Lil Wayne finally drops Tha Carter V (we never doubted him for a second)

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You know the old saying: “Lil Wayne plans; God laughs; the music press reports on it no matter what.” Well, that omnipotent bastard isn’t laughing tonight, folks, because after four long years of waiting, Weezy’s hotly-anticipated Tha Carter V is out now through Young Money/Republic/Universal. That’s right: you can actually listen to 2014’s would-be hottest album at this very moment. But… you know, keep reading the article, too.

Tha Carter V, which features guest spots from Kendrick Lamar, XXXTENTACION, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Snoop, and more, follows from 2011’s Tha Carter IV, as well as at least two handfuls of mixtapes and smaller releases, including 2013’s I Am Not a Human Being II and 2015’s Tidal exclusive Free Weezy Album. Of course, in another universe, we’d have as many Tha Carter albums as Final Fantasy games by now (core titles, spin-offs, and remasters included!), but in this universe (the bad one), countless legal, personal, medical, and inexplicable delays — many related to contractual disputes with Wayne’s longtime label Cash Money Records and its own omnipotent force, Birdman — have, to this point, kept the latest (and final?) Lil Wayne record from our grubby little hands. But no longer will his smooth puns and vocal rasp be kept from our ears!

I know — I’ve held you up long enough. Just check out the tracklisting below, and grab the record on vinyl, CD, cassette, and digital formats at Lil Wayne’s webstore — or, you know, support your local neighborhood streaming service. Now who’s turn is it to go cheer up God?

Tha Carter V tracklist:

01. I Love You Dwayne
02. Don’t Cry (feat. XXXTENTACION)
03. Dedicate
04. Uproar
05. Let It Fly (feat. Travis Scott)
06. Can’t Be Broken
07. Dark Side of the Moon (feat. Nicki Minaj)
08. Mona Lisa (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
09. What About Me (feat. Sosamann)
10. Open Letter
11. Famous (feat. Reginae Carter)
12. Problems
13. Dope N****z (feat. Snoop Dogg)
14. Hittas
15. Took His Time
16. Open Safe
17. Start This S**t Off Right (feat. Ashanti & Mack Maine)
18. Demon
19. Mess
20. Dope New Gospel (feat. Nivea)
21. Perfect Strangers
22. Used 2
23. Let It All Work Out

Less than a year after signing licensing deals with the majors, Spotify is stirring the pot once again

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Less than a year after signing licensing deals with the majors, Spotify is stirring the pot once againSpotify Major Labels Min

Spotify is trying out new business models that test its relationship with major labels. Just a year after renegotiating licensing deals with major labels, Spotify is pushing back against what got them into the industry’s good graces in the first place. The Swedish streaming giant and the record companies that produce its content continue to publicize their tumultuous relationship.

Spotify has already expressed interest in acquiring music by licensing directly from independent artists. They rely heavily on Universal, Warner, and Sony to supply their 35-million-song catalog and recently have been paying advances to management firms and other artist-representation groups in order to obtain direct deals. The major labels see this as Spotify cutting into their territory, and with the current licensing deal, Spotify is not allowed to compete in a substantial or meaningful way with labels’ main businesses. CEO Daniel Ek said “We are not acting like a record label;” however, industry veterans told The New York Times they are growing weary.

Another strain on the relationship comes from music videos. Spotify has started offering video with audio on mobile devices, and they have to pay majors to publish their videos. This has caused disputes over how much the streaming behemoth owes for using those videos. Universal Music Publishing executive Marc Cimino told Bloomberg they want “to allow our digital partners to experiment and at the same time make sure our songwriters are paid properly.” On the other hand, Spotify is arguing their platform’s method of distribution is worth more than what’s credited.

As the methods of distribution shift, this contentious relationship between music licensincing and publishing appears natural. It’s highly unlikely labels or publishers will ever abandon Spotify entirely; however, labels are making it clear they’re restricting Spotify’s leverage in the industry.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey Drop Highly Anticipated Single ‘The Middle’

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I was a wee 19-year-old puppy struggling to maintain a “work-life” balance in college my ears were initially infiltrated by “Human” by Zedd and Nicky Romero. To follow, Mathew Koma and Zedd blessed with “Spectrum. The rest is history. Zedd is an international superstar, I graduated college, work in corporate America and am sitting here

The post Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey Drop Highly Anticipated Single ‘The Middle’ appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Facebook and Universal Music Group Strike Licensing Deal

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Have you ever tried to upload a video to Facebook but get denied due to an unlicensed song? As of this week, Facebook and Universal Music Group have struck a deal regarding music licensing that will make it easier for Facebook users to upload videos with unlicensed music. The two companies have announced a global,

The post Facebook and Universal Music Group Strike Licensing Deal appeared first on EDM Sauce.

YouTube solidifies deal with Sony and Universal, moves closer towards paid service launch

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Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that YouTube‘s music streaming service could arrive as early as March. The service, which has tentatively been titled Remix, has been experiencing delays in its launch due to its failure to negotiate agreements with major music publishers.

Negotiations with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group have been ongoing for quite some time, and until now had been stunting the new service’s launch. Now, Bloomberg reports that both of the music labels have signed long-term agreements with YouTube.

Sony and Universal’s contracts set an aggressive policing of user-uploaded copyrighted songs. Additionally, the deal means that both companies set the royalty rates for music video rights holders. Ultimately, YouTube will now be able to move towards a Spotify-like subscription model. The paid service will also feature content under a paywall, akin to Spotify’s premium subscription.

Historically, YouTube’s believed to have inadequately policed the misuse of copyrighted material. Many believe their failure to do so has held back the music industry’s growth, and while the Universal and Sony partnership will see out that the paid service is able to launch quite soon, it’s still unclear just how long the contracts are for, or how another new streaming service from a mogul like YouTube will affect the industry.

Source: Bloomberg

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Facebook and Universal Music Group strike music licensing deal allowing users to share videos

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As if constant sharing wasn’t exasperating enough, Facebook and Universal Music Group have struck a deal regarding music licensing that will make is easier for music enthusiasts to bombard family members with videos of the latest Gorillaz album or the newest Martin Garrix single.

The two companies have officially announced a global, multi-year agreement allowing Facebook users to share videos containing music licensed by UMG. “In time,” states a press release regarding the partnership, “functionality will expand to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features.” In the past, Facebook has worked to remove videos containing content from UMG licensed artists. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the joint press release.

The move comes fresh off the heels of Universal’s deal with Soundcloud back in 2016 and, more recently, their global agreement with YouTube a mere week ago.

Their deal with Facebook licenses music and publishing catalogs for video and social platforms, including Instagram and Oculus.

“There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building.” says Tamar Hrivnak, head of music business development and partnerships at Facebook “We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG. Music lovers, artists and writers will all be right at home as we open up creativity, connection and innovation through music and video.”

The deal addresses major copyright issues around music licensing, and its tumultuous relationship to social media. While the agreement is only the first step in solving the enigmatic relationship between social media and music licensing, Facebook states that it will work with UMG to launch “music based products” on its platforms, including a music based messenger app.

“Together, Facebook and UMG are creating a dynamic new model for collaboration between music companies and social platforms to advance the interests of recording artists and songwriters while enhancing the social experience of music for their fans,” Michael Nash, Universal’s Vice President of digital strategy states in the joint press release. “This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing — they thrive together.”

Barring the duo’s joint press release, neither Facebook nor Universal provided information regarding their digital product strategy.

“As with our deal with Spotify earlier this year and our license renewal with YouTube,” said UMG’s Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge in an internal company memo, “our deal with Facebook leverages the experience we’ve gained and the wealth of data we’ve amassed to win both greater flexibility as to how our music is offered to the public as well as fairer compensation for our artists — as we continually refine the balance between direct promotion and monetization.”

Universal is the first label to sign an agreement with Facebook, but the Verge reports that they are also in talks with Warner Music Group and Sony regarding licensing deals.

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Mixcloud solidifies deal with Warner Music Group

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Mixcloud — the British counterpart and streaming rival to SoundCloud — has just signed a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group.

The agreement will allow the UK-based streaming company, which has previously implemented statutory radio licenses for its music usage, to begin implementing subscription services.

Nico Perez, the co-founder of Mixcloud recently spoke with the Financial Times on the rollout, “We don’t want to do the $9.99 a month. That’s done. That market is served. What we’re building is going to be very customized.”

Perez continued, “Since the beginning, we have worked with rights holders to both monetize long-form audio and champion the importance of curation in the streaming industry. As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels, we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, music fans, and the industry.”

Currently, Mixcloud has around 17 million monthly users with 12 million long-form radio shows, podcasts, and DJ sets. In addition to the recent agreement with Mixcloud, Warner Music Group recently purchased Spinnin’ Records. The agreements come with immense excitement in the music industry. With the preservation of long-form content presently called into question, the move towards track alternative long-form content suggests that the industry will not entirely move towards instant gratification. Mixcloud is also reportedly working out contracts with two other major music groups, Universal and Sony, respectively.

H/T: Resident Advisor

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Music Review: Mura Masa – Mura Masa

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Mura Masa

Mura Masa

[Universal; 2017]

Rating: 1.5/5

It’s no secret why SoundCloud is going under. Functioning as dumping ground, sounding board, and most crucially of all lawless platform, its entire appeal was its undoing. Like many good things, SoundCloud’s culture doesn’t play well with monetization. So it is with Mura Masa. The producer album is a curious thing: for the Timbalands or Alchemists of the world, it’s an outlet for the many worthy byproducts of the near-constant studio sessions that will yield the tracks on which they actually make their name — that is, the solo album is not something that the producer aspires to so much as inadvertently creates.

Quite the opposite for the SoundCloud producer. While the site is itself a proving ground, what is being proven and by whom remains rather nebulous; a label deal (i.e., the path toward release of an album proper) brings with it a formalized set of strategies and structural cues (from sequencing to lead single selection) that are plainly antithetical to the way in which so many found an audience on SoundCloud. It’s a world in which the listener’s default stance is assumed to be suspicion, rather than curiosity. Consequently, the artist’s goal of pure enticement is marred by an element of trickery.

Unfortunately, this rarely bodes well for an artist’s individuality. Mura Masa was already disadvantaged by the tendency of these sorts of projects to rely on a slate of recognizable features; his productions are scaled back to accommodate the vocalist, while any hope of cohesion goes out the window in the face of appearances from no less than 10 different artists, each given an entire track. That’s not inherently irredeemable, but it’s a lot harder when the features are as anonymous — both in name and in style — as the majority of guests on Mura Masa. With two exceptions (Desiigner and, uh, Damon Albarn), they completely fail to elevate the tracks in any way, an unfortunate consequence of needing to feature Charli XCX on your album because she’s good and popular as hell rather than because you and Charli XCX have made any particularly interesting music together.

The issue is that Charli and the rest of the album’s features are what baseball fans would call “replacement level” — any number of musicians could be inserted in their place with little to no change in the end product. Where this is untrue, it’s usually for the worse. The utterly impotent funk of Jamie Lidell’s performance on “NOTHING ELSE!” put me in a bad mood for the whole second half of the album, and I’ve specifically avoided ever listening to Arctic Monkeys because I imagine them to sound like Tom Tripp on “helpline.”

The saddest thing about it is that the album’s shortcomings are hardly the fault of Mura Masa himself. The dude’s entire thing was making unique beats fully capable of standing on their own, no part of which is compatible whatsoever with the expectations that Universal has of an artist whose deal can be traced back to the fact that “he’s big with the teens.” Nowhere is this clearer than on “Love$ick,” renamed from “Lovesick Fuck” (very much a hit in its own right) and burdened with an A$AP Rocky feature that may well have been produced in a factory somewhere, the purest distillation possible of how and why flashes of SoundCloud brilliance go to shit when being forced into Spotify-sized holes. For what you might have hoped the album to be, listen to the excellent Waves / Sole M8s single (released in June but inexplicably absent from the album) or Mura Masa’s recent BBC Essential Mix. For more like Mura Masa, simply keep an eye on the undercards of the summer festival circuit. Doesn’t matter which — any one will do.

Music Review: Mura Masa – Mura Masa

This post was originally published on this site

Mura Masa

Mura Masa

[Universal; 2017]

Rating: 1.5/5

It’s no secret why SoundCloud is going under. Functioning as dumping ground, sounding board, and most crucially of all lawless platform, its entire appeal was its undoing. Like many good things, SoundCloud’s culture doesn’t play well with monetization. So it is with Mura Masa. The producer album is a curious thing: for the Timbalands or Alchemists of the world, it’s an outlet for the many worthy byproducts of the near-constant studio sessions that will yield the tracks on which they actually make their name — that is, the solo album is not something that the producer aspires to so much as inadvertently creates.

Quite the opposite for the SoundCloud producer. While the site is itself a proving ground, what is being proven and by whom remains rather nebulous; a label deal (i.e., the path toward release of an album proper) brings with it a formalized set of strategies and structural cues (from sequencing to lead single selection) that are plainly antithetical to the way in which so many found an audience on SoundCloud. It’s a world in which the listener’s default stance is assumed to be suspicion, rather than curiosity. Consequently, the artist’s goal of pure enticement is marred by an element of trickery.

Unfortunately, this rarely bodes well for an artist’s individuality. Mura Masa was already disadvantaged by the tendency of these sorts of projects to rely on a slate of recognizable features; his productions are scaled back to accommodate the vocalist, while any hope of cohesion goes out the window in the face of appearances from no less than 10 different artists, each given an entire track. That’s not inherently irredeemable, but it’s a lot harder when the features are as anonymous — both in name and in style — as the majority of guests on Mura Masa. With two exceptions (Desiigner and, uh, Damon Albarn), they completely fail to elevate the tracks in any way, an unfortunate consequence of needing to feature Charli XCX on your album because she’s good and popular as hell rather than because you and Charli XCX have made any particularly interesting music together.

The issue is that Charli and the rest of the album’s features are what baseball fans would call “replacement level” — any number of musicians could be inserted in their place with little to no change in the end product. Where this is untrue, it’s usually for the worse. The utterly impotent funk of Jamie Lidell’s performance on “NOTHING ELSE!” put me in a bad mood for the whole second half of the album, and I’ve specifically avoided ever listening to Arctic Monkeys because I imagine them to sound like Tom Tripp on “helpline.”

The saddest thing about it is that the album’s shortcomings are hardly the fault of Mura Masa himself. The dude’s entire thing was making unique beats fully capable of standing on their own, no part of which is compatible whatsoever with the expectations that Universal has of an artist whose deal can be traced back to the fact that “he’s big with the teens.” Nowhere is this clearer than on “Love$ick,” renamed from “Lovesick Fuck” (very much a hit in its own right) and burdened with an A$AP Rocky feature that may well have been produced in a factory somewhere, the purest distillation possible of how and why flashes of SoundCloud brilliance go to shit when being forced into Spotify-sized holes. For what you might have hoped the album to be, listen to the excellent Waves / Sole M8s single (released in June but inexplicably absent from the album) or Mura Masa’s recent BBC Essential Mix. For more like Mura Masa, simply keep an eye on the undercards of the summer festival circuit. Doesn’t matter which — any one will do.