Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hip Hop Gumbo™: End of an Era in Digital Music: SoundCloud May Be No Longer!

Hip Hop Gumbo™: End of an Era in Digital Music: SoundCloud May Be No Longer!

End of an Era in Digital Music: SoundCloud May Be No Longer!

SoundCloud! One of the last places an Indie Artist/Producer could go and showcase and sell their jams without advertisements being riddled all over the place is probably not gonna make it. Sony, UMG, and what's worse; the RIAA (Recording Industry Associaton of America) are blowing the strong winds of copyright infringement, as a result, SoundCloud may dissipate. For years no one really messed with SoundCloud. They had just announced a few days ago that they were going to launch a subscription based service soon. They didn't reach deals with UMG, and Sony, and now all hell is breaking loose. Ya'll know the deal. Piss off the Gods, and they will piss on you! In the Digital Music Industry, Warner Music, UMG, and Sony are Gods! SoundCloud was able to reach an agreement with Warner Music, however, I don't see that being substantial enough to ensure their survival. You might think I'm prematurely saying goodbye to Soundcloud, but think about it>>> THE RIAA HAS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUITS AGAINST SOUNDCLOUD TOO! THAT MIGHT AS WELL BE THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS >LOL> IF THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE SAYS YOU VIOLATED >GUESS WHAT? YOU IN VIOLATION! I have mixed emotions about this ya'll.  The Indie Recording Artist in me; nostalgic, free, and rebellious, will miss SoundCloud. The Songwriter, Producer, and Record Label Owner in me says, you stole music, didn't pay people for what they created, and for years no one really challenged you on it. You reap what you sow! Ethically speaking, if you dig in the dirt for years, when the rains come, you're up to your neck in mud! The landscape of Digital Music is changing, still, Sista Wize is rooting for SoundCloud. Sounds funny, but its true. I hope they change up how they do shyt, somehow navigate their way through this storm and remain a place for Indie's to showcase music! LOL I am a complexed person obviously. Right or wrong, SoundCloud is in a special place, and millions of us (artists, producers, and fans ) don't want to see them go out like that! It would mark the end of an era that is sacred to us.

angie Wize

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Digital Download Decision Delivers!

Wazzup Wize One'z and Gumbo Pot Headz! 
In case you didn't know: BMI Won in New York! 
Even if I wasn't a member, I would be amped!
 For two years BMI battled Pandora in court over licensing fee rates. I'm sayin', if it was compared to a rap battle, it would be like a longer version of Supernatural killin' Juice! 
BMI spit in a NY court and Pandora lost some Juice!

(link provided below for those of you too weeded out to remember that battle) 
Supernatural Bodied Juice;  Click Here to view an Art of Rhyme Clip

They finally settled on 2.5% of revenue last week. 
Attention songwriters: The days of watching your music being given away by companies who profit and pass on next to nothing of those profits to you (the songwriter) are slowly dying! 
Like intestinal parasites inside of road kill! 
At the top of the year the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced a settlement between Sirius XM and SoundExchange. 
That settlement was in regards to the royalty rates applied to " New" Subscription Services Packaged with Cable and Satellite Video. For those of you that read Hip Hop Gumbo because you like stuff explained in plain english, it means the music channels that come  in the packages offered by cable and satellite providers have to pay you for using your music too! There is still some battling going on in other areas .
Last I checked, Music Choice still pays an eyebrow-raisingly lower rate than Sirius. 
I thought they offered the same freakin' service. Made no sense to me why they would get to pay less. I did some diggin' and found out it's because they are classified in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as  a" preexisting subscription service", whereas Sirius is classified as a " new subscription service". If there are other reasons why they are classified differently, 
my delving in to those reasons would probably give us all indigestion! That is one ingredient that will be left out of this pot!
  However, I'm going to take a crack at opening this nut and explaining it in a Shell, and that gas station is located at...just kidding! Sirius pays 15% of revenue and I think they can also pay rates based on a per subscriber fee; whichever is greater. Music Choice tops out in 2017 at 8.5%. Music Choice rates were determined by using the good old "willing buyer, willing seller standard". A Judge sets those rates based on his/her estimate of what the rate may be in a future competitive market. It's an educated, albeit, hypothetical guess.
 A Judges rates are being applied to services offered by Music choice now that didn't exist back when the DMCA went in to effect. They knew they were at the dawn of the digital age. Music Choice obviously existed but they were only on cable radio back then ,and so, they get to use that standard because they were Grandfathered in when the DMCA went in to action back in 1989. Between the Internet Radio Fairness Act, "Music Bus" Legislation, Perform Act, recycling of Songwriter's Equity Act, Senate's review of anti-trust consent decrees reigning over BMI and ASCAP, arguments over RIAA collecting royalties from digital music services (and then dispersing shares between the applicable songwriters and sound recording copyright holders, or the just as scary alternative; Record Labels themselves collecting royalties from digital music services and omg wait! Moment of laughter, followed by a feelin' the gumbo is stickin' to the bottom of the pot-stirring-stirring- please wait. Ok! It did not stick, much like the idea of Record Labels dividing royalties collected from digital music services and disbursing them to songwriters and sound recording performance copyright holders in an ethical and timely matter didn't! 
Speaking of Sound Performance Copyright Holders, overall they still get a whole lot more than the Songwriter at this time! It's like that old joke ,which came 1st, the chicken or the egg? In this case who is worth more? No wait! Who has greater value? The songwriter or the singer? I have a young label, but I'm always a songwriter first! Songwriters face getting screwed again if digital music services pay one royalty and then it gets divided between songwriters, and all the other copyright holders. Anyway, sorry for the RUN-ON!)  and the mighty convoy of music industry fueled vessels cruising across legislative waters flying digital download battle ensigns, it should be as obvious as Jay Z's  "Tidal"  music streaming company; a wave of change is imminent! We are in awesome times.  There's a chance that higher rates, as it pertains to digital downloads licensing, may get so costly that overall music sales plummet, and digital music service providers go belly up. Someone is going to suffer a huge loss. We songwriters suffered for far too long!
I wouldn't lose much sleep if digital music services took the hit! Pandora and so many others like them built their company at the expense of songwriters, and producers. Now many services like them have the nerve to exclude smaller labels, and reject Indie artists submissions. Pandora has become much like the story, and has become a box many wish was never opened!
One thing I can say about her is that she belongs in the mix, and I'd hate to see her go because she is one of the few that still accepts Indie artist submissions! Unless you are "Grandfathered in" new Indies can no longer showcase music on Spotify. Many other digital music service providers are dissin' new Indie members until they reach a certain amount of sales prior to review too! What!? How long was I gone please?! Attention songwriters and music producers: they need us more than we need them! Where is the grace? Where is the win for Indie Artists and Producers who at the very least could obtain exposure through these services? What happened? I know I sound judgmental as it is, but nevertheless , I'm going to quote God's word on this note, "To whom much is given, much is required"! Digital Music Services have been given much and should be required to give back! Ok ok ok! I'm putting my soapbox away. Flat footed again.
 I boldy proclaim; the world can live without digital music services! Right? 
Well, maybe not. Like Debarge says, Time Will Reveal! 
I'm sure about one thing however, 2015 the year of the sheep is going to continue being a defining year for all of us that are in the music business flock. Regardless of where our music career is today and regardless of what our future goals may be, we need to keep a watch on all decisions that relate to digital downloads. If you are like me, cd duplication is and will continue to be looked at as a minimum necessity. DropCards are what will be offered at shows featuring Artists who soar exclusively from the Wize Records Nest, myself included. We'll provide a small amount of CD's for Fans that prefer them over digital downloads. 

Wize Records, and MAJK FISH Productions acknowledge their existence and value. Like most young Indie labels who are NOT financed via a stream of drug money,we can't acknowledge their existence to the degree that we're warehousing dusty boxes of CD's. Stacked like inner city towers due to the majority of our fans downloading music  purchases on their cell, tablet, or laptop. Low overhead is crucial for any business, but its especially crucial for Indie labels because it is common for us to have to give away free music. We already eat a loss for the sake of brand recognition, fan retention, and a few other reasons I won't mention. At this point, physical Cd's in my mind are primarily for industry people: Dj's, 3rd Party distributors,Press, etc.
  Otherwise I view them like merchandise you put on a page in your online store that sells t-shirts of your brand! The music world went digital! I can't honestly perceive a significant turning back! 
 There are music industry forecasters and noteworthy guru's who predict the trend could soon be leaning towards people purchasing actual physical CD's after all these rates, royalties, and licensing issues are hammered out. They predict music will be so expensive to consumers (now that the creators of it are getting a better share) that they will stop buying music, music purchases will drop, or they may find other alternatives to accessing it and as a result of those new access venues, overall music sales will plummet.
I don't know about all that, but I do know people will always derive pleasure from music!
  BMI opened Pandora's box!
We came away with 2.5% of revenue! Today it is a victory. Something for your art, is better than nothing! Much is going on that wasn't address here. For instance, the Department of Justice is going to review some of these Acts, and at the time I wrote this, they may have already began to alter some of these Acts. The CRB had hearings on Webcasting Royalty Rates, The Copyright Office started a study on enforcing copyrights on photos and other images that stations use in this digital platform, The FCC is all over iHeart radio's tail and Broadcasters in general, and so much more ish is goin' down! I will try to blog most of the areas that peak in my lil' mind as relevant to Indie's and I am inviting you 
(yea you that's reading this now) to throw in your comments too please! 
Even if you just like to stir the Hip Hop Gumbo Pot and have no seasoning to add to it, I still appreciate your feedback! I'm putting the lid on this pot by saying digital music service providers exist because of songwriters, producers, artists, and publishers. Out of that list, in general, songwriters get the least amount of money. It's high time songwriters got a fair share! 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sound Odyssey's, On A Seaboard?

Wazzup Gumbo Pot Headz, and Wize Onez!

Are you Hip to the Seaboard? No, it’s not a surfboard, but you can ride waves of sound on it!
Not just any sound either. The Roli Seaboard is effortlessly capable of generating sounds fresher than  Doug E.  If it were a steak, you would say it was rare.
 If it was a Doctor you would say that it cares. If it was a post you would like and share,  by now you think I’m trippin’, but I don’t even care!
I’m a seeker of higher planes of expression.  Always down to share what I deem a blessing. Back to the Seaboard manufactured by Roli,  they wrapped the market up sweet, like cannoli’s. Ok, that was lame. The fact still remains, when you press the surface of the seaboard sound sustains!  No modulation wheel! They replaced the cog, no spinning gear. Do you hear me dog? 
And it sounds so clear!
You can strum, you can slide like guitars or a bass, and yet, chime so sublime you think  Divine is in the case! Ok. I’m sorry, this is leftovers for some of ya’ll, but I just found out about it recently from one of the coolest Music Producers in my network!

Guitar Keyboard IDK What Fusion!

Shout Out to Ronald Harris!

Demos of the Roli Seaboard quickly gave way to it being added to our “Get This List”.
The Seaboard Grand Studio (37 Keywave Studio) is only $2,000.  Hmm, that would be like us going a year without Cable T.V.   It's worth it for the versatility of instruments it has!
If we have to, we'll just break out the old DVD's  and visit the Red Box sometimes.

The Seaboard Grand Stage is $3,000 (61 Keywave Stage). 
I love that, ”Keywave",  and for the Grand Finale?

 (I bet my Hubby Gregory can play a wicked drum roll on a Seaboard, he's an excellent drummer who also plays keys well)!

The Seaboard Grand Limited First Edition retails for $8,888.00. They are only going to make 88 of them! 
They ship in June 2088! Jes Kidding. They hit the water June, 2015.  Sure seems like 2088 technology to me. The company, Roli, is just wave after wave of flava  right?  
They know they've changed the game, so much so, they are going to commemorate  the “traditional keyboard” by engraving each of the 88 Seaboards with a single note!
  Essentially bullying us into feeling old.  Don't you just love it when companies hold a burial ceremony for products they've antiquated? Shall I bury my old keyboards? Yes!
  I got my shovel already! How can I continue to cross my minds over flooded waters of creativity by walking on stilts, after having seen musicians gliding on a PowerSki Jet board?!

Every handmade board will have the name of a single key engraved on it. 
Sista Wize would love to have one with a B# engraved on it.  Because I'm going to "Be" sharp when I play it! Ok. That is not relevant to my purpose for writing this post. 
I’m just sayin', it’s adorable! Yes, I  did say “adorable”! Like it's a baby. 
 This baby, this wave of genius is going to change the way we make music forever.  I’m excited about becoming a “Seaboardist” as soon as possible and I vow to ride those waves all the way to the Ne Plus Ultra of Music Production Euphoria! This is going to be just as paramount as my first skydive.  I can touch and connect with sound like never before. 
Each machine is handcrafted in London. What a paradox! An innovative and futuristic product being manually assembled in such an old fashioned, dare I say, "traditional" way.
I want it even more now!  Just as I had surmised common decency, common courtesy, and common sense are no longer common. Overall I concluded most companies don't  apply the same level of importance to customer retention and satisfaction as they used to. They don't consistently administer the same quality of pride in their products as companies in the olden days did. When products had more than a 30-day guarantee, and you didn't have to buy insurance for every product you purchase! Customer service numbers weren't automated, and they did not call you and ask you to hold while they get a human! You can't even buy a toaster without them trying to sell you a 2 year warranty, and electrical cords weren't accessories you had to purchase separately, Period!
Instruction Booklets were free! They seemed to truly want you to understand and enjoy the product you purchased.
There was no flimsy quickstart /jumpstart guides that were two pages long, and the only reason it's two pages long is because after the first paragraph the rest of the writing is the same pargagraph written in  5 different languages! 
I say all that to say, I appreciate that old -fashioned,  handcrafted, Old World style of product assembly! 
Especially if they aren't doing it because they have no choice due to product specifications or lack of equipment. Roli and I will be great as long as my Seaboard isn't being delivered by a man riding in a horse drawn wagon we'll stay great.  LOL
One moment please, wiping drool away, and I'm about to close the lid on this pot! 
Had to tell you about the Seaboard. Thanks for reading 
the Hip Hop Gumbo Blog ,  Now your almost Hip!
To be completely Hip visit these links below! They offer a more comprehensive, less emotional, evaluation of the Seaboard!
The bottom link is Corey Henry Seaboarding at NAMM 2015.  I enjoyed watchin’ him play!

If you enjoyed this “Word From Wize",  please send donations.  They will be used to get my  Seaboard. The angie Wize GoFundMe is located at http://wwww. I’m Jes Funnin'... Peace.

                                   Please Do visit 
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Music coming Soon!