A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: TEKASHI 69
When Tekashi69 announced his debut album, titled Dummy Boy, on Black Friday, November 23, he tweeted, “Watch me outsell everybody suck my dick.”
Language aside, the 22-year-old Brooklyn-born artist was right. Tekashi blew away records on Spotify and YouTube: Scumlife 391,219 million listens; Sinaloa 238,008, and a whole bunch of other tracks around the 150m+ mark. His latest single “FEFE” feat. Nick Minaj has racked up 523m views on YT. It has been a while since an artist scored numbers like these. Tekashi, born Daniel Hernandez, is a member of a group of up-and-coming artists called SoundCloud Rappers, named for the fact that they broke out using SoundCloud, the German online audio distribution platform and music sharing website. This group includes Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Chief Keef and most famously, Post Malone who scored an international hit with the infuriatingly catchy, “Better Now”. And now it is Tekashi’s turn.
But his superstardom might be short lived. On November 19, Tekashi was arrested on federal charges of racketeering and firearms related to organized gang activity as part of the local set Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, including armed robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, and drug trafficking. If convicted, he could face up to 32 years in jail.
When I first heard him screaming “SCUMGANG”, I expected to find a picture of a singer standing 6’6′ feet tall and weighing 100 kilos. Instead I saw a cheeky little kid, almost prepubescent, covered with tattoos, mainly the number 69. He dresses like a schoolboy, but looks like a mother’s worst nightmare. He is a cartoon character, an exaggerated playground menace. Rolling Stone likened him to a demented Muppet. A man-child, completely out of control. The last artist I can remember who generated so much controversy was Marilyn Manson.
Originally I thought that it was all a show, but then I read his rap sheet. If the charges stick, Tekashi will pay a heavy price. A young man cut down in his prime, not by drugs, shooting or suicide, but rather self-immolation. He may have finally pushed it too far. Of course, that is what the kids love. Tekashi is a giant F*** U to parents around the world. When he sings, he holds nothing back, his mind is raging, screaming, spewing out venom and filth, and then suddenly he stops – as he does during his duet with Nicki Minaj “FEFE” – and switches to the sweetest voice. There we catch a glimpse of who Tekashi might be. A good kid. A lover. A crooner. A young man having fun. But it is fleeting and the monster child returns, spewing venom and earning millions of fans along the way.
AD OF THE WEEK: OTRO
OTRO is a new subscription-based digital fan club created by top footballers to help them connect with their fans.
Footballers are the Gods of today but this week’s ad of the week focuses on the other side of these athletes. Neymar, Suarez, Alli are often portrayed as one-dimensional, single-minded, selfish warriors who only exist within the confines of a football pitch. But they are human. They are playful and enjoy the good things in life.
The launch ad depicts the 17 founding players’ lives, such as David Beckham working in his office, Lionel Messi getting a suit fitted, and Neymar Jr playing the piano. The footballers will promote the campaign through their personal social media channels. OTRO is Spanish for “other”. It is pretty contrived but it still brought a smile to my face – and I loved the track, Flow by Lokate, feat. Doctor and Bay C. The ad was created by John Ogunmuyiwa at Havas London and directed by Hank Perlman through Hungry Man.
SPOTIFY REVEALS MOST PLAYED TRACKS, ALBUMS, ARTISTS OF 2018
And the winners are…
Spotify released figures for its most played tracks, albums and artists of 2018, with male US rappers at the top of the charts. The global streaming giant, with 191million users globally, placed Drake at the top of the heap, with 8.2billion plays last year. The artist, whose recent collaboration with Travis Scott just got a reworking from Skrillex, lays claim to the platform’s most played song, ‘God’s Plan’, and album, ‘Scorpion’. Drake also reigned supreme on Spotify in both 2015 and 2016. Amazing numbers, especially as people’s views on the Canadian rapper tend to be quite divided, but someone must love him…
Other notable mentions: Post Malone, second in the list of overall artists with two of the five most streamed tracks to boot (‘Rockstar’ featuring 21 Savage and ‘Psycho’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign). He also has the second most streamed album, ‘beerbongs & bentleys’.
See the info graphic below for some additional details. I love the fact that the biggest 3 throwback songs are: “Africa” by Toto, “Take on M”e by a-ha and “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.
DETAILS REVEALED ABOUT A FORTHCOMING PRINCE MOVIE
A new film musical inspired by Prince’s music is in the works according to a report form Variety. Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to a number of songs from Prince’s catalog, intending to use them to drive a fictional narrative. Executives are reportedly looking to develop a film along the lines of Mamma Mia, which weaves ABBA’s music into the plot. The film will not be a biopic. Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate, is set to executive produce alongside Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group. The film musical joins several other ongoing Prince projects. Ava Duvernay is directing a new Prince documentary for Netflix, which is separate from the Prince documentary coming to Channel 4 in the UK.
Ed Note: A little guilty pleasure – Purple Rain from the film of the same name. His guitar solo is almost (not quite) as good as his outfit!
MIXCLOUD LAUNCHES NEW SUBSCRIPTION AUDIO SERVICE
A ‘fan-to-creator’ subscription service called Mixcloud Select.
Listeners can subscribe to a Select creator’s channel to directly support them and the music played in the shows they upload. Once subscribed, users can listen to shows offline and view upfront track lists. Select uses a ‘flexible channel-based’ subscription model that allows creators to set their own price, starting at 2.99/month in local currencies ($/£/€).
Creators receive a share of profits from their subscriptions, while the artists, labels and publishers played in their shows receive royalty revenue. Mixcloud’s proprietary content ID system identifies individual tracks and associated rights holders. The first phase of Select has gone live today (December 4) with 47 Mixcloud creators, ranging from DJs including Afrojack, Nicole Moudaber, Lefto and John Digweed to Mixcloud stars such as DJ Blighty and Low Light Mixes. Channels created by independent radio stations Brooklyn Radio, Soho Radio and Red Light Radio, record labels Defected Records and Axtone Records and curators Clash Magazine and Stamp the Wax are also available. Mixcloud says that it will be rolling out additional features, such as exclusive content and direct messaging with subscribers.
ED NOTE: very interesting innovative platform. Watch this space.
MODAL HAS A NEW AFFORDABLE MINI WAVETABLE SYNTH
The second version of CRAFTsynth is only £79
Featuring eight oscillators, the mini synth comes in at a mini price of £79, and features five banks of eight morphing wavetables. It also manages to cram in some FX like bitcrush and ring mod as well as a built-in arpeggio, filter and two LFOs, custom scales to play from the built-in keyboard and an optional software editor for more detailed sound shaping. Round back there’s MIDI DIN ports and analogue clock syncing. Lots of features for only £79.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash