it was my cousin, Stevano.

You see, growing up, I had this younger cousin who was a rapper from DC.

During the summers and every Howard homecoming, I would make my sojourn to DC to chill with him.

Hanging with my cousin usually involved tooling around the city in a 911, Beemer or Benz.

It meant VIP access to any and every party spot or event of note.

More importantly, it meant unbridled access to a butt load of celebrities.

I was routinely in the company of Nas, Mary J Blige, Biz Markie, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay Z, Herbie Azor, Wu Tang Clan, Davina, Eve, Brand Nubians, Cisco, Drake, Sean Kingston, Marlon Waynes, Michael ‘Blue’ Williams (of Violator), Talib Kweli – and that’s just off the top of my head.

Don’t mind the generational jumps – I’m talking past and present.

We’re not even going to get into the models.

Although most people outside of DC have never heard of my lil cousin, he is a don in the music industry.

Limos would routinely pull up outside of the house on Rittenhouse (the house he bought at 18).

And we would be whisked off to some private party being hosted by Marc Barnes or some other DC night life luminary.

His phone stayed ringing, and I would hear him giving heavyweights – heavyweights – advice.

I used to get so annoyed with him.

Usually because these calls came at the most inopportune moments – like when I wanted his introduction to some hot dancer, back-up singer or groupie thinking we were famous.

I had no problem with sloppy seconds back then.

But what drew my annoyance – beyond missed booty conquest – was the fact that he just gave away valuable information – for free!

The stuff he knew about the entertainment industry – getting labels to come off that dough, securing video budgets, working with established producers, touring – were things I felt he should be getting paid for.

And things that most cats his age (and older) just didn’t know.

For years, I urged him to flip the paradigm, set up shop and get paid for his services.

When Aftermath wanted him to write for Eve of Destruction (aka Eve), this new artist they were grooming from Philly, I prodded him to get a fee for his services.

When Fela’s daughter invited him to talk about bringing her late father’s music to the stage, I urged him to confirm that the deal was on the up-and-up.

When <name of artist/label/producer> came seeking his help, I implored him to get paperwork to secure his stake in the transaction.

Invariably, his heart controlled his head, and he rarely took my advice.

Time after time again, I watched as countless artists benefited from his immense creativity and lackadaisical business attitude.

As he moved from DC to LA, to the UK, to Miami and then to Vancouver, Canada, I would infrequently hear about these instances.

And as my life turned increasingly from the entertainment industry to technology, and being separated by time zones and distance, I heard about them less and less.

Recently, however, he reached out to me to talk about the latest artist to have found a way into his heart – Vita Chambers.

If you haven’t heard about her, it’s okay.

She’s only 19.

She was discovered by SRP (the same label that found Rihanna) and signed by Sylvia Rhone in 2009.

Vita soon found herself on tour with Justin Bieber, performing at Lilith Fair in 2010, the Bamboozle Road Show, PopCon, touring with Forever The Sickest Kids, and performing with Estelle at the 2010 Soul Train Awards.

But she’s spent the last two years on hold as Universal Motown’s reorganization worked itself out.

Fast forward to 2012, and SRP finds themselves without the momentum that accompanied her initial signing.

Enter cuzzo, stage left.

Working with Vita’s parents, her de facto management, he took ‘Fix You’, remixed it, and the girl you’ve never heard of is taking off with a chart climbing single.

Now since I’ve been here before, I know how this plays out.

Stevano goes balls to the walls for Vita and her team.

Vita gets back on the trajectory she was before the Universal debacle and achieves untold success.

And cats bid my cuz auf Wiedersehen.

This time, though, I’m helping cuzzo get the biz right.

I plan to be the guardian angel to Stevano that Vita is the poor child in the Fix You video.

They’re going to be in LA for the Grammy’s.

And then a quick stop in NY to sit with the folks at Universal Republic.

I plan on meeting this young artist in Stevano’s good graces.

And hopefully convince them to formalize their relationship so that they mutually benefit.

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Filed under branding, music

Free Angela is coming! Free Angela is coming! (Did I say that Free Angela was coming?)

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Why all the excitement? You ask?

Well, if you follow my blog, Twitter or Facebook with any degree of regularity, you’ll notice that I talk Free Angela every once in a while.

For the uninitiated, Free Angela is an independent film by Shola Lynch.

The film follows the manhunt, arrest, trial and acquittal of Angela Davis in the late ’60s.

It’s Shola’s second independent film.

And it’s getting a whole lot of attention.

The movie screened at the Toronto Film Festival late last year, to rave reviews.

And the buzz has been building ever since.

About a year ago, I first wrote about the film, where I alluded to some heavy hitters backing it.

At the time, I had the inside scoop.

But I couldn’t tell you who they were, because the deal wasn’t done.

But now it’s done.

So without further ado…

Will Smith.

Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jay Z.

Overbrook.

Roc Nation.

These were just a few of the more notable names backing this project.

But now there’s a MASSIVE distributor (who I am not yet at liberty to disclose) on board, assuring that Free Angela will not be some art house, fringe movie, showing at The Angelika.

Or straight to DVD.

Nope.

Free Angela And All Political Prisoners (the full title of the movie) will be coming to a nationally distributed theater near you!

Soon.

The film was originally slated to be released in February.

Why do movies about Black people always have to come out during Black History month?

But they’re planning a spring release to properly market and promote the film.

All I can say is that I can’t wait!

We’re talking a New York premier…

Red carpet…

Premier parties…

The works.

And I’m particularly excited because your’s truly will be front and center!!!

Sure, I’ve been around celebrities all my life.

Note to self: qualify this later.

No big deal, no sweat.

But I’ve never walked the red carpet.

And I’ve never been attached to a project with this much collective star power.

So you’ll forgive me if I gush like a school girl for the next few months.

Post flix from the premier like a starstruck fan.

Or prattle on endlessly about my experience afterwards.

Because that’s what I plan to do.

So stay tuned for more Free Angela updates.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

And if you have a chance to see the movie – don’t miss it.

Power to the people!

Black_Power

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The trouble with Gerry (not his real name) the Petty Tyrant (aka Karma is a bitch!)

No petty tyrants

I am so mad I can’t sleep.

I’m literally writing this post at 2:34 am Thursday morning.

To be honest, I’m probably more disappointed than I am mad.

But I’m mad.

Why? You ask?

Because the world is full of petty tyrants.

And unfortunately, I’ve had a run-in with one that has my stomach in knots.

If you know me, you know that I’m an easy-going person.

I’m pretty unflappable.

I’ve dealt with ’nuff PTs in my day, and come away unscathed.

But this one here…

Indulge me, if you will, and let me spin you a yarn.

I believe in paying it forward, and for the past few years, I’ve been working with several not-for-profits, helping them to build their digital and social media chops.

One not-for-profit (which shall remain unnamed because we still work together in spite of said PT) has been the recipient of a lot of my attention.

The great thing about them is that they serve kids.

Hundreds of thousands of kids.

And like most not-for-profits, they are somewhat behind the times.

A lot of their current programming is steeped in the old school.

So from day one, my objective has been to bring them (kicking and screaming if need be) into the modern age.

At the end of the day, if you’re an organization that serves kids, it behooves you to offer programming that speaks to the increasingly technological world in which these kids live.

To their credit, most of the organization has been willing to change, in order to get with the times.

But not Gerry (not his real name).

Who’s Gerry?

That’s the petty tyrant.

Just so we’re clear, petty tyrant (an expression coined by Carlos Castaneda), refers to individuals who simply live to frustrate, exasperate and annoy others to distraction.

They’re two-faced backbiters and gossips.

Your modern day hater.

Now Gerry (not his real name) is new to the mix at this not-for-profit.

Before dealing with him, we had run several programs with the kids.

Based on feedback we’d received from kids in our previous programs, we put together a new program that the kids (in our initial session) really responded to.

But somehow, between this first session (held last Thursday) and the second (which would have been held today), Gerry (not his real name) put the kibosh on the entire program.

Just like that, a program for which numerous individuals invested countless hours to bring to life, has been deaded.

Over some straight BS.

Mind you, Gerry (not his real name) has been trying to throw salt in the game for a hot minute.

My strategy for Gerry (not his real name) has been pretty consistent.

I deal him with kid gloves.

He has a fiefdom, which he guards jealously.

Any threat to his authority is dealt with by excising it from his fief.

Prior to dealing with Gerry (not his real name) I got the 411.

I was regaled with tales of his treachery.

Apparently there were a host of individuals, no longer working for said unnamed not-for-profit, who owe their untimely departures to Gerry (not his real name).

In fact, Gerry (not his real name) is currently engaged in smear campaign against a new target, another one of his colleagues.

But that’s another story for another time.

Since I don’t work for the not-for-profit, I took the intel about Gerry (not his real name) under advisement.

And since Gerry (not his real name) wasn’t particularly discreet about his scandalous behavior, I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was exposed for the wretched snake he was.

You’re only going to be able to get away with talking shit about folks in your organization before there’s a target on your back.

Karma is a bitch!

Anywho, Gerry (not his real name) has apparently trained his sights on our program.

And now the 13 kids signed up for it are going to be extremely disappointed when they find out that its been scrapped.

That’s really what has me up in the wee hours of the morning venting to y’all.

I could give a fuck about this Gerry (not his real name) fella.

We all have to deal with petty tyrants in life.

It’s the fact that he’s taking away something very valuable from these kids that has me all up (literally) in arms.

Our program teaches real world digital skills, an area in which this not-for-profit is woefully deficient.

Our instructors – Ivy Leaguers, computer geniuses, music and entertainment industry veterans who work (and have worked) with big dawgs: think Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mos Def, Common, and the list goes on – were essentially giving their services away, to make this program happen for these kids.

And Gerry (not his real name) is throwing away an opportunity for these kids to work with people and projects of this caliber.

Why?

Why indeed.

To hear Gerry (not his real name) tell it, the logistics behind our running the program were proving too difficult to manage.

Bullshit.

But who knows why petty tyrants act the way they do?

All I know is that I’m going to try to get my program back.

For the kids.

Fuck Gerry (not his real name).

His treachery is (eventually) going to catch up to him.

Like I said, karma is a bitch!

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Is Rihanna a ‘Diamond’ in the rough?

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I was making breakfast for the kiddies this morning, when I heard Kay Foxx of Hot 97 say she ran into Jay Z who was gassed about a new Rihanna song.

Jay Z gassed?

Over a Rihanna song?

Maybe she meant to say ‘Beyonce’.

Yeah, that’s it.

Wait, she said it again.

Rihanna’s got this new song that Jay Z is excited about.

Hmmm….

I’m no fan of Rihanna.

She’s made a bunch of commercially successful songs, but her singing can best be described as…

…cats clawing a blackboard.

Her songs are cute, but her voice is so…annoying

Needless to say, I was intrigued to hear the song that Jay Z was gassed about.

The song is called Diamonds, and they played it right after Kay Foxx’s intro.

In a word, I was…underwhelmed.

There wasn’t anything particularly moving about the song.

There was no ‘umbrella – ella – ella – ay – ay – ay’ flair.

Or any flair, for that matter.

But maybe I’m just an old head, disconnected from that which moves the masses.

Perhaps Jay Z is a super A&R with a golden ear, who just hears hits.

Doubtful, but that’s besides the point.

Lest I concede that I’m an old fart, let me put this to a vote.

Is Rihanna’s song Diamonds a hit or not?

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Filed under music, opinion, social media

Made In America (the movie). How agencies, brands and hip hop are a formula for success

Photo Credit: RocNation.com

I just read an article  in AdAge, about Budweiser, Translation and Jay Z partnering up to produce a movie.

My first reaction was “that shit is sick!” (sick=great for my linguistically slang challenged readers).

What’s so sick about it, for one, are the straight macks behind it: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Steve Stout, Jay Z – all titans of their respective fields.

But what’s even sicker is that Budweiser (aka deeeeep pockets) is the driving force behind it.

Who would have thought that combining a beverage brand, an advertising and a hip hop mogul would have made such perfect sense?

Me.  Been trying to do it for years.

But I digress.

Mind you, this is not the first time this combination has come together.

Master of the Mix, the reality show on Centric, was a combined effort of Smirnoff/Diageo (brand), GTM (an Atlanta-based PR/creative agency), Just Blaze and Kid Capri (hip hop).

Smirnoff/Diageo bankrolled the production of the series, which successfully married liquor, celebrity and hip hop in what has become a flagship show for the network.

But there’s a marked difference between a television show on a minor network (don’t be mad Centric, but you’re not BET, which isn’t Viacom) and a feature length film with national/international distribution.

And while Kid Capri, Just Blaze, Biz Markie, and the host of DJs that were contestants on the show, made it one of the most highly rated shows in Centric/BET’s history, it really pales in comparison to Budweiser’s planned effort with Jay Z.

The movie will focus on two days of the Budweiser Made In America concert festival, in mid-September, when Jay Z and 25 hip hop and electronic music artists hit the stage.

In addition to Jay Z, the line-up includes Drake, Rick Ross, Wale, Janelle Monae, and Jill Scott.

You’ve probably already seen the ads featuring Jay Z, promoting the event.

And with the sheer star power of the backers and participants, it’s sure to be a blockbuster.

But it’s also probably going to be a serious piece or art, as well.

There’s talk about submitting the film to festivals, and Ron Howard ain’t no slouch, so I’m very interested to see what the narrative of the movie will ultimately be.

I can already see the film taking on a Decoded type of feel, with Jay Z narrating the lead-up to the event, and the cameras following him, and the various players as they make their way to and from the stage.

I wonder if they’re going to produce an app for it like they did for Decoded.

Steve Stout, get at me! I’m your guy if you want to talk integrated mobile strategy.

I’m definitely keeping an eye out for this, and will update you with anything I learn about it as it comes together.

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When 8 and 5 equals Zero. Chad Ochocinco (is a jackass)

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I’ve just gotta put my two cents in on Chad Ochocinco.

He was recently arrested for head butting his wife during a dispute outside of their home.

As a result of his foolishness, he’s been released by the Dolphins and is likely looking at jail time.

Now, we all know that a man should never put his hands on a woman.

That presumes that you also don’t head butt, karate chop, drop kick or otherwise cause any other form of bodily injury to your woman (or any other woman for that matter).

People are asking, “what was he thinking?”

But clearly, he wasn’t.

If he were, he would have paused (at least momentarily) and reflected on the impact of injuring his wife: going to jail, losing his job, cancellation of his reality show and the absolute PR nightmare that accompanies domestic abuse.

Unfortunately (for him – and those who rely up in his income) he didn’t (think) and now he’s watching his life being flushed down the toilet.

But we are talking about Chad Ochocinco.

The guy who changed is name to the Spanish pronunciation of “8-5” (the number on his Bengal’s jersey).

Who does that?

Who went on Dr. Phil to defend his refusal to voluntarily pay child support to any of his numerous baby mommas.

Because $600,000 a month is too little to live on AND have to share with your children.

 

(That was Terrell Owens – not Chad. But who can tell these trifling football players apart?)

And famously stated that he prefers light-skinned and white woman to Black women.

Thanks for validating our dark-skinned sisters!

Mr. Johnson (his real last name) is not known for his intelligence.

I’m ashamed and embarrassed (for him) and I feel really bad for his (soon-to-be-ex) wife and kids.

Some example this fool is setting.

I wonder how many Ochocinco-files are going to come out in support of him, as throngs did in the wake of Chris Brown’s assault of Rihanna.

Is Twitter going to be a flutter with girls asking to be head butt by Ochocinco anytime?

Will Jay Z and P Diddy continue to support their friend because we haven’t heard both sides of the story?

Hopefully, his wife will press charges and send this fool away.

But I doubt it.

If Chris Brown’s light prosecution and slap on the wrist sentencing (community service), or Floyd Mayweather’s three month sentence for assaulting his girl are any indication, it’s unlikely that 8-5 is going to do much time.

Or learn anything, for that matter.

I’m just sad that another Black man, in the public eye, is acting like a jackass.

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Filed under opinion, Smack talking

The Oscars were a bore. But the Hollywood Reporter app saved me!

Did you watch the Oscars? I didn't.

It’s awards season.

And during this season, we’re constantly bombarded by awards shows with celebrities basking in the global adulation of peers, critics and fans.

The Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammys, Golden Globes, and the Spirit Awards, are all opportunities for we little folks to ogle while the industry pays homage to the stars of the silver screen.

But how many of these shows can you really watch, before they all simply blend together and your eyes bleed?

If you’re like me, you lack the patience (or interest) for these orchestrated marathons of self-love.

You try to watch, and halfway through, they’ve got paddles to your chest trying to revive you.

But you don’t want to be the one dude at the water cooler not in the know.

Hey Stephen, did you see the Oscars?

Naw, I was, uh, man-scaping.

Man-scaping?

Nevermind.

That won’t work.

So I was very happy to come across the Hollywood Reporter Race to the Oscars app.

THR Race app that lets you track all the nominations from the convenience of your iPhone.

THR Race app links directly to The Race Blog.

So instead of sitting through 3 hours of speeches, skits and more (acceptance) speeches, I was able to periodically check in, and see who had won what.

When I downloaded the app, a few days ago, I was able to follow the THR blog and check out the nominees for the various categories.

THR's Race to the Oscars app breaks out all the categories for ya.

Each category listing included a review, trailer, news feed, the different areas in which the film was nominated and the pedigree information for each film (written by, directed by, cast, crew, etc.).

Twitter was going bonkers last night. Love all the banter between celebrities!

THR app also includes an ‘Event’ feature that let me follow the real time tweet stream from the Oscars, and get folks’ reactions to everything from Angelina Jolie’s scandalous slit in her skirt to the ‘Scorcese!’ drinking game.

People were upset that Meryl won over Viola, but somebody's got to win!

The app was so tight, that I almost felt like I actually watched the whole friggin’ thing, without losing three hours of my life glued to the tube like a zombie!

THR The Race app was designed by Fuzz Productions – who I’m going to see today – so checking out the app was more homework than anything else.

Fuzz is an interactive agency out of Brooklyn –BK in the house! – which develops web, mobile and social media apps for their clients.

Fuzz has produced innovative solutions for the likes of Jay Z, Satchi & Satchi and Sotheby’s, so I wasn’t surprised by how well the app functioned.

My brown-nosing is just shameless!

But, truth be told, I was impressed.

Now, in my opinion, this app is really only useful once a year.

But maybe the Hollywood Reporter will drop an ‘awards season’ app, that will let you follow all the awards shows, and not just the Oscars.

Anyway, if you wanted an easy way to find out who won what this year (and you don’t want to wait for recaps on TV), get the app (it’s free) and you can check them out all in one place.

You can thank me later.

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Filed under apps, branding, iPhone, mobile, opinion