Monday, May 15, 2017

GRAMMY Award-Winning Artist Poo Bear Explains Problems With Streaming Royalties

Multiple Grammy award-winning songwriter Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd recently stopped by the DXHQ to chat with the #DXLive team and promote his Red Bull documentary, Afraid of Forever. With his signature icebreaker greeting, “Happy Birthday,” Poo Bear laid out some knowledge about how he met Justin Bieber, his personal fears, and how the music industry is giving music creators the short end of the stick.

Poo Bear has been the man behind many of your favorite modern-day R&B jams over the years as well as popular Justin Bieber verses since 2015, having 16 writing credits on the Bieb’s platinum-selling album, Purpose. It was a chance meeting, however, that landed him with Bieber. “Hanging out in Vegas and running into Justin Bieber at a birthday party and us just hanging out,” Poo Bear says as he recalls how he met the pop star. “Being cool, having fun and that turned into him hearing my music and him ultimately calling me up to come work with him and kidnapping me for 18 months [Laughs].”

The start of Poo Bear’s career, however, came in 2001 when he wrote “Peaches & Cream” for 112 — their biggest hit to date. After going to write hits for Usher, Chris Brown, Trey Songz and hundreds of others, Poo Bear still manages to ground himself. “As a human being I have this instinctive feeling of falling off or not being relevant. I feel like that but then thank God I have the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, [and] Chance; and the number three song, thank you Justin, Scooter Braun, Daddy Yankee, and Luis Fonsi [for the smash reggaeton hit “Despacito”]. But I definitely have those feelings and they’re great feelings because they keep me hungry. I never get comfortable. I never feel like I made it. I feel like it’s the beginning of my career, always.”

Perhaps his sense of reality comes from the way the music industry treats its creators. Poo Bear took the time to break down what the royalty structure is like for a songwriter. “There’s a performance royalty. Any time a song is performed on the radio, somebody performs it on stage, restaurants, clubs, any performance of the music there [are] different companies that collect for you like ASCAP, BMI, [and] SESAC,” the maligned songwriter described. “There’s like a satellite that signals every time a song is played, there’s a signal code that’s transmitted through a satellite that counts as a spin. Each one of those spins is money.”

“Streaming is the newest wave that kinda makes it a little bit blurry because streaming is so new [that] they haven’t created streaming laws,” Poo Bear said before expanding on how it can be problematic for an artist to get paid. “They’ve kind of applied other amounts of payments and fees to streaming but it’s really not fair. 1,500 streams of an album is equivalent to one album. It’s ridiculous. And the amount of money per spin is a fraction; it’s [like] .0003 of a cent so you gotta have like 800,000 to a million streams to equal up to a thousand dollars. You do that math. You see people and you think they’re doing amazing [because] they have 100 million streams [but] that’s like what? $10,000? Then there are mechanical royalties also that are pure record sales that vary. Most writers don’t get producer points, which is a percentage of an overall album at 100%, it’s one [percentage] point. If a record sells 1 million [physical] album sales and you have one point [then] you’re looking at about $97,000 in mechanical royalties. [But] It gets blurry when you throw streaming in there because it’s like, ‘Wait how many records did we really sell?’ You don’t know nowadays. I feel like they’re going to have to make a change because it’s not fair. And the writers and producers, the ones who make the music are suffering the most. Labels are making more money than they ever have in their whole careers. Even more than in the 90s when it was bad if you sold a million records. They’re doing their own deals with the streaming companies and they’re not cutting in the writers and artists. There’s no breakage. We don’t know what they’re negotiating with the streaming companies. I just know it’s like the 90s again [where] everybody is excited to be in the music industry. For a period [of time], everybody was trying to get out of the music business. It’s just now getting back [to how it used to be]. The labels are killing it. I know they are. It’s just a matter of these streaming numbers and things becoming more fair for the people who are really creating and going out there selling these songs. The distributor companies and the labels are the only ones who are really benefitting from it.”

The lighter side of the songwriting assassin shined through when asked about that one song he wishes he could take back.

“’Sleep On It’ by Danity Kane,” Poo Bear gleefully recalls. “It wasn’t a single but I filmed it on Making the Band with Puffy. They filmed me doing the record. They made it look like I made the girls cry and ain’t nobody cry. Editing is crazy. I was not proud of that song. When they actually decided to use the record and actually made the album I was like, ‘No. Why?’ Like, I wasn’t even told I was filming that day and the fact they came with nine cameras [and] they actually used the song? I’m not proud of that record. ‘Sleep On It’. I’m not proud of that song but I like Danity Kane. Sorry, Danity Kane.”

By. Marcel Williams

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DJ Khaled's Stylist Terrell Jones on Dressing the Luxe-Loving Star

Terrell Jones born and raised in Harlem, 38-year-old stylist got his start in the fashion as an assistant to childhood friend Michelle Lisath who at the time styled Mary J. Blige. Jones went on to work with P. Diddy, Fat Joe, and eventually Khaled who he has worked with for 14 years styling and designing custom looks for. 

“My most memorable DJ Khaled moment was when he sang alongside Bono, Julia Roberts, and Neil Patrick Harris on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show," says Jones. "That’s when I realized the sky is the limit with him.”  

In this edition of Stylist Spotlight, we explore the major keys of Khaled's fashion with Jones.  

 Describe DJ Khaled’s style in three words.

Confident, clean, and unique.

 What are your favorite brands to pull for him?

Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Jordan brand for sure, but the majority of Khaled’s wardrobe is designed by myself and made custom just for him.

 Proudest Khaled style moment of 2017 so far? 

Definitely when we shot the “Nas Album Done” video in the Bahamas alongside Nas who I consider to be one of the most stylish men in hip-hop. Khaled was able to hold his own fashion-wise. He wasn’t afraid to wear color and really represent for the big guys with style. 

 Style-wise, have you ever played yourself?

No. I was taught early that, in the words of Khaled, “Don’t ever play yourself,” even in style.

 What are some major keys in men’s fashion?

Don't be afraid to stand out, always make whatever it is you do your own, and when someone copies or tries to imitate your style, take it as a compliment and run.

 Most underrated shoe?

Pharrell’s Human Race shoes by Adidas because they actually stand for something.

 One trend you can see emerging in 2017?


 Any emerging designers you’ve got your eye on?

I'm looking out for Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Laquan Smith and myself!

What’s some advice you have for aspiring stylists?

Not only must you do the work of today, but do your homework and study the greats. Learn as much as you can about the history of fashion. Also, it never hurts to have an amazing mentor and teacher as I've been blessed to have--thank you to mine, Bevy Smith!

Rick Ross Talks 'Rather You Than Me,' Weighs In on Birdman & Donald Trump

 Ross is wading into the debate by calling his ninth studio album, Rather You Than Me, his official magnum opus. Last week, Ross celebrated both his daughter's birthday and the release of the album on March 17, and initial fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Ross’ ear for production is still impeccable on standouts like “Santorini Greece” and the Meek Mill-assisted “Lamborghini Doors.” Plus, there’s no shortage of Renzel-isms ("Me and Hov back and forth like I'm triple platinum") and boss-up moments -- like when he dedicates an honest open letter to Cash Money boss Birdman, a former inspiration turned foe, on the appropriately-titled “Idols Become Rivals,” sparking a conversation about Birdman's business moves and strained relationships with Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled. (Birdman responded to Rozay's claims in an interview with Billboard.)

On Rather You Than Me's release day, Billboard spoke to Ross about his reasons for addressing Birdman on "Idols Become Rivals," the possibility of working with Drake again, and when fans can expect to receive the long-awaited MMG Self Made 4 compilation.

Billboard: How has your perspective changed since your first album, Port of Miami, in 2006?

Rick Ross: My perspective changed in so many different ways. From the perspective of being a student of the game, an artist, a businessman. I seen so many sides that’s evolved.

How did you push yourself on Rather You Than Me and show sides that fans haven’t seen before?

Just overcoming those personal obstacles. Once you get to this level, you either could push forward or break. When you face obstacles or go through different phases, I always relied on my music. I depend on my music, my teammates. So at the end of the day, having incredible music, for me, would keep me in the space I want to be as an artist.

You laid that out in your open letter to your fans, saying the album was a product of "strength, perseverance and determination." Who did you want to make the album for?

It’s gotta be the ones that have been f--king with me since day one. Of course I appreciate everybody that love the music I make, but [I made this for] the ones who understand my story. The ones who got "Maybach Music" one through five. The ones who are like, "Yo, I understand what the f--k he did with this." You know, just watched me build my empire and enjoyed that ride with me.

I want to get into some of the tracks. On album-opener "Apple of My Eye," you rap, "I’m happy that Donald Trump became the president / Because we have to destroy it to elevate." Do you think America just needs to start over?

Most definitely. This is the bottom. We will start over after this. I think that particular line, a lot of young brothers who haven’t really put a finger on how they feel about our new president, I think they needed to hear that line to get some form of understanding.

Did you hear about Trump going after Snoop Dogg for Snoop's “Lavender” video? What did you make of that?

It’s unfortunate that this country would have to endure this. So much more important issues to press, just in our country alone. We not even discussing everything globally -- just in our country alone. And for our president to be so concerned with everyone laughing at his toupee when he the one that bought it...

“Idols Become Rivals” is letter to Birdman and how you used to look up to him. Why did the people need to hear your take on Birdman’s business practices and Wayne’s situation?

You know, I just think it’s so f--ked up. Us seeing Lil Wayne’s [situation] and suffering from that, I think we kind of all got used to it. I think the culture has f--king accepted that Wayne would not put out another album. And that’s not the way the game [should be]. That’s not the way we designed this. That’s not the way this is supposed to be.

When we come up from the mud together, it’s not supposed to be this way. Birdman is supposed to be in that f--king building making those f--king people give him money to take care of his man. They supposed to be in the f--king [building], flipping over desks in those f--king offices, fighting to get money. Not f--king suing each other, fighting lawsuits and everybody starving. Not putting out music, not being creative. Us not doing what we came here for. There’s nothing more I hate than that -- us not doing what we came here for.

You spoke about Khaled, too, on the song: "You put my n---a in a hole, homie, that s--t hurt me." Did his situation motivate you more to address it?

For one, it was different phases. First, it was my understanding phase. Like, "Yo, what’s going on? I don’t understand." It’s not the way it’s supposed to go. Khaled came into the fold and went above and beyond [more than] any artist went for his team, his brand. Khaled pushing his team and his brand, he was able to get money doing other things as well. And just to see the way that unfolded and for [Khaled] to owe someone millions of dollars and act like this is a normal business practice? It’s not. That’s not the way it goes.

I felt the pain, and it wasn’t my money, but just by me watching and what took place and me being supportive, me being there for [Khaled], me being there for anything he needed, I was there for him. Just to see the way [Birdman] did [Khaled's] family, that’s unacceptable... That’s why Khaled in the position he in. Homie really left [Khaled] in the hole. He walked away from that and started over.

There’s a fan theory going around that when Khaled says “they” [as in one of his catch phrases "They don't want you to win"], he might be referring to Birdman.

I seen that, and it was funny. I know they don’t want us to laugh at those.

Back to the album. On the song “Scientology,” you rap, “I got the money for Wayne, let’s do it then.” That’d be a power move if Maybach Music Group and Young Money were able to do something to put out Tha Carter V.

When I played that song for Jay Z, me and Jay Z laughed. We looked at each other and had a laugh. Hov was like, "Let’s do it." It was just one of them things. We didn’t put no deep thought into it. We let the music roll on.

“Maybach Music V" feat. DeJ Loaf is the first in that series of songs that isn’t produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Are you still working with them on music?

I haven’t really been working with them a lot. 

Is it because of creative differences?

It’s nothing in particular. I don’t have no particular reason. It just ain’t come through like that. Or the sound sometimes -- I’m not sure. I’m extremely happy with "Maybach Music V." "Maybach Music" part one [feat. Jay Z, from 2008's Trilla] was definitely me and Jay Z in the studio, just me and Hov exchanging [verses] and giving n---as that wordplay, that lifestyle. And of course, we went part one, part two and part three. I didn’t never want to feel like I was chasing a high. It’s just like a junkie trying heroin for the first time. You get f--ked up chasing that high. That’s why I wanted them to feel like it came full circle by the fifth.

What makes "Maybach Music V" so special was of course I put the album out celebrating my daughter’s birthday as well, and DeJ Loaf is her favorite artist. So "Maybach Music V," I wanted a real airy type of feel. Just a real slow vibe to it that’s also going to surprise my daughter. So that’s real special.

Are you closing the chapter on the "Maybach Music" series with this fifth one?

Nah, I’m not saying that. I’m pretty sure we’ll go back to the hard rapping. I just wanted it to feel like I came full circle, kind of like my style and my ability of music that I can make. I feel like I can make records where, you know, I can get in the alley and exchange bars with Styles P, but I can also get in the studio and create a classic with Rihanna. I wanted that "Maybach" one through five to give the listeners that feel.

One of the best songs on the album is “Lamborghini Doors.” In your eyes, how has Meek Mill grown as an MC and as a boss with Dreamchasers?

Meek being in the studio, putting the plays together. Meek used to sit in the studio with me when I first started working with him. I was happy when he brought me [2011's] "I'ma Boss." You know, just his vision. He’s continuing to do that with his last tape [DC4], the last music he put out. He continuing to do that and he consistently putting it together [with] chorus, records and vibes that, once they come on in the club, it’s f--king go crazy time.

And you've got Wale on "Trap Trap Trap" rapping like that again.

Yeah, and the thing about that is that’s what me and Wale will always go back and forth in the studio [about]. We understand that he’s a great poet and his penmanship is top-tier, and he showed us that with "Lotus Flower Bomb." But I also loved that Wale that’ll come on like that last verse at the end of a Waka Flocka Flame song like "No Hands." That’s the kind of alley-oop I gave him on "Trap Trap Trap" as well.

By Eric Diep
Album Link - Listen Here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017



Adidas Sweatshirt Olympics Stockholm 1956 Helsinki 1952

 Rare highly sought after Adidas sweatshirt from the Stockholm 1956 and Helsinki 1952 Olympics. This awesome collectible is multicolored and in excellent condition for its age. Vintage 1988 Adidas Stockholm 1956 Helsinki 1952 Olympics Trefoil Sweatshirt.

1932 - 1980 Collector Adidas XIII Winter Olympics Games Lake Placid Sweatshirt

1932 - 1980 Collector Adidas XIII Winter 

Olympics Games Lake Placid Sweatshirt

This one is crazy vintage. Lock me in for the xl please.

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